Give Me Some Support Please! Possible Tough Night Coming!

Updated on February 08, 2012
L.M. asks from Hicksville, NY
20 answers

My nearly 10 month old has slept through the night (11 hours) since 3 months old. Several weeks ago, he started night waking once or twice every night usually around 12 pm and 3 am. And nursing at those times heartily. Then again for the day at 7 am. Now he is nursing during the day as usual, and is eating 3 meals a day. At first I thought the night nursing was for comfort (he had a cold). Then I thought maybe it was teething pain. Now I am realizing it has become a habit. I am exhausted. I have 3 kids to care for, a husband working crazy hours (accountant in tax season) and also he is studying for the CPA exam. I work from home part time during the day while my son naps.

So needless to say, I selfishly, need my son to sleep! Since he has slept through for a long time, I know he can.
I cannot do CIO - just not for me. But I am fairly sure the night nursing has to stop. I have talked with DH about it and tonight if (when) the baby wakes up, he is going to go into his room and just rub his back or sing him a lullaby and get him back to sleep. Since I am the source of food, I'm not going to go into the room. This may not be as easy as it sounds, and I know I will be stressing in bed. I hate hearing the baby cry.

So I guess I am asking for support and any advice is welcome, if you think my plan is off. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks moms! So 2 nights so far - he has woken up each night, hubby has been in there with him, picks him up, comforts him, back in bed. All together, maybe 40 minutes each night.

I did increase his food before bed, and changed to do rice cereal instead of just cut up food from whatever everyone else is eating, so this is more filling. I am going to try nursing him twice before bed, or possibly supplementing a little bit with a bottle at that time, since dinner time is hectic with three kids, and hubby not always home on time...


3RD NIGHT - He slept through :-) :-) Woke up happy happy at 7 am! Yay! And me too, I am so happy! In such a better mood!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I BF my daughter at 1:00 am and 5:00 am from Day 1 until she was 13 months old (and worked full-time). His need to eat at night sounds completely normal to me. He sounds hungry and is probably growing like crazy at 10 months. Can you go to bed earlier to get more sleep?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

(crosses fingers) I think you have a GREAT plan in place! Make dad do the comforting for tonight & for a few more nights if needed!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Eating heartily isn't habit or comfort... it's EITHER

- A growth spurt
- Too much table food (which has a tiny fraction of the nutrition that breastmilk or formula has. Comparatively... Steak, potatoes, grilled veggies compared to 1 cracker, 1 grape, and 1 mini lunchable slice of meat. )

Um... or BOTH.

He's only 9 months old... it's SUPER easy to forget when you have older kids (aka just break out food for all of them)... but are you making sure he's stuffed full of milk BEFORE table food? NOT substituting any of his nursing sessions for table food?

If you're only doing table food as a dessert after he's been stuffed full of milk first, then be prepared to buy a whole new set of clothes for him... because he's about to get HUGE. If you've been forgetting lately... nix the table food and cram in the massive calorie and nutrient load from the milk for awhile.

ALTERNATIVELY.... Hire a night time babysitter (or do an overnight) and send along milk or formula for him so you can catch up on your sleep for a few nights.

I personally went round the deep end right at about the same age and threw a tanturm. It's AMAZING what a single night of good sleep will do for you. But you won't get a good night of sleep (or a good day the next) if your baby is starving and waking, and waking, and waking... because they're hungry and not being fed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You need to stop feeding him at night. Not only is it a habit, but it stimulates his bowels and actually keeps him awake. I used the CIO method with my first at 7 months and she cried for 4 hours straight 4 nights in a row and was done. With my second I used the Ferber method. You let him cry 5 minutes the first night and go in to soothe him for a minute, but don't feed him and leave, then come back after 10 more minutes of crying, soothe, leave, 15 minutes, etc add 5 minutes each crying period. Eventually he will stop and be exhausted. Next night, let him cry 10 minutes the first time, then 15, then 20, 25, etc. Third night start with 15 minutes, then 20, then 25, etc. This method takes a lot longer, but after 2 weeks my daughter slept through the night. You can google the book "how to solve you child's sleep problems" by Dr. Ferber - our library had it but I bought my own copy. Also has other sleep issue solutions, like night terrors, sleep walking, sleeping in bed versus crib, etc. Good reference book to have.
But if I were to do it again, I would do the CIO since it is MUCH faster and my 14 year old does not remember a thing about it.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

No, he cannot just go to sleep and sleep because you want your rest. It is time for him to have a huge growth spurt, he is storing up the calories for it. He needs to eat more now, especially since you feed him so many during the day. His body is becoming accustomed to having lots and when he is sleeping he is using them all up.

He needs more nutrition and not so much food. He needs to nurse first each and every time to get him the nutrients he needs.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Sounds like a good plan. But... he could be hungry. Babies have growth spurts and sometimes they go on eating binges. If your husband cannot comfort him, he could try feeding him (do you pump? or since he is on solids, could offer him some cereal or other food). Sleeping 11 hours at a stretch is WAY longer than most babies sleep. Sleeping 7 hours (midnight to 7 am) is much more typical. If your plan is not working, you could also try just feeding at midnight. I did not put DS to bed for the night until we went to bed. His last feeding was generally 11:30 - midnight until he was about a year. Best of luck. I did not do CIO - at that age what other method of communicating their NEEDS do babies have? Um, none.

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answers from Washington DC on


I feel your pain. I remember when my boys stopped sleeping the night's called a growth spurt. He will need more calories to grow.

