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Scared of the dark?? Lock Rss

My eight month old son can settle within 5 minutes in his cot for a sleep during the day (with some grizzle) but when it comes to his bedtime a night he refuses to go to sleep in his cot by himself - he gets extremely distressed. I always have a routine at night of bath, play, breast, bed which works fine if he is cuddled to sleep, and I only have to cuddle for a minute or two and then put him down semi-conscious. I often wonder whether he is afraid of the dark because he also becomes hysterical in the car at night and it is that bad that I can't go anywhere at night - but he is perfect by day and will doze off to sleep easily in the car. In view of this I have tried a night light, the toilet light on and even the light on in his bedroom to help him go off to sleep but he just knows what's going on. He also wakes for two feeds during the night and wants to come into our bed after the midnight feed -he knows if I put him back in the cot and gets distressed. I don't mind having him in bed but I would like to stop the breastfeeds during the night if they are somehow related - but he seems so hungry (he has always been an extremely demanding feeder).

Melissa, QLD

Hi,

Beacause your son is falling asleep at the breast, when he wakes on his light sleep (as we all do) he does not know how to resettle without the breastfeed. What you will need to do if you want to change your situation is to teach him to sleep independently. You need to change your routine to bath/ feed/ play and then settle awake into the cot. This will mean using some settling techniques which you can get from <a href="http://www.huggies.com/au/pregnancy_parenting/yourbabysleep/">Your Baby’s Sleep</a> page or from <a href="It's time to sleep</a"http://www.itstimetosleep.com/">It's Time To Sleep</a> DVD&Book. When a baby falls asleep in one place and wakes up in another they get a fright so teaching him to fall asleep in the cot will give you a much more settled and confident baby. I also suggest you try the rollover feed at 10pm and resettle during the night using the techniques without feeding, knowing confidently that he is not hungry.

Good luck, Maree

It's Time to Sleep

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