When will she sleep through the night?

Jennifer - posted on 12/26/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My daughter just turned one year on the 17th! We are so proud of her, how she's grown and all she's learning, but there's one thing that I wish would change -- she wakes up every two to three hours to nurse at night! She actually has little to no interest in nursing during the day, but I nurse her before bed, and then it's like clockwork all night long... every three hours... sometimes more frequently if she's having a particularly rough teething episode. I am going nuts -- it's like having a newborn at night again!

The kicker is that, from the time she turned 2 months to around 6 months, she slept through the night without a whimper. I would often wake her in the morning because I was so engorged! Now I don't know how to get her to sleep more than a couple of hours. I have tried just rocking her instead of nursing her when she wakes, but she screams when I put her back in her crib unless she is nursed.

She does eat quite a bit before bed... she loves food and usually stuffs herself at dinner, so I don't think it's a hunger issue. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Marcy - posted on 01/19/2011

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Looks like you have a night feeder who with a clock that has turned around. First off, let me tell you that I nursed my son until he was 4. At one years old getting up every 2-3 hours is normal...I know, I know its exhausting. I am not sure as to exactly what your daytime routine but perhaps you need to try and mimic her night routine a little bit. I used to have to take my son in to a dark room during the day as he was easily distracted and didn't want to nurse. The other thing you can do is right before you go to bed (I'm assuming you don't go to bed the same time as your daighter) is to actually nurse her while she is sleeping....dream feed...Bascially fill her tank up before you go to bed so you can get some solid rest. it will pass I promise....our son didn't sleep through the night until he was close to 2 years old.....now that he is 4 I look back on those days and I wonder how I did it.....but she will get it.....

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Jennifer - posted on 01/19/2011

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Thanks Marcy -- just hearing that this is normal is helpful! Most of my friends (who formula-fed) tell me that I'm spoiling her and that I should let her cry because it's not helping her to learn to self-soothe if she's reliant on the breast. I am firmly against the cry-it-out strategy... I would rather go through life sleep-deprived than risk leaving my daughter to feel abandoned. I think you have a GREAT suggestion with the sleep-feeding thing! I am definitely going to try that!! Clara usually goes to bed at 8:00 sharp, and I don't usually go to sleep until 10:30, and then it's wake, wake, wake to feed beginning after 11:30. So perhaps I could fill her tank at 10:30 and then sleep until her next waking time... at least that would help get me get more sleep... thanks so much for that great idea!!!

Thank you for sharing that you breastfed for such a wonderful duration.... I am encouraged by your story! I am not sure when we are going to wean... I kind of thought she was self-weaning because she lost interest in the day-feeding... so I've just been nursing on-demand and giving her whole milk from a sippy during the day. I am so thankful for other breastfeeding moms who are supporting me in nursing past a year... it amazes me how generally unaccepted that is in our society. People give me the most awful looks when I tell them I'm still nursing her... as if I'm causing her to be emotionally delayed by continuing to nurse and not "breaking her of the nasty habit." I don't know... I've kind of just stopped offering information to people unless they really pry. But it's sad how we feel the need to defend our decision to breastfeed past a year when it's the most natural thing we can do for our children!

Anyway, thank you SO MUCH again for your insight... you have such a handsome boy there! Blessings to you and your family!

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