13 Month CIO

Amy - posted on 05/08/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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It's been a struggle. Trying to stop breastfeeding and get my little guy to bed at night. My husband is up rocking him now. He's teething - so that's trouble for the poor little guy. He drinks out of straw cups during the day. People tell us to just do bottles of sippies at night and let him put himself to bed but he won't take them - no idea why. picky and demanding. I keep wanting to just put some breastmilk in a sippy cup and if he is REALLY hungry, then he can figure it out. At night he is still waking every few hours to try and nurse. I haven't been getting let downs and seems like he's using me as a pacifier [he won't take a pacifier though, strange kiddo]. I think it is habit not hunger. He eats like a horse. Any ideas or suggestions would be beyond welcome. I don't know what else to do beyond shut the door, put in ear plugs and hope for the best.

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Angie - posted on 05/25/2010

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It really sounds like he has a lot of changes/things going on right now and it may not be the best time to do both weaning and sleep training. The teething alone is a huge ordeal for him, it's painful so he wants to be with you more, he doesn't understand why his mouth is hurting etc. If it were me I would let the teething finish. Once that is done then move on to the next thing (either weaning or sleep training) both at the same time is a lot for a child and I could see where it may cause a lot of anxiety and feelings of rejection to him. If weaning is important to you then work on the weaning. Once that's done and he doesn't need to nurse anymore then try the sleep thing.

You never know, he may start sleeping on his own no problem once he doesn't need to nurse and you won't even have to worry about different methods, kwim?

But even the biggest CIO proponents will tell you it's not a good idea to try CIO while the child is teething.

Desiree - posted on 05/16/2010

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wow i am so sorry you have this to deal with. My 21month old still wakes once or twice a night. my son's is habit but withthe living arrangement we are in i feel very uncomfortable in letting him cry so i give him water in a bottle now not milk. anyway back to you, you already have started by letting him know that you can't give what you don't have. give him the options of whatever it is that you want him to have at night and stick with it. yes there will be crying and uncomfortable feelings for you. it will work and do not let others make you feel guilty or bad, they do not live with your family everyday and know your routines. keep your head up and sure hope things work(ed) out.

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Amy - posted on 05/28/2010

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If I can get my husband home for one weekend - they keep sending him out of town - then he could get up with him and it would help tons. I may be a meanie for it, but life is about change. Life isn't easy. When he's crying before bed, it's more of a half hearted whine. He did put himself to sleep the other night. Some nights are better than others, but last night he got up twice, then went backt o bed. He nursed once because it was closer to morning and like jessica said, i was just lazy and wanted to go back to bed fast. it's been a long week. At this point though, I'm nursing for my benefit and snuggle time and convenience at night - it's not what I think is best for him or all family since he wakes others up sometimes too. I was in a car accident last week and now I'm making slim to nil for milk. I think I'll have to just have those few nights of no sleep so he knows no more nursing and then for those nights of nearly none, we'll all get the reward of sleep. I really appreciate all of hte input - even if some of it may not fit with us, it's awesome to have other ideas.

Jessica - posted on 05/25/2010

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Amy, I just had our 18 month check up and our Ped again said to stop feeding at night. When my daughter does get up from time to time, out of laziness on my part, I'll nurse. So he told me again to stop doing that. So I'm passing on that advice to you...Stop feeding at night. Easier said than done right?! :D
Good luck! (Oh and lucky you for not having a period for that long. I only got 5 months...once I introduced solids I started again even though I was nursing. Ugh....

Amy - posted on 05/25/2010

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I am ready to give it up simply because we want to try for a third soon. With my miscarriage history, I don't really want too much to get in the way. Since nursing helps you not be pregnant [and i've not had a cycle for over two years actually] I want to try to get my body on track before conceiving again - but also want a full night sleep before we start all this again! :) I'm not so hot on tandem nursing. Right before bed has become his daddy bonding time lately. We did do a sippy of water by his crib. He did drink some the other night and go back to bed...Last night he only got up at 2 and then at 6am - he stayed up.....but it was nice to only get up once mid night. I nursed him tonight before bed and he was awake after, then put him into bed with his toy. He jabbered to himself and is quiet. I would bet he's asleep. It's been about ten minutes. Off to check if he's out. :)

Jessica - posted on 05/24/2010

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My daughter is 18 months old and still breastfeeding. If you're not ready to give it up you don't have to. But the night feedings I have given up. She nurses once a day. Right before bed. After that...she's on her own. Let downs are rare for me now too, but its a soothing tool for her. As kids get older they need ways to reconnect with their moms, what a better way than what they've always loved. Slowly take him down to once a day, then let him cry it out at night. Once you're ready to be done for good, it will be easier to stop because its only once a day.

We leave a sippy cup of water in her crib at night so when she needs something she can. I mean I take a cup of water to my night stand everynight, so why would it be any different for her.

