help with sleep please

Lynette - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My 11 1/2 month old baby still does not sleep through the nite. Its my own fault because we still give him milk at night. how do i teach him to sleep through without leaving him to cry himself to sleep? (im sure that has worked for many moms but i can't handle his crying) Thanks

Getting Desperate



My son sleeps in his own room, he has done since about 2 weeks old. He started sleeping through the night at around 4 months and everything was going great but then he started teething and woke up regularly. now i think he wakes up out of habit. He refuses to drink water, he just screams until you give him milk. i have tried to let him CIO but he doesnt fall asleep after a few minutes like some of your kids have, he cry's and cry's and that eventualy turns into screaming and then he starts getting histerical. and then he wakes himself up completely. Im going to try watering down the milk until its plain water and see if that helps, thanks for everyones input. I feel better just knowing that im not alone.

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Jessica - posted on 03/21/2010

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Poor baby and mommy! The CIO method is rougher on us than them for sure. But I think if you are consistent, you help them in the long run learn to put themselves to sleep so they don't stay awake too long at night then ave a groggy day. More likely than not, it isn't the water or the milk your little one wants; it is mommy snuggles. One of my best girlfriends had the same situation when her little man was around 9-10 months old. I had more of the trouble earlier, so she asked me what I had done since it worked so well so fast. I talked to my then daycare provider (I quit my job to stay home with my son when he was 8 months old) and she told me how she had helped other mom's over the last 20 yrs. We worked together. She had him sleep for 30 min to an hour in the morning, then 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon, then he stayed up until his 7:00 bedtime. Between the 2 of us, no matter if it was nap or bedtime, we made sure he was fed and had a fresh diaper, then snuggled him and laid him down. If he cried, it was 2 minutes, then snuggle to comfort (not to put him all the way asleep) then lay him back down. If he cried again, then 4 min, then 2 more min each time. BUT he never made it past the 4 min crying. Now he is great sleeper (and so is my girlfriend's little boy b/c she followed the same plan with him). Also, becasue we follow the same bedtime routine, regardless of if we start it at 6:00, 6:30, or even 7:00, he knows after the routine, when we lay him down, it is ni-night time and he almost never fusses at all.
I know it is so hard when they don't sleep, so I wish you the best with your little love :-)

Kimberly - posted on 03/19/2010

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the sleep issue is so hard because if your not an advocate of the cio method and your baby is still drinking milk at night there's really a limit on what you can do. At this age a normal healthy baby does not need to have milk at night, they mostly just want it for comfort, unless they didn't eat enough during the day. At dinner time make sure you give your little one a big dinner rich in calories (i give mine a big bowl of oatmeal & veggies followed by breast milk before her bath) if you are nursing or giving a bottle directly before bed stop doing so, do it before the bath that way they aren't associating milk with sleep...if the child gets milk before daytime naps you should stop that too because that is teaching them that we drink milk before we sleep and the cycle will never end. I went through 2 weeks of solid hell when i decided to stop nursing my daughter at night...she was used to eating every 3 hours and one day i couldn't take the lack of sleep anymore so i stopped doing that and she cried and cried and cried and i just went in her room and rocked her and you have to get to a place where you can go in the room and soothe them w/out picking them up just by rubbing their back. There's no way to get around the crying at night when you decide to stop giving milk at night you just have to put in some earplugs and rock them for the first week or so. This method certainly isn't for everyone, it just worked for me and now my daughter has been sleeping 12 hours through the night for months. I know how frustrating it is not to get sleep and have the little one waking up :( ...best of luck i hope it goes alright

Danielle - posted on 03/18/2010

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Here is what I posted in another thread:

