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Routine for 6 month old

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#1 ifaith17

Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:18 PM

Hi to all,

I have a query that i'm trying to suss out and decipher. My 6 month old boy used to be a great sleeper until he was about 5 months (would sleep 8.30-6/7am each night) and now wakes either once at 1am and again (more often) around the 3-4 am mark for a feed.

He is breastfed and is on two meals of solids a day - pureed veg with a bit of rice cereal at lunchtime and rice cereal and apple at dinner time and will feed during the day around 7am, 10-11am, 2-3pm & 5-6pm or there abouts and then has a final feed after his bath (7.30pm) around 8pm.

I've no idea why he's suddenly started to not sleep through - he will have a 40min-1 hour sleep in the morning and the same or less if i'm lucky during the afternoon and that's all. - And also micro sleeps wherever we go in the car.

Nothing has changed in our routine at all - i've put him in a an all in one added an extra blanket so he's not too hot and not too cold, etc, etc... DS is super clingy at the moment, though

Our child health nurse has said that I should not feed him to sleep anymore as it's not good for the milk to be pooling around his gums for any teeth coming through, but he can't go through yet from dinner at 6.30pm to breakfast at 7am yet! Hence the feed after bathtime. And also so that he doesn't associate feeding and rocking with sleep/his overnight sleep - but while he always looks for the cuddles with Mummy before bed (what child doesn't!?), I personally don't think that he does so?! I do want to wean him by October when he's one or Xmas at the latest this year, though.

Please help! What do you do for your children? How did you go about your routines? Should I take what the CHN said with a grain of salt and continue with our routine or change what we do? I rather like the routine and it works for us and DH's work hours.


#2 Wyn99

Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:29 PM

Hi, my DS#2 will be 6 months next week. Firstly, what your CHN said about milk pooling is UNTRUE. I really can't believe you were told this. It is FINE to bf bub to sleep or as many times a night as he needs it. Many great sleepers revert to waking overnight at this age - google "Wonder weeks" and you will see that your LO is learning so much right now (and growing).  AS my DS is my third child I am so much more relaxed about routines now, I wish I had known it with my first bub. DS is in bed anywhere between 7-8pm, but will wake 3-4 hours late for a feed.  And 3 hours after that. Then 2 hours after that. So that's 4 feeds overnight usually. I would just give it time, if he wakes, feed him, it will probably send him straight back to sleep, contented. If you are happy with your current routine, stick with it - he may start sleeping through again, you never know! Good luck.

#3 TJ1

Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:35 PM

He may be going thru a developmental milestone.. also have you thought  about increasing his meals to 3 a day now? So give breakfast around 8am. Also I wouldn't feed him overnight cause then he will get into the habit but that's just me.
R u sure he is getting enough breast milk- thus his last feed before bed he might not be getting enough to sustain him thru til the morning?? So u might not be producing enough milk..

#4 Lady Sybil Vimes

Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:40 PM

Your CHN is confused, I think. Milk pooling in the mouth can be an issue for children who fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth. Milk can pool against their teeth and lead to decay. But feeding to sleep is very different.

It sounds like you hit a sleep regression - totally normally around 4 or 5 months. Your routine sounds fine. I say do what works for you and your family. Lots of people feed to sleep (I'm one of them) & if you're happy & your DS is happy then stick with it.

#5 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

[quote name='TJ1' date='19/04/2012, 10:35 PM' post='14504338'
R u sure he is getting enough breast milk- thus his last feed before bed he might not be getting enough to sustain him thru til the morning?? So u might not be producing enough milk..

Oh don't tell her that  sad.gif    It's totally normal for a breastfed 6 mo to need a feed overnight, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the milk supply.  

#6 ninaswalk

Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

I'd keep your routine as it is - I fed through the night if she wanted it until about 10mths.  I think it's fairly normal for them to start waking again through the night.  My DD was exactly the same.  I tried to change so many things but nothing worked.  Eventually she grew out of it at around 9 mths I think.

#7 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

Another one who thinks feeding to sleep is fine and normal. I would say that you could look at including breakfast if you liked, but not to feel pressured to change anything else. It's perfectly normal for a BF baby to need to feed overnight at 6 months! If he's growing and having plenty of wet nappies then your supply is perfectly adequate.

If it's working for you then I think you are onto a good thing, and lets remember that as soon as you get used to something they change it on you!

#8 mum201

Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 20/04/2012, 10:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[quote name='TJ1' date='19/04/2012, 10:35 PM' post='14504338'
R u sure he is getting enough breast milk- thus his last feed before bed he might not be getting enough to sustain him thru til the morning?? So u might not be producing enough milk..

