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Old 11-16-2010, 01:35 PM   #1
jyang034
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Default Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

I have a 8 month old boy. He is never a good sleeper. Since he was born, he cried a lot and I had to hold him almost all the time. I was very tired and eventually I had to let him sleep on me to get some sleep. I don't know if he lacks feeling of security or there were other reasons. Anyway, later he could sleep in bed but only in our bed. Dad had to move to another room to get enough sleep as he has to work. So Kevin had been sleeping with me in our bed since then. I never could use his cradle once. It seems to me it is hard for him to sleep tight. Anything noise can wake him up. He has a bad habit of drinking breast milk while sleeping. He usually goes down at around 8 p.m. and can sleep for an hour sometimes and then cries. I have to rush upstairs and breastfeed him again until he sleeps again. Then I have to leave very quietly. Sometimes I have to go down and up several times. Then after half an hour or an hour if I am lucky, I have to do this again. Then again. When I go to bed at about 11 p.m., he still wakes up several times during night. I can see that he really wants to sleep and looks very sleepy. But he moves his body and looks very upset. I just can't find why he does this all the time. Gassy? Stomachache? But when I sleep with him during the daytime, he is usually fine. If I sleep with him, he can nap for two hours. If he sleeps by himself, he usually only nap for half an hour and I know he needs more sleep. I am at mat. leave now so I can still get some sleep during the daytime but what am I gonna do when I go back to work when Kevin is one year old? Many moms told me to do "cry-it-out" sleep training but Kevin easily goes hysterical when crying and I am not sure if I should keeping doing this. How can I let him sleep better? Some people told me that Kevin will outgrow it and sleep longer and deeper. But when is that going to happen? Based on current situation, I am not that optimistic.

Any advice is welcome.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

Honestly, you should just let him cry it out. I know it will be hard when he gets hysterical, but you have to try. Let him cry it out for 10 minutes, and if he cries over 10 minutes then there is probably something wrong and I would take him to the doctor. Also, it is probably because you're sleeping with him that makes it hard for him. He is so used to your presence which makes it harder for him to sleep longer. You need to slowly take him away from you and he will get used to being on his own in bed.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

It is perfectly normal for a baby that age to wake a few times a night, even more so because he is breastfed, breastmilk is not as dense as formula so they require more feeds in a 24 hour period. Please don't do CIO, especially if you are currently co- sleeping, you will just create other issues. Just so you know my almost 13 month old still wakes 2-3 times a night. It won't last forever and while I miss sleep I will never force my hold to CIO just so I can sleep. Look into a book by Elizabeth pantly called The No Cry Sleep solution, there are some great tips in there.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

My son woke up a lot when he was little as well. I breastfed until his was 1 year old. After that, he would wake up about two times a night. I co-slept with him until he was 2. I never let him cry it out. His father and I didn't have much of 'relationship', so sleeping in a different room didn't put any stress on our relationship (because there really wasn't one). How is all of this effecting your husband and your relationship with him? I would be concerned about that.

I know it's hard, and you are tired, but hang in there. It will get better! Breastfeeding is worth it, even though it can be trying. Wish I could offer some help, but all I can really say is that I've 'been there' and you are not alone!
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

Thanks for all replies. I was concerned about his many wake-ups during the night and short nap during the daytime. Last night, he went down at around 8 p.m. and woke up crying only half an hour later. I ran upstairs and tried to calm him down but he just couldn't go back to sleep. I have been always wondering if there is anything bothering him that affected his sleeping. So I decided to hold him once to see if he is better. He still woke up sometimes but didn't move at all. When he saw me hold him, he just opened his eyes and went back to sleep very easily. I guess the only reason he wakes up crying many times is because I am not with him. However, there is one more puzzle. At night, when I co-sleep with him, he still wakes up crying even if I offer him breast milk. Many times he wake up at 2 a.m. and I would pat him and breastfeed him. But he sometimes doesn't want to drink but still look like something is bothering him. It is frustrating when you are not clear what is going on there.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

