View Full Version : I have no idea what to do...teething and sleep...

02-21-2007, 11:15 AM
DD is 8 months old and is getting her first tooth. She normally sleeps great, usually at least 8p-6a without waking. I loosely use Weissbluth and in the past, have let her work herself back to sleep if she's awoken at night. This has worked well for us so far.

However, she's waking now because of the teething and I'm not sure if I should go ahead and let her cry a bit to see if she'll get back to sleep on her own, or if I should get up immediately and go to her. My goal has never been to ignore my daughter's needs! Last night, she woke at 12:30 crying and I did go to her because I knew she was teething. I gave her some tylenol, tried to cuddle her back to sleep with no success. I ended up bringing her to bed and nursing her back to sleep then returning her to her crib.

I'm not sure if I should be trying to let her cry herself back to sleep or if I should follow my instincts and go to her immediately. I really believe that going to her reinforces night waking and creates a habitual problem but if she's teething and uncomfortable, it seems just wrong to let her cry. How do you meet your dc's needs without creating a night waking problem? Or, am I just overthinking this too much? We've just worked hard on dd's sleep and I'm afraid all the effort will go out the window now that she's teething. Any suggestions, btdt, or reality checks? TIA.

02-21-2007, 05:53 PM
You have to go with the flow, and know that teething, illness, all kinds of stuff will throw off her sleep down the road. Get through the issue at hand, and worry about the sleep when it is over. (And yes, I've been there - DS1 had lots of sleep issues, DS2 has fewer.)

FWIW, it could be that she is waking because she is hungry, too. DS2 stopped sleeping through the night around 8m, and my theory is that he has gotten so busy during the day that he's not eating as much and needs that nighttime nurse to fill him up (he nurses 1-2x/night, sometimes not at all, and takes quite a bit, so it is definitely hunger). He's had 3 sinus infections and cut a few more teeth in the last few months, so I've just gone with the flow and fed him when he wakes, and now in the last week or so, he's starting to sleep 12 hours some nights again.

02-22-2007, 12:27 PM
My DS is only 12 weeks, but the pediatrician thinks he may be teething. He was sleeping great and is suddenly a fuss bucket.

We've been reading Weissbluth and Ferber. I don't know how much you remember, but Weissbluth does say the baby may require more soothing, etc. when they have "disruptive" events, such as traveling, teething, or an illness. And it may require a few days to retrain them to sleep afterwards, or "remind them" of what it's really supposed to be like.

I think any doctor and sleep expert would say that if your child is genuinely distressed, then you should do anything you can to soothe them. Once the tooth has cut though, time to retrain!

02-22-2007, 02:18 PM
I just spoke with our ped since we're dealing with the same issue (just a much younger baby!). We were mostly concerned that our high maintenance, extremely fussy baby was returning, and that was why the sleep was all out of whack.

She seemed to think that once the discomfort goes away, the sleep should return to normal. It may take a few days or a week to retrain, but otherwise it won't disappear forever. I think that's the same thing Ferber and Weissbluth say too.

Good luck! We're exhausted from waking up so often...hopefully the end is in sight soon!

02-22-2007, 09:01 PM
Thanks to you both. And thanks for the Weissbluth reminder, I've read the relevant chapters up to now, but didn't remember reading that. I'll get the book out again.

She did a bit better the second night, believe it or not, and I see that the tooth has finally cut the skin. Here's hoping regular sleep routines start again soon!