S.V. asks from Anaheim, CA on May 28, 2008
Still Not Sleeping Through the Night at 10 Months!
My wonderfull 10 month old still doesnt sleep through the night and never has. I tried letting him cry it out for a few nights and he went from 9-4, then I would feed him, then he would sleep till 5 or 6 if I was lucky. His naps during the day range from 2-3 naps, 1 is 1.5 hours, 2nd maybe and hour and 3rd 1/2 hour. He eats plenty during the day with nursing in the am, and at 6 pm then before bed. I feed his every time he wakes up becuase that seems to be the only way to get him back to sleep. He started getting new teeth in so all has gone out the window and we are back to waking up at 12, 2, 3:30 and 4:30, sometimes I even have to sleep on the floor with him becuase he wakes up when I put him down. I am exhausted and work full time. Everyone says it gets easier as they get older but I dont know what to do anymore. I was going to try letting him cry it out again to see if it will work, but my husband loves to sleep so he gets frustrated when he crys more then 15 minutes and tells me to just feed him. Help please! How do I get him to go back to sleep with out nursing, or even to go to sleep in the first place without it.
Thanks for any help.
So What Happened?™
Thank you everyone for your advice. As far as answering questions:
He has been eating cereal and babyfood since he was 6 months old. I only breastfeed him in the morning before he goes to daycare, when he comes home, and before bed, as well as during the night. For the past 2 weeks, he has been waking up around 3 am and will not let me put him down. The only think that has kind of worked is by putting him down to sleep on the floor on a blanket, and I have been there next to him. I just don't want this to be a habit for him.
He has been in daycare since he was 3 months old and on a consistant schedule with naps and feedings, although, sometimes he won't take a 2nd nap there. Also, his 3rd nap is usually on the way home from daycare.
He takes bottles sometimes at daycare, he would prefer food. My husband has tried to soothe him at night and he goes nuts, screaming even louder and harder until I come in the room, then he is quiet. So I tend to be the one taking over at night.
I love my son dearly, but he is very strong willed and I think if I try the CIO method again, he will scream for hours, but all I can do is try. I am just worried about the night feedings because I plan to start weening him in July. Any other advise would be helpful.:)
I do have the Oceans Aquarium and took it out of his crib because he would play instead of sleep, and he would bump his head on it. But now that he is trying to walk he has better balance so I will try putting it back in his crib. He is a very active little guy as well so I thought maybe he is trying to practice walking so thats why he is up too, but how long should that last?
Thanks so much for any further advice!
M.S. answers from Los Angeles on May 28, 2008
I nursed both of mine back to sleep until the age of 2. Yea, it's a long time but also such a short time in their lives. After they night weaned at 2, they slept great and still do. I don't have advice for you on how to stop nursing at this age without tears, that is why I went as long as I did. If he sleeps with you, you could try a mattress on your floor. Nurse him to sleep, then go back in to your bed. He may not wake as often if you aren't right next to him. Also, I found with my second, when my husband was patient enough to do so (which wasn't often enough) he was able to pat my sons back and sing to him and get him right to sleep. I know others who's husbands have taken over the night time routine, and had their child falling asleep w/out tears/nursing in about 2 weeks. Of course during times where your son is teething or has a cold, etc.. nursing will comfort him more than anything else. It's tough, I know. You are doing a great job.
Best wishes to you,
J.L. answers from San Diego on May 28, 2008
Hi S., I have given so much advice on this issue, as long as you are wiling to get up he will wake up, STOP feeding him during the night and STOP getting up with him, he knows you will come in there, thats why he's waking up, you have created a habit and a pattern. At 10 months old her should have 3 meals a day, snaks inbetween a spacific bed time and a specific time to get up, at 10 months I was rocking m y babies to sleep, which helped them go into a peaceful sleep, which gave them a peaceful nights rest. In most issues with babies and small children, it is more about the parents, and the lack of parenting and giving babies and children power they are not supossed to have, you are the boss, not your 10 month old. Mother for 24 years. J.