But you need to be strong. The first couple of nights are rough, but as somone already mentioned by night 4 or 5 it is so much better. He will relaps when you travel or he gets sick or more teeth come in. You just have to be strong.

Amy - posted on 05/24/2010

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We do teething tablets, but tylenol tends to upset his belly. so it cures one, causes another. last couple nights we actually did lay him down, he got up, we laid him down again withough picking him up. my sister gave me the Baby Whisperer book and i found a spot on hte E.A.S.Y. method. two nights he slept 7 hours two nights in a row - last night i don't think he would have woken up if he didn't have to poop [thanks daddy for feeding him cherries before bed. grr.] hoping hoping so bad that this works. we had 5 diff pacifiers - all which he pushed away. so we just gave up at a year. at nap we have just been talking quietly and hten laying him down. It only seems to take about 15 minutes and he puts himself to bed. I think a lot of it was he was falling asleep when we were holding him, then he woke up and was like, whoa, where'd you go!? having him IN the crib and laying him down helps i think. who knows. last two nights could be a fluke, but i'm hoping it's the start of full nights of sleep!

Lynette - posted on 05/21/2010

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you might want to try a different kind of pacifier and try again although at his age you don't really want to start that. try teething tablets and or tylenol for the teething. How long does he cry for before you get him out of bed? might want to let him cry then go cover him up, rub his back let him know your there and that everything is ok, try not to pick him up. shouldn't have bottles and cups in the bed anyway, try to avoid starting that too...

Sarah - posted on 05/21/2010

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Hi Amy: There is a book that really helped me through a similar situation--it is called The Fussy Baby Book by Sears. Following Dr. Sears advice really made it all a lot easier. Good luck to you.

Lindsey - posted on 05/20/2010

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no worries. all babies do things differently! Hope you find a way which works for you and makes life easier. i often dip into supernanny just for reassurance!
good luck
xxx

Amy - posted on 05/20/2010

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thank you for that site. yeah, his cry is a "hey, i don't want in here by myself. i wanna cuddle". The last few nights he seems to be crying less and less. kind of an "i'll cry, but not put up much effort since no one is rushing in here to get me". It was so easy with our daughter, but she wasn't breastfed. She's 3 years old and just went up and put herself to bed last week because she was tired. I was like YES! that's the goal. now how do i get my son down that path?! :) I think around one year old when they start walking talking and gaining independence it's a good time to start sleeping without "help". he has started taking sippie cups better since he saw his cousin using them. I feel like that was a huge hurdle. He only nurses three times in a 24 hour period now and it's lessening. I'm hoping I can pump enough to have in cups and then eventually switch cups to water and then, oops, cups gone. thank you all so much for imput and advice.

Lindsey - posted on 05/20/2010

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http://www.supernanny.co.uk/Search.aspx?...

Try controlled crying?
if he is fed and clean, he should be able to go to sleep, its just a case of getting him into the particular routine and teaching him to go to sleep by himself.
We had a terrible time with our now three year old. when she was about one, she wouldn't go to sleep without us rocking her, and if she was still awake when we put her down we couldnt leave the room or she would cry, we would end up sitting with her for hours!!!! i used to just sit there and read books and ignore her if she whinged!!! she got it eventually and is now a fantastic sleeper. the supernany website is fabulous, it's just a phase and youll get there eventually, youre not alone!!!!!! xxx

Amy - posted on 05/19/2010

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he only slept an hour at nap today. If I reduce his nap anymore, he won't have one. :) He's teething too, so naps are hit and miss on how long. He does not nurse during the day anymore. It is only at night. He may not want to give it up, but I don't see it as benefiting him beyond the breastmilk itself. [of which I'm not really getting letdowns because it is ONLY at night when he decides he wants to snack - he's basically using me as a pacifier] There is just this point where he's not going to get his way. I know he's a baby, but if I held him all day like he wanted I wouldn't be able to take care of the rest of my family and he'd never learn to walk. At some point he also needs to learn to put himself to bed when he's tired. We have been putting him to bed closer to 8 since the sun is still bright here. We are looking into darker curtains so he associates darkness with sleep time. I just don't want to continue him NEEDING someone there for him to sleep, you know? Because how long will he need someone there? 2,3,4,5yrs old? It has to end sometime. The two nights we let him cry he slept the longest, so I could see where crying when needs aren't met could be exhausting to the poor little ones, but all his needs are met and he's sleepy and it's bedtime. He only got up at 130am and 6am last night. I think we're actually making progress.

Amy - posted on 05/19/2010

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CIO has been shown to cause anxiety and less sleep in babies and children. If you are also trying to wean him and he isn't ready for that, the weaning will cause more anxiety. When babies feel anxiety, they want comfort and the only way they know to ask for that is by crying. You may be putting him to bed too early for him to be tired yet. If that's the case and he's then becoming anxious because he's alone, he won't sleep well. Try adjusting his bedtime or reducing daytime napping and see if that helps.

