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Need Help!!!!17 Month Old Who Doesnt Sleep All Night and Still Breast Feeding

My 17 month old son still does not sleep all night through. He still wakes up every 2 hours and he wants to nurse. Ive tried soothing him back to sleep just doesnt work. I need some help on how to get him to stop nursing and to sleep all night.Ive tried feeding him food to get him full to see if that is the problem.No. And he doesnt like cows milk. Thanks for listening....1 very tired mom..

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Hi C.,
I do not know if you receive the messages when people post their questions as well or if you just read them when you can, but last week I posted almost this same problem. The difference was mine is 19 months and from a bottle.

here is what my help request said just incase : Hi, I have two sons and read everything possible to help with different aspects of my children and I thought I would just ask other mothers this time and see if that helps. My 19 month old drinks more a night then my 13 week old. He barely eats during the day no matter what I try and feed him so I thought he was trying to fill his stomach with liquids to fill him up so he would feel full, but the Dr. said that it was not him trying to compensate for food but a "comfort" instead. He usually goes to bed around 7-7:30 and he drinks 2 bottles 8 oz each of milk to go to sleep, then every few hours he wakes up in the middle of the night and asks for another bottle 8 oz (6 oz of water, 2 oz of juice) then will finish that bottle and go back to sleep. Since I have a 13 week old it is hard to manage this because I am sleeping with him in a queen size bed (we put on the floor so he cant fall out of it) so when he wakes up I can quickly give him a bottle to go back to sleep before he wakes up the baby or gets so awake himself that he does not want to go back to sleep. Because he drinks so much you can image I have to change his diaper about 5 or so times a night, which also wakes him up when he is wet and makes him want another bottle. Help! any suggestions, ideas, what should I do to help him get off the bottles and sleep through the night. We have had sleep issues since day one of his life so this has been a very very long ongoing issue and very hard to deal with. I also want to change anything I need to do make sure my second son does not pick up on the bad habits I am doing for my first son.

A little about me:

A stay at home mother of two boys, 19 months and 13 weeks. Married 2 years. Love being a wife and mother!

I only breast fed for 2 weeks, but I am assuming it is the same as far as the need to feed every few hours in the middle of the night :) I got allot of responses, I can copy and send them if you like but pretty much what they said was "stop feeding him at night" mine was a little worse cause I was feeding him milk and watered down juice. You at least are feeding him good breast milk, so I'm sure that helps that aspect.

but as far as the waking up every few hours to feed him I completely understood.

well I took the plunge and just jumped right in and stopped the bottle all together. My first day was this last friday and I can tell you day 3 was yesterday and I am very very happy with the results.

Does you son eat good during the day? Have you tried soy milk instead of regular cows milk? maybe he would like the taste of that instead of regular milk cause its more like breast milk (I think) Because that was a big issue with me. My son did not eat allot, and once I stopped the bottle, on friday, he ate his first 3 meals in one day! It was amazing. He drank from a sippy cup his drinks during the day with his meals, and when it came to nap time when he usually drank 2 bottles then, I had to lay with him and litterly hold him and sing to him and comfort him while he screamed for 30 minutes, then fell asleep. Then during the night, the big test each day got easier. He cried for 15 min, then woke up his normal every few hours to get a bottle and I had to hold him again and let him cry for a few minutes then back to sleep he went. I expected a month of complete torture and sleepless nights again for all of us, but I was wrong.

wow, and last night was the best night ever. He went to bed at 8:00 and woke up at 2:00am and called my name, I told him go back to sleep and he rolled over till 7:00 this am. No middle of the night feeding, crying, nothing, that was amazing! So we might be on a roll! I hope :)

so it was very much worth a few days of being upset and working through it and hopefully by the end of the week we will be on a good routine and he can sleep through the whole night and I can concentrate on my new little one and get him into a good routine as well :)

I hope that helped. If you wanna chat some more about it send me a message. I am no expert but since I am going through the exact same thing maybe I can help and give some support while you go through it.

Hope all goes well.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.:

My son is now 7 years old. This may not be your style, but I kept him in my bed until he was weaned (at 3 yrs 3 mos). Really, it was soooo easy. I got plenty of sleep and was never tired because there was little to do when he needed to nurse - just line him up and off to sleep again!

