Sleeping Thru the Night - Chesapeake,VA

Updated on March 17, 2008
A.T. asks from Chesapeake, VA
51 answers

Hi everyone, I have a 9 month old daughter who will only sleep thru the night maybe 2 or 3 nights of the week. I have triied things from giving her a bath to feeding her right before bed. When she wakes in the middle of the night sometimes I can't get her back to sleep without another bottle. The dr at her appt yesterday says i need to stop giving her a bottle when she wakes. She says my daughter is supposed to cry herself back to sleep but if I let her do that she starts screaming uncontrollably like she's had a bad dream or something. Please, if any of you have any ideas of what to do to get her to just sleep thru the night, HELP!!

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So What Happened?

Hey everyone!! She sleeps thru the night 99% of the time now! Thanks to all of you who helped with advice =) It was hard work but WELL worth it!

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T.M.

answers from Dover on

It's frustrating isn't it!?!?! I just got my 11 month old to sleep through the night because of a great book that a friend gave to me. My other two children were good sleepers, but this one is different all together. The books is Sleep Sense by Dana Obleman. I highly suggest it and touches upon everything involving sleep. I was so desprate I read the book in two days!!! Maybe it will help you:)

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S.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Have you tried a pacifier? Sometimes babies, just need to suckle to help them sleep, not necessarily eat. Also, she might be having night terrors. If not, then she's just screaming to get a response from you - transitions are hard for babies, too. Try letting her cry. My son went up to 40 mins to 1 hr at first, but now he goes to sleep within 2-5 mins and he doesn't usually cry, either b/c he now knows it's time to sleep.

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

You should put cereal in the bottle that you give her right before bed. It makes it thicker and sticks to the tummy longer. My daughter has slept through the night ever since.

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T.O.

answers from Washington DC on

In April the College Park chapter of Mocha Moms is teaming up with the Laurel Moms Club to bring nationally renowned speaker Kim West author of “GOOD NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy” with co-author Joanne Kenen . Published by CDS Books in January 2005
West has spoken to numerous parenting groups across the country about the importance of children’s sleep and how to gently teach your child to go to sleep and sleep through the night.
Kim West received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland .Visit her website at www.sleeplady.com
This event will take place on April 10, 2008 at 7pm at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 13611 Laurel Bowie Rd. (Rte 197), Laurel, MD 20707. The ticket price is $10.00 in advance and $15.00 at the door. For more information about this event please email [email protected]____.com

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M.F.

answers from Washington DC on

I couldn't disagree with your doctor more, though I'm sure she means well. If all your child needs to get back to sleep is a bottle, give her one. She's obviously hungry. Or scared. Or needs your attention for ten minutes.

A nine month old cannot manipulate you. If she cries, it is for a reason. And there are no "bad" reasons at this age.

At eight months I tried everything with my daugher, the Ferber method, etc, etc, ad infinitum. She could cry so hard in five minutes that it made her throw up (this was after checking that she was dry, not in danger, etc). My pediatrician said not to cater to this. But within a couple of days she had figured out to MAKE herself throw-up. I kid you not. Hands in her mouth, making herself gag...and this after only a few minutes. She was serious about getting my attention, about hating her crib, about wanting food -- and I'm actually thankful that she had the capacity to discern how to get the attention she needed. I don't think most kids would figure that out. But that doesn't mean they are any less desperate for you to help them.

If your baby cries that hard in the night it means they need you. (or they need something -- your comfort, food, a dry diaper, a lost paci, a stuffed animal that went over the rail...)

I'd advise against playing with the child in the middle of the night, or turning on lights, etc, but if she needs food, she needs food! Nursing should never take more than ten minutes on each breast, and bottle feeding can be even quicker. Also, a nine-month-old should be able to feed herself a bottle, so what does that take, 2 minutes to prepare? Not a big deal for you. But a VERY big deal for your child. Babies can't communicate well yet, YOU are her only advocate. Trust your own instincts here.

This might be a phase for her, or it might not. When she's older you can reason with her and try other methods, but she's still a baby -- let her know that what she "says" matters. Even babies need to know that they can affect the world around them. It might make all the difference between children who believe in their power/abilities and those who don't. Just my two cents.

