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6 month old sleep help. Sleep consultant?

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can offer any advice. My little one turned 6 months a week ago and gradually over the last 2 months he has turned from the most fabulous sleeper (woke once or twice between 7pm and 10pm then slept until 7am), to just plain horrific!! 

From the moment I put him to bed at 7pm, he is up every hour or so. Originally I could rock him back to sleep but now it's progressed to feeding him back to sleep (he's breastfed). I've tried to not feed him but he screams and screams / arches his back / roots until I give in. I have a 3 year old too and if she's woken up, she has a huge tantrum about going back to bed so I'm between a rock and a hard place with regards to letting him cry or waking my daughter! 

I've taken him to the GP and have ruled out any medical problems and even though he seems to have been teething (chewing) on and off for about 3 months, there are no signs of teeth. The whole family is utterly exhausted and we have no spare bedroom for either my husband or I to have a night off to recover. We have no family locally and no one to take him during the day so I can get some rest. My daughter was a tricky sleeper too but I managed her sleeping using some sleep training - mainly the no cry sleep solutions. I've tried these with my son and it feels like they've made him worse!! I feel like I'm at the point of desperation but I don't think I can cope with the heartbreaking crying / sobbing involved with the other techniques. I have a really strong emotional response to his cry and the one time he did fall asleep after some crying, I felt horrendous and cried myself. It's totally against my natural instincts.

So, what do I do?! We need sleep but I'm not prepared to let him cry?! Is this something too complex for me to manage alone and I'm wondering if it's worth spending hundreds of pounds on a sleep consultant? Help!!


  • I had the same with my daughter - now 3 years old. She was never a great sleeper, but we hit a wall at 7 months - she was constantly making noise and wouldn't go into a deep sleep. We ended up hiring a sleep trainer who went through our routine, tweaked it a bit, and then we did the gradual retreat method of getting her to sleep. 

    Basically i put her to bed (normal routine, bath, bottle, story, low light etc) and then she would cry. I left her cry for 2 mins, then went back in a gently said 'sleepy time' and shushed her. No picking up. Left the room (sat outside) and then left her for 4mins, went back in, said sleepy time and shushed again. Then went in after 8 mins, then 12 mins...etc

    Night 1 is took an hour for her to sleep, but she slept for a long stretch.
    Night 2 took 45mins for her to settle.
    Night 3 30mins - and touch wood, we've been mostly good since then.

    So it was 3 difficult nights in total, but it really worked. 

  • I'm afraid cant offer a lot of help here I ended up bringing both mine in to bed with me to get sleep. little monkeys always sleep brilliantly in my bed but were waking up constantly in the cot and I chose the method that got me the most sleep as I had to get up for work. My almost 6 year old sleeps in his bed all night now but that has only happened in the last year. Good luck, do what works for your family xxx

  • Download the wonder weeks app and check out their facebook page.  You will learn all about developmental leaps and how to help your baby understand changes they experience.  It will also tell you when fussy periods are due because of new learned skills and growth both physically and mentally babies go through.

  • It sounds like the 4 months sleep regression.I had similar when he was 4 months was confused and desperate we usually would rock and or carry in the sling to get him to sleep prior to this will fall asleep feeding or in a swing.

    I found out one night after trying to rock to sleep wasn't working my hands were tired and I was also tired I laid him in his cot and he slept off. It didn't work easily the next day had to resort to shush and pat and after few nights was able to get to sleep himself still did not resolve more frequent night waking 

    I read a lot of stuff about baby and sleep and realised he wasn't having good enough naps so we worked on his naps and once he napped well, his night sleep stretches also improved.

    A bedtime routine helped when getting him to put himself to sleep.This is usually the age they learn a new skill.

    Sometimes the wonder week app will help you know if you're in the leap stages.

    You are doing a fab job and it gets better.Have you started weaning?

  • my little girl was the same. We co-slept (this is safe if done correctly and breastfeeding) and it saved my sanity. She wanted hourly feeds up to around 7 months and now she sleeps right through. 

  • Not yet fludu 

  • I bought a swaddle blanket off amazon for my eldest boy cost about £10 velcro's shut he loved it and slept fantastic in it he's now two goes to bed at 7 with no problems and sleeps untill around 7-8am he does still have his dummy and a muslin square for comfort and a musical mobile which reacts to sound so if he's not asleep when it has finished he makes a sound and it comes back on maybe worth a try with the swaddle blanket x

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