My son was waking up every night also until we switched him to his own room. He will be 11 months old on Saturday and we moved him into his own room about 2 weeks ago. He has been sleeping better ever since. He now usually sleeps from about 9pm until around 8am. Since he was about 7 months old I've been just giving him his soother each time he woke up until he was absolutely screaming for a bottle. Eventually he realized he wasn't going to get the bottle right away so he stopped waking up as often. The problem is their little bodies get on a clock and they seem to wake up out of habit after a while. If he's gaining weight and eating his three meals a day I don't think he's actually hungry. I know how frustrated you must feel...it's so hard being exhausted all the time...especially when you see all the mothers around you who's infants began to sleep through at less than 2 months old. Another way you could wean him off his nightly feedings is to begin giving him watered down milk. Continue to dilute it more each night until you're eventually giving him just water. He'll probably find that less appealing to wake up for. If all else fails, my best friend, who is a mother of 5 swears that the only way to fix it is to let them cry it out. I never had to go that far with my son because the above things did eventually work (over a long period of time mind you) but she says that with her 4th child she had to let him cry it out. They went through three nights of hell and on the fourth night he didn't fuss or anything, just went to sleep and stayed sleeping, peacefully in bed until morning. She hasn't had a problem since.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/18/2010

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One of my twins still wake up at night. For some reason he decides he doesn't want to sleep in his crib so I move him to a pack and play in the spare room so his crying doesn't wake his brother. He only cries for a minute or two before he falls back asleep. I know what you mean about the not being able to handle the crying. Sometimes he doesn't go right back to sleep and it tears me up listening to him cry. But I've made the mistake of sleeping in the spare bed with him and it's a hard habit to break.

If you're still giving him milk at night try giving him water instead. This might make him realize it's not worth waking up for. Do you have any toys in his crib? Maybe put a few things in there so when he does wake up he might play for a little bit and tire and go back to sleep. I know you don't want to hear him cry, but it might be the only way to break this habit. =( Hopefully the water thing will help! Good luck.

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Rachel - posted on 03/30/2010

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Sorry - I forgot - when Lawrence was nearly 2 a health visitor said to me "he's still having milk at night? Stop it now". I said - what gradually cut it down? She said no, stop it now. I actually started watering it down a bit, and lessen the whole amount, but when i got to 4 oz, i just cut it out completely. Just sang him some lullabies and cuddled him and put him back. It worked!

Must cook my dinner now.

Rachel x

Rachel - posted on 03/30/2010

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Hi Lynette,

It's really hard having a baby like that. I have two boys - 4 years and 4 months old, and the other 11 months old. My eldest son Lawrence was a hard baby. He was two when he started going through the night (we gave him milk at 2.00am every night). Christian started going through at 6 months. I don't think there is any sure fire way of getting a baby to sleep through the night - I think it depends on their nature. Christian is very laid back. Lawrence is pretty highly strung. However, you could try giving him a big bottle before bed. Maybe a bath before the bottle with lots of playing to wear him out? Worth a try maybe.

Best of luck.

Rachel x

Michelle - posted on 03/29/2010

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I purchased the nuby bottle with the handles on it and we put very watered down milk in it and then just leave the bottle in bed with our daughter if she wakes she just finds it has her drink and goes back to sleep I rarely need to go out and actually soothe her back to sleep....because the milk is watered down it doesn't spoil in the night....this works for us and I know it is not good for their teeth but I am hopeful that our little one will be off the bottle in the next few weeks

Lynda - posted on 03/22/2010

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My little girl slept all night in the first few months but since age 4 months she is up 2 times a night. Easy for me she co-sleeps and usually i just need to rock her a bit for her to go back to sleep. I did start watering down her milk so she would not like the taste, did it work?... Yup now she will only cry if she is having a bad night(stuff nose or cough).

Valentine Zhu - posted on 03/21/2010

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I am not sure if this will work for you but you can try.

My baby is now 11 months old, and during the day I usually feed her 3 times meal, 3-4 times milk, 1 time fruit & 1 time snack. The last milk time is about 8-9pm, then she drinks water (about 30-60 ml) before going to bed and she will sleep through the night without drinking any milk or anything else. She wakes up around 7-8am, and nap 2-3 times during the day.

I also change her diaper right before she sleeps (around 9pm) and let her sleep during the night without any disturb, and sometimes I wake up around 3am just to check if she needs her diaper to be changed..but rarely it needs to be changed..