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I have an 8 month old that is not sleeping through the ngiht either. She slept great through 2-3 months old, and it's been downhill ever since. I don't believe in letting her cio, and I'm ok if she wakes once or twice a night for the next few months. Most of my friends' babies under age 1, even those who cio, wake 1 or 2x times a night at least once a week. I think if you want to try to discourage night waking, the best thing to do would be to slowly eliminate the bottle. Say you nromally give 6 oz, switch to 4 for a week, then 2 for another week. Eventually when your baby wakes, you an just comfort her in the crib and she'll learn to settle herself back down.

My daughter truly seems hungry at night, and I don't feel comfortable cutting those feedings yet! No one knows your daughter as well as you, so if you don't want to let her cio, don't do it!

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, I have to agree with the last response. I do daycare and have known moms that have let their children cry it out, and others who just couldn't. I am a mom of 3 and just could not let my babies cry it out either. Of my 3 my first awoke and wanted more to drink, and at the age of 6 still gets up atleast once to get water from the sink. My middle child has always slept thru the night, and now my 3rd is 2 and awakes once for a drink. As adults, sometimes we get dry and thirsty also.

My advice is to try running a humidifier in the room at night so your baby does not get dry. Also, try feeding her with in an hour to a half hour of bed time. Maybe she needs more calories to stay full. Also, when she awakes, cut out the milk and try giving her water. If she is just thirsty, maybe that will help. I know it is frustrating now, but you will miss it when it is gone.

Good Luck

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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes she will scream, but let her. My son cried almost all night when he was 9 months old, but it was either him or me. I was truly exhausted from all the late nights. After 10 days he was sleeping through the night. Try reading Babywise - The Farber Method. It really works, but you must be strong. Think about what the Supernanny would do if she came to your home. Stacie A.

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M.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.!
Believe it or not you'll live through this period. I worked night work & my husband day. When my son would wake up in the middle of the night my husband used to take him to our bed where they would both fall back to sleep. When I stopped the night work it was hard to get my son to stay in his crib. I would literally lay on the floor with my hand on him to try to get him to sleep. But what finally worked is I got a hot water bottle (I think it's just the warmth/comfort) wrapped it in a receiving blanket and it worked. The crying thing never worked for us - my now 19 year old could cry for hours.
Good luck.

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K.N.

answers from Washington DC on

A.,

I think it is fine to give your daughter a bottle. I have a 15 month old. And with teething etc. He didn't really "sleep through the night" until 12 months. He still wakes and will cry a bit, but it usually stops in 5 mins...My limit is 15 mins, I let him cry 15 mins and if he is still crying than I go in. I remember having some trouble at 8-10 months...If it is any help, this too shall pass. Best of Luck! And congratulations on your baby!!

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L.W.

answers from Norfolk on

We also battled with that with our son at 81/2 months ... sleeping thru the night probably half of the week and of course the Dr advised against a midnight bottle. However, that didn't work for us. What ended up helping (sleeping thru the night 16 days straight and counting)was to let him cry for a while before I went in there (20' max but the clock would start over if he settled himself then woke up again). If I did go in I would give him a smaller bottle (maybe only 4oz instead of 6oz). It took several days of using a bottle, then a day or two of him crying then falling back to sleep within 20' but eventually it worked!! AND I did it while my husband was out to sea. Now I have to admit that a few times the crying turned to screaming and broke my heart but I sat there with my timer and held strong knowing that at the end of 20' I could comfort him if he needed it!! GOOD LUCK!!!

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S.W.

answers from Richmond on

I can totally relate to the frustration of a waking baby! I slowly weened my baby of his nightly bottle by gradually decreasing the amount he got until finally he was only getting one or two oz. Then we were able to go cold turkey frmo the bottle. Of course he was still waking up so we decided to buy Ferber's book "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems." It explains in great detail why it is so important to teach your child to sleep through the night and reassures you that your baby doesn't NEED to eat and doesn't NEED you to get to sleep, he/she just is USED to it. So we broke our son of a habit he was used to by letting him "cry it out" BUT - you go in and check on them as often as you want, gradually spacing out the amount of time in between checks. And you don't pick them up when you go in, even if they are wailing. There were a few nights that were horrible and I was crying too - but it doesn't last long and after about 2 weeks our son was sleeping through the night. I swear it works. It is contraversial, but I read a lot about it and all the research shows that it does not harm your baby physically or phychologically to let them cry until they learn to put themselves to sleep with out you. Plus - you will be a better Mommy when you are more rested! It is totally worth it I think!
Good Luck.

