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6 Months Without Sleeping Through the Night
My baby is already 6 months old and I was hoping he could sleep through the night by now. Unfortunately, he is still waking up in the middle of the night, usually 1-2 times. I was thinking it was because he was hungry, but I’ve been reading a lot about it and I think he’s getting used to sleeping on the breast.
Apparently, we all wake up several times a night, but the difference between babies and us is that babies need to learn to go back to sleep on their own. All babies will be able to do this themselves at some point in their lives, but since you never know when it will happen, it might be a good idea to try to teach them as soon as possible, or should I say as soon as possible. In my case, my baby uses the breast to go back to sleep and my mission now is to teach him to go back to sleep on his own.
The first thing I’m planning to do is take a close look at my baby’s sleep habits; what time he wakes up, when he takes naps and how long and at what time he wakes up during the night. This way I will have a better idea of his sleep pattern.
My baby’s bedtime routine is a bath, read and feed before bed and he usually sleeps on the breast. I decided to change this routine because it is reinforcing his dependence on falling asleep on the chest. His new bed routine is going to be: feed, bathe and read before bed. Putting the baby in the crib while he is awake will help start the process of learning to fall asleep on his own.
The next question is, what am I going to do next? I’ve been talking to a lot of moms and everyone has a different opinion on what the best method is to follow. I think that, as with many things in parenting, it’s a very personal decision, and even if there is a right one, it would be almost impossible to determine which one it is.
“Let your baby cry himself to sleep” method. I’m not a fan of this “method”, it’s basically letting your baby cry it out until they fall asleep. It may work for certain parents, but I find it unnecessarily cruel.
There is another method called “Ferberization,” named after the person who suggested it: Dr. Richard Ferber. You let your baby sleep, and if he cries, leave him alone for 5 minutes, enter the room after that time, pat him and leave the room again. Next time you let him cry for 10 minutes and continue that technique by increasing the time you let him cry by 5 minutes until he falls asleep. I’m not a fan of leaving my baby crying, I know some people might think I’m a weak mother and that the baby controls me, but I don’t think it’s fair to him. Crying is the only way he communicates with us and if we ignore him when he does, what kind of message are we sending him?
There is another method called “systematic awakening”. It doesn’t sound like too much fun, but at least it lets you keep your baby from crying for hours. First, you should keep a diary of the times your baby wakes up during the night for a week. Once you have an idea of your baby’s routine, you should set an alarm for about half an hour before you expect him to wake up. Once the alarm goes off, you get up (this is the “not so fun” part) and you have to wake the baby up (this is the “even less fun” part) and do what you normally do when he spontaneously wakes up. wake him up Poor little girl, really? he looks so peaceful when he’s sleeping, I don’t know if he’d be able to do it. For those who can, you need to anticipate each regular awakening in the same way and gradually extend the time between awakenings. This way, in a few weeks, you can eliminate them.
So, after considering all the different options, I’m going to try the method of simply reinforcing sleep rhythms. The main thing with this method is that you never let your baby get too tired. I have seen my baby tired many times and he acts like he is ready to party all night (my partner loves it because he really thinks he wants to play) when in reality he was ready for bed a few hours ago. This method indicates that when you are able to anticipate your baby’s natural sleepiness and allow him to sleep in the right environment (in my case that means sleeping in his crib undisturbed) he will fall asleep easily. One thing I need to change is my reaction to my baby’s night wakings, instead of feeding her I will have to respond to her to reassure her but I will let her fall asleep on her own.
Good night and sleep well
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