my 1year old still wakes 2-3times a night for a feed tried the whole leave them to cry nothing is working at all

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LeAnn - posted on 03/27/2009

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this is an article i pulled off baby center when my 5 year old was about a year old
Life Story

How I got my baby to sleep through the night
By Janet Siroto

One mom's solution after a year of living sleeplessly

Friday, December 29

To sleep, perchance to dream: I think a famous author wrote something along those lines, but I'm too tired to know for certain. Today marks 15 months since the birth of my firstborn — 15 months since I have slept uninterrupted for more than three hours at a time. I love Milo. Really, I do. It's just that he's pushing me and [my husband] Jason over the edge.

For more than a year now he has twirled around in his crib, dervish-style, every night, occasionally drifting off for a bit while sipping on a bottle...until about 11 p.m., at which point he conks out. He then wakes every two hours in search of a bottle...until 5 a.m., when he pops up wide awake. When this happens our only hope of getting him to nod off again is to wedge him snugly between us in our bed and endure his punching, scratching, and otherwise fitful sleep...until 7 a.m., when nothing on this earth can put him back to sleep — he's just raring to go, ready for another busy, busy day.

Last summer we tried letting him cry it out. As he approached his (and my) second straight hour of hysterical sobbing, I scooped him up and vowed "Never again." Then we tried Ferberizing him — the technique recommended by our pediatrician and so many smiling, well-rested parents. Ferber's method goes something like this: Let your baby cry for a few minutes (or as long as you can stand it), then go in and reassure him with pats and loving whispers that you still exist. Then, before he actually falls asleep, leave the room again and repeat the process, extending the period between visits by a few minutes each time, until he falls asleep by himself (which in our case was never).

We actually tried this method on two separate occasions. Both times Milo proved un-Ferberizable. Whenever we returned to his room for the recommended quick visit, he'd get more and more desperate for a rescue. Seeing him hyperventilating, his face puffy and eyes lost, I decided Ferberizing wasn't for us and resigned myself to the situation. I figured I was part of the special ranks of Martyr Parents who sacrifice sleep, personal grooming, and proper nutrition for the love of their challenging child.

But now I'm pregnant with Baby Number Two, and I'm beginning to wonder what effect these sleepless nights are having on the little person trying to thrive inside me. My thoughts keep returning to a conversation I had at the playground two months ago: "I had to take my son to a sleep specialist," the woman said. "But it was worth it." She scribbled the specialist's name and number on a napkin before she left.

Wheeling Milo home, I snorted, "Sleep specialist! That's got to be the pinnacle of yuppie self-indulgence." But now I'm not so sure.

Thursday, January 4

Just call me self-indulgent. I phone Elizabeth Cecil, the New York City-based certified social worker and therapist who helped my playground buddy. "I can't listen to him sob uncontrollably," I say to her. "If you're going to tell me to leave him in his crib to cry, there's no point in our talking." But she reassures me that there will be no hysterical wailing to tough out. She describes how we'll work closely for about a month, with weekly in-person visits plus check-in phone calls every morning to see how well Milo is responding to the plan we will develop together. It's not exactly cheap, but I don't care. These are desperate times.

Saturday, January 13

10 a.m. We have our first meeting with Elizabeth. Armed with degrees in early childhood, she specializes in child development and parenting issues. She's low key and makes us feel right away that she's on our side. She asks Jason and me to tell her the blow-by-blow story of Milo's sleepless little life to date and the effect it's having on our relationship — or what's left of it. She offers the opinion that Milo is catnapping on the bottle throughout the evening, using those little rests and sips of formula to recharge. "He sounds like one of those very active, advanced children who, when they get tired, may respond by revving up rather than by relaxing," she says. We nod vigorously when she slips in the word advanced. Flattery will get her everywhere.

Then she explains her perspective: Milo needs to figure out that when he's tired he needs to rest — instead of thinking, "Gee, I'm exhausted, I had better play harder." He also needs to learn how to fall asleep on his own and get back to sleep by himself when he rouses in the middle of the night. No bottle, no rocking, no joining us in the big bed. What's more, we have to learn to read and respond to his signals and help him go to sleep when he's tired, rather than letting him reach the point of utter exhaustion — at which point he's so wound up he can't relax enough to sleep.

She's calm and clear through all this, pointing out how developmentally appropriate these skills are for our son, how it will enhance his self-esteem, and how we, as parents, need to help the process along — which, apparently, is not what we've been doing all this time.