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L.L.

answers from Dover on

I have a 15 month old who has been nursed to sleep since birth (I know, BIG "no-no"!) but she has always slept all night until recently. Out of desparation, after a few nights, we decided to let her cry it out and turned the monitor off. Of course, we can still hear her screaming from across the house! We know she's not hungry, wet, hurt, etc...she just wants to be out of bed. We just covered our ears with our pillows and let her scream. The first night, she howled for almost one hour! Each night since then, she's cried for less and less time. Even though yours is only 9 months old, she'll figure out how to soothe herself back to sleep in no time!
FYI, we tried bringing our son (who's now 4) in our bed when he woke in the night, starting when he was 1, and he still comes to our bed halfway through the night - every night! Don't make our mistake!

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My now 3 y/o woke me up every night for over a year, so believe me when I tell you I have been there. Finally, my pediatrician told me it was my choice, but if I wanted to sleep through the night, ever, it would take 3 nights of crying and it would be done. It took 3 nights, and she became a much better sleeper than her older sister. She was tired, too, but habits form fast.
I suggest checking out several sleep books from the library and seeing which method fits you best. I could not let her cry without acknowledging her, but I would not stay in the room or pick her up. You must stop feeding her (it took me longer to stop), because it really is a habit she needs to break, so you both can get your sleep.
Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Richmond on

My son jsut started sleeping through the night at about 20 months old (if your 9 month old is sleeping through the night 2 or 3 times per week count yourself lucky). He has always had a problem sleeping through the night. Every baby is different. If you don't feel comfortable letting your baby 'cry it out,' then don't. No one knows your baby better than you. I resorted to co-sleeping and don't regret it. They are only this little once. Lack of sleep is hard--very hard--hard on you, hard on your marriage, and especially hard if you are at home with a baby all day (or working out of the home) when you are tired. If you are not comfortable with your pediatrician's advice, get a new one (pediatrician, that is). There are plenty of doctors out there who will support you if what you want to do is respond to your baby's needs and not ignore her cries. I nursed my son and nursed him in the middle of the night until he was about 18 months old. All of the books (and my mother in law) say not to. So what? If having a bottle comforts her and helps her back to sleep then so be it. And if she really is hungry because of a growth spurt or jsut because she needs night nourishment then imagine how you would feel if you awoke hungry or had to go to the bathroom but were helpless to do anything for yourself? It's scary for them and we are their number one source of comfort. You might try using powdered formula and just keep a measured amount and a bottle of mixing water ready at your bedside so if she does wake you can just shake up a bottle, give it to her and never even turn on a light other than a nightlight. You are doing a great job. It is hard for everyone, but you will get through it and it does get better. She will sleep through the night when she is ready. Most importantly, do what feels right for you, not your pediatrician. They aren't gods and they don't know the babies under their care as well as the parents do. Hang in there and good luck.

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K.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I have 2 grown girls and one infant right now. From my experience every child is different when it comes to night time behavior. There is a way to compromise between your Dr.'s suggestion and some of the other responses of feeding her when she wakes.

Reasons why children wake in the middle of the night is a mystery. May I recommend before feeding her, change her diaper, pick her up and rock her to see if that is all she needed was to be held for a moment. If that doesn't work then she may be hungry. Keep in mind growth spurts as well.

I believe your Dr. may be concerned about creating a habit of middle of the night feedings. But like I said...every child is different in what they need. You can definitely consider yourself lucky though. There are some kids that don't sleep through the night until past one year. Keep your head up and don't give up hope, this too shall pass :O)

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B.C.

answers from Cumberland on

I had the same problem with my son that went on for 18 months. My Dr stated that it was a habit that needed to be broke. It took me almost 3 weeks but I did it gradually. I was nursing and went to bottle but would only give him the bottle once a night. I put him back to sleep by rocking or singing the rest of the night. Then the next week I took away the bottle and by this time he was only getting up once a night. Which was great for me because he got up a lot. Now he is sleeping until 5 or 6 every morning. I also found that oatmeal before bed sticks with children more than anything else. That also can help. Other than that good luck. My husband is also military and is gone 4-5 days a week. I know it is hard but it can be very rewarding.

