Q&A: Sleep problems
My daughter basically was a good sleeper unitl 6 months of age. All of a sudden she only sleeps from about 7:30 to 9:30 or 11pm if I’m really lucky. When she wakes up she cries and cries until I pick her up and then refuses to let me put her back to sleep. Some nights she will just lie in bed with me with the light on till about 2-3 in the morning and I have to rock her back to sleep. I am just so drained. What can I do? night time is a very stressful time for me. She often causes my 3 year old to wake up as well and then the entire household is sometimes up for the day at 4am!

Mom's you are not alone - here are other similar sleep questions:

My little boy is 6 months old and has had reflux which seems to be under control with medication and a suitable formula. He is on 3 solid meals a day and has 2 naps a day. Lately he has been waking within 45 mins of going down at night and at times wakes hourly right through till morning. He dropped the night feed 3 weeks ago. Sometimes just the dummy puts him to sleep again other times we have to rock him. What could be the cause of this?

My son is 9 months old. We have an established bed time routine which we follow every night. He sleeps like a baby until 23:00. After that, I’m left wondering if I’ll ever have a good night’s sleep again! He wakes up every second hour after that. Once for a feed and then to be put in our bed. His diet consists of 3 solids and 5 bottles per day and fresh fruit over weekends when I can supervise. He also sleeps in our room as we have a duplex townhouse and I feel that he is too small to move downstairs on his own. I’ve reached burnout and cannot continue without proper sleep. What am I doing wrong and will he ever sleep through? He also catnaps throughout the day never seems to be getting enough sleep. Please help!


Six to 12 months can be an exhausting stage for mums – and I wish there was a quick or easy solution! Babies often start with sleep problems during this time, so it is not your fault or abnormal. Teething if often an issue, and certainly if a baby has been sick, and when their mum goes back to work, her sleep pattern can be disrupted. Babies also start to experience separation anxiety around this time, and they are more mobile and often wriggle around a lot in their beds.

Make sure she sleeps enough – but not too much – during the day, so that she is neither over-tired or not tired at all. She should be awake for about 2 hours at a time during the day and nap for a total of about 3 hours (divided into 2-3 naps). This is an average so it may be a bit more or less than that. Try not to let her sleep too close to bedtime in the evening (awake from 5pm).

If she wakes after her bedtime, keep her in the room where she sleeps, and keep it dark. Don’t allow her to start playing again – keep things very quiet. Babies this age often still want something to drink during the night, which is OK, as long as it’s not every hour! It’s fine for her to cuddle up next to you in your bed, but keep your room dark until about 6am. If you have older children who wake up from the baby’s crying, it might help if dad sees to him/her so that you don’t have to run around from one child to the other.

You might also need to look at your baby’s diet – make sure she is eating enough protein, getting around 800-900ml of milk daily and avoid fruit at supper time.

Your baby will sleep through eventually – even if it seems as if every night just drags on for ever.

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