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Poll: when/how did your child start sleeping for longer stretches at night?

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  • Poll: when/how did your child start sleeping for longer stretches at night?

    I'm just curious, if you have a child who used to wake frequently at night and now sleeps for longer stretches, at what age did they start sleeping better, and did it happen naturally on its own or did you help them along in some way (Pantley method etc)?

    Thank you!

    Ariel

  • #2
    at 4-5 months both my kids improved a bit naturaly....my first was a 'good' sleeper from the get go. Then again at 11-14m, then at 2...... I don't think I 'helped' too much, I mainly waited till they were showing some signs then gave them surroundings in response to that. If they seemed more sensitive to light or sound at that stage I would try to minimise that for example.

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    • #3
      I should have added why I'm curious! My daughter is almost 8 months and wakes approx. every 1.5 hours at night and needs to be nursed back to sleep. For the first 6 months I was fine with it since I just assumed she'd grow out of it so I just pushed through staying positive about it. Now I'm starting to get the feeling that this situation is perfectly fine with her and she might not grow out of anytime soon. I have no problem nursing her at night...2, maybe 3 times, but 6-8 times is A LOT. So I just wanted to get a feel for how other babies have done in this area. I certainly don't want to night wean so I would feel better if I knew that it's possible that she'll start sleeping for longer stretches on her own in the next few months.

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      • #4
        You CAN gently discourage the amount of night nursing without TOTALLY night weaning.
        You kind of need to find what she responds to as far as defering the time of the next nursing. My first child would fall back asleep with a little rub and telling him 'later, go back to sleep' I would carefully guage his amount of distress, not too much of course but a little bit...sometimes just 20min more of sleep would be nice between nursings! Think of small amounts as being good and eventually leading up to more.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
          You CAN gently discourage the amount of night nursing without TOTALLY night weaning.
          You kind of need to find what she responds to as far as defering the time of the next nursing. My first child would fall back asleep with a little rub and telling him 'later, go back to sleep' I would carefully guage his amount of distress, not too much of course but a little bit...sometimes just 20min more of sleep would be nice between nursings! Think of small amounts as being good and eventually leading up to more.
          One thing that I'm afraid of is her fully waking up and not wanting to go back to sleep. Like last night for example I tried to sort of ignore her for a little while to see if she'd settle herself (I find that if I intervene with a back rub or something like that, it seems to make her realize what she's NOT getting, i.e. the breast, and that makes her more upset). In general, she doesn't really cry, she just fusses so I last night I let her go a bit but she ended up sitting up and starting at me...at which point I grabbed her and nursed her so she wouldn't fully wake and want to play! Perhaps I just need to find something that she will respond to without having her fully wake up (I like your idea of small amounts which eventually leads to more..) but then I just think it's easier and quicker if I just nurse her and the cycle continues....

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          • #6
            Exactly! both my children were VERY different when trying to get them to agree to widen the space between each nursing. My first did nurse less when he slept closer to Daddy. My second DID NOT LIKE THAT IDEA AT ALL! Be the Mommy detective!

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            • #7
              My baby just started sleeping longer stretches (3-4 hrs) at about 8 mths. This only happened when we stopped trying to make him sleep in the crib and put him to bed on a mattress instead (I go in to his room at some point during the night and sleep with him). Prior to this he was up at least every hr, and then wanted to nurse all night when I did bring him into bed with me. He still wakes up 2-3 times a night to nurse (some nights a few more), but calms down a lot quicker than he used to. I have also tried just rubbing/patting his back etc., but found the same thing as you; that nursing gets him back to sleep much quicker and avoids a complete wake up. If someone had asked me 2 mths ago if I had thought he would ever have slept longer than an hour, I would have said no way! He's also started putting himself back to sleep if he wakes up, which I NEVER thought would happen! Hang in there, it will get better!

              Oh, I also have been using the 'Pantley pull off' method when I am awake enough , which does seem to be helping.
              Last edited by LLMom; 11-03-2009, 06:55 PM. Reason: Add in

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              • #8
                pantly pull off method

                Could someone please explain what the "Pantly pull off" method is?

                Thanks!

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                • #9
                  These are the ages when our kids slept through the night.
                  My first was 2, my second was 9 months, my third child was about 3 and still gets up has a sip of water and goes back to sleep.

                  My husband sleeps through the night, and I am not sure when he started. I do not sleep through and in fact, I get up several times through the night. I am also lucky if I sleep more than four hours at a stretch. That is my internal clock. I am 45 and I am what people would consider a terrible sleeper. Certain noises will wake me, others will help me sleep.

