Will we ever sleep well again?

Hi all,

I need some words of wisdom. My 6 month old wakes two hourly through the night to be fed, he is ebf. We have recently started giving him some solids but it's early days so he's not eating very much as yet.

During the day he breastfeeds 3.5-4 Hourly. Different story at night. This has been going on since he was about 3 months old (he used to do 10-3 before 3mo so I could count on a decent stretch of sleep).

I always put him down awake, he gets to sleep himself. I have tried not feeding him, just patting/shushing but he gets totally worked up to hysterics if he isn't fed. After an hour of that I usually cave. When he does feed, he feeds well, and usually for at least half an hour so he is hungry but the frequency of his night feeds are becoming harder to cope with. I'm so tired, this can't go on, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

We have tried co sleeping but it doesn't work for us as a family I'm not ready/prepared to do CIO at this stage.

Any suggestions about what else we could try would be very welcome!

6 Replies

  • You poor thing! Most people I know have either bed shared so they can feed almost in their sleep, or done cry it out (horrible but it does work). As you don't want to do either of those it might be a case of waiting until he is eating more solids, although you may find he just takes fewer feeds during the day and still wants to eat through the night. I personally found staying and shushing/patting just wound my lo up, and he settled much quicker if I reassured then left the room. Good luck, sorry I don't have any other options to suggest!

  • Hi heb,

    I couldnt help but feel sympathy for you whilst i was reading your post as lack of sleep can be (in my opinion) the hardest thing to deal with as a mother of a young child/children,

    As your Lil one is now 6 nonths old have you considered starting to introduce maybe 1 or 2 bottles of formula milk in his diet ?

    I EBF my 2nd child much longer than i did my 1st child but i quickly noticed (with both my Lil ones) that my breast milk wasnt enough for them at a simular age of 5 months old. As a result of this i had a few nights in which it used to feel like i was hardly getting to sleep as they'd constantly want feeding.

    As both my kids were & are quite fairly good eaters i made the decision to slowly switch them from breast to bottle from 5 to 5 & a half months old.

    Its "of course" ultimately up to you but if it can get u a few more hours sleep especially at nights its worth it.


  • I have the same problem with my 7 month old. It has got a tiny bit better since I started weaning and in particular with the introduction of proteins. Going for very calorie dense food in the evening such as banana and avocado.

    I have been on antibiotics for a few days and so bottle feeding (though it took me weeks and weeks to get him to accept a bottle). I noticed one of his feeds wasn't as interesting when it wasn't from me!

    I have been trying to sleep train him by lying him down in bed next to me instead of rocking and nursing but it has meant no more cot. He still takes forever to switch off and there is crying but I think it is helping him learn to roll over and go back to sleep.

    I also have been reading a book on no cry sleep training and it suggested a number of other small things you can do to help them nod off again when they've woken up on their own. E.g. Introduce a toy as a comforter, making the sleep wind down time longer.

    None of these are an overnight miracle though, sorry. Good luck and I feel your pain! Xx

  • I'm in the same boat my 6m refuses a bottle so I'm ebf too. Waking through the night to feed 3-4 times. I feel like a Zombie in the day. I have no answers, though everyone has given me advice! I find it hard to implement all these different suggestions, not knowing what's best for us. My previous two babies slept through 6 hours at this age. Stressed confused mummy. Good luck x

  • I feel your pain, as I was/ sometimes am still there. My LO is 11 months. She slept well (about 6/7 hrs stretch) since she was 8 wks then around 4 months BAM! and I felt like I had a newborn again. Waking up every 1,5 hrs, I was so exhausted I cried constantly. I've decided pretty early I won't do CIO though - I don't believe it's 'normal' or 'ok' to let them cry themselves to sleep, they are still tiny and rely on you completely in every way. Anyway.. I've read a lot and stumbled upon Dr Sears books which (to me) were great. They offer the more gentle approach and give you some advice on what you can do - but most of all were able to reassure me I wasn't doing anything wrong!! I was beginning to think the routine/ feed times etc , ANYTHING I did was to blame but babies are just babies and by talking to people I've realised that this is very common. I took my LO to bed and was getting a bit more sleep since I almost fed her in my sleep. I couldn't do sshing/ patting- it just annoyed her (and me!) and it took her ages to get back to sleep. She still wakes once or twice but now not for feeding but comfort and goes back to sleep after 2 minutes or so. I've accepted the fact she's a high need baby and will eventually sleep. Sorry I don't have any drastic advice but it helped me to think 'this shall pass' like everything else. Good luck and I hope you'll get some more sleep soon. You're doing great xx

  • Its so hard with sleep deprivation but giving formula wouldn't necessarily make any difference and could cause a whole host of other problems! Usually what happens around this age is they are more alert and aware of their surroundings so tend to get distracted when feeding during the day so go back to waking more at night to play catch up with their needs. Try and reduce distractions during the day when he's feeding to encourage him to stay on for a full feed. He is still getting everything from you so introducing solids at this age is more about them exploring food and doesn't really satisfy as we use food. Protein rich food can help but not always. Usually around 8-9 months is when they are taking in enough solids ti sustain them through the night ;-)

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