Location: Paris, Ontario CAN
Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: 21 months and 6 months
Problem:My 6 month old is partially weaned and takes a bottle during the day, but will take very little. He nurses at 8 in the evening and wakes up at 12, 3, and 5 and will only go to sleep if nursed. We tried giving him a bottle of water at night when he cried, we tried letting him cry and we are now trying a reduction of nursing time when he feeds in the middle of the night, but he still cries. The sleep deprivation is starting to get to me. Any suggestions to get him to sleep most of the night?
Solution submitted by "HomeMom" from Chandler, AZ: I have a couple of questions- At this time in a baby's development, are you feeding food also during the day? I found that when my daughter had a full tummy at night after dinner at 5-5:30pm - I would give milk at 8pm - during the night as she got used to getting fuller and being satisfied, she started to sleep first it was until 2am - then, it went 4am, then 6:30am, and now my daughter who is 16 mos, has been sleeping during the night all the way through since about 5 mos since on food.
I did a breakfast with cereal, lunch with the combo foods, and dinner either combo food or a vegetable and fruit maybe with cereal if hungry.
Beechnut put out a list on their cereal boxes at one point with a suggestion of feeding schedule as well as estimated ounces of formula or nursing times during the day. As your child gets on a schedule of feeding, you should see some change in sleep habits soon. Don't give up. Keep trying. Remember, even if you have to nurse at 12:00, that still gets you to about 6am or better. Try what will work for you and GOOD LUCK! I hope this helps.
Another solution submitted by Robin from San Francisco: I also had/have this problem with my daughter although not as severe. She only wakes once a night and now only does this a couple times a week. First of all I would say stop giving the bottle when the child wakes at night. A 10 month old does not need to be fed in the middle of the night and giving the bottle only reinforces the child's reason to wake up. It will be rough for the first couple of nights but hold out. Once the child learns they will no longer be fed at night they will eventually sleep through. It is working for me!
Another solution submitted by ^MAMA^ from Etobicoke, CAN: When my children were younger they did NOT sleep through the night. I feel that a young child needs to feel that they are secure with their parent(s). I was always available for my children when they needed me. I think that the fact that I nursed both of my children to 13 months and 32 months, may have had something to do with the fact that they needed me a lot!
Take heart that it will not last forever, your child will grow to be independent. Give him/her the security of knowing that you are there for them:) Sleep deprivation is something that all parents face, but we deal with it. I guess, in short that a child needs mom or dad to be there for them. Try to imagine yourself in your child place and then decide how you handle your situation! (I would want my mommy:)
Another solution submitted by Tea:Hi Diane, Paris is not to far from my home Stratford. I have a 19 month old who has been sleeping through the night since he was about 6 months old. Like you, my husband and I were at our wits about what to do to help him sleep through the night. I know a lot of parents would not use the strategy we used but it worked. He know sleeps from about 8-8 with only a cup of milk before bed (Of course we brush his teeth after).
We used the technique of letting him cry then checking on him, then letting him cry for a bit longer then checking again and so on. There are quite a few books written about this technique. I know it sounds very mean to some parents but it did work for us. It took 5 nights for him to sleep through the night and I admit 5 nights of pure agony for us. Now, we are not as sleep deprived as we once were as well as very fortunate to have a very active, bright 19 month old who does sleep the night.
I hope this info helps if not I look forward to hearing from you on the web. -Tea
Editor's Note: Tea's method is the one discussed in detail in Dr. Richard Ferber's Book, "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems." Click on the book jacket or title here to order this book through The #!Parentsroom Bookstore.
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