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Old 11-03-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

DS is 4mths today and he's a big baby 17lbs 12 oz. He loves to eat at night, but I'm needing some more sleep. He gets up every 2 hours every night. So 10pm, midnight, 2am, 4 am and then 5:30 or 6 am and sometimes then up for the day.

Is there anything I can do to encourage him to sleep longer so that I can sleep? He is teething so I do realize that this cycle may change when a tooth finally comes in.

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Old 11-03-2011, 12:24 PM   #2
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

You're right on the teething. Some babies nurse more frequently because of teething pain and some avoid nursing for the same reason.

I'd wait a couple weeks and see if things have changed. Often they do.

Contrary to popular belief, a baby's weight isn't an indicator of when they are ready to STTN because STTN is developmental. I've read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and it has some good ideas for gently *encouraging* baby to sleep longer at night w/o feedings. It might help in your situation.

This is just a phase, like being a baby, it will pass all too soon.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

thanks, I guess I just needed to vent about my lack of sleep
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

Our girls were like that. They didn't STTN (meaning 5 hrs straight) until they were over a year old. Not to be discouraging, but some babies just don't STTN right away.

I totally understand where you are coming from... but this will soon pass. Cherish the night time wakings. Soon enough, they will be big, lanky, and not want to snuggle at night.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

Vent away! The other night DS was up every 1-2 hours (teething) and sometimes would nurse and other times he wouldn't... he would just whimper and snuggle... it was really sad (and exhausting!) so I feel your sleeplessness.

I know this might sound corny, but I've found that when I stay positive, I feel better and more rested. It also helps not to do the math on how much sleep I did or didn't get that night but I know its still frustrating.

Oh, another thing that really helped me was to go to bed earlier. This can be hard and I'm notoriously not good at it but when I go to bed at around 8p or even 9p, I feel so much more rested regardless of what LO does during the night. When I wait till 10p or later (eek!) its so much harder in the morning (and the middle of the night, for that matter!) Maybe try an earlier bed time?
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

I am having the same problem with my 7mo DS He just WILL NOT sleep unless he is attached to my boob. I mean he just HAS to be within arms reach of me or he freaks out. I am like a walking zombie and I don't know what to do either because I just cannot emotionally take letting him cry it out. My husband doesn't understand. He gets mad because I won't put him in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep, but I just can't do that.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

P.S. I was thinking about this some more and I remembered a suggestion my IBCLC friend told me: try to feed more often during the day time so that LO gets more milk during the day. Sometimes during the "distractable age" they are too "busy" to eat during the day and then make up for it at night. Can you try to sneak in a few extra feedings? I usually get extra feedings in right after naps, when LO is first waking up he is willing to eat even if its only been an hour or so since the last feeding. HTH!

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I am having the same problem with my 7mo DS He just WILL NOT sleep unless he is attached to my boob. I mean he just HAS to be within arms reach of me or he freaks out. I am like a walking zombie and I don't know what to do either because I just cannot emotionally take letting him cry it out. My husband doesn't understand. He gets mad because I won't put him in his crib and let him cry himself to sleep, but I just can't do that.
We wouldn't do CIO, either but there are things you can do to gently encourage LO to sleep in their crib or nurse less frequently. I don't really like endorsing books because there isn't a one-size-fits-all, IMHO but there are some good ideas in "The No Cry Sleep Solution" that avoid CIO. I don't agree with everything in the book but who ever does, right? I just used what I liked and skipped the rest (after venting to DH about it - lol). We did a lot of rocking and patting. I hope you find something that helps. I really like Dr. Sear's philosophy that you do what works until it doesn't work for you/baby/family anymore and then you find something else that works. Parenting babies is about flexibility, patience and sacrifice (and lots of love!), IMO.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

my older 2 didn't sleep through the night till I stopped nursing, so I'm prepared for this. I would just like maybe a 4 hour stretch and then I can handle the every 2 hours.

And yes, I do find if i don't think about it or remain positive it's not a problem either.