Amy - posted on 05/17/2010

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He wakes every morning between 7-8am. Nap is at 12/1230 and he wakes up around 2. bedtime is 7-8pm. He wakes up at 1030, 1,3,5 am. sometime he has different wake times, but generally around then. Usually he gets supper, then bath then a bit of play before bed. IF no bath, he listens to us read his sister a book before they both go to bed. I figure that way he knows what's coming. Last night he went to bed at 8 woke up at 12, couldn't console him, just let him cry. he woke up again at 5 but went right back to bed and is still asleep now and it's almost 8.To us, last night was a good night. I guess my method of crying it out is when you can't do anything else for him - obviously isn't thirsty, no soiled diaper, nothing wrong and it's just bedtime..then he has to just cry himself to sleep because it's bedtime and there's nothing else to do for him. I sometimes think we keep him awake by being in there. The water thing in a cup - we have a woodstove and it's really dry in the house. we all have water by our beds. I don't know, I wake up and am really thirsty and he seems to be to. Plus, we're trying to use it as a substitute for breastfeeding thinking that he wakes up because he believes its "eating time" out of habit from infancy. Maybe if he knows he won't get nurse time, he won't bother waking up for it. It does seem like a feed to sleep to me. When daddy rocks him we have no issues - but daddy works a dangerous job and can't be doing it all the time. If he sees me or the rocking chair, he thinks he needs to nurse. We didn't want to let him cry over the last few months because of his sister and daddy needing to sleep, but we all decided mommy and mason need sleep too. We decided to do one night feed right in the middle of the night and one if it happens to be around5/6am so he doesn't wake up to early and throw his schedule way off. He did ok for two nights - only getting up twice or three times. Truly, our daughter was so easy, but she wasn't breastfed. Last night he cried for almost an hour on and off and our daughter slept through it, so here's hoping.

Kathy - posted on 05/15/2010

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i've been reading this thread and i can see some inconsistencies with what you're doing. when you're sleep training a baby, you have to be consistent in how you respond to his cries so that means you can't let him cry sometimes and then go to him at other times to offer him water/sippy cup/hold/comfort him etc.

I'm not sure what method you're using - some people have different definitions of CIO - so can you tell us what method you're using?

also, what's his schedule like ie. wake time for the day, when his naps are, how long he naps and bedtime. in order to treat a sleep problem, it's important to look at the overall picture, identify where improvements can be made with his schedule, correct those and see if that minimizes the night wakings. whenever i work with families to correct sleep problems, i always ask for a history first before resorting to sleep training. 90% of the time, sleep issues can be solved by adjusting the baby's schedule (making naps earlier and bedtime earlier as well). if the problem persists, then a next step of identifying and addressing the issues may be needed. your child sounds like he has a sleep association (feed to sleep) but right now, it's hard to tell without seeing his overall schedule... so can you please post that?

if you feel more comfortable private-messaging me, pls send me a message with your email and i will respond.

by the way, i help families with their baby's sleep issues free of charge. i am not a trained medical professional; i am a mother of a wonderful 24mos daughter and i study and research baby sleep out of sheer interest because i find this topic fascinating! i also want to help other parents out there because i know what it's like to be out of your mind exhausted and desperate for answers!

Amy - posted on 05/15/2010

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He's been to the doc within the last month [plugged tear duct] and checked out fine in ear dept. But this has been an ongoing thing since birth that he nurses every couple hours at night [and only night now], so I doubt he's had an ear infection for a year. He did take some water last night in a straw cup while he sat back on my lap. He slept well until around 3 then was up every hour last night. He did cry himself to sleep last night though. We tried to comfort him, but he was just kicking at us and we both said kicking isn't cool and if he was going to have a fit to do it in his bed. He cried on and off for half an hour then when he was quiet for a bit hubby snuck in and put his blankie on him. It was great until 3am. Maybe we just have to let him cry at 3am too.

Jennnifer - posted on 05/14/2010

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ok i know u say he is teething and wants u for comfort..but since he is getting uo all the time have u ruled out ear infections???? My son fnally learned to put himslef back to sleep (unless he is sick) when i put a sippy of just water in the crib for him at night. a coupel of night of holding and giving his cuppy he was sleeping through the night. like u i am trying to wean him off the day and night time feedings. for me it is just 2 hard to see him cry and ask for me.. so i am taking his lead and i am also pressured into stopping but really if it is tramatic for him why should i. if for some reason he goes to bed without nursing he usually get up in the middle of the night. anyway i hope this helped i have to type fast as my nap time is almost over( i do home daycare)

Lalisha - posted on 05/14/2010

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Hi There
I do empathise with you, my son is 2 years 2 months and we have the same problem, I have purchased a book called sleep sense, and we are currently trying the techniques in there...,maybe also purchase it and try a technique that will work for you:) Hope this helps

Claire - posted on 05/13/2010

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Try a non-spill sippy (Gerber works well for us) with water. Leave it in the bed with him for when he wakes up. I hate to say it, but close his door (gate it if he can open the door) so he can't wander to find you or something else to drink. He'll scream for a few nights, but he'll get the hint :( We have also used the glo-worm and/or the seahorse that have quiet, soothing music he can turn on himself.

