My 8 1/2 month old son wakes up every 1-2 hours at night for formula...any ideas? *Exhausted Mommy

Robin - posted on 02/02/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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He takes two 1 hour naps through the day and we feed him cereal in the morning, and solid food for lunch and dinner, goes to sleep around 8:30 and wakes up All night long! I am 41 so this is really taken a toll on me..! Any suggestions?

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Alina - posted on 02/02/2013

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When my son was 8.5 months old he was still waking up to eat like that, too. I was an exclusive breastfeeder only because even when I pumped, my son refused to take that bottle! My pediatrician told me I could mix the breast milk with his cereal and he could eat it three times a day. She also recommended solids like the mashed bananas, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes . . . you know. Something that would fill him up. Anyhoo, I thought I would make him overweight if I fed him that much, but the doctor said "if he's hungry, feed him!" Lol it seems like I should have known that already, but I truly was concerned about my son developing poor eating habits. But it worked! And he started sleeping through the night to the point where my breasts would get so full I wished he would wake up to nurse :) Another thing I started doing was my nightly ritual. He would eat, take his bath, nurse, and then I'd cuddle him and read him two to three books. Afterwards I would lay him down in his crib whether he was sleepy or not and clean the house, ending with the vacuum. (That white noise was soothing to him). I ended up cutting his afternoon nap altogether. I would play with him, talk to him, keep up the noise and activity. When my husband came home from work, he would play with our son after dinner. We would wear him out and by the time I was finished with the vacuum, he was out for the night! You really just have to figure out whether he's hungry, or maybe not stimulated enough during the day to make him sleepy. He was such a good sleeper a couple of weeks after doing our routine every night, and then we didn't have to do it anymore because he got used to sleeping all night. One more thing I thought about was how his movements were when I was pregnant with him. He would move often in the morning and then seem to slow down around 3 PM, sleep until 8 PM and be super active at night to the point I would rub my belly, talk to him and tell him to be still and let mommy get some sleep. As he was in the womb, that's how he was afterwards - busy and up all night! Lol had to change that quick! Hope something helps you so you can get some rest!

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Robin - posted on 02/03/2013

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Thank you everybody for the info!! tonight will be a new night for my little one filling his tummy before bed and when he crys tonight I am going to soothe rather than giving him his bottle.
I will let you know the results..maybe soon I will get a little more sleep!
Thanks to all;)

Sarah - posted on 02/02/2013

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Sometimes babies will wake out of habit not hunger. I would say make sure he goes to bed on a full tummy. If he is eating solids 3 times a day and milk about every 3-4 hours during the day then he should be good for the night. So when he wakes at night don't offer the formula....offer a cuddle, a back rub, or other things to soothe him. At first he may cry for a long time as he is used to getting the formula to put him back to sleep....you are changing the routine and the habit and that takes time. But if you stay with it he will start to sleep better at night. Also if you are not already doing so don't go in at the first sound you hear.....sometimes babies will wake a bit at night but if left alone they will put themselves back to sleep.

Elfrieda - posted on 02/02/2013

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If you really stuff him before bed (like a sweet potato nightsnack plus 4 oz of formula in a bottle), then he really shouldn't need to eat more than once. I think you might just have a boy who wakes up, is bored, and wants to eat out of habit and for entertainment. I think going in, telling him that it's not time for him to eat, patting him, and then leaving and letting him cry might be the only way to get him out of this habit. I'd probably start with limiting it to 2 feeds per night, just to get him used to it, and then go to only 1, within a certain time. (like, 3 or 4 am) It will be really rough for a few nights, but in my opinion it's better to have a horrible week than have a not-quite-horrible-but-pretty-bad year.

Cassandra - posted on 02/02/2013

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Babies wake up hungry when they haven't had enough to eat. If he is eating solid food during the day, he is gonna want it at night. Not sure how much milk you give him at night but I usually gave my daugther maybe 8oz of milk and two scoops of oatmeal at night. She usually fell asleep eating it. The milk is working to help him grow and he is running on low by early morning. Give him more to hold in his belly. Check with the Ped first, but it worked for mine. I still give her milk, oatmeal, and 2nd foods mixed in a cup at 22 months old, to ensure a peaceful night.

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