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M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hello,
Your daughter may just be hungry. My daughter woke up at least once until she was a year and then it was less after that. She was hungry. We got so we would give her oatmeal in the middle of the night instead of milk. I do not believe that babies have to cry it out. My daughter has been sleeping through the night for a year now, she is 2 1/2. I have never had to let her cry it out, she also gets screaming upset when she cries. You need to ask yourself how badly you want her to sleep through the night, is it really disruptive to you? If not then don't listen to outside pressure and help your young daughter learn to sleep with kindness. She will learn how eventually if you keep your interludes quick and all business. Have the bottle ready so that she is not awake for long. This worked for us. Good Luck.
Megan
(mom of 2 1/2 yr old girl and 5 month old boy)

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F.W.

answers from Washington DC on

If she sleeps through some nights, then she is ready to sleep through all nights -- so: When she cries and wakes up, you may pick her up, rock her, give her a drink of cold water in a bottle, change her diaper... BUT: do NOT turn on any lights, do NOT give her a bottle of formula, and do NOT speak: do all of that in total silence, in the dark (I presume she has a dim night light on in her room to see by)... You are then taking care of her needs for reassurance, thirst-quenching, diaper-changing, so you can feel like a good Mom; but the stimulation is low, and waking up becomes less rewarding, she will eventually give it up as a waste of time... Worked for me, oh, so many years ago! Good luck.

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B.C.

answers from Richmond on

A.,
It is great that your baby is sleeping all night some nights during the week - consider yourself very fortunate. ALL babies are different and you need to give her time and try to be very strict in the meantime with a schedule. Are you feeding her solid food yet? Sometimes giving some solids at dinner time can help relieve the hunger - perhaps some pureed vegetables or rice cereal. My son is 4 and still does not sleep all night and we had strict schedules when he was a baby, he ate well, etc. - it's just the way that he sleeps. My daughter is 2 and has slept all night since she was 11 months old - most nights she sleeps 11 hours straight AND naps 2 hours during the day. Try to listen to her ques and if it's nothing medical, get her on a strict schedule and monitor how much she sleeps - she may not be sleeping enough. Good luck - every child is so different so it may be a while before you figure it out.

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A.Z.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A. - We went through the same thing with our son and got the same recommendation from our pediatrician (to let him cry it out). We ultimately ended up following his advice, mostly because neither of us could function in a sleep-deprived state. Needless to say, it only took two nights for our son to realize that he was not going to get any more night time feedings, and he started sleeping all through the night. It was painful for us to hear him cry those two nights, but it worked! If you can stick it out, the pain of hearing your daughter cry will be short lived, and you'll be thankful for the restful night's sleep. Good luck.

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E.D.

answers from Richmond on

A., My doctor has said stop giving the "bottle" to my kids too, but they are now 16 months and 3 1/2 years. I give my 3 year old water in her sippy cup and she is fine. Her brother I give rice milk because he can't have regular milk. He still doesn't sleep through the night at times, especially when he's teething and sick. Just be patient and you do what feel is right. If you don't want to give a bottle, try a pacifier. If she won't take that, then I'd say give her a bottle, but start limiting how much you give her. You can also water it down a little so that eventually, she is transitioned to drinking water at night if she wants a bottle. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

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L.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Sorry you are having these troubles. YOu are not alone. We had this issue with my son at 6 and 8 months. HAve you tried the Feber method. It is heartwrenching to let your babies cry and scream but we did through some of the toughest nights, found that Feber method worked for us in both instances. The first time we did it, the first night my son didn't fall asleep for almost an hour, the second night 35 minutes, the third night 10 minutes...then he got it. We had to do it again at 8 months because he had been sick and was in the habit of us coming in an checking in on him. It only too one night!

I think this site best describes the method. http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/parenting_tips/sleep/index... hope you have success as well! I know how hard it is especially on lack of sleep for the whole family. Hang in there and remember that you are doing what is right for your daughter - teaching her to fall asleep on her own. Soon you'll all be feeling so much better!

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A.F.

answers from Norfolk on

i know it is soo hard to hear your baby crying expecially when it is that horrible realy upset cry,but you gotta do it girl. that is the absolute only way you will get her to sleep throught the night. there is no tricks up our sleeves or majic potions. it is just about good old fashioned crying that is useually harder on us moms than it is them. she will be fine and you can do it and before you know it this will al be over!!

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Letting my son cry it out seemed like the hardest thing I had ever done on Night 1... Night 2 wasn't as hard and then by night 4 it was kind of easy. By 9 months, she definitely doesn't need a bottle in the night but has probably gotten very accustomed to you coming in. She probably needs to learn how to put herself back to sleep. I made the mistake of rocking mine to sleep and then he couldn't put himself back when he woke up in the night. I used the "Ferber method" which is from the book "Solve your Child's Sleep problems" by Richard Ferber. It was the BEST thing I have ever done... both my kids are excellent sleepers and it is SO nice to be able to put my little one in his crib and he puts himself to sleep... it takes so much less time and now I don't worry about having someone else have to deal with bedtime or naptime if I need a break. Good luck and stay strong... the first 2 nights might be rough but it gets so much better.