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Originally Posted by mom2many View Post
It is perfectly normal for a baby that age to wake a few times a night, even more so because he is breastfed, breastmilk is not as dense as formula so they require more feeds in a 24 hour period. Please don't do CIO, especially if you are currently co- sleeping, you will just create other issues. Just so you know my almost 13 month old still wakes 2-3 times a night. It won't last forever and while I miss sleep I will never force my hold to CIO just so I can sleep. Look into a book by Elizabeth pantly called The No Cry Sleep solution, there are some great tips in there.
I completely agree with M2M. You are doing the right thing, although I know it can be hard at times. If only babies were meant to be easy!! haha. Breastfeeding is very much worth it, but sometimes it can mean that sleeping through the night may come a little later. Like M2M said, its a little less dense. I have co-slept with my son, or laid down with him until he was asleep, or when he was littler rocked him to sleep (I rocked him to sleep until he was about a year-18 months old!). I'll tell you, it doesn't feel like it now, but time really does fly in the big picture, and if you make him cry himself to sleep at night with no comfort, you'll look back in the future and feel guilty about it. There were a couple nights I got frustrated and let my son cry, and I always look back on them with regret. But I was young and I didn't have much help.

Anyway, you don't have to "sleep train" a baby to solve your sleep problems. My son still woke up 4-5 times a night at 8 months old, and he was formula fed! At around 11 months, he went down to 2-3 times a night all on his own. By 18 months, all by himself, no crying it out required, he only woke up 1-2 times a night and that was only because he got a bottle once in the middle of the night and sometimes he would wake a second time because he got uncomfortable or scared or something. Heck, he's three years old now and sometimes wakes up at night because he had a nightmare, wants to go potty, wants a drink, or lost his sippy cup (yeah he sleeps with a sippy cup, don't worry I know its bad haha, to be worked on later). I don't even sleep through the night, you know? I wake up to pee or get a drink most nights. So I can't be too picky with my very much human being of a child. But I do want you to know, that IT DOES GET BETTER!!! Just stick it out, I promise this is so much more normal than you probably feel it is.

I have a couple of suggestions for you. I would keep trying the solid food on him. He's old enough to have it, and it really helps in keeping the belly full at night after a while of eating it. If he eats food a couple of times throughout the day, and maybe even some cereal or something before bed, he'll be a lot more likely to feel full for longer. As for wanting your breast to fall asleep, almost every baby has a comfort item, and it looks like he has chosen your breast for that purpose! haha, I can see the inconvenience in this. Can I suggest a pacifier maybe? Its very similar, but it can comfort him while you're not there (woohoo)! My son's item of comfort is his sippy cup, but it would have been a pacifier if I didn't have a moment of weakness when everyone was telling me what to do and took it away. :/ SURE didn't make my life any easier. Some kids have a special blanket, or stuffed animal. I just think a pacifier might make your life easier, because it sounds like he's not wanting your breast because he's hungry, but because the suckling comforts him. He will still probably want to feed at night too, but you wont have to give him the breast a hundred times a night or let him sleep with it.

CIO works for some people, but I just think its hard on a mother's conscience (its almost like you can feel that its wrong) and its a lot of stress on a little baby. Babies can't tell you what they want (oh I'm hungry, I need a diaper change, I'm uncomfortable, I'm hot, I'm cold, I'm bored, I want to be held, I want to be comforted, I'm scared, I'm lonely) so they cry instead and you have to figure it out from there. Which is why it seems like they cry a lot. If a baby cries and no one comes, they cry harder, they get stressed out and they get desperate and sometimes histerical because they don't understand why you're not coming when they need you, and then eventually CIO works because the baby stops crying because either they exhausted themselves and passed out or they gave up because they know you're not coming. It doesn't mean any problems were solved, its hard on the bond between baby and mom, and the baby loses trust in their caregiver.