Oh don't tell her that  sad.gif    It's totally normal for a breastfed 6 mo to need a feed overnight, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the milk supply.

I agree. Some babies that age still get peckish overnight.  My near 5 month old still wakes a lot at night and I know it's not because I am not producing enough milk at night. DS was a little sick a while ago and puked after his pre bed BF, and woah a lot of milk came out. There is no way his little belly is not full when he goes to bed at night.  

I think people have this illusion that babies are meant to sleep through from 3 months, but most BF babies that I know do not.  Mine went through a phase from 2.5mths to 3.5mths where he would sleep for 9 hrs straight every night.  Now that he's going through a developmental stage, I think 4-5hrs straight is a blessing.  TO deal with this, instead of fighting it, we just sidecarred the cot. DS doesn't wake DH up when he wants a feed and I get more sleep because I pull him into bed, he has a quick suckle and he goes straight back to sleep.

#9 SylviaPlath

Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

My DS (almost 7 months) has a very similar routine to yours, except that he sleeps for a minimum of 1.5 hours per sleep twice a day and a cat nap in the afternoon. (Thank you sleep school.) I demand feed (breast/bottle), however will not feed him if it's under 3 hours (usually it's 3-3.5 hours between feeds). I do this to ensure that he drinks well each time.

Have you considered a dreamfeed? DS goes down around 7:30pm and I dreamfeed him around 10:30pm-11pm. This gets him to 8am in the morning. I plan to drop the dreamfeed soon though, once he is on three good meals a day. At the moment, he is only on 2 meals a day and refuses to eat anything after morning feed.

How much solids is yor DS getting during the day? All babies are different obviously, however my DS eats about 150mls of solids twice a day. Perhaps you can increase the amount of solids and/or introduce breakfast as well.      

It sounds like your DS is probably going through a growth spurt/ wonder weeks. It is true that you think you have figured them out and then they change on you. That said, I am going against the general consensus and say that I think most babies at 6 months should be able to sleep a minimum of 8 hours without a feed. I was at a Mother Baby Unit (aka Sleep School) for 4 weeks due to PND and during that time close to 80 babies went through the program. In my entire time that I was there, only 2 babies didnt sleep through the night (min 8 hours) by the end of the 5 day program. Both of them had underlying medical issues (ie: reflux, colic etc)

Anyway, that's my 5 cents original.gif

Hope that helps.

#10 Penguin78

Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:38 AM

I am going to go against the grain and say that I think it is the fact that you are feeding your baby asleep that is the reason why he is waking up again. If you would like him to go back to sleeping through i would start looking into strategies to teach him to self settle.

Think about it, if you went to bed with a pillow, and then stirred awake in the night and found your pillow missing, wouldnt it wake you up, and wouldn't you want it back? Try and put your baby to sleep awake, and it will make a huge difference. There are lots of different strategies out there to suit different babies and parents.

In saying that, if you are happy to continue to feed your baby asleep, then there is nothing WRONG with that at all. It is only wrong, if for you it is wrong.

While I believe that developmental changes affect babies sleep patterns (my now DS 18months, loves a chat of the night time currently, and had disturbed nights around the time he started to crawl), I do not believe that at 4 months it is that issue, and think it is actually more about them being more aware of thier surroundings and noticing the changes of how they are put to sleep, and whether they can put themselves back to sleep if they are stirred awake.

My DS at the same age went from waking one or twice a night, to every 45 minutes. I couldn't cope, went and got professional help, and we had a much better night! In saying that, the baby led routine we worked out for my DS was having four BFs a day, and three solid meals. The BFs were early morning (5am), lunch, dinner, and a dreamfeed at 10pm.

If you are not keen on a dreamfeed, then one or two feeds over night is more then reasonable for a baby that young i think. I don't agree with your MCHN that feeding to sleep causes the milk to pool??? breastfeed babies dont pool the milk in thier mouth.

Good luck OP in finding a soloution that suits you guys! I personally believe that 6 months is a good age to teach a baby to self settle, and with some babies they need that assistance to get them through the night. If you leave it till they are after 1 it is a lot harder (from experiences with friends). But everyones different, some people would prefer to wait until they are older and can explain things.

#11 Marchioness Flea

Posted 20 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

I think it's unrealistic to expect a young baby to go 12 hours without milk. I fed my baby at least 2 or 3 times during the night if she woke for a feed, until about 12 months.
I only stopped feeding her all together at night was once she started sleeping better (7 or so hours in one stretch)  at about 17 months.