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F.E.

answers from Norfolk on

well , i can suggest more activity during the day or in the evening . what used to work for me was lots of evening walks in the mall , just untill she gets used to her new bed times . i hope this will help , oh and a warm bath after that. let me know if it works . F.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I have actually had the same issue with my daughter recently too. She went from sleeping during the night to waking up - I attributed it to a growth spurt - she would still be restless until I gave her a bottle and then would go back to sleep. I give her a bath with J&J bedtime and do the massage gel as well, then would give her a bottle and she would go to sleep a little while later. She recently has started sleeping through the night again (w/n the past few days). I would think that if your child is hungry at night then letting her scream isnt going to solve the problem. If she is going through a growth spurt or cutting teeth this may help for the time being. Hope this helps!

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C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I was right there with you. My Mom said the same thing as your doctor. I couldn't believer her, so I bought a $12 book on children's sleep problems. The book said the same thing... basically tough it out. It's not good for you or your child to not get a full night's sleep.

So, my husband and I are standing out in the hallway (hidden) as our angel cries about 30 minutes the first night, 25 minutes the second night, etc. Within a week, everyone is sleeping through the night.

Of course, she is a teenager now and I can't get her up in the morning. Smile!

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C.H.

answers from Washington DC on

My 10 month old is doing the same thing. I have two other children and never had this issue, so I was happy to read the other advice. He was waking up at 3 am every morning and drinking 8 ounces. I figure if he's that hungry, I'm going to feed him. About two weeks ago he started just drinking and oz. or two. So, this week we've been giving him a water bottle if he wakes up and can't get himself back to sleep. The first couple of nights he wasn't happy, but we laid him down and he went back to sleep. He's now been sleeping through the night for 3 nights, so I'm hoping we broke the "habbit." Wish us luck and good luck to you! :)

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A.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.

I'm a mother of 3 grown children with 14 yrs apart for my last 2. By the time I raised my daughter my idea of raising children changed 100%. My experience with raising my daughter (now 25) was not to let her cry. She cried for a reason, try-
ing to communicate. In lieu of a bottle have you tried comforting her(rubbing her back, holding her hand, talking softly etc)does she have a night light? If you have to give her a bottle try a little warm water instead of milk. Do you use a pacifier? Good Luck A. O

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B.N.

answers from Roanoke on

My daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 11 months old. She was very colicky, so she already cried a lot and I couldn't bring myself to let her 'cry it out'. I'm happy to say that she is now 21 months and still sleeps through the night. I was nursing my daughter and about the time she was 10 months decided she didn't really need her middle of the night feedings (I made sure she was getting the recommended amounts during the day). I then rocked her back to sleep at night, instead of feeding her - hoping she would decide it wasn't worth getting up in the middle of the night if she didn't get fed. There were definitely nights when we were up for quite a while trying to get her back to sleep - keep it dark, quiet, and boring. Within 1-2 weeks of this approach, she started sleeping through the night.
I also later eliminated her last nursing at night, to try to get her to fall asleep in her crib on her own, without having to be rocked or nursed to fall asleep. I used the "fade-away" approach to getting her to fall asleep on her own. The one thing I found was most important, was to stick to your plan and give it a chance to work (I read it takes up to two weeks for a baby to learn a new change in their schedule - i.e. sleeping through the night or falling asleep on their own). A great book is the The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears.

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R.A.

answers from Richmond on

My daughter is 10 months and has started doing that also. It is so hard to just sit there and let them cry. Not to mention we get no more sleep than if we had gone and held her. ANyway, my husband read on some website that you should let them cry for about 10 mins if they don't put themselves back to sleep to go in and sooth them. Rub their tummy, back, hands whatever but do not take them out of the crib. It has worked pretty well so far. THank God!! Good luck,
R. A