Together, we formulate a plan: First, our son is to have dinner at 5:30 p.m. rather than our usual 7 p.m. "Milo seems to need three hours to burn off some of the energy he gets at dinner and wind down for the night," Elizabeth explains. Next, we're to create a bedtime routine to help him settle down. We decide on a bath, a round of goodnights to his army of stuffed animals, then into the crib by 9 p.m. Now the surprise: We're to stay with him, patting him and redirecting him to sleep with soft commands like "Come on, you can do it, it's time to go to sleep. Put your head down," till he drifts off. Momentarily picking him up is okay, but not much else is. Repeat as necessary as he wakes through the night. This sounds comfortable and comforting to us. Elizabeth's sleep-through-the-night prognosis: about a week.

8:30 p.m. "Maybe we shouldn't start this tonight. He does have a stuffy nose," I say.

"Let's just get it over with," Jason replies.

9:45 p.m. Off to a late start, but let the games begin. A quick bath for Milo, night-night to 47 plush friends, and then into his crib — a place where he's never, ever been known to fall asleep on his own.

We dim the lights. I can hear my pulse pounding in my ears. I don't want to do this to him. Milo stands up and protests, but not with sirenlike screams. We lay him down and begin babbling, "There, there. Head down, sweetie. Night-night. You can do it." For whatever reason, he doesn't try to get up again. He stays on his back, bicycling his legs, sticking his feet through the crib slats, and repeatedly rolling over onto Percy, his stuffed tabby cat and best buddy. It's very comforting to be right here with Milo rather than on the other side of a closed door. His fish-out-of-water flopping and whining goes on for a good 25 minutes, but we can deal with it. There's been some crying but no hysterics, just as Elizabeth promised. When we hear heavy, sleepy breaths, we tiptoe out.

11:45 p.m. Up with a few shrill cries. Elizabeth said we could give him some water from a cup, which we do, and he's back asleep in six minutes.

Sunday, January 14

5:12 a.m. Milo wails and we waken. I don't think he's ever slept this long in his life. Maybe Elizabeth is really some kind of good witch. After a few minutes of "there, there," Milo's asleep again.

5:45 a.m. Wasn't he just up? We dangle over his crib in the darkness, mumbling, "Cuddle up, sweetie. It's not morning yet. Still beddy-bye time." He's back asleep in minutes.

5:53 a.m. I repeat, wasn't he just up? This time, he flops around for a good half hour before settling down.

7:22 a.m. Milo's wake-up call. We decide this is as good a time as any to get up. Over the phone, Elizabeth says that Milo did wonderfully. We agree. It was not the horror show we had imagined. The program is to stay in place, with our promise to put him down earlier tonight.

7:15 p.m. Milo conks out, so we slip him into his crib. At 7:45, he's up for 15 minutes. And at 11:15. And 12:10. And 12:30. And 12:50. Jason and I can no longer stand over the crib. We lie splayed like rag dolls on the floor, mumbling, "Attababy, you can do it. Night-night. Time to sleep." I wonder if sneaking him a bottle would work. Milo finally crashes and stays asleep from 1:30 till 6 a.m.

Monday, January 15

We stagger through the day, wondering what we have gotten ourselves into. Before, Milo's nighttime wakings took only a few seconds of sleepwalking to manage: Roll over in bed, reach for water-filled bottle on bedside table, add powdered formula, shake, then stagger three steps into Milo's room and complete the bottle handoff. But these ten-minute sessions of dangling over his crib, patting him and purring at him, are another story.

8:30 p.m. It takes 17 minutes of thrashing and twirling in his crib for Milo to drift off, but there's really no crying. Then he's up at midnight for a minute or so...again at 2 a.m....and 4...and 5...and 6, for maybe ten minutes at a time.

Tuesday, January 16

7:02 a.m. We hear a plaintive wail and get up. My body feels like it's encased in cement. I can't imagine how I'll make it through the day at work. During our morning check-in call, Elizabeth is resolutely optimistic. She explains that during a typical night's sleep, we cycle up and down between light and deep slumber several times. But when Milo hits light sleep, he pops wide awake rather than bridging that phase until he goes back to deep sleep. But he'll learn to do it on his own with our help, she says, and any night now, he'll sleep straight through. What else can she say, though?

8:30 a.m. The same as last night. No doubt this is better than listening to him cry, but it's still killing me.

