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Sleeping issues
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Erin14526 posted:
My daughter will be 10 months old on Tuesday. She started sleeping through the night on her own when she was about 2 1/2 months old for about 6 hours at a time and gradually got longer. By the time she was 5 months old she was sleeping a good 10-11 hours at least. However, shortly after she turned 6 months old she stopped sleeping through. She began to wake up about 2-3 times per night to eat. (She is still breastfed). She just wakes up, nurses and goes right back to sleep. I have no idea what set it off, but it's been going on 4 months since she's slept through the night and I'm at a loss of what to do. She hasn't been sick, but she is teething. I'm not sure if the teething discomfort is waking her up and then she's realizing she's hungry or what, but it's every single night for almost 4 months straight. I'm not a big fan of the "let them cry it out" method unless she's just fighting going to sleep. When she wakes in the middle of the night, it doesn't seem to be that she wants to be awake, she barely even opens her eyes. But she will not fall back asleep until she nurses. Am I just creating bad habits here by "giving in?" Or is it normal for her to still need to nurse in the middle of the night at this age? As her 1st birthday approaches, I am starting to think about weaning her. She does well with food during the day, but she shows no signs of getting better about sleeping through the night and I'm just wondering to myself how I'm ever going to wean her when she wakes up every night to breastfeed. Sorry for such a long post... any thoughts, suggestions, or even just similar things going on with anyone else? I'm just worried it's something I did wrong that made her stop sleeping through...
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RoniAnn797 responded:
I had to stop breastfeeding early on due to low supply so I can't really relate to the breastfeeding nursing through the night. I do know that sometimes babies get into a routine. Is your DD waking up at the same time(s) every night to nurse? If so, she may very well just wake up because that's what she's used to. She may not really need to eat and maybe soemthing else was waking her up, but the nursing is what helped her fall back to sleep. You might try just rocking her back to sleep without nursing first. DD would wake up some nights because she's teething and I'd give her a cold teething ring to chew on, rock her a little bit, then put her back in her crib and she'd sleep the rest of the night. Maybe you could try that. If that seems to help, then you'll know she's waking up due to teething not so much as hunger. It's also possible that she was going through a growth spurt when she first started not sleeping through the night and then she just got used to nursing in the middle of the night. I'm not a big fan of crying it out either but sometimes I just let DD cry for like 5 minutes and usually she falls asleep before I get back to check on her.

How much food is she eating during the day? She might also just need more solids during the day. My DD is almost 11 months and eats about 1/2 cup oatmeal for breakfast (sometimes daycare mixes in some fruit) and 6-8 ounces of milk, 2 jars of stage 2 fruit/veggie (sometimes with cereal added) for lunch, plus a 6 ounce bottle about an hour before or later (depends on her mood or who is feeding her as to the order), she gets a 6 ounce bottle around 3 (that's her "snack"), then she'll either eat 3 stage 2 jars (dinner/veggie/fruit) or 1 stage 3 meal and 1 stage 2 veggie or fruit for dinner and have an 8 ounce bottle before bed. It sounds like a lot but she's so active during the day her pedi said it was normal for her to need that much intake.

Hopefully some of this might help and hopefully it gets better for you.
 
