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6 Months Without Sleeping Through the Night
My baby is already 6 months old and I expected him to be able to sleep through the night. Unfortunately, he always wakes up in the middle of the night, usually 1-2 times. I thought the reason was that he was hungry, but I read a lot about it, and I think he is getting used to sleeping on the chest.
Apparently, we all wake up several times a night, but the difference between children and us is that children need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. All children will be able to do it themselves at some point in their lives, but, because you do not know when it will happen, it may be a good idea to try to teach as soon as possible, or I should say as soon as they they can In my case, my baby uses the breast to go back to sleep and my mission now is to teach him how to fall asleep on his own.
The first thing I thought of doing was to take a close look at my child’s sleeping habits; what time he wakes up, when he has his nap and how long and what time he wakes up during the night. That way I got a better idea of his sleeping pattern.
My baby’s bedtime routine is bath, reading and feeding before going to bed and he usually falls asleep at the breast. I decided to change this routine because it reinforces his addiction to sleeping on the chest. His new bedtime routine will be: feeding, bathing and reading before bed. Putting the baby in the crib while he is awake will help start the process of learning how to fall asleep on his own.
The next question is, what do I do next? I have talked to many moms and everyone has a different opinion on what is the best method to follow. I think that, as with many things in parenting, it is a very personal decision, and even if there is a good 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 some parents, but I don’t think it’s unnecessarily cruel.
There is another method called “Ferberizing”, named for the person who suggested it: Dr. Richard Ferber. Put your baby to sleep and if he cries, leave him alone for 5 minutes, go into the room after the time has passed, pat him and leave the room again. Next time, let him cry for 10 minutes and continue with that technique by increasing the time you let him cry by 5 minutes until he falls asleep. I’m not a fan of letting my baby cry, I know some people think I’m a weak mother and the baby controls me, but I don’t think it’s fair to him. Crying is the only way he can communicate 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 much fun, but at least it allows you to avoid letting your baby cry for hours. First of all, you need to keep a diary with the times your child wakes up during the night for a week. When you have an idea of your child’s routine, you need to set an alarm for half an hour before you wait for him to wake up. When the alarm goes off, you get up (this is the “not 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. The alarm clock? Poor little thing, really? he looks so peaceful when he sleeps, I don’t know if he could do it. For those who can, you need to anticipate each usual awakening in the same way and gradually expand the time between awakenings. In this way, in a few weeks, you will be able to eliminate it.
So, after considering all the different options, I’m going to try the method of simply strengthening the sleep rhythms. The main thing with this method is that you never let your child get tired. I have seen my child more 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 fact he was ready to go to bed a few hours ago This method states that when you can anticipate the natural sleep of your child and allow him to sleep in the right environment (in my case, it means sleeping in his cot and without being disturbed) he will fall asleep easily. One thing I need to change is my reaction to my baby waking up at night, instead of feeding him, I have to respond to him to encourage him, but he will let himself sleep.
Good night and sleep tight
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