Wednesday, January 17

7:55 a.m. Elizabeth assures us that everything is going as expected. After 15 months of waking every few hours, it's going to take more than a couple of days for him to learn this sleep-through-the-night thing. After I hang up, Jason asks, "Do you think that's the truth, or is our son a hopeless case and she doesn't know how to tell us?"

6:20 p.m. Right after dinner, Milo hits dreamland. We next hear from him at 2:40 a.m., when he's up for more than an hour, coming sooooo close to falling asleep sooooo many times. Then he's cheerfully up at 7 a.m., waving Percy about like a flag. Jason has a bruise the size of Alaska on his shoulder from where he's been walking, zombielike, into door frames.

Thursday, January 18

8:05 a.m. Elizabeth is sympathetic and relentlessly encouraging. "This is the worst of it," she says, assuring us that Milo's almost got the hang of sleeping through the night. I wonder if she wouldn't mind moving in, then, and seeing him through the rest of the program while we get some sleep.

Friday, January 19

7:55 a.m. Forget the details of Thursday night. Let's just say this is misery. Elizabeth can tell we're on the verge of hysteria. She says he'll be sleeping through the night within a week, but we're not entirely convinced. She admits that this pattern of waking has been a bit more relentless than she anticipated, and so she suggests that we wait five minutes before going to him when he wakes in the night. Aha! Ferber tactics creeping in! I feel betrayed.

"Your presence doesn't seem to be helping him get back to sleep," she explains. "He's working it out on his own. Trust him. Just look at what a great job he's doing falling asleep in the first place." She compliments him as the most flexible 15-month-old she's ever met in that department. Maybe it's true. He just rolls around sweetly in his crib for a few minutes and then cuddles up with Percy. I'm proud of my little guy. Elizabeth's won me back.

9 p.m. Milo's been asleep for half an hour. We're so unaccustomed to having time to ourselves that Jason and I have no idea what we should do. We sit on the couch next to each other and try to remember how to have a conversation.

Saturday, January 20

3 a.m. Milo's up. We wait the prescribed five minutes before draping ourselves over the side of his crib and murmuring at him. Up again at 6, but he gets back to sleep on his own until 7. Could we have weathered the worst of it?

8:20 p.m. Milo goes down for the night and sleeps through until 7:50 a.m. Once, I hear him up and tossing around for a couple of minutes, but he gets himself back to sleep. My child is a genius. Elizabeth thinks he's really caught on.

Sunday, January 21

Milo wails just once or twice during the wee hours — then goes back to sleep all by himself. He snoozes till morning. Dare we hope?

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, January 22-26

Our son is sleeping through the night! What's more, he nods off with, at most, ten seconds of complaint. I think Elizabeth Cecil should be made a saint.

Epilogue: Sunday, May 26

Elizabeth calls to check in, and I am thrilled to be able to report that for the past three months our baby has been going to bed without a peep (okay, every now and then we hear him babbling to Percy before he drifts off) and waking up nine or ten hours later. Sure, I'm still exhausted from chasing him around the playground during the day, but I actually feel as if my brain synapses are reconnecting again after more than a year without sleep.

Five months ago, martyrlike, I would have told you that my son "just isn't a sleeper." Now I know he's as good a sleeper as any kid — he just needed some help learning the ground rules.
________________________________________

Janet Siroto is a writer and editor based in New York City.

Editor's note: Like all Life Stories, this piece represents the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of BabyCenter.

Charlie - posted on 03/27/2009

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My daughter was like that, Instead of food my mom told me to give her water in her bottle. It worked. You should make sure its not gas. Good luck

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Jennie - posted on 03/27/2009

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Try an old but successful remedy. called Slippery Elm food. from any good health food shop.make it up with warm milk . mix a pudding spoonfull into a paste then top up with warm milk and add a little sugar. put into babys bottle and give it just before bedtime, once baby is asleep don't stay up to see if they wake up .all four of my children have done well on it . i still use it sometimes and they are in there 20's.

LeAnn - posted on 03/27/2009

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If your baby isn't eating in the day I would keep feeding him at night. Can't starve the kid! and hope that this phase ends soon.. My 10 month old daughter will only eat what she can eat by herself without any help..I do things like spread babyfood on bread and cut it into little squares for her I also give her steamed veggies and things she can pick up by herself. She has started eating a lot more now that she is feeding herself.