Try giving him a bowl of oatmeal or rice before bed. If he wakes up - nurse him. He NEEDS the nutrition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Pump when you hear him cry - your body is used to the timing and you will leak most likely. Other than that stay strong, stick to the plan and know that it is for the best. I respect your stance on CIO but remember a touch of crying is not CIO. My doc suggested for this issue (we hit it too) to give a paci OR a bottle with an oz of water to take away the "treat" part of waking - it helped us thru but our son was NEVER a good sleeper, we always had problems in that department.

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answers from Orlando on

Hi L.,
Coming late for this post so just wondering what happened, how was your night?
I also agree with other and to give him more solids at night with a child friendly fiber, which keeps us full longer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't do that. I think he's hungry most likely from a growth spurt.
I would get up & nurse him. Sorry I know that's not what you want to
hear but it will just be a short lived phase.
He's most likely famished.
Hang in there & feed him. On those days, rest whenever you can!
It will pass soon enough!!!
Sending you my best thoughts & wishes!!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Yup, time to get your husband involved. This is what we did. The baby doesn't know what time it is, but he sure smells you, and when you walk in he thinks "cha-ching!"

Remember, you're the boss! :-D

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answers from Hartford on

It sounds to me like he's having a big growth spurt and therefore he NEEDS those during-the-night feedings. He's not doing it for comfort nor habit. You can try offering an extra feeding or two during the day so that he gets his calories and fat in required per 24 hours, but you know how quickly growth spurts burn it all off and use it up for growing.

This is seriously just part of motherhood and parenting.

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answers from New York on

Hoping you night goes well! I have a 23 mo old who wakes frequently at night & cries- but goes back to sleep on her own. Sometimes she isn't even awake. When she was BF she took me on a merry chase till I waited 10 mins one night and she went back to sleep. He might be teething, going thru a milestone ( standing walking etc) or a growth spurt. Or you might have inadvertently taught him to cry till you come for him. I agree with the previous moma who said letting him cry is not the CIO method. By letting him cry you also let him learn how to self soothe ( I needed to do this with my first born) but in the end you are his moma And you know best why he is crying.....good luck and just know we have all be in a similar situation!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

This is why cosleeping is SO helpful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I think you are right. It became a habit and if he is eating adequately during the day, he should be fine at night. If he is really hungry, (or you think he might be) consider offering him something just before teethbrushing/bedtime. Send hubby and YOU put in earplugs.

One thing you MIGHT consider, however, is gas pain. My son, who was breastfed until 6 months and who slept all night from 3 months on, would wake up during the middle of the night sometimes (7-11 months old?) with gas bubbles. Remember, that they are trying new foods during the day, and their tummies have to learn to process/digest those new and more difficult to digest foods. It can make them gassy. My son would wake up screeching... I would pick him up from the crib, grab the simethicone (mylicon?) drops and twist around until I could squeeze a dropper full into his mouth. He would suck it down like a hungry bird, and then put his head on my shoulder and be back asleep in like, 3 minutes, at some point during this process, he often passed gas, loudly. He wasn't hungry---his stomach HURT from gas pains. Just a thought that it might be a contributory factor...
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Can you give him a big bowl of oatmeal or something similar before bed? If he has a very full belly, he may sleep through. I hope you find something that works. I would also make sure that he room is a nice warm temp and that he is freshly bathed and changed. The bath should tire him out after a big feeding :)

I also want to add, i did a big meal before bed. I have 4 children (16,15,10 and 7) and all have never been overweight. I know many mom's assume this method causes obesity :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I BF my last two until 12 months and never fed them at night from the time they were very young. They slept through the night. I wonder if he's not getting enough to eat/drink before bedtime. Maybe a little snack before he goes to bed would help him sleep. Also about that age they do start to wake some at night, depending on the child, and can be gotten back to sleep if you keep it dark and just pat them or something without much talking. Or at least try it. I didn't wean my kids in the daytime though until older than your child so you can still BF in the day fine if you cut out the night time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi L.-

I feel your pain!

My oldest son (now 22) was born in germany. From the german hospital, IF I was sleeping...(recovering from emergency c section) they would have a bottle of 'kinder tea' that they would give him...

I was concerned about it...BUT subsequently found out it was fennel tea...and had some soothing as well as 'gastric' benefits.

Once we were stateside...and he was several months older...when I KNEW he was then hubby would give him some 'kinder tea'...and eventually he realized THAT is what a bottle contained...and we had a good sleeper. Never any nipple confusion either...

I was lucky that then hubby went to germany on business frequently...and always had the tea on hand for next kiddos...

Not sure if there is an 'american' equivalent now...there surely was not then...

Hang in there!!

Sending peaceful...SLEEPING thoughts your way!!

Best Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

at 12 months I stopped night nursing. I was prepared to do a modified CIO, but was pleasantly surprised that we got her back down just by rocking her for 5 min. What can it hurt? If she cries in a way that you feel you need to give into the feeding, no harm no fowl. Try again in a few weeks in case your timing was bad (growth spurt, teething). There was a time or two after our initial success of night weaning, that dad had to walk baby around the house for half hour or an hour. I wore earplugs and made up my mind not to feel guilty about it. I had had interrupted sleep for 12 months, I knew husband was having a hard time, but I had had 365 hard nights. It was his turn, and I was going to sleep, not fret. I suggest you do the same. Hope you are as pleasantly surprised by how easy it was as we were.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

So are you ready to wean him? Because that is what is going to happen if you don't respond when he cries, but I'm wondering if you fully realize this. It sounds like you think you can cut him off during the night and it won't start the weaning process during the days.

If you are truly ready to be done with breastfeeding once and for all, and are ready to start feeding him solids and a bottle, then have hubby offer him a pacifier at night when he starts crying. Have hubby give it to him. If he's hungry, hubby can give him a bottle.

But I think if you still bf during the day but expect to sleep through the night, you're going to have to do cio.

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