Good Luck!

Have you read the book "On Becoming Babywise"? It is the system we used for both our 5 year old and my 6 week old sons. It works amazingly well. It deals with feeding times. I don't know if your son is eating table food, so that might make it hard to use, but it is worth a try. Also, you just might have to start offering water in lieu of milk at night. I think the general idea is that the kids don't prefer it to milk and eventually they stop asking for food in teh middle of the night. Worked with my son when we needed to drop his night feedings.

Good for you for nursing!
I am a breastfeeding mama as well and so proud of it!!
It's the BEST, both for YOU and your child!!
The LLL is an awesome reference and they have great books on nursing at all stages. One is about nursing a toddler.
Keep up the great work!
And go get a massage. You deserve it!
The only other thing i would say real quick is to make sure you nap during the day when he naps. That can really help the sanity!
Have a great day!
(Our episode of Bringing Home Baby aired yesterday....it'll be on again at 10am on the 25th!)

I am also nursing my 10 month old. She nurses 4 times a day between meals. At 4 1/2 months my husband & I decided she needed to learn how she soothe herself & sleep through the night (really 8 hrs in a row at that age). So when she would wake up crying for milk (or more accurately my boob to soothe herself) we had to take the stimulus out of the equation (my milk). That meant my incredibly supportive husband would get up and soothe her. Let me mention this was only after we would let her cry for 10-20 minutes & if her cries were escalating. It took us about 1 1/2 weeks until she got it & for the most part it has been smooth sailing ever since. She now sleeps for 10hrs straight, wakes up about 6am to nurse & is back asleep for 1-2hrs.

Your son should really be sleeping through the night without a bottle of anything. Giving children bottles in bed has been proven to cause tooth decay in babies as young as 6 months. I know it's going to be really hard but you have to be strong & know that it is what's best for YOU & your child. Your son will get a better quality of sleep & be better prepared to learn & grow.

I wish you the best for you & your family.

Hi Candace,

Myt wife and I have been going through similar issues with our 5 month old. And if you want to research some of the answers I got you may want to look under sleep issues.

We are currently using the Sleepy Planet method with mixed results. The nights are going smoothly and we were able to wean our daughter off the breast at night except for a 10pm "dream feed" since she is still too small to go without food at night entirely.

The problem with Sleepy Planet ios that it is hard. It really requires that you be extremely consistant with your baby. Plus, if she is hooked on the breast like our's was then you'll need your husband to check in on the baby and reassure her everything is alright. They have a CD and a book (Sleep Easy solution) I suggest you listen to the CD (or go to the website) to see if it is for you. But definately buy the book and read it before attempting to try it.

Another book and method is Sleep right sleep tight by Kim West.

I hope this helps

You are a blessed woman, C.! I know it is difficult while you are in the midst of this.
Please allow me to add my 'two-cents': Your children will be grown before you realize it! ENJOY this time that you have with them. Sleep-deprivation does not last forever, and you WILL get through this. I miss the time I spent with my children when they were small; the cuddles, their warm breath on my shoulder, the feel of their soft, chubby fingers grasping mine. Treasure the blessings you have been given.

I recommend you send your husband in when he wakes up. There is no breast milk, but he still gets soothed (patting, rocking, but in the dark with NO talking). We did this with my daughter at almost 12mo and she was sleeping through the night in 3 days and has been ever since. I still breast fed until a month later during the day, but she did not wake at night. There is no need for a baby, breast or bottle fed, to wake up for feeding after about 4mo (expecting sleep for 5-6hr) or 9mo (expecting sleep for 8-12 hr). Most consider "sleeping through the night" to be over 8 hr, but for a lot of babies under 9mo it is really only about 5-6. By the way, sending my husband in was so easy, we will do it by 9mo with the next baby. Hope you get some sleep! Oh, another big point is to make sure your son has a way to soothe himself - a special blanket, stuffed animal, etc - and that he goes to bed for naps and at night drowsy but awake and gets himself to sleep without nursing. If you still nurse him to sleep, it will be much harder to get him to sleep through the night. For anyone else reading this, I recommend stopping nursing at nap/bed time by about 6mo and using stories, song, etc as the routine to go to sleep.

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