March 13, 2007,
J.K. asks from Chicago, IL on March 12, 2007
10 Month Old Waking in the Middle of the Night for a Bottle
Recently my 10 month old daughter has started to get up in the middle of the night. I really have a hard time trying to let her cry it out, she seems to get more upset and I end up giving in after 10 minutes anyway. Usually, my husband will give her a bottle and she goes back to sleep, the entire process only takes about 15 minutes, but is disruptive to my sleep. I am expecting her little brother or sister this summer and want to eliminate her use of the bottle when we switch to regular milk and before the baby is born. Any advice on how to help her sleep through the night again and eliminate the need for the 3 a.m. bottle?
Here is a little information about her and her schedule.
She eats very well throughout the day, both solid foods and formula.
She has recently started walking, and is very active throughout the day.
We have a regular bedtime routine, bath, massage, bottle and bed. Usually starting around 8:30, I don’t have any problems with her going to sleep.
Wakes up around 3:00 a.m. my husband gives her a bottle and she sleeps until 7:30-8:00.
Thanks- I appreciate your help and advice.
D. answers from Chicago on March 13, 2007
She might be teething. Have you tried giving her Motrin before she goes to bed or maybe giving that to her instead of the bottle when she wakes up since Motrin only lasts 8hours. That might be it or she might just be going through a growing phase too but I would defiantly stop the bottle thing because they are creatures of habit and you don't want that with a new one coming on the way.
D.Q. answers from Miami on March 12, 2007
I agree with the other Moms below. I would put water in the bottle and offer her this when she wakes up. If she is like my daughter, she will not like it and will stop waking up for it.
Since she woudl cry when I offered her water, I woudl also start a routine of rubbing her back for a few seconds and singing the ABC song. The ABC song was part of the nighttime ritual so I think it was a "trigger" telling her it was time to sleep.
At one point (before I started singing the ABC song), we used one of those machines that play music for a little while and then turn off automatically after a minute or so. I forget what they are called (I am embarrassed to say). We stopped using those "tools" as I was beginning to fear she was relying on the machine to be able to fall back asleep. That is when I started singing the ABC song.
OH! By the way, I only sange the ABC song once (or twice was the absolute maximum). When I said I would sing it "one more time", I wanted to make sure the baby knew I meant it! It worked, she began happily going to sleep after 1 - 2 times on the ABC song. Hope this helps!
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T.K. answers from Chicago on March 12, 2007
You could try to feed her right before bed or put a little cereal in the last bottle. Congratulations of the new addition.
E.B. answers from Chicago on March 13, 2007
Could your daughter be teething? That is a common reason for waking in the night when a baby normally sleeps. If she's uncomfortable, the bottle and the cuddling probably helps to soothe her. If teething is it, you could try some Tylenol and know the waking is not going to last forever.
As for crying it out, it doesn't have to mean that you walk away and let her cry until she sleeps. The approach I took with my son was to go back after 3 minutes, then 5, then 10... he never cried longer than 12 minutes and it only took about 2 nights for him to stop waking. If 10 minutes is all you can stand, then checking in on your daughter more frequently might be easier on you and ultimately she hopefully won't cry for longer than you are comfortable. You need your sleep too, especially if you're expecting! Crying it out can be really hard at first but it is so worth it.
Finally, I tried the sippy cup of water in the crib trick and that seemed to help if my son was waking only because he was thirsty, so that's worth a try. Good luck!
J.P. answers from Chicago on March 13, 2007
I have a 7 mos old that has just gone through the same thing. Have you noticed if he is tugging at his ear? Myne was and I took him to the doctor and he had an ear infection. Maybe yours might too. Before that he was sleeping through the night. Now I have him on medicine and he is starting to sleep better through the night again.
C. answers from Chicago on March 12, 2007
I put a sippy cup of water within reach for my kids (16 months and almost 3 now) at night. That way if they are genuinely thirsty, they can help themselves to a drink of water. Milk is not good to leave with them because of the bad effects of it staying on the teeth, but water is fine to leave with her. Since she is in the habit now of waking in the night. If she wakes and wants to be held and fed the bottle, you can lessen the amount of the bottle a little each night until she kicks the habit. I agree that the waking in the night is very likely for the cuddle time rather than the bottle. That helped with weaning my second son from the bottle he was SOO attached to before. Hope these ideas help.
P.D. answers from Chicago on March 12, 2007
babies wake at night for many reasons/ the least of which is hunger... they replay in their mind events of the day/ they get startled... taking a bottle is comforting... it is not about the "food" as much as it is comfort... often babies just need comforting and will fall back asleep. if you bring her closer to you you may be able to just reach in and touch her and reassure her without getting fully awake.
P., RLC, IBCLC
Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc
J. answers from Chicago on March 12, 2007
i used to put either a bottle or sippy cup of water to bed with our daughter so it was there when she wanted it