26 answers

10 Month Old Still Not Sleeping at Night

My son is a healthy 10 month old. I have literally tried everything to get him to sleep thru the night. He's in the 80% for weight, so he's not underfed and even the pediatrician said he should be sleeping thru the night. He eats dinner about 6p, I give him a rice-ceral snack about 8p, an 8 oz bottle at 8:30 and he is usually up by 1a and again at 4a. We have made his room warmer, cooler, let him 'cry-it-out', tried a rice-cereal bottle, tried putting him down later at night, etc and he will STILL wake up 2-3 times a night and will not settle down until he has a bottle! We have tried letting him cry but I give in after 45 mintues (and waking up of my 3 year old). Any recommendations?? Thanks :)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I read sometimes that waking up can become a habit. Instead of offering a milk bottle in the middle of the night - try to offer a few ounces of water. The article mentioned that he will realize that it is not worth waking up for just water. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Wake him up before you go to bed and night for a feeding. I did this with my children usually between 10 & 11. As soon as I started this I was good to go until 6 am.

1 mom found this helpful

I know its considered a no-no these days but maybe a pacifier would work if he's looking for a bottle. I used pacifiers and they were great.

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Your babies waking at those times are his normal wake pattern times. He is right on target. Every baby goes through this cycle of becoming more awake every 3/4 hours. The trick for your baby is that he is not able to get himself back to sleep. This is not an uncommon problem. He is using the natural endorphins, good feelings, that are released when he drinks his bottle, to settle himself back to sleep. Are you putting him to bed at night after giving him a bottle when he's very drowsy? You must help your baby learn to put himself to sleep at night. Some babies are better at it than others. This is most commonly done by helping him learn to soothe himself by rubbing his little hands on a soft fabric, learning to relax until he becomes drowsy again. If you are putting him down while he is drowsy each night, the first time, this is your first change. He must learn to go to sleep without being half asleep already. Yes, he will do some crying because he doesn't know how to do it, he wants you to make it happen for him. You must help him learn. Rubbing his forward for a little bit or snugging him up in warm blankets or rubbing his back all are helpful. Imagine anything that would make you feel all warm and sleepy and you are on the track for him. But you must move farther and farther out of the picture until he can learn to do it himself. Go from rubbing on him to just coming in and saying something sweet to him, to nothing. This problem is not likely to take care of itself so get ready to do the mom job. He does not need the food/drink in the bottle you are giving him but instead the sucking action. So start by giving him less and less. No he won't like it, but you are teaching him something very importand and he will learn. Sometimes my babies have learned to suck on a cloth diaper to soothe themselves. Whatever makes him feel better but you should try to help him figure out what makes him feel better that he can do himself. This is why some parents to pacifers, because their baby can learn to suck on the pacifier to make themselves feel better. But if your son doesn't use a pacifier it's too late to start now. I've done one baby with and one without. I have one 8 year old who will still rub her little piece of cloth diaper between her fingers at night. She is sound asleep but if she is wrestling around and I give her the diaper she will automatically hold onto it and rub it. It soothes her and she settles back down. Each child is different so experiment with temeratures, textures, sounds... until you find what they like. Maybe he'll enjoy going to sleep with soft music and hearing it when he becomes more awake will soothe him back to sleep.

Good luck!-Nita

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S., my little one started sleeping for longer periods of time through the night when I placed him on his side in his infant positioner. And I would also agree with all the others that suggest putting him to bed earlier rather than later. My 6 month old goes to bed between 6:30 and 7:30 every night and routinely sleeps until 5:30 without a peep. It does sound like the opposite of what would logically make sense, but a well rested baby sleeps better than a overtired one. The bottle at night also sounds more like a habit versus a need now, maybe try a pacifier to wean him off the middle of the night feeding, then wean him from the pacifier by soothing pats if he isn't sleeping through the night by then. That was the progression my son took between 4-6 months. Good luck! No sleep is the hardest thing about being a mom I think!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree, Please Read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth...it's a great, must have book.

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Hi S.,

Debra M's suggestion of the book is EXACTLY what I was going to say! (It may actually be "Healthy Sleep Habits, HAPPY Child") I warn you, it's a very dry read (it'll put YOU to sleep for sure!)...but I refer to it as my other Bible. My husband thought I was nuts when I was putting our first daughter to bed at only a few months old at 6pm. She was sleeping through the night in no time though. Now she's 3 and still great about going to bed (most nights!) before 7. We'll probably have to make it abit later soon...she's growing up! I've had two more babies since then and so far the earlier bedtime is the answer for everyone. My husband even likes to brag about it now!