But that is just my personal opinion, based upon a lot of reading up on actual research, and my own experiences.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:18 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

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Originally Posted by jyang034 View Post
But he sometimes doesn't want to drink but still look like something is bothering him. It is frustrating when you are not clear what is going on there.
Try to make sure he doesn't need to burp (I know at that age they can burp themselves but sometimes when they're trying to sleep and holding still/laying down it doesn't happen as easily) and he doesn't need a change (some kids are more sensitive to a less wet diaper than others) and that he's not too warm or cold. Maybe he wants to lay a different way, like on his belly?

Or you know what it could be? Does he have any teeth yet? Either way, he is probably teething being 8 months old. That hurts, and it hurts even worse at night when a baby is trying to sleep. Try giving him a little Tylenol or rubbing a little Orajel on his gums? Or Hyland's Teething Tablets? They work pretty nicely. Or a baltic amber teething necklace? I'd bet ya anything he's teething, the way it sounds is that something is maybe hurting him and annoying him and teething is usually the culprit! haha

Also always be on the lookout for any sickness, like an ear infection. It is hard to tell if a baby has an ear infection, and they can be really painful and affect sleeping a lot. Either way, if the crying with nothing wrong, even with you there keeps up I would maybe take him to the doctor just to get everything ruled out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

Thanks a lot, Xero! That really helped a lot. I am a new mother and hearing experiences from other moms is a great stress release. I think I will keep doing what I am doing now. I will still co-sleep with him and won't do CIO coz it just doesn't fit me. The reason I worried about the co-sleeping is that I am the only mom in our playgroup who does it. Those moms told me how well their babies sleep by themselves in their own rooms! They all thought that I spoiled my boy and in the long run I am not doing anything good for him. I hope I am right doing these.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

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Originally Posted by jyang034 View Post
Thanks a lot, Xero! That really helped a lot. I am a new mother and hearing experiences from other moms is a great stress release. I think I will keep doing what I am doing now. I will still co-sleep with him and won't do CIO coz it just doesn't fit me. The reason I worried about the co-sleeping is that I am the only mom in our playgroup who does it. Those moms told me how well their babies sleep by themselves in their own rooms! They all thought that I spoiled my boy and in the long run I am not doing anything good for him. I hope I am right doing these.

First rule of thumb....never compare your baby to theirs. Never compare the sleeping habits of your child to thiers. That will drive you insane, some babies come out of the womb sleeping though the night, other babies need a lot more encouragement before they are ready. What most of those mom's aren't telling you is that most of those babies had some form of sleep training, sleep training isn't just a one time thing, it has to be done over and over again, as the baby teeth's or get's sick, if they hit a new milestone all these things will effect their sleep habits and mom and dad are going to have to sleep train once they have passed.

Every baby is different, remember guidelines are just that a guide and they are not something set in stone. Some babies will not even meet milestones within those guidlines, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your baby. Some babies will even completely miss certian milestones and just move on to the next one. An example would be some babies never crawl, they just one day walk, other babies never figure out how to roll from stomach to back but figure out how to walk and crawl first then figure out how to get off their backs.

It's also okay to be envious of parents who have babies that are good sleepers, recognize and then accept that what you are doing is in the best interest of your child, and be proud of that.


Quote:
At night, when I co-sleep with him, he still wakes up crying even if I offer him breast milk. Many times he wake up at 2 a.m. and I would pat him and breastfeed him. But he sometimes doesn't want to drink but still look like something is bothering him.
Have you ever had him tested for reflux, I had a friend who went through something similar and it took 3 doctors to take her seriously. One her baby was on meds things improved greatly. Have you thought about it possibly being a dairy allergy? Also quite common. I would give some motrin or tylenol right before bed and see if that might help. If that helps it is probably a little bit of teething going on.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Why a 8-month old still wakes up many times at night?

I think he might be teething soon. I saw a white dot on his lower gum, although not sure if that is the tooth. I don't think he has reflux or other health problems coz when I hold him to sleep, he is totally fine. It is just he can't sleep by himself. Maybe he feels insecure when I am not there? But how does he know that I am no there when he is sleeping? By smell?
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