18 answers

1 Year Old, Not Sleeping Through the Night

Hi moms! I have a daughter who is almost one and she is still getting up once, twice or sometimes three times a night. She wants a bottle of soy milk and seems generally hungry/thirsty as she downs 4-6 ounces. I have been considering the possibility that it is habit more than hunger. Has anyone encountered this? What did you do? Maia is very active and big for her age. I don't know if she needs those night time calories or if it is just soothing. Help!

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Try and feed her a bowl of baby cereal before bed. Worked with all 3 of my kids. Fills them us and they have no need to get up hungry.

One of my daughters did the same thing until she was about 11 mos. A new pediatrician I saw gave me advice that worked so well that my daughter was sleeping through the night within one week. I just started watering down what was then formula. 1/4 the first couple of days, then 1/2 and then to just straight water and she stopped waking up because it wasn't worth it I guess. I hope if you try this it works for you! Blessings for a full nights sleep!


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YES...it is a habit!! My husband and I had the same problem with our daughter who also a year at the time. Now she is almost 16 months, but we had the same problem. So we let her cry it out...she woke up, cried, went back to sleep, woke up again that same night, cried, fell back to sleep. Happened a few nights and now ever since she has not woken up at all.

Try it out for a few nights and see how it goes. I usually give my daughter some cereal or snack right before or after bath so I know she has enough food in her. I also give her milk, but she doesn't drink much before bed now anyway.

Hope this helped...and good luck!

Remember kids are smart..they know what they are doing!!

S. :):)

My son did the same thing at that age. The pediatrician said it was a learned habit and that I had to break the habit. I gradually decreased the amount of milk in the bottle and also tried deluting it so it wasn't as appealing to him. We had several rough nights, but the habit was broken.

My baby was 6 months old and still waking for a quick feeding. She also was/is a big girl. The doctor told me that she does not need that extra feeding because she has enough fat stores to get her through the nights. It was becoming more of a habit for her. So I stopped going to her when she would wake. It only took a few nights and she would stop waking. You may find because your daughter is older that it will be a hard habit to break but she is certainly old enough that she doesn't need to eat. Maybe try just giving her water instead as part of the weaning process.

My friend's little boy was doing something similar, so she started giving him water at night instead of milk. He started drinking less and less (because it was habit, not hunger) and then gave it up. You could also make sure she gets a snack and a drink before bed so that she shouldn't need to eat or drink at night. Good luck!

It is for sure a habit. A one year old does not wake up needing more calories because she's hungry. That souldn't be. She does eat people food right. Not baby food????? Even if not, I believe it would be helpful for you and her to stop this habit. It will take some time but I would start now. While having said that, if she continues to wake up, give her only a sip of water and tell her it's night night time and work your way out of her room and if she cries, I am a firm believer and an living proof that crying for about 5-10 minutes is good for their confiedence and independability. Then go back in there and tell her its time for bed and do the same thing. It might take some time but you'll see a difference in the weeks to come. Good luck, it will work out if you stay consistent in whatever you decide

I agree - she's probably doing this out of habit. I also agree that you might want to fill her little belly with as much food as possible before putting her down to sleep.

Try weaning her off of this habit one feeding at a time. Start with the middle feeding if there are three. I'm guessing that she has just never learned how to put herself back to sleep once she wakes up in the middle of the night. Let her cry for about 10 minutes before going to her. Try to talk to her as little as possible and avoid eye contact. Don't pick her up, either. The less interaction with her the better. Help her find her pacifier, teddy bear or whatever other item she uses for comfort. Then quietly leave the room. She may cry, but if you're committed to getting her to sleep through the night, you may have to listen to it for a little while. Once she's mastered this feeding for a week or so, take on the other feedings in the same manner.

If none of this seems to work, decrease her nap time during the day. She may be getting too much sleep at the wrong times. A great resource for help in this area is a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. My cousins swore by it and now I do, too!

Sweet Dreams!

I agree with the other ladies, make sure her tummy is full before you put her to bed and then don't feed her at night. One thing to keep in mind is that we don't burn those calories that we take in at night while we sleep - they sit there. Another thing to look at is your night time routine. We used to have this problem with our youngest daughter and talked to our Dr. about it. One thing he told us is to set the expectation for how she is going to sleep at night when you put her to bed. If she is going to sleep by herself, make sure she falls asleep by herself. If she doesn't get a blanket, don't give it to her and then take it away when she is asleep. That way, when she does wake up she's not surprised to find something missing. He also said that when she does wake up, not to make contact, but to assure her that it is okay, but it is night time and she needs to sleep. It was a rough week or so, but not any rougher than her waking up for 90 minutes talking non-stop. We got her through it, and now if she wakes up it's because she has had a bad dream. If you're concerned about needing the extra calories I would talk to your Dr. and get his/her opinion. My guess would be though that the answer is that they aren't needed. Once you eliminate them, you may see that she drops a little weight, and I wouldn't be concerned about that either - unless it's drastic. Both my girls seemed to drop a couple pounds and even out once they eliminated the need for the night time feeding and became more active in the day time.

