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We have 2 problems in the evening. Either she wakes up after one cycle or she won`t go to sleep

Hi Marie,
Matilda is 6 months old on Monday 1st June and we are having some difficulty with sleeping in the evenings. During the day we put her in her sleeping bag, sing some songs and put her in her cot awake and she goes off to sleep. She is a little eratic with her length of sleep, but usually averages around 3 hours in a day, generally with 2 shorter naps and a longer sleep (which varies with the time of the day). However in the evenings we have many problems. To give a brief outline, we have been using the pat/rub/shh in the cot method since she was around 5 weeks, and from when she was 11 - 16 weeks this worked a treat for both day and eve. Now in the day she doesn`t need it, and in the eve it doesn`t work at all. We have 2 problems in the evening. Either she settles straight away and then wakes up after one cycle and screams for 2 hours (generally until I feed her at 10pm) or she wont go to sleep and screams for 2 hours, then finally drops off to sleep. Both/either of these things have been happening since she was 4 months old. We have tried leaving her in the cot for up to half an hour (with us there, pat/shh etc) but she just screams, pick her up, calms, cries when put her in again.
We don`t think it is pain related - sometimes it is and we can tell the difference. Many people think it is strange as she is fine during the day, is obviously capable of self settling, but just wont do it at night. I still feed her overnight if she wakes, which has reduced to usually around 12am then 7.30, or sometimes if I feed her at 10pm, around 1-2am then 7am.

Is there something that could be causing her to react this way? What else should we try? We`ve tried cuddling her to sleep, feeding her to sleep etc but she generally wakes up as soon as you put her in the cot. We are really at a loss. Any advice/help would be appreciated. She is breastfed and we have been doing solids (rice cereal and now apple) for a week. Sorry it is so long.
Natalie & Matilda

Answer: Hi Natalie, Sometimes we try so many things that we end up confusing both baby and ourselves. Beacause of these inconsistencies in the settling baby knows you will eventually give in to her demands/needs which is really what we all do until it becomes clear that it doesn`t work for everyone in the family and we choose to change. At 6 months baby should be able to sleep through the night without an overnight feed but you could give the benefit of the doubt for another month or so until you have the solids going nicely then if you want to implement a settling program you need to be consistent with techniques for all sleeps and persist for up to 3 weeks. Cheers, Maree
Answered: 08 Jun 2009