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G.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A., I know what you are talking about, my nephew who is now 25 years old, was exactly like that, so my sister, after trying a lot of different things, methods, etc, found her own solution to the waking baby problem. This was when he was around 7 to 8 montns and she finally concluded that the baby needed the extra milk bottle and , therefore, had to make it availble to him but without her waking up. He cried because that was his only way to comunicate his need. My sister would leave a milk bottle wrapped up in a diaper in a corner of his crib. She shwed him it (the milk bottle) would be there waiting for him when he woke up, and the baby got the message, would wake up, reach for his milk bottle, drink it by himself, and go to sleep without waking anyone. Now you might have issues wondering if it is safe for the baby to drink the milk bottle alone, etc, but most milk bottle are pretty safe and choke-proof and there are in the market little divices that you put inside to make them even more safe. At 9 months the baby has full control on holding the milk bottle.
The other thing you might try, is giving the baby the last milk bottle, just before bed time, mixed with some baby cereal( like gerber rice or other) two table spoons in the milk botle,shake well and make sure the hole in the nipple is bigger(slightly) so that the "thicker milk" can flow easily.

GOOD LUCK and I do hope something works
G.

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S.C.

answers from Norfolk on

It is easy for the Dr. to say let her cry it out. He doesn't live with her or love her the way you do. Some babies need to eat more than others and at 9mo. she may be too busy during the day absorbing the world around her to eat her fill. I would say if she needs a bottle at night give it to her. You might want to read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. She gives some great ideas on how to get your baby to sleep for longer periods of time and also gives reailsitic expectations for sleep. I would also suggest reading Dr. Sears Nighttime Parenting book and/or going to his website. askdr.sears.com

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S.W.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi A.,

This is a tough issue, I have 2 kids, a 6 year old and a 20 month old. I wouldn't listen to your doctor on this one, if she's waking and hungry then feed her! You can check out www.askdrsears.com for some great advice, also some moms I know love kellymom.com and mothering.com is a wonderful resource also. Both my kiddos nursed at night until about age 2, just part of the program. Good luck to you!!
S.

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W.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I think many new moms somehow get the impression that by a certain age all babies are sleeping through the night (except theirs!) It is not at all unusual for a nine month old not to be sleeping through the night. My two year old and my four year old still periodically wake up at night. Our four year old especially was a hard case. He too wanted a bottle every time he awoke because that's initially what you do when an infant wakes up -- you feed them (either nursing or bottle). So it can be hard to undo that conditioning. I'm not a fan of crying it out either. There are many good books about promoting good sleep habits for children. Try "The No-Cry Sleep Solution". Meanwhile, try making the amount of liquid in the bottle less and less as time goes by. Try adding a little more water in it each time. Do this very gradually. Eventually, your baby will be getting a very small bottle of water. She may decide that that's not worth waking up for. She may just mature out of waking up so much no matter what you do. Or she may not sleep through the night for awhile, no matter how inconvenient it may be for you. All babies are different, so yours may just not be a sleeper. My firstborn wasn't. Good Luck!

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W.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.,
I'm a mother of 3...though it seems to be new to me all over again since my youngest was 12 when I had my latest..9 month Madison.

I have the same problem with her not sleeping thru the night. I have tried a sippy cup of water... just enough to sooth her and give her a pacifier and lay her back down. Sometimes it takes rocking her while holding her close. And I don't care what any doctor says, they don't have to try to keep them quiet for the rest of the family that has to go to work/school the next morning..if your baby is hungry, feed your baby.... I try to only do water at night so it doesn't ruin her teeth, but sometimes it doesn't work... a little cereal in formula helps to sooth them too. We have also started using the baby bath with lavendar in it to help too before bed.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck.
W.- mother of 2 boys-15 & 12 and a 9 month old girl.

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N.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I feel your pain on this one. My son got up every 2 hrs for 7 months. Finally my doctor told me to let him cry. Because they just comfort feed and that is why they are up. So I sucked it up and did it. He screamed for about 2 wks. Once he realized I wasn't coming until the morning he stopped and started sleeping through the night. But be prepared because its hard to do but worth it in the end. Good Luck.

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A.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 10 month old and had the same problem. We still do occasionally. My advice would be to not give the bottle at night. Actually don't pick her up. I will let my son cry for a few minutes 5-10 and if he doesn't stop I'll go in and rub his back for a minute or so. I don't pick him up though since he wants comfort and I want him to put himself back to sleep. Then I leave and he of course cries. He then falls back to sleep in 5-10 minutes usually. On rare occasions it goes on for 30-40 minutes. It does sound like the worst cry in the world like he's hurt. Since she's doing it most nights she's capable of sleeping through the night. just be strong and mentally prepared to let her cry. My husband travels a lot so I understand him not being home. You can do this and feel like your baby is getting the best with a full night of sleep.
Good luck!!!