#12 Lucygoosey1

Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:43 PM

It is not unrealistic to expect a baby of 6 mths to go overnight without milk (as per pp).  That doesn't mean they all will.  I think your routine sounds pretty good.  My DD2 who is now 8mths, is fed before bed at 6:30pm & generally sleeps through to 6-7am.  There was a time she'd wake & usually I'd feed her back to sleep, but that phase passed.  She also was still on 3-4hrs naps per day at 6mths.  Dropped to maybe 3hrs at 8mths.  If you can try and be consistent for one nap per day, I.e in the cot for am or pm nap,  it might encourage a longer nap time. The other thing I started doing is sometimes my DD2 would be still awake after I fed her of an evening, I'd still put her down awake.  But if she falls asleep breastfeeding that's ok too.  I am trying to gently encourage her to self settle rather than completely feed to sleep, as I fed to sleep with my DD1.  At the time it worked really well and she's always been an excellent sleeper,  but she still has a bottle before bed and her nap (2yrs old), and it's not going to go without a fight.  I also think that at 6mths, sleep is a sleep issue and not a food issue.  As my DD1 ate very little and slept 12hrs, my DD2 eats a lot and slept 12hrs.

#13 ifaith17

Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:08 PM

Oh, thanks awfully, everyone - that really does help! Much appreciated!

#14 Molly Joyce

Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:43 PM


I definitely think you need to teach babies to self settle and not be fed to sleep.  They remember the last thing before they went to sleep so, if they were sleeping in your arms when they fell asleep they expect to be there when they wake up.  I had a sleep consultant from Tranquil Baby come to my house when my daughter was 6 months old and it was the best thing I ever did!!!!  In 3 days my daughter was sleeping during the day and through the night till 8am every morning.  Previously she was only sleeping 40mins 3 times a day, going to bed at 11pm and waking 3 to 4 times through the night thereafter.  The Tranquil Baby consultant (Penny) was fantastic.   She was empathetic and very flexible.  She really listened to my concerns and the techniques she taught me were priceless!!  Definitely worth it!!  Good luck!!! rolleyes.gif


#15 sjm218

Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:59 PM

My 6 month old DS self settles every night without fail and has done since about 1 month old. She still wakes 2-3 times a night for a snack feed. I have plenty of milk (a freezer full is expressed EBM to prove it). She was only waking once a night until about 1 month ago, but is now doing the sleep regression thing associated with learning new skills. She has learnt to roll, close to sitting, pigging out on solids and going through a growth spurt - all reasons to wake up more.

Personally I would rather feed in the middle of the night and have a cuddle for 5-10 minutes than try to settle her without a feed. I did it with DS (now 2) and he started sleeping through consistently at 10 months, with occasional regressions due to teeth and/or development. I really can't see any problem at all with what you are doing, ax long as bubby is happy and content - its all good. Go with your gut.

Good luck!

#16 SylviaPlath

Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:40 PM

It is not unrealistic to expect a baby of 6 mths to go overnight without milk (as per pp).  That doesn't mean they all will


I just wanted to add, DS at 4.5 months was sleeping 30 minutes every two hours during the day (with a 2-3 hours gap between feeds) and from about 8pm, he would do one 3 hour block of sleep, then wake every 1.5 hours throughout the night. The only way I could settle him was to feed him to sleep. I was averaging a total of 5 hours a day of broken sleep and was literally losing my mind. I was told by so many people (including my OBs receptionist) that "some babies" are wired like that and I had "one of those babies". And I accepted that.

My maternal health nurse was so concerned by my well being, she instructed me to go to sleep school to "have a break" and learn some settling techniques. I didnt want to go because I felt like a failure. She said, "What do you have to lose?" So that's why I went.

Sleep School has changed everything. DS consistently sleeps for two sleep cycles every sleep and sleeps from 7:30pm-8am EVERY SINGLE DAY (with a dream feed). And it purely came down to strategies and techniques to help baby learn to self settle. It required a lot of consistency and hard work (it's much easier to give boob or bottle then to pat/rock etc for 40 minutes for example). Obviously when they are going through certain changes like crawling, starting solids, teething they will have restless nights etc, but I witnessed first hand close to 80 babies in 4 weeks go from cat naps during the day, 1-3 hourly wakes per night, mothers feeding/rocking babies to sleep, to babies having longer day sleeps and sleeping through the night by day 5. Primarily because baby learned to self settle. Therefore I dont believe it's a food issue, unless they dont get enough food during the day. If 97.5% of the babies that went through the sleep school program, sleep through the night at the end of the sleep program, I think the evidence speaks for itself.

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