20 answers

Not Sleeping Through the Night Anymore... - Sacramento,CA

My twin boys are now almost 7 months old. They were sleeping 7 hours a night before wanting a bottle. I started them on cereal for one meal a day and all was well. When I started them on two solid meals a day they started only sleeping 4 hours a night and wanting a bottle then sleeping another 4 hours. I just recently went to the doctor for their 6 month check up and told her what was happening and she said that the solid food meals have nothing to do with them not sleeping through the night. They are just hungry and I should just feed them the bottle in the night when they want it. She also said that they need to start eating 3 solid meals a day. So, the very next day I started feeding them 3 solid meals and they now they wake up every 2 hours at night wanting to eat. Everyone I have talked to said that when they started feeding their baby solid food they slept better at night. What am I doing wrong? I am not getting any sleep because they don't wake up at the same time. So, as soon as one goes down after eating, the other wakes to eat. I am so tired!! Help! Has anyone else had this problem, and if so, what did you do to make it better? I would love some suggestions from anyone... Thanks a bunch!

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Are you giving them their regular bottles along with their solid food? The food should just be in addition to their regular formula schedule. Just a thought?

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well my son was never happy to willingly sleep through the nights whaat i satarted doing was leaving a bottle of water in the bed with them as they get use to it lessen the amount you put in the bottle and then it will slowly (2 3 weeks) help them sleep through the night and soon you will not have to wake up with them till morning my son is now 17 months and when he comes home from his dads he wakes up in the night and by the 3rd night of being home he is sleeping from 830 to 7 without waking me up so good luck to you i feel your pain

They may be thirsty, rather than hungry at night. The twins still need plenty of fluids even when eating solids, so try increasing the fluids during the day, or even right at bedtime. Evaluate whether that helps with sleep.

Good luck!

Are you giving them their regular bottles along with their solid food? The food should just be in addition to their regular formula schedule. Just a thought?

my twins went through something similar. it was because they were overtired. they'd wake up & want to nurse because it was something that soothed them. we moved bedtime up by 30 minutes & the problem went away. as for having one up then the other, I always put my girls down at the same time for naps/bedtime, etc. when one woke up to eat during the night, I got the other one up & fed them both. have you joined any twin clubs in your area? having 2 can throw off your ability to follow some of the singleton advice. if you're in San Jose, there's Gemini Crickets & Santa Clara County Mother of Twins Club.

You don't say, but are you feeding them the solids at the same time as the bottles, or are you fitting in the food between bottle feedings? If you combine eating times (ie. food, followed imediately by the bottle)you should have better luck with sleeping at night. If you are splitting them, their little tummies will get used to getting somithing every couple of hours, which will then translate into less time between feedings at night as well. At 7 months they should be going about 4hrs-ish between feedings with the day time feedings being combined food and bottles (say 7am bottle, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm bottle), or whatever suits your family. Very soon they should be able to stretch out between daytime feedings and drop to just 4 feedings per day.
This worked very well with my two. I hope it works for you.

Your doc is right, feeding time has nothing to do with sleep. They are just having growth spurts, or they could also be teething too. Very normal. They dont start sleeping well through the night until they weigh about 20 lbs.

Are your twins co-sleeping, do they share the same crib? My twins do...heck they still do, but I noticed around that time, that they were moving around more in their sleep and waking each other up, so we had to get a crib separator, and they went right back to sleeping through the night. We later took it out and now they still sleep fine through the night, unless of course you try to separate them. Laughs. I hope all goes well.

I am having the exact same problem!!! My twin boys are 7 1/2 months old and they are waking up all of the time! The Dr. said to keep them up later ( they were going to bed at 7:30) and to make sure they are full before sleeping. It doesn't seem to matter!!! I am assuming that they are feeling discomfort from beginning to teeth... I just can't figure out what else could be wrong. I hope we can sleep one of these nights soon! Good luck! I'll be thinking of you when I'm up in the night...

This was about the time my son stopped sleeping well too, and it had nothing to do with solids. Maybe they are not getting enough during the day? Solids shouldn't replace breastmilk/formula at this age, but maybe it's different with formula (I didn't use it). I know my son did not eat very much solids, much less three "solid" meals until after a year. And I definitly found no correlation with his sleeping habits. Good luck!

Hi N.,
I think you may be barking up the wrong tree, focusing on the eating issue. I confess, I'm talking from only the experience of my two boys, but with my older boy, he slept through the night, then went back to waking up once a night and stayed there for several months till I made him cry it out. After 4 nights of waking and crying (less each night) he was sleeping through again. With my younger boy, he slept through, started waking up again, but woke up more and more frequently-- started with once a night, then twice, then was acting like a newborn, waking every 2 hours, till I made him cry it out, too. Again, in a few nights we were back to a decent night's sleep for everyone-- so that's my story and advice-- make them cry it out-- I think they like having your company, and that's why they're waking up more.