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D.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Oh what a dilemma. It's the hardest thing in the world, to let your baby cry. I had that with my first son. There was a time he would wake in the middle of the night and cry. What did we do, well, the first thing I tried was watering down the bottle, then I tried not picking him up and just rubbing his back and putting the pacifier back in his mouth. Eventually we did just let him cry and it seemed that it wasn't long before he finally did fall back to sleep.

During this time, we'd let him cry for 5 minutes, then we'd go get him, the next time we'd wait 10 minutes. Each night we'd wait a little longer I forget how long it took, but eventually he slept.

My son also had colic, there is nothing worse than a child crying during the day for no good reason! I used to make sure he was fed, had a clean diaper, and then I'd put him in his bed and I would go to the other side of the house and scream.

I always thought I was this horrible mother when a friend of mine told me she did the same thing when her son did that.

It's a matter of how much can you take? As long as you don't take it out on the baby. They are little, they don't know what's wrong. They don't know how to stop. They are precious little people who just don't know.

It's your job to do the best you know how and love her like no other.

The fact that you are looking for answers here tells me you're a good mom, never forget that. Do what feels right to you.

Good luck.

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My daughter did the same thing. It is REALLY hard to let them cry themselves back to sleep. I never could do it. I would sit and cry as hard as she did. But, you do have to wean them off the bottle of milk at night. Rots their teeth. Is she getting enough food during the day? Is she really hungry at night? Or does she just want comfort? Try giving her a bottle of warm water once or twice during the day, as part of your regular routine. Then switch her bottle to warm water at night. It's not bad for her teeth, and she could still have the comfort of a warm bottle at night. Or maybe her naps are too long during the day. Could you keep her up longer during the day, so the night sleeping would last longer?

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B.G.

answers from Charlottesville on

Hi A.,

I have a 9 month old little boy who is doing the exact same thing. I also have a 3 yr old daughter so I've been through this once before. I've found that the best thing to do is (this might not sound very helpful but...) trust yourself. If you feel that you need to feed your daughter, then do it. My son will fall back to sleep if we don't feed him, but will wake up over and over again getting more and more agitated. He ends up screaming like crazy. This just kind of popped up again -- he had started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago but stopped out of the blue (growth spurt?). So we feed him and he goes right back to sleep happy as a clam. We're hoping it's just a phase. If your daughter can get to sleep on her own at other times (like when she first goes to bed), then I think your fine. It's definitely hard waking up in the night, but it will eventually end. Good luck! --B.

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D.T.

answers from Washington DC on

Hey A.!!

I have a 6 month old who is sleeping most nights but sometimes she wakes up and as soon as she starts nursing goes back to sleep. What I started doing was at her evening feeding before going to bed, I put some rice cereal in her bottle (about 4 scoops) and when she finishes give her a warm bath. It kind of relaxes her and then we'll go rock to sleep or sometimes just lay in the bed until she goes to sleep. I noticed those nights she usually sleeps longer. Sometimes if she wakes up, I rub her tummy until she goes back to sleep. At times she'll want her paci or just the closeness. She sleeps with her leg over mine.

The other thing is, I'm not sure how much activity she gets during the day, but the more she plays during the day, the more she sleeps at night.

Good luck! :-)

Dj

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M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.,
I'm a mom of 4. My first son cried like that & I caved every time. On the second child more out of need, I became firmer with the nighttime routine & listened to my dr. who said the same as yours. It worked. Then I had twin boys who've been on an amazing schedule & I believe it's partly because I was firm for survival reasons.
I know the screaming you're talking about & if you're certain she's medically fine, let her cry it out. It does get shorter with each day.
Good luck to you. I know it's hard
M.

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E.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I also have a 9mo old. My daughter slept through the night starting @ 3.5 months, but recently has been waking up at 4:30A and thinking it's time to party (also, she has never taken consistent naps--usually sleeps 25 minutes during daylight hours). Take my advice w/ a grain of salt, but know that I work as a health educator on a parenting project in addition to my experience as a mom.

