Ask SIFTW: Another 7 month bub causing havoc

We got two emails about 7 month olds within 12 hours of each other. So what is going on with the 7 month olds of this world? Jane writes:

This isn’t really a question, more of a shout-out across the fog of sleep deprivation to say thanks for your blog, which has, at moments, retained my sanity after returning from another mum and baby group where I was surrounded by 3 and 4 month old babies sleeping 7-7 and their smug mothers.

My baby, now 7 months, isn’t a great sleeper at all, and we’ve currently hit a particularly bad spot that involves wakings every one to two hours at night. Aside from feeling terrible physically it makes me feel resentful of my child (who is otherwise a gorgeous, happy baby), tearful at embarrassing moments (at the doctor’s, in a shop, at the bank …), and constantly worried about what the next night will bring. And sad that I could be enjoying my maternity leave and this precious time with my child so much more than I am.

Am currently reading Pantley’s No Cry Sleep Solution and starting to implement some of its suggestions – be interested to know what you think. I also took her to a paediatric osteopath yesterday and wondered if any of you had done this.

Right. This is probably not so much of an answer to your question as me saying: It’s hell. I’ve been there. It’s hell. I feel your pain. And yeah. It’s hell. If we at SIFTW are doing anything, I’m glad to know that we are letting parents know that not all babies sleep. And it’s not your fault. Sometimes nothing you can do will make any difference other than riding it out.

What is with all those smug mothers with their 7-7 babies? I only have two explanations.

Perhaps there are two breeds of babies, the sleepers and the non-sleepers. The parents of the sleepers get to believe that they were endowed with superior parenting skills that have enabled their child to be a fantastic sleeper, while the parents of the non-sleepers worry that their parenting is somehow lacking and causing their child to sleep so badly. I’m thinking it may be all down to personality. My evidence? Mothers who have had two children, one of whom has been a sleeper and one who hasn’t. Have they parented any differently? No.

My other explanation is that there are a lot of parental lies going on. I’ll let you judge that one for yourself.

It’s really difficult to enjoy life when you are not getting sleep. I’ve gone through those times feeling bad for not ‘enjoying my baby’. I felt it was my right to enjoy this special baby time and I felt ripped off because it was so hard and I constantly felt like I’d been run over by a bus. It’s okay to feel tired. It’s okay to feel a bit resentful. But try to focus on each day as it comes and treat yourself a little.

7 months is a hard time. There is so much going on. I won’t even attempt to guess the reason that your baby has started sleeping worse lately (though sounds like s/he’s never been a great sleeper). The list of things is a mile long. Sometimes I get exhausted just thinking about all the physical and mental development a 7 month old has to do. Add to that, they are probably approaching separation anxiety territory, so your baby may be very reluctant to part with you, especially at night.

I did take the Imp to a cranial osteopath when he was very little to try and help with breastfeeding and with sleeping. I really like the approach, but I can’t say that I saw any tangible improvement at the time. Though I’ve heard reports of them doing amazing things with kids. There are a few SIFTWers who are very familiar with Pantley too. Her methods are so much gentler than some other parenting gurus out there. I’ll call on the gang to give their experiences in the comments perhaps.

Best of luck getting through this trying time. 

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7 Responses to Ask SIFTW: Another 7 month bub causing havoc

  1. swizzler says:

    I liked a lot of the ideas in NCSS but didn’t find any magic solution in there – then again we haven’t tried any formal sleep training for months now. We’ll probably be revisiting it if Loudboy’s sleep doesn’t improve, so will keep you posted!

  2. finngarianmama says:

    Some babies just don’t sleep well, doesn’t matter how old they are. I’ve been blessed with two of them. I figure, by the time they are out of college, we’ll be rich, because one of them is going to find a cure for cancer, and the other one is working on cold fusion, right now, as we speak!

  3. bluemilk says:

    This was some great advice!

  4. gagagaga says:

    My youngest baby is 35 years old and still doesn’t sleep well. My oldest baby is 38 years old and is not sleeping well…due to my 8 mo plus adorable grandbaby. Grandmother at 62 years is waking up at 4:00 AM…ah life.

  5. Victoria says:

    Oh, thank goodness I’m not the only mother out there with a baby that does not sleep. Mine NEVER has slept well from the day he was born ( is now 7 months)
    I have a 7 year old who finally sleeps like a rock, and what do I do, I decide to have another baby!

  6. Julie says:

    Yup, my 7 month old does the 3 a.m. wake up as well. We tried to get her to go back to sleep without food, but she’d get so riled up and even if she fell back to sleep, she’d wake up every hour or so until morning.
    I decided that was NUTS and just get up right away and let her nurse. I try not to let her eat too much, so that eventually she won’t need this “meal”, but for now this is easier/more restful for us.
    Parents whose kids sleep “from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. like a champ” are annoying.

  7. Marian says:

    Similarly, my 7 month old Little Miss Squiggle has decided recently to wake up every hour or so overnight, and not to sleep at all during the day. It followed a massive leap in her development, so I figure that she’s just a bit disorganized and will settle soon hopefully. My only advice would be to find a new Mum’s group! I have 7-7’s in my group and they aren’t at all smug, and very supportive of the mum’s who have less slumberous babe’s.

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