Good luck

Amy - posted on 05/13/2010

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We've done breastmilk in a bottle, regular milk, water... Tried a bottle, a sippy. We try to keep him as quiet as we can since he has an older sister who's three. He never really cared for bottles. My husband has the weekend off. I think we will really enforce it and pray for the best. We need to be consistent, but it's been a struggle to stay functional during the day when I try it alone at night. I have one sippy with a softer spout. Will try that one again tonight. Even if he only got up one time at night it wouldn't be so bad, it's just every two or three hours is physically and mentally exhausting - for all of us. Off to find that soft spout and put some bmilk in it.....

Louise - posted on 05/12/2010

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Have you tried breast milk in a bottle? He is obviously missing the contact with you and feels short changed. If he accepts the bottle then gradually you could change from breast milk to cows milk and once he accepts that change from bottle to sippy cup. I think to try and change him from a soft nipple to hard spout is to much for him at night he is looking for soothing. I agree that the waking in the night is habit and not hunger and the only way to stop this is to get tough and ignore him. Simpler said than done I know. This is a big change for the little fella and it will take a few weeks to sort out and settle back into his normal routine.

Shagun - posted on 05/11/2010

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HI Amy, I can completely empathise with what u are going through. What I tried with my son was I just refused to feed him in the night. He will cry and believe me it will be very hard for you more than anyone else but you will need to let him cry.I gave my son water when he got up in the night and he refused to drink it. He cried a lot and I did this for 3 days but then from the fourth day he started getting up one and then then slowly slept through the night.
Make sure he does have a good meal and a feed before he sleeps and maybe give him a feed before u sleep as well as the last feed and nothing after that till morning.

Amy - posted on 05/11/2010

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Last night he went to sleep at 7, woke up at 8, then cried and cried until 1am! I gave him a cup and thought it would work like the other night. Nope. he actually kicked and screamed. I was thinking "who is this baby? where did my sweet lil boy go?" I did just lay him in his crib to cry for a while, but after and hour of in and outs, I was guessing something else maybe was wrong. HE did wake up again around 5 and i just nursed him so I could go to bed. Lazy on my part, but was exhausted. who knows. I'm really hoping that after two or three sleepless nights he'll just get the picture that it's not happening. It seemed to help talking to him and telling him it was gone. even my own mom today said "awe, he's a baby, he knows what he needs. just nurse him". Frustrating. That same baby also "knows" he wants to eat just cookies too, but doesn't mean it's what's best for all. I really do think that he's just using me as a pacifier at this point. I keep praying for the weekend so my husband can help too. I even tried getting him some extra calcium/magnesium foods to sleep better. He hasn't been taking long naps either. I just keep repeating to myself that it'll be over before I know it. and then blink to see if it happened. :)

Lady - posted on 05/10/2010

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Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for giving up breastfeeding, my youngest is about the same age and I gave up months ago - you have done brilliently keeping going until now but doing it when you don't feel is benifiting either of you is going to end up souring the whole breastfeeding experience for you and that's not good. Iknow it's not easy but just keep going and soon he'll forget all about it and break the habbit - good luck!!

Amy - posted on 05/09/2010

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i have tried cereals - no difference. He still wakes up two to three hours after going to bed. I really think it's a bad habit. I did get him to take a sippy tonight. I told him I was empty - I guess he understood that and grabbed the cup. He eats supper around five thirty and then it's play, bath, bed at 7. He usually has a bit of a snack before bed. It's something like oatmeal, homemade bread and butter, or sesame crackers. My husband got up every other time to rock him to bed last nite. Only once could he not get him to bed. Of course we were thinking we made progress and met family for mother's day and they made us feel guilty for trying to get him off of breastmilk already. I think we need to stick with getting him away from it, though. I am becoming a huge sleep deprived grouch. Not fun for the rest of the family. He wasn't drinking cow's milk much and we tried taht tonight instead of breastmilk or his almond milk. Fingers crossed for at least five straight hours of sleep. I know teething is part of the issue, but I feel if I wait until teeth are all in he'll be three. He only has four teeth right now.Thanks Gillian for always helping!

Lady - posted on 05/09/2010

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Have yo tried giving him some cereal at night before bed with milk like weetabix or oatmeal even some cherios - nothing with too much sugar but with slow releasing carbohydrates to keep him going through the night.

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