My 9 month old still wakes up at 1:30am and 4:30am to eat. What to do?

Stacey - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My 9 month old still wakes up at 1:30am and 4:30am to eat every morning. He has no problems going to sleep at night but wakes for these feeds like clockwork. If I do not give him a bottle each time (minimum 4-6 oz) he will screech til the cows come home. Literally will yell and cry for up to an hour and a half. I have never made it past an hour and a half before caving... I can sing to him, rock him, walk with him, to no avail. Give him the bottle and instantly happy and back to sleep. I have attempted 'ferberizing' gently but this is useless with him, he will have no part of it. He used to get up just at 3:30am for a feed andright back to sleep but has now increased to twice a night. I am so tired from my broken sleep that I am starting to have trouble functioning efficiently during the day! Any suggestions beyond 'textbook' would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that I am a single Mom and I have a really hard time with the cry it out method...

Thanks a million!

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Darcie - posted on 02/05/2010

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Perhaps not what you want to hear, but if it is the quickest and easiest way to get back everyone back to sleep, why not try to embrace it? It's probably just a phase and as soon as you get used to it, the pattern will change ;-) Despite what others say, it is really common for 9-month olds to be hungry during the night - they have become so busy and active during the day that they don't necessarily eat/drink as much as they should - there is too much excitement to take in! So they make up for it at night. It's perfectly normal and natural, so if using other soothing methods are not working for you, going with it is certainly an option to consider.

Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 03/17/2012

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I am in the same situation as yours (although I am lucky to have some relief from my husband). My son has a great sleep span between 7pm and 6am on most days (that's the good part). (The not so good part is..) My 9 1/2 month old son went from getting up 3-4 times a night, at around 8 months, woke up once at 3:00am (I thought I had it made!). Then, for whatever reason for the last week or so, he's been getting up at 12:45am and 5:00am. He cries histerically while DH changes him, and I run downstairs to warm up a bottle. He gobbles the bottle, and falls right back to sleep with no fuss. My son was BF, and we started weaning at about 7 months, and totally weaned at 8 1/2 months. I did not have much support in this regard from the older generations in my family, as they were not encouraged to BF when they had their children. I kept hearing that he's not getting "enough", switch him to formula, give him cereal and he'll sleep. The switch to formula as well as the supplementation did not prove to be as effective as promised. I don't know about your little one, but my son is on the go ALL day, and often refuses to eat a whole lot at each feeding (opting to crawl an cruise around instead). His naps have always been short (30 mins- 1hr) as well. It seems obvious that he's legitimately hungry during those night feedings, and as far as I am concerned, it's cruel to deny food. The trick will be to coax them to eat more during the day of the "filling" foods with fibre and protein. I also have gotten the "cry it out" suggestions over and over, and can see the value of implmenting that method in situations where the issue is that of crying for attention despite having all needs met, but not in a situation where a child eats and goes back to sleep on their own. I have come to the (sad and tiring) conclusion that all babies are different (especially when it comes to sleep/eating patterns), and that there is only so much you can do. I have begun going to bed soon after he does, and I have also begun doing something that is very hard for me to do... asking for help from select family members and friends. On bad days, when I am feeling exhausted, I have asked for help with laundry or dishes, or watching baby while I catch a quick nap. It's a means for survival during a difficult stage. I try to remember that it's just that, another "stage" in baby's development (that will someday pass).

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There is a growth spurt that happens at 9 months so maybe that's why he is wanting to feed. I would try what the others are saying and put a little bit of cereal into his last bottle of the night. And maybe wake him up just before you go to bed and feed him as much as he will take and then put him back down for the night and he should sleep until morning. Good luck!

Lindie - posted on 02/05/2010

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I personnally don't believe in the "ferberizing" method. Especially if he is having his milk and then back to sleep. He's obviously not after attention but is actually hungry. Maybe he needs more to eat during the day. I'm assuming he is weaned, if not start there. also you may want to consider going onto a higher calorie formula ( again if he's not on formula, maybe one formula bottle at bed time to take him through). you shouldn't need to put cereal in the milk, I never did and my twins slept through from 4months, but some swear by it and if it works for you great, just be sure the rest of his diet is also full and varied

Tori - posted on 02/05/2010

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my boy was the same (he is 8 mths) he used to sleep through then was waking once in the night, then twice, so i put his dinner back from 5pm to 6 - 6.30pm and he started sleeping through again, he then started waking at 3am so am cutting down on his naps, which has helped as now does not wake up till 5 or 6, look in to the time you are feeeding him or how long or times he is napping, it should help :)

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Amanda - posted on 03/17/2012

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It is normal for a 9 month old to wake up for feedings. They are growing humans, whom do most of their growing while sleeping, wouldnt you be hungry too after that?? If hes waking up and only wanting a feeding then he is truly hungry! This isnt a sleep issue, its a child who has a need, and wants his mother to meet that need. Welcome to motherhood! Dont worry eventually he will stop needing to eat during the night and sleep through the night, and that morning you will be debating on starting a topic on COM asking if hes not well because he actually slept through the night.



There is no science that proves cereal in a bottle helps a child sleep, and is a choking hazard, as well as there is a theory that cereal in a bottle is the stepping stone to being over weight later in life. So thats really a personal choice on if you will do this or not. But some smart moms pointed out here to feed him cereal from a bowl and spoon (the only way cereal should be feed).