N.J. answers from Los Angeles on May 28, 2008
I feel your pain. My first daughter slept through the night at 4 months, the second at over a year. My second daughter is very active, walked at 10 months, climbs everywhere, ruins all her clothes, etc. I tried EVERYTHING and what finally made a difference was a toy. I bought a Ocean Wonders Aquarium and hooked it to my daughters crib. She would wake up play a little while and eventually fall back asleep.
As for crying it out, if it doesn't work within 15 minutes its not going to work at all.
Another thing, make sure you talk to you pediatrician. There could also be an underlying medical explanation.
Okay, I'm done avoiding cleaning while the kids nap. :)
I hope I was able to help.
E.S. answers from Los Angeles on May 28, 2008
I feel your pain! I couldn't get my son to sleep through the night until he was 9 months old, after we moved and he got his own room, I took away the pacifier, and I stopped feeding him at night. It sounds like your son is naturally a short napper, and you may be hesitant to get rid of the third nap, but I suggest you try giving up the third nap and putting him to bed earlier instead (like between 5 and 6 pm). This worked really well for my son who is also a short napper until he started getting longer naps and didn't need to go to bed as early. My son would often sleep from 6 pm until 7 am! But if I put him down at 7 pm, sometimes he would only sleep until 6. It was strange, but it worked for him.
Besides completely CIO, there are other methods you can try. I found that the Ferber method worked best for us (put down, soothe, when you leave the room, wait 5 minutes, if still crying, go back in and soothe for a couple minutes (without picking up), then leave and wait 10 minutes. Repeat, increasing the time by 5 minutes each time. This way you can still check on your baby and if he needs something (like a diaper change) you'll know. One important thing to note though - during nap times, it's not recommended to let the baby cry for more than a total of an hour with this method. (i.e. if he's still crying at the end of the 20 minute interval, pick him up and try again later). I know your husband doesn't like the crying (my husband was the same way and would get really frustrated), but perhaps having a methodical plan would warm him up to the idea.
Also, is your son used to a bottle at all? If so, and if you know for sure that he no longer needs the nutrition (i.e. he barely eats off of you before falling asleep or just barely nibbles and he's growing fine), you can start substituting your breast for a bottle with a little water (or, if he's willing - mine wasn't sure enough of himself to go at it alone - have your husband go in with the water instead so your son doesn't smell your milk). When I tried both of these methods together, my son got angry at first and cried more, but after a few nights he stopped crying at all and started sleeping for 11 hours straight. Then eventually it increased to 12, and sometimes even 13 (if I put him down early enough).
Susan is right though, if he's teething or sick or going through a growth spurt, there's nothing you can do to prevent him waking at night or having trouble with his naps. All you can do is be consistent with your methods and soothing rituals and when he feels better again, he'll start sleeping better.
S.H. answers from Honolulu on May 28, 2008
Not all babies, sleep through the night by now. MOST babies don't. I think it's a real "myth" that people and books will tell you that a baby "has to " sleep through the night by 6 months of age... it just stresses parents out.
Each baby is different & has their own pattern... many babies don't sleep through the night, and in fact, many children don't sleep through the night until about 2 years old.
Also, there are developmental & cognitive changes & growth spurts which also tweak a baby's slumber and wakes them. This is normal and common. You can't really "avoid" their developmental changes/sleep changes.....sleep patterns are NOT static...they ebb and flow and change as a baby changes. BUT...you can get a baby into a routine....meaning consistency in sleep/nap times and pre-sleep routines to get them in the patterns of good sleep habits....so that down the road as they get older....they will be on a good pattern of sleep times and habits.
If his sleep is being interrupted because of teething...well, you can't "make" him sleep and not wake up...teething can be painful for them. Many Moms sleep with their child in the middle of the night because this helps them to go back to sleep AND it's tiring waking up in the middle of the night. But, well, this is how it is. I did that too, with both of my children and still do, if that is what they need. I have not slept through the night myself, for the past 6 years. LOL. Oh well.