Just make sure the surrounding is cozzy & comfortable for her, make sure her tummy is full, and don't play too excited 1-2 hours before to bed. ^_^

Donielle - posted on 03/20/2010

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Lynette, every baby is different. I have experienced some different challenges with my 11 month old, too. Now, we put her down at the same time as the other children, she protests but we leave her to put herself to sleep. If she doesn't go to sleep right away, we go in and lay her down without saying a word. Usually doing this 3-4 times will work and she'll continue to lay down and drift off on her own. We also still allow her to use the pacifier. We'll take it away shortly, though. Hope this helps.

Kristin - posted on 03/19/2010

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I've been using Ferber's controlled crying method. My son has been waking 2x a night for a feeding. After 3 days of the controlled crying, he is now consistently sleeping 12 straight hours. It was hard, but I just had to be strong for about an hour each night and distract myself (i.e. clean the kitchen) between the times I would go in and love on him. Now we are both in much better moods all day.

Beth - posted on 03/19/2010

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Here are some suggestions that worked for me....

How much do you give him in a bottle? When I weaned my daughter off her night feedings I gradually reduced the amount. If you typically do 6 ounces reduce it to 4 or 5. Eventually he may decide the amount he is getting just isn't worth it. As for the CIO it worked for us for my daughters night time sleep but not for her naps. Unfortunately though if you really want to try it you have to give it more than 10 minutes. Our first night was 40 minutes. But it only took 1 night and now she sleeps from 7pm-7am. If she wakes up at night she will talk for a few minutes and then go back to sleep. If your son doesn't use a "lovey" try introducing one. This was also very helpful for my daughter.
Good luck!

Lynette - posted on 03/19/2010

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My son sleeps in his own room, he has done since about 2 weeks old. He started sleeping through the night at around 4 months and everything was going great but then he started teething and woke up regularly. now i think he wakes up out of habit. He refuses to drink water, he just screams until you give him milk. i have tried to let him CIO but he doesnt fall asleep after a few minutes like some of your kids have, he cry's and cry's and that eventualy turns into screaming and then he starts getting histerical. and then he wakes himself up completely. Im going to try watering down the milk until its plain water and see if that helps, thanks for everyones input. I feel better just knowing that im not alone.

[deleted account]

if your baby wakes up because she's hungry you should feed her every 2-3 hours during the day and at dinner little less protein than during the day and more veggies/fruits meaning more foods that are easier to digest at night nothing too heavy and do switch milk w/water at night I did it with my 11 1/2 month old baby she still wakes up 1 time at night I give her water, sooth her and put her back on her crib so far so good . Good luck! I can relate to your situation I was there not long ago :(

Natalie - posted on 03/18/2010

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ugh I am in the same situation. I've heard the water instead of milk thing but I have yet to try it. My hubby is going to be gone on for work for 4 weeks and I am determined to get my 11 1/2 month old son to sleep through the night. I've tried the CIO method for about 10 minutes but he just gets more mad and upset. If you come up with any ideas or methods, please share!! He wakes up anywhere between 1 and 4 times every night and hasn't slept through the night since he was 3 months old (he slept 12 hours from 2 to 3 months old).
GOOD LUCK and please let us know if you have success at the water method if you try it =)

Mary Lynn - posted on 03/18/2010

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I am not a huge fan of the cry it out method either. If you think he is still hungry at night, then maybe try adding more food to his menu during the day and see if that helps. Could he also be teething? Another thing is when they learn something new, sometimes they will wake at night.

lately our little guy has been hard to get down to bed, so last night I let him CIO for a little while in his crib. It only took about 5 mintues and he went to sleep on his own. It doesn't work for everyone, you just have to find something that works for you.

Chelsea - posted on 03/18/2010

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My son has been sleeping through the night since he was about 4 months old. When he was 8 months old he started screming in the middle of the night. I bought enfamil restfull sleep formula and he gets it every night before bed. Now he is back to sleeping from 7:30 pm - 7:30am everynight.

AniSurei - posted on 03/18/2010

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I wish I had some advice for you but I'm in the same boat... plus I have the added co-sleeping to my issues. I sill breastfeed my daughter to sleep which I'm sure is another problem I'm going to have to overcome. I can't handle the crying either and I work so it's hard to imagine no sleep and work so we just do what works for us now. I feel like one day she will just break the cycle and want to sleep all nite and in her crib... probably wishful thinking. Good Luck!

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