Not objective studies support the theory "solids help them sleep better at night." Parents who tell you it works for them...if they offer solids as the kids get older they may be sleeping longer as a result of age not the solids. I'm surprise the peditrician recommended three meals by 7 mths as the APA is recommending starting solids at 6 mths. Remember that most of your kids nutrition is from milk (breastmilk, formula or cow's milk) for the first 2 years of their life. They play with solids and eat some but don't get all of their nutrition from solids. Hopefully you are not cutting down their milk for a solids meal. They still need lots of milk and may be making up for the milk decrease during the day by eating more at night. Solids are fun for them and introduce tastes and textures and are important. Each kid is different and yours may not be ready for 3 meals yet. The peditricians often recommend something that your kids may not be ready for...

well it could be that they are teething instead of hungry but at night time i put rice cereal in his bottle and it helped. my son slept through the night for a while starting at 3 months and then all of the sudden he would wake up 4 - 5 hours later and i thinkin it was more his teeth. i wouldnt feed him but hold him and bring him in my bed and he was usually back to sleep in less then 5 min. I have a feeling they are learning that if they cry i get food and when i wake up i get food so they are testing their theories and it is working. I personally dont think every time my son wakes up he should get a bottle. now he is 13 months and sometimes in the morning he doesnt a bottle or any breakfast till after 8:30 am when he is waking up at 7 am

I'm there, too, with a 7-mo who was sleeping through the night for a month until she was 6-mo, then went two two wakings/bottles per night! She's big for her age, and though I had introduced solids the doc said she wasn't getting enough for her size. I just increased from two solid food feeds/day (one cereal, one cereal/veg combo) to four feedings/day (three cereal/fruit or cereal/veg combos and one fruit/veg/cereal alone), and she's gradually doing better. I also give her an "asleep" bottle at 10 when I go to bed (I pick her up and give her a bottle w/o waking her), and if she wakes up wanting a bottle anytime after that, I give her water. The doc said nighttime bottles make her less hungry in the morning, repeating the vicious cycle of not getting enough food during the day, so weaning off of night bottles is a must. Try the water, it's working well!

Good luck!

This happened to my sister in law. What kind of solid food do you give? Turns out my nephew needed more fat. So they put butter and oil in the food, so that the son really got full. (And gave him turkish plain yoghurt.) This is in Sweden. And then he started sleeping through the night.

I think your doctor is correct, the solid meals have nothing to do with how long they sleep. Most likely it is being caused by something else. Perhaps they are starting to teethe? Or maybe one has learned a new trick and is keeping the other one awake as he practices? I think it's common for babies who previously slept well to start "night waking" at this age. You can get more info and answers in the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child".

Good luck! Hope you get some sleep soon.

I'd agree that they are probably just going through a growth spurt. Perhaps you unconsiously cut back on formula because they were eating more solids. The solids they are eating should be in addition to the same amount of formula (or more) than they were drinking before. They will not be getting a "square" meal from solids until they are much older and eating finger foods.

I'd suggest significatnly increasing the amount of calories (formula) that they get during the day. Give them a bottle right after each meal of solids. I bet they will still drink it. Give them two bottles back to back if they will take it. Or just decrease the time between bottles. And give one last bottle right before bed if you aren't already.

Hi there. I am acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in the treatment of children and 1 of the 1st things I tell parents of children under 1 year of age is take them off grains! If these sleeping changes have anything to do with diet, which it sounds like at least in part there is some connection (counter to what your MD said) then this can be a very important step in getting them back to sleeping.
I realize that grains are usually one of the 1st foods given to babies when they start eating solids, and yet I find it to be one of the most problematic ones as well. Unfortunately, just because it's made for kids- doesn't mean it's actually good for them. All foods in our bodies need diegestive enzymes to be able to have the food usable and available to us. Babies bodies don't fully start making the enzymes necessary to break down the complex grains being fed to them until they are about 1 year old. So I would stop the grains - and go to more simple foods for your baby to digest.
Feeding grains too early places a heavy burden on their digestive system (and hence the rest of their body)- leading to other problems- including sleep issues. I hope this helps.

J. Stevens, L.Ac.

This is a silly question, but are you still giving them the same amount of formula/breastmilk during the day? My son has just begun on solids, but he isn't taking enough as yet to make any dent in his calorific intake. I'm offering him the same amount of milk and letting him cut down as he starts feeling more satisfied with the amount of solid food he is taking.

I have read that feeding solids makes no difference to nighttime feeds (ie it doesn't help them sleep longer or more). Good luck, I hope you figure it out!


That is interesting.... It could just be that they are teething or might need a change of nightly routine. My son slept solid about 7 hours until he was about 6 months old. At this time he decided he was going to start waking every 3 hours. I would give him a bottle and he would go back to sleep. This continued for a month when I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore and would hold out giving him a bottle when he woke. Turns out he wasn't hungry he just liked being picked up and soothed back to sleep. The more often I was willing to do it the more frequently he would wake up. Did this a couple nights and then changed his night time routine...gave him a bath, read him a book and made him a 8 oz. bottle instead of his usual 6 oz. Finally I put him down 45 minutes later than I had been, and he started sleeping 10 hours through the night from 9pm to 7 am! He was teething during this time as well which made him a bit more cranky but would give him teething tablets "Hyland's Homeopathic 100% natural" before his final bottle and it did seem to help. Hope this helps a bit. I can't imagine how exhausted you must be with twins. Hang in there!

The only reason I could see solid food having anything to do with waking up in the night is indigestion and/or acid reflux. They could be going through a growth spurt/

Your doctor is wrong in saying that they should be eating three square meals a day at less than seven months. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends waiting until six months to introduce solids and then only introducing one at a time. While they say it is okay to start foods at 4 months and while many babies might be eating three meals a day at less than 7 months, to say a baby should be eating three square meals a day at your twins age is an opinion, not scientific based advice.

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