Ask SIFTW: Developmental hell

Janelle from Athens, GA writes:


Our daughter is six and half months old. She slept with us for the first three months and then we gradually moved her into a crib right next to our bed. She did great in it for a couple of months. We had several nights where she would sleep three hours, then five, then three more. We got used to this. Now, she is crawling, trying to pull herself up in her crib and teething. She is waking up every thirty minutes or so and needs to be parented back to sleep. My husband and I are fried today after her waking every 25 minutes last night. We don’t believe in crying it out and are into attachment parenting. We had a home birth and are trying to be compassionate conscious parents, and frankly, we’re both a little forlorn right now. Any help, suggestions you can offer would be more than welcome.


Oh god, yes, developmental milestones may be amazing to see but they are a total pain in the arse at night when baby decides there’s far too much going on to sleep. Combine this with teething and it’s no wonder you’re feeling knackered. Here’s a few of my thoughts.


On the teething, some people swear by homeopathic powders like Ashton & Parsons. They might not work for everyone but they’ve gotta be worth a go — and you can use them alongside conventional pain relief. Then I would rub Bonjela on the gums at bedtime and give Calpol if necessary. 


On the frequent wakings, how about taking her back into your bed for a while until she gets through this stage? As she slept fine in her crib up til all this kicked off, I’m sure it won’t be a problem to get her back in the crib once she’s settled down again.


Just another thought, presumably you’ve started weaning her pretty recently, and this could also be causing discomfort. Might be worth keeping a food diary and seeing if she’s more unsettled after eating a particular food, or if she has solids too late in the day. 


As for the developmental spurts, well, there’s sadly not much you can do apart from wait until she’s learned the new skill and stops needing to practise it in the night. At which point hopefully she’ll start sleeping more again… until she starts working on the next skill.


4 Responses to Ask SIFTW: Developmental hell

  1. Kirsty says:

    Here’s a little tip someone gave me. When your baby is at the stage where they are learning to pull up on the crib – put them in there to play during the day. That way they get lots of practice climbing and pulling up during the day. She might still practice during the night, but it might speeds things up a little. Right now we are practicing how to get down once getting up 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Two of my three daughters went through this phase. Thankfully, it did not last long. It’s never fun but it’s always an adventure!

  3. swizzler says:

    I hope things are settling down for you now 🙂

  4. oona adams says:

    Thanks so much for all the ideas and good wishes. Sadie is still continueing her criminal behavior. We’ve just been keeping her up with us until we go sleep. Looking forward to having this phase end.
    thanks again

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