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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Why won't my 8 month old baby sleep through the night yet?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10277 points ) May 23rd, 2012

I am at the end of my rope. In the 8 months I have been a mom, I literally have not slept more than 3 hours at a time during the night due to my son waking up for feedings. I have tried letting him self soothe back to sleep. That never works. Just makes him more and more upset. I have tried just giving him his pacifier, but he continues to cry and spits it out. The only thing that calms him down is a bottle. After that he almost immediately goes back to sleep. I put him to bed around 9 or 10 every night. He will wake up by 12 for a bottle. Then again at either 2 or 3. Then again at 8 for good. This can’t be normal. At 8 months?! I’m a zombie. I’m a single mom who needs to get a job asap and I can’t imagine how I will manage working a full day after no sleep the night before! The dr said every baby is different and some don’t sleep through the night for awhile. But I feel like thats just a generic answer. Please help…before I go insane.

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26 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Are you putting enough in each bottle? Not criticizing your mothering, I swear, it’s just that if baby’s tummy feels unsatisfied, he will keep waking up to eat more. Also, he’s 8 months old… have you started experimenting with the pureed baby foods yet?

jax1311's avatar

My brother and sister-in-law had the same issue. The doctor told them that they needed to cut off the midnight feedings. He got his point across by saying that if his wife woke him up in the middle of the night and fed him a hamburger every night, he would keep waking up at midnight too.

So, it might be worth trying the self-soothing again and just trying to hold out a little longer.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I give him 7 ounces of formula (the amount the dr suggested). He also eats jar baby foods, cereal, and a few tables foods during the day. He has a full tummy every night before bed. He eats less oftne during the day then at night. That’s what is confusing to me. During the day, he goes hours without being hungry. At night it seems like every 2 to 3 hours he’s dying of thirst.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Hmmm, then I just don’t know. My kiddos didn’t do that. This is all I’ve got. Or perhaps @jax1311 is right, and he’s just in the bad habit of waking up because he knows you’ll feed him more if he does.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 That was my nephew. You could set a watch by him. Two hours, feed me or I’ll bitch, two more hours, feed me or I’ll bitch, etc etc. He’s 15 months and he’s much easier to deal with now that he’s eating other food. Hang in there. Also do you have some of your family or other support available if you get too stressed? You’ve done pretty damn good so far with everything that’s gone on.

gailcalled's avatar

Not sure that this is a great idea, but my first child was like that…aggressive, light sleeper and determined to have his own way.

I tried waking him early from his daytime naps; looking back, I think that only maturity helped. Some kids are like this.

My second, a daughter, was a dream baby. Perhaps I was more relaxed also.

Trillian's avatar

Welcome to parenthood. My oldest ate every two hours until I started her on baby food at 12 months. All children are different. You can’t expect yours to conform and sleep all night because some others do. If you have friends who brag to you about their baby sleeping through the night at such and such an age, remember; It isn’t a competition.
Table foods? At eight months?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Trillian I often hear about so and so’s baby who slept through the night at 3 months, etc. It always makes me feel like my baby is different from the rest of the world’s children. Yes table food. As in healthy, mashed up foods (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc). Nothing crazy or unhealthy. The dr said he can be introduced to normal foods. Also, he is 20 lbs and very long. He’s not overweight in the slightest.

Trillian's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Ha! I was picturing chicken wings!
Your baby is different and unique. I know it sounds dismissive, but he will at some point grow out of that.
(This is one reason why I snicker to myself when I see girls pregnant for the first time. Better you than me honey. Yeah, you’ll find out!)~

Nullo's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I heard about a kid once who didn’t sleep through the night for three whole years. Lowers the bar a bit for ya. ;)

CWOTUS's avatar

Our first (also a son) was like that. It took a lot of time – in terms of “months of age” – for him to learn to settle down for the night (not month). By the time we finally got through that he was a teenager and would no longer get up in the morning.

But seriously, it took a long time and a lot of tears: his, my wife’s and mine, before we finally got through that. Good luck – and patience! and strength! – to you.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Trillian Sadly, my close friend has been feeding her baby adult food since he was 6 months old. Pizza, french fries, cookies…so chicken wings weren’t too far off! But you’re probably right about the growing out of it part. It has to happen eventually I suppose. I know a lot of people suggest the cry it out method but a mom usually knows when something is really bothering her baby and whether letting them self soothe will work in that particular situation. And most times, he is too upset to let him continue screaming. I can tell he legitimately wants/needs a bottle. When I hold off to see if he’ll fall asleep on his own and he doesn’t, when I finally put the bottle in his mouth, he gulps it like he was in a desert for a week.

CWOTUS's avatar

”...he gulps it like he was in a desert for a week” ... and he gives you “that look” that I recall from more than a quarter-century ago.