                  My Grandmother gets up about 3 am ever night. Always has and I suppose always will. She discusses this a lot with us. Her boys got up more often and for much longer than the girls did. Her sisters noticed the trend too, almost like that is how they metabolized their food. They needed much more nursing time than the girls and more frequently. There are so many variables to look at. She is glad they didn't have baby books when she was a girl. She read one here and said it would have turned her into a basket case with all the should of and should be by age guidelines. Kids just were. I am tempted to toss some of mine, but I am addicted. Thankfully I have the Dr. Sears Baby book and it doesn't have the pressure that some of the others do and has some realistic expectations.

                  Peace,

                  Jo

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mummybear View Post
                    Could someone please explain what the "Pantly pull off" method is?

                    Thanks!
                    The "Pantley Pull Off" method is to watch for when your child is switching from real 'eating' while they are nursing (or bottle feeding), which would be gulping, swallowing frequently etc., to when they are just comfort sucking. When they start to 'comfort' nurse (eyes closing, not really swallowing anymore), she suggests breaking the suction with your finger, and holding their chin gently to keep their mouth closed. If they start to fuss or cry and root for the nipple, you can give it back to them and then repeat the process until they no longer root and then fall asleep.

                    For me, although it sometimes takes 5-10 tries, I have found that my baby does sleep longer than when I let him completely fall asleep while nursing.

                    Hope this helps!

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                    • #11
                      With my first I figured out if he took 4 breaths between nursing sucks he was far enough into sleep he would'nt realize the de-latching was happening. I never figured out a 'system' like that with my second. Honestly, it changed every few months I think and varied with each child...if what ever method you use stops working, just look for the next way!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks LL Mom for that explanation. But wouldn't that just frustrate baby? I always let mine feed/comfort suck to sleep (he's 11 months). It's true he still wakes a lot. How much longer does your baby sleep when you do the pull off vs. letting baby fall asleep comfort sucking?

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                        • #13
                          Ditto to LLMom's explanation. Recently I've been gently releasing my little one (14 months old) off of me when she is just comfort nursing to sleep. Sometimes she'll still want to nurse, but I let her for a bit and then I try to gently release again. But other times she just flips over to her other side and falls asleep that way.

                          I have noticed that when she does not comfort nurse all the way to a deep sleep, she is less likely to wake up for the first few hours. She used to sleep for 45 min. or so after comfort nursing to sleep, and then wake up and go "Where is that comfort object? I was just nursing on it a few moments ago!" When I can have her stop comfort nursing and just fall asleep on her own (I'm still in the bed with her - I mean "on her own" as in not nursing), then she doesn't seem to wake up looking for my boob.

                          She will always wake up around 12:30 at night and then again a time or two before she wakes up at 7 or 8 am. I don't really know how many times because by then I'm in bed with her and am not counting.

                          I have also noticed that if I leave her in her bed alone for a nap, she will sleep longer. If I try to nap with her, she seems to wake up, see that I'm there, then want to nurse. If I'm not in the bed, she'll wake up, change position, and then go back to sleep. For example, Monday I napped with her and she slept 45 min. Today I left the room and she napped for 2.5 hours.

                          (Just to clarify our sleeping arrangement - we have a mattress on the floor in her room - I nurse her to sleep (or almost to sleep ) there. Then for her naps and at night I can quietly leave the room. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, I go to her and sleep the rest of the night with her.)

                          I just keep trying to remind myself that this stage is actually so fleeting that it will very quickly be gone. It is reassuring to know that other little ones are waking up at night, too. I don't feel so badly.

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                          • #14
                            My response would be almost identical to Momma2two's; my son sleeps about 3-4 hrs at a time if I use the Pantley method, vs. maybe an hour without it (sometimes as short as 45 mins). This doesn't happen every night though, sometimes he wakes up sooner even if I haven't let him totally comfort nurse to sleep. If at any point my son (or myself!) gets frustrated with the "pull-off" attempts, I just let him nurse until he is ready to let my nipple go, and try it again next time! Surprisingly though, this has rarely happened. I suggest trying it, seeing if it works for you and your baby, and if not, no harm done. Unlike other sleep 'training' methods-though I certainly wouldn't group the Pantley method in with those other loathsome sleep training programs-I doubt that the Pantley book would cause any emotional or physical stress on you or your baby. But it is a personal choice-you know your baby and how he/she might respond better than any book out there!

                            Momma2two, your post could be describing my baby, except that he naps for over 45 mins only when I'm sleeping with him. Nice nap time for me, but not so great for my housework! You're right though, it is such a quick time in their lives, and I consider a daily nap time and snuggle with my baby at night a positive thing that I will likely miss very much when I don't have it anymore.
                            Last edited by LLMom; 11-12-2009, 09:06 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Not sure if it was mentioned prior, but the Pantley method can be found in the "No Cry Sleep Solution" book by Elizabeth Pantley. Very good book - I'd recommend it.

                              LLMom - funny! We must have very similar little ones.

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