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2009

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great info. Im a little concerned though with removing bottles. My son doesnt eat very much. (real food) and he doesnt drink that much milk during the day, maybe a bottle or two. He really chows down at night drinking 3 - 4 bottles. Its like he has his day reversed. I have tried not feeding him at night and that ends horribly. I have tried getting him to drink more during the day and he will not have it. Im worried that he isnt getting enough nutrients and if I take away what he is getting through night feedings he will really not be getting what he needs... ideas?

LeAnn - posted on 03/27/2009

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If you are doing the family bed (we do) you can still use the same techniques. Instead of giving him a bottle just pat his back and encorage him back to sleep. but I do believe in a bed time ritual and putting them to bed earlier so they aren't too tired to sleep etc..

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Allison:



Quoting Tiffany:







He is teething, I have tried everything from tylenol to vabor rub on his back and feet to teething creams and nothing works. I dont really have the option of letting him cry because I am a single mom and have no help and second I work very early hours and have to get up at 4 am and its not safe for me to be driving 1/2 asleep. Ive read a number of books already from Dr sears and the no cry sleep solution and I am still having this problem.... I dont know what more to do. He is almost one and I have not had actual sleep since he has been born....oy!









 









Those teeth hurt a lot! So it's not unusual for babies to really have a hard time sleeping. I've experienced this, too: if I haven't flossed in an embarassingly long time and then floss before bed, I cannot sleep and my gums are sore and swollen. I can only imagine teething is worse than this.






What about walking? Is he walking already or just about there? Sometimes this can disrupt sleep as well.






Have you tried swaddling him? I know he seems a bit big for this, but I've heard some toddlers really respond to it - you'll need a bigger swaddle than one for a newborn, of course, but maybe a sheet or a blanket that is light would work. Or even a piece of linen or muslin from the fabric store. There's also a swaddle store here in Arizona that did a news story a while back on swaddling toddlers , so maybe they'd have good information for you.






I also believe in the family bed, but is it possible that he's being disturbed by your movements? Or, maybe he needs you closer to him at night? 






Even if you don't get this figured out, he will change his sleep eventually. I know what you're going through - my son woke every 2 hours or more until 20 months, but then started sleeping 6 or . It does happen :-)






Good luck!



 



 



Thank you so much. Yes my son HAS to have me very close. I dont usually move around a lot, my son does though. I think he wakes himself up.  he likes to be held tight and close but not swaddled, I think he feels restricted. And yes he is walking, has been since 8 months so I dont think that is the problem. I hope he does change his pattern because mama needs some rest! thank you again.





 

Allison - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:





He is teething, I have tried everything from tylenol to vabor rub on his back and feet to teething creams and nothing works. I dont really have the option of letting him cry because I am a single mom and have no help and second I work very early hours and have to get up at 4 am and its not safe for me to be driving 1/2 asleep. Ive read a number of books already from Dr sears and the no cry sleep solution and I am still having this problem.... I dont know what more to do. He is almost one and I have not had actual sleep since he has been born....oy!





 





Those teeth hurt a lot! So it's not unusual for babies to really have a hard time sleeping. I've experienced this, too: if I haven't flossed in an embarassingly long time and then floss before bed, I cannot sleep and my gums are sore and swollen. I can only imagine teething is worse than this.



What about walking? Is he walking already or just about there? Sometimes this can disrupt sleep as well.



Have you tried swaddling him? I know he seems a bit big for this, but I've heard some toddlers really respond to it - you'll need a bigger swaddle than one for a newborn, of course, but maybe a sheet or a blanket that is light would work. Or even a piece of linen or muslin from the fabric store. There's also a swaddle store here in Arizona that did a news story a while back on swaddling toddlers , so maybe they'd have good information for you.



I also believe in the family bed, but is it possible that he's being disturbed by your movements? Or, maybe he needs you closer to him at night? 



Even if you don't get this figured out, he will change his sleep eventually. I know what you're going through - my son woke every 2 hours or more until 20 months, but then started sleeping 6 or . It does happen :-)



Good luck!

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:

I am wondering the same thing. But most mamas here have posted replies to breastfeeding. I am formula feeding and my problem is a little worse. My son wakes up every hour or so during the night and I never get any real sleep. Any more tips would be most helpful. thanks.



Hi Tiffany,



My reply to you would be the same as for the Mommy who is breastfeeding.  Good luck and congratulations on being a mom!!!