I'm pretty sure that he's eating lots during the day. I feed him every time he wakes up and sometimes before he goes down for a nap. We don't have a set nap schedule yet, just if he's fussy and tired it's either a snack or a snack and into bed.

Yes I probably should go to bed before 10 pm, since it's really closer to 10:30/11 when I'm finally able to fall asleep.

I have to remind myself soon his room will be closer to mine. We don't cosleep so he's in the crib in his room and we're moving next month and he room will be a bit closer so less of a walk in the night which I'm sure will make a huge difference.

My theory is if I wake up when I hear him waking up I may as well nurse him since I'll be awake listening to hear if hes asleep anyway. So I'm getting more sleep by feeding him than laying in bed waiting to see if he'll stop crying. Plus there really isn't anything worse than hearing a baby cry and knowing if you just get up and nurse them, they'd stop.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawheid View Post
my older 2 didn't sleep through the night till I stopped nursing, so I'm prepared for this. I would just like maybe a 4 hour stretch and then I can handle the every 2 hours.

And yes, I do find if i don't think about it or remain positive it's not a problem either.

I'm pretty sure that he's eating lots during the day. I feed him every time he wakes up and sometimes before he goes down for a nap. We don't have a set nap schedule yet, just if he's fussy and tired it's either a snack or a snack and into bed.

Yes I probably should go to bed before 10 pm, since it's really closer to 10:30/11 when I'm finally able to fall asleep.

I have to remind myself soon his room will be closer to mine. We don't cosleep so he's in the crib in his room and we're moving next month and he room will be a bit closer so less of a walk in the night which I'm sure will make a huge difference.

My theory is if I wake up when I hear him waking up I may as well nurse him since I'll be awake listening to hear if hes asleep anyway. So I'm getting more sleep by feeding him than laying in bed waiting to see if he'll stop crying. Plus there really isn't anything worse than hearing a baby cry and knowing if you just get up and nurse them, they'd stop.
Exactly!
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
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Re: how do I encourage DS to sleep longer at night?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawheid View Post
my older 2 didn't sleep through the night till I stopped nursing, so I'm prepared for this. I would just like maybe a 4 hour stretch and then I can handle the every 2 hours.

And yes, I do find if i don't think about it or remain positive it's not a problem either.
I am actually relieve to hear someone else say this. I typically don't ever say this to other moms because I don't want to sound like "oh, you just need to put your big girl panties on and suck it up" because I totally don't mean it that way. I just feel like when I want to be grumpy about sleep, it makes things harder but if I *choose* to be positive and not dwell on it, I find that I don't really feel as bad as I thought I would and we have a good day. Thanks for picking up what I was putting down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawheid View Post
I'm pretty sure that he's eating lots during the day. I feed him every time he wakes up and sometimes before he goes down for a nap. We don't have a set nap schedule yet, just if he's fussy and tired it's either a snack or a snack and into bed.

Yes I probably should go to bed before 10 pm, since it's really closer to 10:30/11 when I'm finally able to fall asleep.
Me too! Ugh! Why is it so hard to fall asleep?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rawheid View Post
I have to remind myself soon his room will be closer to mine. We don't cosleep so he's in the crib in his room and we're moving next month and he room will be a bit closer so less of a walk in the night which I'm sure will make a huge difference.

My theory is if I wake up when I hear him waking up I may as well nurse him since I'll be awake listening to hear if hes asleep anyway. So I'm getting more sleep by feeding him than laying in bed waiting to see if he'll stop crying. Plus there really isn't anything worse than hearing a baby cry and knowing if you just get up and nurse them, they'd stop.
Totally agree.

Just a thought: would having the baby in the same room (still in a crib) help? That made a huge difference for me. I don't have to go so far to get him and sometimes DH will bring LO to me (which really is so nice ). I noticed that even a few extra seconds made a difference with whether or not LO woke all the way up or stayed drowsy and nurses right back to sleep... Maybe that might be the trick?
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