Trillian's avatar

Hahaha! They do master the “looks” don’t they? I remember sharing a half grapefruit with my oldest when she was about 5. I gave her a bite then me then her… I took two in a row because the first was a tiny sliver. She drew her little brows together and opened her mouth and just drew in an audible breath. I’ve never forgotten her expression.
@ItalianPrincess1217 I have nothing to say. I was so much more laid back by the time my third came along. She kept bugging me once when I was eating hot-wings so I finally handed her one, thinking that the sauce would make her eyes water, and she’d give me a reproachful look for allowing her to put it in her mouth. Damned if she didn’t gum that thing down to the bone. She was just under a year old.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Trillian Hahaha, my youngest was like that with salsa at Mexican restaurants. She kept begging and begging for a “chip and saucey”, so we finally broke off a tiny piece of a chip, lightly dipped it in the salsa and she ate it by sucking on the chip ‘til it got soft. It wasn’t horribly spicy, but it was far from mild. She ate several more “chip and saucey”, then grabbed the cup of salsa and drank it. She kept having to get drinks from her sippy cup, but she’d pick up the salsa cup again and keep going.

She was around 1 when she started that and did that (drinking the salsa) until she was about 2. Now, at 6, she will eat chips and salsa, and hot wings, and all sorts of crazy stuff that you would assume would be way too spicy for her. It’s hilarious when the waiters see her eating hot stuff. But she thinks pepperoni is “too spicy”... go figure.

phaedryx's avatar

It probably seems harsh, but if you’re putting him to bed with a full stomach he should be okay until morning.

He won’t starve by skipping a mid-night feeding.

Let him cry when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Let him cry himself to sleep again; ignore him.

Give him a solid breakfast in the morning.

Part of being a good mom is taking care of yourself and getting the sleep you need.

digitalimpression's avatar

Let the kid cry. Put a timer on it. If he cries for more than 15 minutes then get up. If not, let him tucker himself out by crying. It sucks in the short term, but is rewarding in the long term. Right now he is in a state where his brain is developing and one of the first things babies learn is that crying will get them attention. As hard as it is you have to teach him when it is appropriate to do so.

I had the same problem with my first son but after letting him cry it out he eventually slept all through the night and (finally) so did we.

SuperMouse's avatar

As the mother of a son who did not sleep through the night until he was 10 months old I enthusiastically second @Rarebear‘s suggestion of Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. It is hands down the best sleep handbook out there (believe me I read them all).

At this age and with the diet you describe, odds are very good that the baby is getting plenty to eat during the day to hold him through the night. In the case of my son he was eating at night out of habit rather than hunger. He did not have the skills to sooth himself and get himself back to sleep, he needed me to step in with the soothing he needed. Once I read the book and started to implement a plan, he was sleeping through within two nights. It is hard on any mom to hear her baby cry, but if you stick to the plan the crying won’t last more then a couple of nights and at the end of your ordeal you will have a much happier baby and he will have a much happier mommy.

Ferbering my kids was one of the hardest things I ever had to do as a mom. All four of us are safely on the other side of it and I can say with pride that none of them (now 13, 12, and 10) show any lasting side effects – except for being great sleepers!

phaedryx's avatar

@SuperMouse “Ferbering” = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferber_method ?

my vocabulary increases by 1

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t sleep through the night until 16 months, it was a torture for my mother.

You said he is hungry, that he actually eats, so that is why then in my mind. When he gets bigger he will probably sleep through the night, being able to consume more calories before bed time. You could try a slightly more caloric food before bed. But, I am no expert.

Rarebear's avatar

Just as a point of interest. We followed “Healthy Sleep Habits happy Child” to the letter and to this day my daughter still goes to bed at 7:30–8:00. She is 11.

sakura's avatar

Try a bedtime routine, a calming bath with lavender oils, ready for bed in a dim lit room, then milk. You said they drink like they are really thirsty, try some cooled boiled water, it may help to settle without causing wind etc.. that come from drinking milk. I do feel for you x If you are really worried speak to your health visitor x Good Luck and keep perserving.

pieceofapuzzle's avatar

It has been decades since I have had to deal with anything remotely as close but…
1. You said he “eats less oftne during the day then at night”- would it it be possible to give him warm water in the bottle at night instead of formula so he will be hungrier during the day?

2. Have you attempted to wake him up during the day so that he will be more likely to sleep at night?

Rarebear's avatar

Here is your problem:

“The only thing that calms him down is a bottle. After that he almost immediately goes back to sleep. I put him to bed around 9 or 10 every night. He will wake up by 12 for a bottle. Then again at either 2 or 3. Then again at 8 for good.”

You are training your child to be awake for a bottle. The more you do this, the worse it will get. The child yells, and you respond.

Also, IMO, you are putting him down way too late. 7:00 bedtime, and then a couple of naps through the day. Sleep begets sleep.

Read that book I linked to.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Just an update…My son must have known I asked Fluther about his sleep issues and wanted to show us all what a big boy he is because for some reason he slept through the entire night without waking for a bottle yesterday! Lets hope this becomes his new pattern :)

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