In love and service,



Dena The Doula

Nikki - posted on 03/27/2009

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Sometimes babies are growing and NEED those extra night feedings, don't be discouraged, it's hard, I know I went through a lot of wake ups in the middle of the night, I'm going through it again with my just turned 1 year old. But you can't NOT feed them. The idea is to keep it quiet, DON'T talk, DON'T turn on the lights, just soothing sounds, you can even just try NOT picking them up and staying in the room till they go to sleep. My daughter is in a toddler bed which makes laying down next to the bed easy and she will go back to sleep all by herself as long as I'm in the room, takes 15-20 min after a bottle or diaper change but it's nicer then crying.And she's learning how to put herself to sleep. I do have to hold her hand sometimes or put her back in bed, but I don't talk and I don't put the lights on, A night light is ok if it's ALWAYS ON. Hope this helps

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2009

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and I forgot, he sleeps with me in my bed, I believe in a family bed. And yes I do have a sound machine to help him sleep too.

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Allison:



Quoting Tiffany:
 I am formula feeding and my problem is a little worse. My son wakes up every hour or so during the night and I never get any real sleep. Any more tips would be most helpful. thanks.





Is he teething? You could try some teething tablets or Ibuprofen before bed and see if that helps. Where is he sleeping? Have you tried a sound machine or fan that makes enough noise to lull him to sleep/back to sleep?






I really recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. There are a lot of little things you can do that can help with sleep and this book goes over a lot of them and helps you figure out what's going on and little steps to correct it.



 



 



He is teething, I have tried everything from tylenol to vabor rub on his back and feet to teething creams and nothing works. I dont really have the option of letting him cry because I am a single mom and have no help and second I work very early hours and have to get up at 4 am and its not safe for me to be driving 1/2 asleep. Ive read a number of books already from Dr sears and the no cry sleep solution and I am still having this problem.... I dont know what more to do. He is almost one and I have not had actual sleep since he has been born....oy!





 

Donna - posted on 03/27/2009

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Is he on the right formula, my son used to be the same day and night  until i swiched to a formula for hungrier babies he is 15 now and can sleep for england.

Allison - posted on 03/27/2009

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Quoting Tiffany:
 I am formula feeding and my problem is a little worse. My son wakes up every hour or so during the night and I never get any real sleep. Any more tips would be most helpful. thanks.


Is he teething? You could try some teething tablets or Ibuprofen before bed and see if that helps. Where is he sleeping? Have you tried a sound machine or fan that makes enough noise to lull him to sleep/back to sleep?



I really recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. There are a lot of little things you can do that can help with sleep and this book goes over a lot of them and helps you figure out what's going on and little steps to correct it.

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2009

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I am wondering the same thing. But most mamas here have posted replies to breastfeeding. I am formula feeding and my problem is a little worse. My son wakes up every hour or so during the night and I never get any real sleep. Any more tips would be most helpful. thanks.

Allison - posted on 03/27/2009

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YOu know, it's very normal for kids to nurse at night, especially if they are getting ready to hit a new developmental milestone or are teething. My kids both have nursed every 2 hours (sometimes every hour!) during most of the second year. Both of them started to sleep all night after the 2 year molars came in (with my son, they were early at 20 months, but my daughters came in right at 2). I honestly think that supporting sleep and meeting their needs for the first few years is very important and will actually help them develop good sleep habits later on. It's really only a drop in the bucket of time in the grand scheme of things - for you and for them. They will sleep all night when they are ready - in the mean time, enjoy the cuddle time you have with them :-)

Donna - posted on 03/27/2009

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Hi Donna my 14 month little un still wakes up every now and then, I find that giving her a little porridge or mash ( something heavy ) before she is due to go to bed sometimes helps as she doesnt wake up hungry during the night. Also try putting her to bed with a couple of pairs of socks, sounds silly I know but she may be waking up because her feet are cold instead of because she is hungry and is taking the bottle because it is being offered. Hope these help.

Dena - posted on 03/27/2009

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A few things that helped me were:



1.  Ask myself if I eat in the middle of night, the answer is no and therefore it's perfectly healthy to teach my children the same thing.  One mommy said she used to tell her child that her boobies had to sleep now so that they can make more milk.



2.  Little by little I would wean my daughter into self soothing.  Initially I would go to her and sit next to her crib rubbing her back, then leave and within one week she was on her own.  Waking in the middle of the night decreased by 90%.  I got a lot of help and guidance using the Ferber Method, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferber_meth...



I wish you good luck and rest assured that my daughter developed both healthy sleeping habbits and eating habbits with this.



In love and service,



Dena The Doula

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