Nikki - posted on 02/05/2010

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i have a 9 month old that does the same thing...even if i feed her cereal before bed..ppl said that will work but no it dont she is still hungry....its very frustrating...i know exactly what ur going thru being a single mom too!

Lin - posted on 02/05/2010

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you poor thing. feel bad for you. i feel the same i dont like the crying out method either. my daughter is 18months old and still wakes at least once during the night for a bottle. she goes through phases like this since she started teething. for a week or so shell be grand then its back to the waking up for a bottle again for a few weeks. i know how you feel. i honestly think your baby and mine are waking up out of habit now. or it could be just the teething keeping them from going into a deep sleep and waking up for comfort feeds. its a tough one. im hopeing for both our sakes its just a phase that they will eventually grow out of it.my neighbour suggested putting lega into the last bottle as she did this with hers and it worked the only thing is my daughter didnt like it but yours might. she broke a lega into the last bottle and it fills the baby up so they dont wake up hungry. i did however stop my daughter waking up twice in the night by giving her a yogert before bed bout half hour before last bottle. you could try it. i do think tho that you could always ask the pharmacy for advice or maybe the doctor. they wont judge you like health nurses and wont use text book. they will just advise you on maybe trying a different diet or something or check to see there are no other underlyeing problems or reasons for him waking up so often. he may be able to give you something to settle him at night for you. the only reason i didnt go doctor was because she only sometimes wakes up for a bottle but if it was everynight twice a night id go and just get advice. hope this helps let me know how you get onxx. oh an another thing. my baby was waking from being cold and wanted a fed to go back to sleep i got one of those sleeping bag things from dunnes only 8euro and it works wonders she slept all night u could try that too good luck

Donna - posted on 02/05/2010

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my son did the same thing and i gave him a bowl of cereal before bed time along with his bottle. that kept him full till morning and he didn't wake up through the night. your son may need more then just a bottle to sustain him throughout the night. i know my son did. he's 15 now :) and 6'2. i guess he really did need a little extra LOL :) wouldn't hurt to try! good luck & i hope you are able to get some sleep.

Kim - posted on 02/05/2010

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My son was doing the same thing at 9 months and the doc told me the cry it out method. The first night was hard but he cried about 2 hours straight before finally going back to sleep. It was hard but I checked on him many times and he was fine. It took 2 nights of the long crying before he stopped waking up at all. I thought 2 hours was harsh but the Doc said it was fine.

Brittanie - posted on 02/05/2010

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Try a little pablum in his bottle just a little and it can fill him up.
If not at night give him only water in the bottle at night.
He wakes up because he likes the milk it tastes good, but if you give him water he will eventually stop getting up at night as water has no taste. worked with my kids.
Hope it helps =)

Brandi - posted on 02/05/2010

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can he move around and find stuff in his crib? I don't remember when i started this but I put a bottle in with my youngest by his head/side so he knew it was there and when he woke up he would just grab it and be fine, I tried to use water as much as i could because of the whole tooth decay from milk but i have done it with milk and his teeth are fine (he's almost 2 now)

Amber - posted on 02/05/2010

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you can try rice cereal before he goes to bed, it fills them up and keeps them full, if he doesnt like it plain, you can try mixing it with a little baby food, like peaches. :) hope this helps

Elizabette - posted on 02/05/2010

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This may sound harsh (when I was told this I thought it wouldn't work) but stop feeding him. by this point he should eat enough throughout the day that more than likely he is waking due to routine than actual hunger. you don't have to ignore him and let him cry it out wake up with him give him some love rock him for a bit then put him back to bed. it wont stop over night but after a few weeks he"ll stop waking up. I did this for my baby and it took maybe 4 days and she started sleeping through the night! Think of it this way 4 sleepless nights may equal a full night of sleep for the majority of his infancy... it's not easy changing a babys routine but if it's worth it you'll push through...

Gwen - posted on 02/05/2010

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What does "ferberizing" mean exactly? (Sorry, been a long time since I've had little bitty babies! If I'm suggesting what you're already doing, please forgive me.) We started adding cereal to our bottles before bedtime when ours were still very young. They would sleep all night.



Add just enough cereal for the formula/milk to be more like the consistency of a milkshake. The only thing you need to be sure of is that you make the hole in the nipple of the bottle a little bigger than usual so your baby will be able to get to it. Remember, start small. If the baby can't get the milk, you'll know it. It's always easier to make the hole bigger, but once it's too big, you can't make it smaller; you just have to throw it away.



I hope this helps! Best of luck to you. Remember also that babies know how to "train" their mothers; first time mothers are the easiest to train. Once you cave to the baby's demands, you have set a precedent. Haha! But the bottom line is that YOU are the mom and you are in control; no matter what anybody tells you, love your baby and raise your baby the way that is right FOR YOU. Because what works for someone else may not work the same way for you. :o)

Jennifer - posted on 02/05/2010

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If he is 9 months old, are you feeding him cereal before he goes to bed? My girls were off the bottle by 10 months altogether, and not taking a bottle in the middle of the night for feeding at 9 months. The reason is because I fed them about a cup of gerber rice cereal, mixed with formula at about 8pm before I laid them down for the night. That kept their tummies nice and full until about 6am when they'd wake up.

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