April 27, 2008,
S.P. asks from Fremont, CA on April 21, 2008
1 Year Old Still Waking to Eat...
My son will be one next week and he is still waking up any time between 1 am and 3 am to drink around 7 ounces of milk. (He goes to be between 9 and 9:30) he drinks around 9 ounces of milk right before going to sleep. Is this normal? Should I be doing something to discourage him from still wanting his milk in the middle of the night? Letting him cry it out is not an option for me. He is on solids and eats A LOT and it seems no matter what I do (even filling him up on cereal before going to sleep) helps. After drinking his 7 ounces he goes right back to sleep.
Any tips or advice or stories of similarities would be so greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
J.C. answers from Sacramento on April 22, 2008
Well, let me start out by saying all kids are different and you didn't mention what kind of bedtime routine you have (ours is bath & brush teeth, pj's, stories/song & bed) but I might also suggest an earlier bedtime. It sounds strange but some kids sleep better and longer if put to sleep earlier say sometime between 7 and 8. You might try moving your bunchkins bedtime up by 15 minute intervals and see what gets you the best result. There are some good books out there - including Elizabeth Pantley "The no-cry sleep solution". We took some tips from Dr. W's 'Healthy Sleep Habits' book and they worked for us. Good luck.
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D.C. answers from San Francisco on April 21, 2008
I'd echo what the other mom's said...my son was also almost 1 year when I finally decided he had to stop waking to eat. I have the same book and do follow it. In the end we reduced his bottle by 1 ounce every 1-2 nights. Then when we got down to 3 ounces we decided we had to let him cry. I know you don't support it, but he cried that one night (for quite a long time) and then never woke in the middle of the night again. Unfortunately once they get into the habit of waking for this time with you but are still too young to reason with there aren't a lot of choices. I think Dr. W's book does go through some no cry options, they just take longer to implement. My son still at almost 3 goes to bed no later than 8p (we try for closer to 7p) and sleeps until almost 8a each morning. I would try the bedtime adjustment first and then go from there. Goodluck, I know how hard it is.
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C.C. answers from Fresno on April 21, 2008
Love's advice is right on. Generally speaking, well before kids hit a year old, there is no nutritional need for them to eat in the middle of the night. (Unless there is a medical problem you have not mentioned, in which case obviously ask your doctor.)
Your son is wanting his bottle because that's what he's used to. Kids this age are creatures of habit and routine. If you can gently re-train him, both you and he will be better off for it. I used BabyWise with my second child and was able to get her to sleep through the night early on (when she was a newborn) with no crying it out... with my older one before I knew about BabyWise, we had to resort to crying it out when she was older. It's a bummer but it worked. =)
Good luck, I hope you can find something that works for you soon!
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L.R. answers from Sacramento on April 21, 2008
I HIGHLY recommend you read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth to understand the biological sleep rhythms in children. He is a pediatrician with extensive experience is sleep and sleep disorders. The most common cause of nightwaking is too late a bedtime per Dr. Weissbluth. My daughter was going to bed between 6-6:30pm at that age and sleeping until 6-7am without waking at night. You would be surprised how much your son would welcome a much earlier bedtime without crying. At his age he needs 11-12 hours of sleep at night. If you are interested in more info on Dr. Weissbluth's methods, email me. I have used his book to understand biological sleep rhythms and get my daughter on a great sleep schedule since she was born.
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K.E. answers from Sacramento on April 24, 2008
My son had trouble sleeping through the night, and ate like crazy when he woke up in the night, but at around six months old, I knew he needed to. Putting cereal in his bottle helped a lot, as did putting him to bed between 7 and 8. I've also found that he sleeps best at night when he has regular naps during the day. Whenever he skips naps, I know I'll be up with him around 1 or 2 in the morning.
The first night that we tried getting him to sleep through the night, my husband let me do it my way: go in there, rock him, sing to him, but don't feed him. He still woke up each night for the next couple of nights. On the third night, my husband practically had to sit on me to keep me from going in there. He cried for about 25 minutes, and I cried right along with him in the next room, but he rarely woke up in the middle of the night from then on. I'm rested, my husband is rested, and our son is much happier and healthier with a solid 11-12 hours of sleep.
If the only thing keeping you from letting him cry it out is thinking that you're not being a good mom if you let him cry that long, let me encourage you to try it anyway. It's good for you, but it is also good for your child. I have a friend who never let her son cry without running to take care of him instantly. Now she has a four year old who is glued to her side 24/7. She can't even leave him in Sunday School for an hour when they come to church, he still sleeps in their bed with them on most nights, and she still runs to his side every time he cries. It is very important for our children to know that we will always be there for them, but I think it is just as important to teach them some independence, even as babies.
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K.M. answers from San Francisco on April 22, 2008
I suggest reading "Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer" chapter on sleeping through the night starting on page 186. My 6 month old was waking up twice a night for 4 oz of formula each time. After following the suggestions found in this book my daughter now sleeps a full 12 hours. It only took 3 nights to break her of her night feedings.
M.E. answers from San Francisco on April 27, 2008
I am also a first time mom. My son is going to be 2 in June and he still wakes up at night and wants a bottle between the same times your child gets up.My son does go to bed earlier between 7:30 and 8pm. I have tried to let me cry it out for a whole weekend but that just doesn't work he cries so bad that he starts to choke himself. (I have tried this many different times start at the time he was 1) He also doesn't use a bottle any other time of the day but in the middle of the night. He will use a cup during the day but if I try to offer him that at night with anything in it it could even be milk he throws it right back at me and just screams and screams. The doctors tell me to just let him cry but I can't do that to him. I just give him the bottle. But what I do do is wipe his teeth with a wet cloth after he drinks the milk(fell right back to sleep) so that he doesn't get cavities. I am so happy to say that he doesn't have any cavities he just had his dental appointment on thursday. If you get any help hints from other moms please pass it along. Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I just wanted you to know you are not alone.
A.V. answers from San Francisco on April 21, 2008
Sounds like he needs to eat more solids with the last bottle before sleeping, not cereal. I've heard people mixing the cereal in the milk before bed instead of feeding it to him. My sister in law did that...it worked for her.