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Helping a 6 Month Old Sleep Through the Night

I'm desperate for help to get my nearly 6 month old son to sleep through. Like many other babies, my son has always fought sleep no matter what time of day or night! He is in a strict routine which he's probably had for the past 3 months of, bath, bottle, and bed all by 8 o clock.

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In the past I've used a bottle to get him to sleep, but most recently have been putting him down awake and letting him cry himself to sleep. I go in repeatedly to calm him and eventually he drifts off, my problem is he still wakes up to 3 times a night before 5am, when I get up to feed him. I know he is not hungry when he wakes, as he calms down when I go in. I have tried feeding him to get him back to sleep, but he is not interested. So again I let him self soothe, but it still can take up to an hour again.

I started weaning him about 6 weeks ago and he is teething, but this doesn't seem to bother him. I feel like I've tried everything, taken all the advice from the experts, but no matter what I do he just doesn't want to sleep. Help!

By Alison

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August 13, 20110 found this helpful

Not everybody has the same sleep patterns. Maybe your son isn't ready to sleep all night yet. See if you ignore him a little longer each night, if that helps. Otherwise my guess is that he just isn't ready to sleep all night. I have an adult daughter who slept all night from the day we brought her home from the hospital. Then when she was a year old she started waking up and I would put her in her high chair and feed her a jar of baby food and she was ready to go back to bed. When I fed her it went faster than if I had let her feed herself.

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August 13, 20110 found this helpful

You're right in that many babies fight going to sleep, but once he gets to sleep there is something that is making him wake up again, and that seems to be the real problem. Is his room too light, too dark, too noisy, too hot, too cold, too humid, too dry? Is his mattress too hard or too soft? Is he still sleeping on his back?

At six months, he should be old enough to sleep on his belly, and I know that my daughters always slept longer on their bellies than they did on their backs. In other words try different things until you find the one that works.

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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

Interesting that you ask about his room as he's only been in his own bedroom for about 6 weeks (he had on odd occasions slept through before this) n he does seem to of got worse since making this transition, I just put it down to the fact he's alone, as he has never been happy to be alone even during the day around the house. I have tested the lighting and temperature in there to see if that made a difference but how would I know if his mattress was the problem? Also he's not quite 6 months yet and has only just this week started rolling over so not quite happy or confident on his front yet, so still sleeping on his back. Thanks for the advice!

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

He isn't ready. Why the rush? Why make a child or baby misserable just to suit your schedule. Enjoy him and let him be happy.

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

He's to young to be weaned and I agree with Lilac, let him be a baby!

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August 15, 20110 found this helpful

Five and one-half months is way, way, WAY too early to wean a baby. My son did not sleep all night until he was at least a year old. Every baby has his/her own sleep pattern and 8 p.m. may be too early to put him to bed. Try letting him stay up later and see if that helps. Try rocking him to sleep. Babies should be cuddled, soothed and nurtured next to Mommie to feel safe and secure. If you do not have a rocking chair, I would suggest getting one because that is one of the MOST important baby items there is. The time you spend rocking your baby is a very special time between you and your baby and when he is too old to rock, you will dearly miss it.

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August 16, 20110 found this helpful

I am not a big believer in schedules that dictate to a baby and cause problems. I think he is too young to be weaned and that it is an unrealistic expectation to expect him to go to sleep without cuddling and stay asleep for the whole night. You are letting this little guy cry himself to sleep every night? If an adult or teenager had to cry herself to sleep every night, we would be very concerned.

I think you are right to establish a routine, but it should be a loving and gentle one and rock him to sleep. He is likely waking up and being lonesome; perhaps it is too early for him to be in a separate room. If he is not happy being alone, why not let him be with you. Rest assured he will be on his own soon enough. He will be packing his bags and leaving for college before you know it!!

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August 26, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you all for your advice! My son is now sleeping through the night :) anywhere between 11-14 hours a night, I've not done anything different as just followed the experts advice in teaching him to self soothe. In response to your feedback I began weaning my son early as advised by my health visitor due to the fact my son isn't and never has been interested in milk at all!

Be it breast or bottled he doesn't want it, and often when I wasn't around he was starving all day, although the recommendation to begin weaning is 6 months so really isn't way, way too early. I do what is best for my son to follow his needs without harming him.

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