1 mom found this helpful

My son did the same thing, He slept the first 3 months of his life, and has been awake for the last 4 years. He has just now at 4 yrs started to sleep all the way through the night, Have you taken him to the doctor, because he may be having ear aches and can't tell you he also may have a hard time breathing which is making him wake up, also maybe try a sleep doctor, I wish I would have tried something sooner than I did, bc when I took my son to his pediatric doctor they would not find any thing wrong, but I finally got an appt. with a E.N.T. and found out that he had cronic ear aches, and bc my son was so used to the constant pain he thought it was normal, so maybe you sould take him in just to get checked out.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds so wrong, but I second trying to put him to bed earlier. My 6 year old has always slept a lot. By the time he was supposed to be down to 2 naps a day he still took 4! He started having problems waking 4 times a night and it drove us nuts - nothing seemed to work. Until we read to put him to bed earlier - an overtired child just can't get into restful sleep. So we let him have all the naps he needed AND moved his bed time up by just 30 minutes. Just half an hour did the trick! He went from waking 4 times a night to sleeeping about 10 hours straight.

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I know its considered a no-no these days but maybe a pacifier would work if he's looking for a bottle. I used pacifiers and they were great.

1 mom found this helpful

I found the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child" book to be extremely helpful. Another mom suggested it to me, and I think it could help you, too.

The first thing that popped in my head after reading your request was "Put your son to bed EARLIER". I know it seems counterintuitive, but we found it to work (it was a suggestion from the book). My son is 8 1/2 months old and goes to sleep between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and sleeps through the night.

Another possibility is that he's teething. Have you tried a teething remedy (we use Gentle Naturals)? Occasionally when my son does wake up at night and is fussy, we give him that and he falls right back to sleep.

Good luck - I know it can be hard!

1 mom found this helpful

How many naps is he having during the day? Try cutting one of them out or say if he's sleeping 3 hours wake him up after 2. How late is he sleeping in the morning? You might have to wake him earlier if you want him to sleep all the way through the night.
Lonie

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Some babies are just not ready to sleep all the way through the night until they are a year old or more - sorry :( Mine don't. But you might find some good advice in "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. Also, if you are giving him milk in the middle of the night, you should switch to water. Or, will he take a pacifier instead of a bottle?

1 mom found this helpful

Wake him up before you go to bed and night for a feeding. I did this with my children usually between 10 & 11. As soon as I started this I was good to go until 6 am.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the person that said some babies don't sleep through the night until they are a year old. I too tried everything (except extreme cry it out method) and nothing seemed to work, so I just endured. The day he turned 12 months, he started sleeping through the night. It was weird. Also met another mom the other day that said hers started at 13 months. I guess some babies sleep patterns don't mature for a while. Hang in there and just be patient. Your time will come.

I also think the NO CRY SLEEP SOLUTION by Elizabeth Pantley is a good one. And it does say to put them to bed earlier.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister was having the same problem with her baby. My sons grandma does infact massage classes. She is certified. My sister went to her and she taught her how to massage her baby and he is now 9 months old and sleeps through the night. They saw a difference almost immediately.

If you are interested in her information message me back and I will get it for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Been There with my first who is now 7. At age 3, I started giving her tatoos in the morning if she had left me alone all night. She and my second were the evil tag team at night for almost a year. Cranio Sacral massage therapy worked wonders in her sleeping after the first massage. I wish I had known about it before she was 5! www.integrativepediatrics.com is where we go for CST. You've gotten lots of other great advice too. Just remember to do what feels right in your gut. Some kids cry it out and give up quickly. Other kids cry it out so long and hard that they vomit! Changing sheets at 4am is NOT an improvement. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am not a doctor but it sounds like it has become his "routine." You may just have to grit your teeth and let him cry it out for a couple of days until he knows he can go back to sleep without a bottle. You may want to even try to just soothe him a little bit by rubbing his back while he is in his crib but not give him a bottle or pick him up. It sounds like he has developed a habit of needing a bottle to go back to sleep. Let us know how it works out. It will be hard for a few days to make it thru the crying but that's what it will take until he learns he can fall back asleep without. Eventually he will get tired enough and fall back asleep.
L.