Personally, I do not like the CIO method. I preferred to get up and comfort or feed my babies if that is what they needed. Especially during a growth spurt...they get hungrier, and more often and need to feed more frequently. So that is what I did even if it meant waking up in the middle of the night. Basically, the CIO method works because crying and crying tires a baby out...and then they get so tired from crying that they pass out. And, they "realize" Mommy is not going to come and help them, so they basically give up, then stop crying, and fall asleep. It's behavioral modification. Not, natural patterning.
I know it's tiring waking up. But well, they will not be babies for very long, they grow up so fast and soon will not need you at night. Enjoy this moment, as it is just their developmental phases. They don't do it on purpose.
For teething, the "Hyland's teething tabs" or drops are great. It's homeopathic. Or try Tylenol, per your Doctor's dosage recommendation.
My son was a voracious feeder, even at night. So with him, I woke up and nursed him if that is what he needed.
ALSO though, I did not get up for every little noise or cry that he made.... I listened carefully, and I could tell by the pitch of his cry, or the kind of crying that he did....whether or not I had to get up to help him. Often times, he could go back to sleep himself... if you just give them a moment. Also, a baby will often make noises during sleep, or sort of "wake" momentarily....it is a transitional waking as they segue into more deeper REM sleep. So, you MAY not have to swoop in and get them/pick them up for every little noise they make. See if they can self-soothe first.
Also, you may try giving him a "transitional object" to sleep with. My boy, since he was 6 months old, started to get attached to a stuffed cow... and we found it helped him to self-soothe and fall asleep. It's very good that he could "problem solve" and found that this cow helped him and he finds it soothing. It's his best "friend" and he likes to carry it everywhere, which is fine. It's normal.
Every baby is different. "Sleeping through the night", for a baby, means sleeping at least 6 hours straight. SO, with that in mind, I think your baby does that quite often. Remember that "sleeping through the night" is not by "Adult" standards...it's per a baby's age. Your baby also seems to nap fine. That is great! But now with his teething, it wakes him. That is just a phase. It's normal and it is just for now. Just KEEP up with his sleep routine and sleep times....keep it the same, since consistency is important. That's what I did and as the phase passes, they will go back to their more normal sleep patterns...even if it is not always what we want. Each baby has their own pattern. Yes, as they get older...they tend to sleep for longer stretches...generally. But, sometimes that will not happen until they are much older. My firstborn did not do that until she was about 2 years old. My second born, now 21 months old....is now sleeping most of the night without waking. BUT, he sometimes still wakes up once a night....and he can mostly put himself back to sleep by now.
Sorry for rambling. Just some thoughts, I'm trying to type fast as I need to get my son to nap now! Good luck and all the best,
H.P. answers from Los Angeles on May 28, 2008
Hi S. :D
so my first question is are you exclusively breastfeeding? if so maybe the simplest solution is that it is time to feed him some cereal. i know that with my daughter (almost 6 months), i started her on cereal for lunch and dinner, with bottles all of the rest. as a result she has put herself on an amazing schedule. bedtime for her is 9ish and she promptly wakes at 7. the cereal seems to stay with her longer. also him getting some new teeth, i think is the bodies sign of being ready, digestion wise.
as for his teething, i have found that the homeopathic teething drops work wonders! they have a calming effect which help take the edge off, so that they are able to fall asleep.
good luck to you...hope this helps :D
K.T. answers from Los Angeles on May 28, 2008
I recommend Dr. Ferber's book. I read it and successfully got both of my daughter's to sleep through the night by night 3-4. It's hard emotionally, but it works!! The book also talks about eliminating night feedings. My now 2 year old daughter goes to bed everynight without a fuss!! She has been for well over a year now! It's an easy, quick book to read, too!