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jlynnpaine replied to RoniAnn797's response:
Oh I feel your pain! Your situation sounds very much like mine. My DD just turned 11 months and has only been sleeping through the night for the last two weeks or so. She is still breastfed and was waking twice per night to nurse. Right around 6 months she got her first tooth. It took 3 weeks to get it and she would wake and SCREAM bloody murder and would stay awake for about 2 hours and then sleep for 30 minutes and wake up all over again. If I nursed her she settled down a little bit faster and wasn't crying so I was more than willing to do that. Then it took another 3 weeks to get the second tooth. By the end of that I was so exhausted. We used teething tablets, Motrin, gas drops, etc. Nothing worked so I finally let her CIO. It took 10 minutes and she fell asleep. She slept very well for a few weeks only waking once or twice to nurse but then started teething again. Then she got sick when she was 10 months old and got into the habit of nursing all night long again. After she started feeling better I started refusing to nurse her at night. If she woke, I would go in and lay her back down and pat her back until she stopped crying but was not asleep yet. Then I left the room. I would give it 5 minutes and if she was still crying, I'd go back in again and do the same thing. Then I'd give it 10 minutes the next time. I added 5 minutes each time. I did not pick her up. The first two nights it took about 45 minutes for her to fall asleep. The next few nights it took me just one time of going in and laying her down. Also, she figured out very quickly that I would not pick her up and when I would go in, she'd be standing at her crib and when she saw me she would lay herself down so that I could rub her back. I felt really bad because I knew she just was sad and wanted comfort but I knew that it was not doing her any good to let this habit continue. Now she very rarely wakes before 5 am and when she does, I'll hear her fuss for a few minutes and then she'll go back to sleep. A lot of nights she will sleep for 12 hours from 7-7. If she wakes at 5, I go in and nurse her and then she will sleep for another couple of hours. This works very well for me because I can get a couple more hours of sleep or have enough time to get ready in the mornings without her "help." :)
I know you hate CIO. Believe me, I did too. I like this method better than CIO (I think it's called the Ferber method, not that it matters) because then I felt like I was still soothing her. Now if your DD can't seem to settle down with you in there, maybe this wouldn't work for you. Maybe your DH could go in and soothe her since she won't be expecting to get to nurse if he's the one rocking her.
As long as she's getting enough milk during the day and eating enough solids, she doesn't NEED to nurse at night. It's for comfort at that point and there's nothing wrong with that but if you're ready to wean her, then it's time to start cutting back. Good luck and keep us posted. HTH
 
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Erin14526 responded:
Thank you for your replies and advice! We tried many many different things. Different combinations of feeding times and amounts and it didn't seem to make a difference. We realized that she really wasn't hungry in the middle of the night, it has just been for comfort so we did some research and found we just had to try to let her learn to comfort herself. Last Friday we just stuck to our guns, we went in every 5 minutes or so once she woke up. It was very hard not to pick her up and comfort her, but she did put herself to sleep and after the first night she has been much better. She still wakes up here and there but she puts herself back to sleep most of the time, and if we do have to go in, it's just a quick in and out thing. Thank you so much for the support and for being there, we were completely exhausted and now all 3 of us are getting much more sleep at night. Can't believe she's going to be 1 at the end of the month!!!
 
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coltonsmommy0710 responded:
My son is almost 9 months old and he is the same exact way. Even when he was a newborn he would sleep through the night and now he will not no matter what I do. The only advice I have for you is just not to feed her during the night when she wakes up just put her back to sleep and refuse to feed her. Thats what I do. but he still wakes up. I just dont want him to think he can always wake up for a bottle. (I dont breastfeed) hope I help.
 
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tamaricek replied to coltonsmommy0710's response:
Unfortunately, I completely lost my milk after barely breastfeeding for six weeks, which has made me ever so sad...however, immediately after turning to formula my baby girl has startied sleeping the whole night, wake up at 8-9h am to eat and sleeps on till noon, and once again for three hours in the afternoon..but, I would breastfeed her in a minute, if possible, even if it meant less sleep for me!
However, I' not just here to weep, but to pass on my friend's experience who breastfed her baby boy until he was almost two. She told me that the first whole night of sleep she got was when she stopped breastfeeding him...it seems that the two are connected...I do not want to, under any circumstances, advise to stop breastfeeding, but rather to let you know that when your baby is old enough and changes it's eating habits, you'll probably compensate sleeping!
All the best!
 
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cujaybird replied to tamaricek's response:
The same thing happened to us. I would bet she is nursing for comfort more than food. My pedi told us that this was most likely happening because of night time seperation anxiety - she would wake up just because of natural sleep cycles and realize she was alone. So what I would suggest is try to comfort her without nursing to break that habit. She's probably just drinking the milk because its there but what she really wants is the closeness and reassurance. We did do a little bit of CIO, very very mild though and just for a couple minutes at a time. And really I would just let her fuss, if she was all out screaming and really upset I'd comfort her right away. Good luck! At this age she really does not need to eat in the middle of the night at all.


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