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Check out www.babywhisperer.com I know many mothers who have had success with this. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I also recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". However, every child is different, like everyone has said. My first little boy, had chronic fluid in his ears and thus affected his sleep. A couple of days after his tubes were placed he slept through the night. He was 11 months. He is now 2 1/2 and sleeps great. Our second little boy (he's 9 months) has been sleeping through the night (from 6:30-7:00) for about 2 weeks or so and wakes up usually whenever he's starting to get another tooth. I think the more advice the better. Blessings on yours and your huby's sleep!

1 mom found this helpful

Try feeding him more often during the day so he gets enough calories to sustain him at night. Also, try some protein with his late snack or some avacado (good fats, sustains their system as it doesn't mess with insulin levels). Cereals are carbos and they don't have staying power. I notice with my little one that she wakes up if she hasn't had ample food with good fats and protein in them. She's small so she has to eat alot of little meals instead of a few big ones. Avacado is a life saver and so good for everyone. Hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Is he sleeping with his door closed. I know it sounds silly, but my daughter would be up several times during the night until I let her start sleeping with the door closed. Now she doesn't get up.

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My doctor recommended cold turkey. Let him cry for 2 nights, at most 3 nights. Kids are smart. They learn fast. I tried on my daughter. She only cried for 2 nights. Don't pick him up if he woke up. You can pat him to calm him down, but never pick him up. I hopes it works on your son as well.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

Neither of my boys slept through the night at 10 months - they were both over a year old before they started sleeping through the night. Also, keep in perspective that "sleeping through the night" is medically defined as a 4-5 hour stretch!So, don't feel bad, you're not doing anything wrong, and likely, there's nothing wrong with your baby. Some just take longer to sleep through the night, and actually, kids don't consistently sleep through the night without waking up until they're 4 or 5 years old. Mine also would be wakeful any time they were teething or learning a new skill (like crawling or walking). Could your little one be going through something like that?

I'm not a fan at all of letting them cry it out. Anything that suggests you ignore your child's cries is counterintuitive to the way we were created. I would recommend Elizabeth Pantley's book "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" and Dr. Sears "The Sleep Book". Both were tremendously helpful to us. They will walk you through some things to keep track of and give you tips - like putting them down earlier. We had major sleep issues with our youngest (he'll be 2 in a couple weeks) starting when he was 8 months until he was over a year. We are confident he was having night terrors. We were able to make some changes that really helped him & us too - moved him back into our room in the Pack 'n Play (the first night we moved him back, he slept 5 hours straight which he hadn't done in forever), dressed him in a onesie instead of a footed sleeper, and left his socks off. It took some experimentation, but we found what worked for us. He needed to be near us but needed space too so having him in bed with us didn't work as well.

I say all that to say - don't be afraid to try new things to find what works for your baby and your family. Hang in there - sleep will come!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

I read sometimes that waking up can become a habit. Instead of offering a milk bottle in the middle of the night - try to offer a few ounces of water. The article mentioned that he will realize that it is not worth waking up for just water. Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

wow, i really sympathize with you.....my daughter did not sleep through the night until she was four, i have a 16 yr old son and 12 yr old daughter now, all children are different, when you say you've let him cry it out, i understand what you say when you give in after your three year old wakes up, my daughter would SHRILL scream for hours and my son (5 yrs at the time) would cry too and say, please mommy , im sleepy, make her stop crying, it was awful, they had to share a room at the time, we lived in a really tiny house. If I had to go back and do it again, i would put that child in bed with me and save everyone years of grief and tears, i dont know if she was just an insecure baby/toddler or if it was control she wanted but all the trauma of trying to get her to sleep through the night wasnt worth it

My advice to you would be to do what is best for your family. Clearly, he is not hungry or uncomfortable. He may just not be ready to sleep through the night. Meaning-all his physical needs are being met, but he needs the assurance of you comforting him with a bottle twice a night, all children are different, your pediatrician doesnt know your baby like you do, he is only 10 months old. Giving in after 45 minutes given your frustration and your 3 yr old issue is completely understandable, but a baby with a strong will and a need can sometimes go alot longer than 45 minutes in the crying department. You may have to commit to a couple or three all nighters to really get that to work, but if you cant do it, dont beat yourself up, i know it seems like this stage is going to last forever but trust me, he wont be a baby forever, and the next stage is right behind this one...relax, you will make the right choice for your family and your baby