1. Don't put cereal in the bottle, as others have suggested. It's been linked to childhood obesity.
2. If she's sleeping through the night a few times a week, odds are that when she is waking up, it's not as a result of hunger. Establish a consistent routine and stick with it. Routines take up to two weeks to become fully established. Once you try something new, keep it the same for 2 weeks before tweaking. Even when my daughter wakes up at 4:30, I will not nurse her until 7A.
3. Try putting a pacifier (if she doesn't go to sleep with one) or entertainment/toy in the crib on the opposite side of your daughter before you go to bed. It shouldn't be any sort of toy that could potentially cause suffocation (i.e. no stuffed animals, blankets, etc). When she wakes up, this could entertain her without your needing to get up and go in. Those little aquariums/play centers that hook onto the side of cribs are nice for this type of thing.
4. Even if you're not comfortable letting her cry until she conks out, don't jump at the slightest peep. Try waiting for a set amount of time (5-10 minutes, whatever feels right)before going in to comfort. Once you leave her room, give her the same interval before going in again. Assuming she doesn't have a messy diaper, avoid picking her up.

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M.M.

answers from Norfolk on

A lot of babies don't sleep through the night at 9 months. It took my son over 2 years to do it. Do what feels right to you. Doctors should dispense medical advice, not parenting advice.

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A.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I know this is not what you want to hear, but you are going to have to let her cry until she falls back to sleep on her own. The first night will be hard and she may cry for many hours, but the reward will be great! Once she knows you are not coming back, no matter how crazy she acts, she will give up on the crying/screaming. I would say it may take 4 or 5 days but the crying will get less and less every day. Be strong! Good Luck!

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K.S.

answers from Washington DC on

If you are not comfortable with letting your baby cry, then don't. Nobody knows your baby better than you. It's true that you should probably start weaning off the bottle at night, but there are other ways to do that. If you have the book "what to expect the first year" they have some good ideas (of course not everyone will agree on some things, and there are some things I don't like in that book).

One idea is to start diluting the bottle more. Do it a little bit at a time until the bottle only has water.

Hope that helps.

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K.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi A.
I think you need to go with your instinct, my little one didnt sleep through the night till 14 months, all babies are different.
We have a monitor where I can talk to him if he does wake up (well I say shhhh) if that doesnt work then I usually know something is wrong. The monitor is great as it can resettle him without him seeing me.
Good luck
K

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D.R.

answers from Norfolk on

Keep in mind that the doctor doesn't have to listen to her screaming. What was her reason for not giving her a bottle when she wakes? Does this dr have any kids of her own?

Doctors are great when kids are really sick but I find that most of them don't have a lot of common sense for stuff like this. I was told when I had my 1st baby (36 years ago) that I shouldn't introduce cereal for a couple of months. But my 9 lb baby had other ideas. He nursed great but also woke up in the middle of the night--because he was hungry. What did we do? We mixed him a special cocktail before putting him to bed. A bottle of thin cereal with breast milk or formula in a 4 oz bottle. We cut a bigger hole in the nipple so the cereal wouldn't clog and he sucked it down like it was his last meal. But he slept through the night! We started that at 3 weeks against dr's orders. Today he's 36, 6'3" and 270 lbs with 3 kids of his own. Don't believe everything the dr tells you. You are her mother and you know her better than anyone else. Trust your instincts and you'll both be happier.
Keep in mind also that some babies just like company at 2 or 3 in the morning, not food. Try taking her in your bed until she falls asleep again. Do you have a rocking chair? That is the one thing I insisted my husband buy me as a condition that I marry him. Babies still like to be rocked and sung to. The other thing that worked for us, when nothing else would, was to put him in the car and go for a short drive. That kid always fell asleep in the car. Good luck. Let us know how you make out. Abuela (Grandma)

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L.W.

answers from Washington DC on

This advice is just from my experience ... I'm no expert but I have a child who had sleeping issues ... taking the bottle away cold turkey is hard on everyone ... they get into a habit that when they awake they want a bottle ...

We weened our daughter of this habit by gradually giving her less and less ... the first night it was a regular bottle ... the next couple of nights it was two ounces less ... the next couple of nights two ounces less ... and after a couple of nights of just two ounces of formula we switched it to just water ... now don't get me wrong she wasn't thrilled with this change but she did eventually stop waking up to have a bottle ...

Also it just takes some kids a while to sleep through the night ... as a newborn she was amazing ... slept 5 or 6 hours at night ... great naps ... I thought we were blessed ... really she was letting us catch up on our sleep because after 2 months old she stopped sleeping through the night until she was about 20 months (she is only 21 months now) and there is just an occasional night where she wakes up ... but most nights now she lays down at 8:30 and gets up at 8:00 AM ... but 20 months was a long hard road to get to that point ... I told myself it was because she had so much fun with us she didn't want to miss a moment ... good luck!!

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