Oh B., I know exactly what you are going thru! My son, who is now 13yrs old, did the same thing. He would wake up at least twice a night crying, I would go into his room, soothe him, give him a small bottle. This continued until I took him to his peditrician. My peditrician put it simply: "There is nothing wrong with your son, he does not need the extra feeding, there is nothing medically wrong. He's simply spoiled" Oh. So, I took the doctors advise and let him cry. It took a heartwrenching 4 nights, but he did begin to get the hint that I was not coming in.

I wish I could tell you it will be easy, but unfortunately it is not. You can check on the baby without her seeing you, just don't pick her up.

I hope this helps, good luck.

L. O

My first advice is to HANG IN THERE! I went through the same thing with my first child and at about 2 years he slept all night and now at 9 is my best sleeper ever! I know right now you feel sleep deprived and frustrated and just wanting a full night's sleep. Second, don't feel badly because other people seem to get their kids to sleep all night early on. I am more convinced that ever (after having three) that it really depends on the personality of the kid not so much whether we do or don't do the right things. My last two kids slept much better than my first one. So if you feel badly about it, be encouraged that it is more likely the personality of the child. Third, I would recommend weaning from that feeding at night to a sippy cup with water instead. It will be rough a few nights but then eventually she will just need a little consoling and then hopefully the habit will break and her body will let her sleep longer. I think making the time she wakes up as boring as possible will help her to feel it really isn't worth waking up for anymore. Don't talk to her too much, only offer water, don't pick her up in the middle of the night, etc. These are only ideas of course so I refer back to my first piece of advice: hang in there! I feel for you because I can still remember that sleep deprived frustrated feeling when many other kids seem to sleep all night!

One of my daughters did the same thing until she was about 11 mos. A new pediatrician I saw gave me advice that worked so well that my daughter was sleeping through the night within one week. I just started watering down what was then formula. 1/4 the first couple of days, then 1/2 and then to just straight water and she stopped waking up because it wasn't worth it I guess. I hope if you try this it works for you! Blessings for a full nights sleep!


Hi B.!
I would guess that this is more habit than hunger. My daughters, ages 15, 12 and 5 currently, slept through the night starting at about 8 weeks of age. Make sure Maia eats a good, well balanced, high calorie dinner and maybe some cereal and a bottle at bedtime. Then if she wakes up during the night, just soothe her back to sleep by rocking, patting her back, giving her a pacifier, whatever works besides the bottle. All of this said, if you enjoy the time you spend with her in the middle of the night, do nothing. She's only little once.
Good luck!
your friend- Amy

Obviously each child is different, but my pediatrician advised me that after 4mos MOST children do not NEED to eat during the night (obviously it dependends what time they go to bed/get up, etc). My 4 mos old sleeps through the night generally, and when she wakes up (like last night) I rock her or somethings bring her to bed with me (bad habit, I know). I rarely feed her though.

My guess is that your daughter doesn't really NEED to eat (but can't we all eat during the night, which explains why she gulps down the bottle). I would try rocking her, reading a story, etc. to help her back to sleep. You may also try a bottle or snack closer to bed time if you think she really may be hungry.

Try one of those mobiles that rotate or in-crib screen that moves around or soothing music.
A lot of times I've gone to bed and my stomach growls. But I ignore it so I DON'T become conditioned to being hungry the same time at night. That can lead to being over-weight.
Another thought is if there's a toddler calcium supplement. Calcium helps us sleep (the proverbial glass of warm milk before bed????) and nighttime is the best time for our body to allow our bones rest and absorb calcium.
Go to a health food store and ask. Because getting up all the time will become a habit if it already isn't.

my daughter did the same thing. i started saying "no milk, just water" and after a few nights of just getting water she stopped waking up. she doesnt need the calories : )

I do not have advice, but am encountering the exact same thing with my daughter who will be one at the end of this month. I would love to see any of the advice that you receive!!!!!

My son is 15months old and is just now sleeping the whole night through. It's a habbit more than being hungry. Make sure she's going to bed on a full tummy, try giving her a solid such as yogurt or her fav fruit mixed with baby cereal. Then when she wakes up, pick her up- lay her down- tell her night night. Rub or pat her--sing to her. What ever is soothing. When she gets up again, do not pick her up. Tell her night night and lay her down. I suggest doing this on a weekend when you don't have plans so you can nap a little to catch up on your own sleep. Most babies it takes 2-5 nights to break them of this habbit. Mine learned in ONE night he wasn't going to get a bottle if he woke up but he'd still wake up to see me. I'd go in, lay him down and pat his back.

Also, if she has a favorite toy or stuffed animal or musical box, start implementing that. We have the ocean aquarium in his crib. I started turning it on when we were doing bed so he was used to the music then I'd turn it on when I went in if he got up too. With in a couple days he learned to turn it on in the middle of the night and go back to sleep. Good Luck!!!!

Try and feed her a bowl of baby cereal before bed. Worked with all 3 of my kids. Fills them us and they have no need to get up hungry.

I had this same problem with my daughter. When I took her to the doctor, I was told she did not need to be eating in the middle of the night. I had been giving her a little cearel before bed and she was still waking up. when my doctor found that out she told me to just let the baby cry. And I did not take her advice at first because it was HORRIBLE. I couldn't imagine laying in bed listening to her cry. Finally, I had enough and I did what the doctor told me. The first night she cried for almost two hours and I think I cried even longer than she did. It only took three or four nights and she never woke up in the middle of the night again.

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