I wonder if your husband is supportive of you trying to get him to sleep through the night, by supportive i mean, is he rolling his eyes saying "let him cry, he'll be fine" or "do something!" my husband didnt know what to do and always wanted to "give in", that made it so much harder for me and added to my stress

good luck to you, i know what you are going through is hard....more than hard

1 mom found this helpful

I'm going to put in another vote for putting him to bed earlier. At 5 months old my daughter was going to bed at 8:30, then up 2-3 times at night, then up at 5 or 6 to eat, then back asleep again until 7 or 8. I went back to work when she was 4 months old, so my husband and I were both wrecked. We put together a little chart to keep track of when we put her to bed, when she woke up in the night, when we fed her (versus just giving her a binky or rocking her back to sleep, which we always tried first), and when she got up in the morning. Sure enough, strange as it seems, the earlier she went to bed, the more likely she was to sleep through. By 7 months she would sleep from 7 to 5 about 50% of the time; by 9 months, 7 to 7 about 50% of the time (except for an ugly setback when her first tooth came in); and now, at 10 months, she almost always goes from 7pm to 6:30 or 7am without any help from us (she occasionally wakes up, and I'll hear her "talk" to her teddy bear for a few minutes, then she'll put herself back to sleep). But my main advice is to try keeping track of how things go with the various options by writing it down--I thought I knew what was going on by keeping track in my head, but I saw a very different pattern once we started writing it down!

1 mom found this helpful

Been there done that! My 19 month old slept through the night at 3 months and stopped at 5 months. She didn't sleep consistently through the night after that until she was 13 months old. We tried all of the tricks (warmer, colder, more daytime feedings, etc.) I even put the video camera in her room to see if I could capture a noise that was waking her up or see what happened just before she woke up. I never saw anything that explained her wakings.

I read ALL of the books on sleep, which assume that they are not falling asleep on their own for naps or initally at night. In our case, she went to bed happily and on her own initially but would wake up crying in the middle of the night. We tried letting her cry (both by leaving her alone and by going in her room in increasing intervals). The longest we let her go was an hour and a half. The true diehard crying it out folks will tell you that an hour and a half is not long enough. Our pediatrician told us to let her cry, too.

After listening to the pediatrician and a lot of my friends, I decided that it was more tiring to listen to the crying than it was to get her and give her what she wanted.

My main concern (other than being incredibly tired and really wanting/needing sleep) was that I didn't want a 3 or 4 year old kid still waking up at night and coming into my room. The best advice came from someone that I didn't know that well from my older child's preschool. She pointed out that when they are 3 or 4, you can talk to them and explain that they need to go back to bed, and you can walk them back to their room. You don't have to give into their desires at that point. But, that at 10 or 12 months, they are still babies and don't really understand what is going on--not really.

This sounds so obvious, but when you have so many people telling you that you need to let them cry it out and that if you don't, you are spoiling them, it is hard to see it.

I know that I wanted more of a solution for our problem. I just found that there wasn't one for us and that the search for the solution was as tiring as the problem itself.

So, I guess my advice is to ride it out. Do what you need to do to get sleep during the day or during the early night. I would suggest to still let your son cry a little before you go in for the feedings--perhaps 5 or 10 minutes. One of these days, he will decide that he doesn't need it. My daughter was 13 months old when she finally woke up in the middle of the night and cried herself back to sleep. It was a glorious day. She will occassionally wake in the night now. But, we can go in and cuddle her for a minute and tell her to go night-night in her bed. She will cry for a minute or two and then go back to sleep.

Good luck!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I was just logging on to ask about the EXACT same problem. 10 month old daughter is doing the exact same thing!!!! Someone please help. I haven't had more than 3 hours sleep in a row in 10 months. We have, like you, tried everything we can think of to help her sleep. I did find giving her a little Mylicon right before bed helps fro a few hours (she is often gassy when I pick her up) but only for a few hours. More nights than not I end up on the couch sleeping with her just so I can get some sleep and my husband can sleep through the night before work. VERY anxious to hear everyones advice! BEst of luck...I feel your pain! :)

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