You are here

Get Answers

Sometimes it's nice to get advice from experts with a lot of letter degrees behind their names, but other times, you just need to hear what another parent (with a M.O.M. behind her name) has done that has worked. You've got questions? These moms have answers.

HELP! 7 mo. old not sleeping through the night!

10 answers
My son is 7 months old and is still not sleeping through the night he is only sleeping 3 to 4 hrs. and waking up to nurse. He is also nursing every 3 hrs. during the day plus eating cereal at 8:00 a jar of baby food at 12:00, cereal again at 7:00, bath at 7:30, then nurse and asleep by 8:00pm. He is also only taking 2 30 minute naps during the day. Any advice on how to get him to sleep or what could be causing him to not sleep would be greatly appreciated :)

answers (10)

Honestly?  My son is 18 months and still doesn't sleep through the night.  And I know he can do it - he's done it on and off since he was 4 months old, mostly off, but usually when he wakes up he's got a good reason.  Either he's hungry, or he's teething, or he needs a cuddle.  He usually goes back to sleep very quickly, once I've met his need.  My first suggestion, in trying to get him to sleep longer - because yeah, that doesn't sound like quite enough sleep to me - is to try moving him onto more solid foods.  I'm not saying cut out the nursing, I'm just saying to supplement with more solids than just the cereal.  The more solids you get into him, the longer they'll stick in his tummy, the better chance you have of getting him to stay down longer.  Look at the protein and carb-rich foods, too - not just fruits, because those don't fill you up for very long.  Think veggies, meats, cheeses, yogurts.  (Yes, you can feed babies under one year cheese and yogurt!)  Snacks are fabulous ways of getting more food in, and as long as you keep them healthy, they're not a bad thing at all.  My son eats breakfast at 8am, a snack around 10 or 10.30, lunch around noon or 1, a snack around 3 or 4pm, and dinner around 6 or 6.30.  He gets another small snack just before bed at 8pm.  He'll usually wake for about 6 ounces of milk sometime during the night.  He's had this feeding schedule, more or less, for the last nine months. Good luck!
start putting rice cereal in his bottles at night, and also you should have started solids already. he's capable of sleeping through the night. let him cry it out. he needs to learn how to self soothe.
I would make his night time ceral a little later, filling his belly as late as possible. When I was nursing my oldest daughter she would fall asleep to quickly and not get enough milk for the night, that could be the problem. I started reading to her, and making lots of eye contact and she would stay awake, until she was done eating and I would put her in bed awake. After that she didn't wake up hungry at 3 am. It is normal for babies to wake up in the night, but they need to are capable of getting themselves back to sleep, the longer you put off teaching them, the harder it's going to be. The cry it out method is what worked for both of daughters, They are 1 and 3 now, and both go right to bed, and fall asleep after a few minutes of giggling together.
Sounds like you have a pretty good rountine, so I wouldn't say that that is your problem. Are you putting him down awake? Is he falling asleep during his last feeding or is he getting a full meal? Is he getting full meals or just "snacks" during the day? Also, are you directing his feeding or waiting for his hunger cues? Also are you sure that he is waking up because he is genuinely hungry?  For the first month, I was doing PDF (parent directed feeding) meaning I fed my son every 3 hours round the clock whether or not he showed signs of hunger to establish a schedule. I would even wake him up to eat. Now (he is 3 months) I wait for his hunger cues before I feed him. I put him down awake. He used to fight at first but now he just "talks" to himself until he falls asleep. He will usually sleep 6 hours. If you are still directing his feeding, he is waking up because he is used to being fed every three hours. A six month old is capable of sleeping 12 hours without needing to eat. I would not continue to feed him at that time. He is hungry out of habit. I would go in & soothe him without picking him up until he is calm but still awake, then I would leave. Let him learn to soothe himself back to sleep. Good luck! I hope you figure out what's going on. If you want a really good book to read pick up a copy of "Baby 411" by Denise Fields & Ari Brown. The whole book is good but they have an excellent section on sleep. For a night time feeder they recommend "offer water and see what happens. It's likely to be rejected the first night. And yes, your child will protest. The second night, offer water again. The protesting will be less lengthy. By the third night your baby probably won't even bother to wake up."
My LO refused to nurse at 3 months, so we got her on a schedule of bottles and she slept 12 hours from then on, until the Similac recall, which is what we were giving her, that caused her nearly two months of waking in what we now know must have been pain (I am so angry about this, we trusted them).  Suzy Giordano's book really helped us, but you have to be willing to "schedule" your child, it doesn't involve any crying it out which we could NOT stand, I know it works for others, but not for us.
I think you just have to be patient. I co-sleep (it's just the only way either of us could get any sleep and works best for us) so he still wakes up through out the night to nurse. It's very convenient since I don't have to go in the other room and get him to nurse, but they say babies who co-sleep nurse more often because they can smell the milk and they are accustomed to having it during the night. Anyway, I don't know if you co-sleep, but even if you don't, you can bring your baby in bed with you (easier if the crib is in your room), and breastfeed your baby while lying on your side so you can at least rest while nursing which makes things easier. I think it's best to let it pass on its own and it will. As babies get older they take less frequent naps during the day that usually last longer than newborn cat naps and they sleep longer at night so all in good time. 
and pinkpaisleys advice is incorrect, I encourage you to do the research on your own! Cereal in a bottle getting babies to sleep at night is a myth, an old wives tale! Yes, your seven month old can have solids, but this won't help him sleep through the night. You can look it up. 
gavsmommy,i proved that theory wrong, when i added cereal to my daughters bottles at 5 weeks. she would wake up 1-2 times hungry, and i stuck another cereal bottle in her mouth. by 8 weeks, she was sleeping through the night. every bottle she took had cereal, not just the bedtime bottles.  maybe it doesn't work for every baby. and you don't need to bring your baby to bed in order to rest while nursing. you can go lie down on the couch, if that's a more comfortable position than sitting. you started a horrible habbit with your child, and i'm curious to see if you are one of the parents that will be dealing with a toddler who throws tantrums at night because they don't want to sleep in their own bed. if that's what works for your family, fine. but studies show co-sleeping dramatically increases the risk of SIDS.
Actually, there is quiet a bit of evidence to the contrary. The rhythm of mother's breathing helps stimulate baby to breathe and it regulates baby's heartbeat. Babies do sometimes die from accidents that occur while co-sleeping incorrectly and not following safe guidelines, but even still, death rates are lower in co-sleeping babies. I disagree that I have started a bad habit, but I know that it is not for everyone.
SIDS rates are lower in co-sleeping babies*

*DISCLAIMER's Answers are provided by members of our community. While your fellow moms and our editors have plenty of great advice to offer based on their experience, it is not a substitute for professional medical help. Always consult a medical professional when seeking medical advice. All submitted answers are subject to the rules set forth in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use