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11 month old sleep - HELP!

(3 Posts)
sarah108 Fri 03-Jun-11 12:34:48

I was hoping someone could help me.

My 11 month old wakes every night at 3.30am for a feed, then wakes for the day between 5 and 5.30.

I just need a bit of advice about how to get rid of the 3.30 feed.

A few months ago we decided to do controlled crying - my son is breast fed and was relying on being fed to go back to sleep about 4 times a night.
What happened was that he cried for no more than 10 mins at most (usually less) and went back to sleep about 4 times - we didn't go in the room at all from 7pm - 6.30am. This was a miracle and happened for 4 nights, then he got ill! WE've had tonsilitus, hand, foot and mouth, a chest cough and gastroenteritus - one after the other plus 4 more teeth - as a consequence, during these times he was up a lot more during the night and obviously I comforted him and often fed him.

Now he is finally well again and I just need a bit of advice about what to do next.
He goes to bed every night no problem at 7 after a feed, book and then a potter on his own in his cot
Am I being unreasonable to think he shouldn't need/have the 3.30 feed?
I have been advised to delay this feed by ten mins every day until stopping it. I did do this between one of the illness bouts and it did seem to delay it to 4.45 but by then he was very annoyed and up - the sleeping very light from 3.30 to this time, but then he got ill again.
Should I just drop the feed. Another bit of advice I got was to go in and comfort him until he calms down after ten mins and then lengthen times going in, but he doesn't calm down, it seems to annoy him more. Again with just going in and saying we're here etc, it seems to make matters worse.

I am happy to let him cry a bit as long as I have a plan but just wanted others opinions on how to go about this (BTW I do respect that some people won't allow any crying but I know that the days when my some slept through - even with a bit of crying - he was really happy and rested - so I am happy to do it)

Sorry to go on, i have just gone round in circles so much I don't really know where I am (also the 3.30 feeding is so bad as half the time I can't get back to sleep again!)

ANy advice would be appreciated

joruth Fri 03-Jun-11 16:21:37

My children (4) were very similar and I had to be really really ready to do the controlled crying thing so that I stuck it out...that should sort out the 3.30am feed...but the 5.30 is much harder as they've had enough sleep to get by and then of course can nap to catch it up. Someone explained to me that my children were all delaying the last phase of their night sleep until first nap and we would only be able to sort it out once we were able to delay that nap until near lunchtime and I'm afraid that was pretty much how it worked out....on the plus side once we'd got rid of the AWFUL before 4 am feed I could cope just about with letting them potter about...but DON'T give breakfast or milk until what you consider to be a reasonable time....or he will get "learned hunger" for his usual breakfast time even when he might otherwise have slept through.....wish I had thought of that whilst I had the problem as I'm sure I prolonged the early morning wakening by making it breakfast time!!

So long as he is on solids he really doesn't need milk at night...you could try replacing the milk feed with water if you don't yet feel able to do the controlled crying or if you are worried about teeth...of course it's not the same but it might distract him a bit.
Good luck...one day you really will have a whole night's sleep!!!

SharkSkinThing Sat 04-Jun-11 21:13:10

We went through exactly the same thing recently - and although it's easy to say 'they don't need it', it's bloody hard to actually make the leap!

DS is now 10.5 months but we decided at 9 months he was ready to come off the night feeding because (a) he was eating so much in the day AND having 2 7oz bottles AND a morning BF and (b) I was going to end up sectioned from lack of sleep.

Will yours DS take a bottle? What basically worked for us at 7 months was giving a bottle on the first wake up (generally 11pm), then a BF at the next (around 3am) - he stopped waking at 11pm, and I would then just try and not BF him until 4am, say. A bit grim, but just chose your own times to suit you, as joruth says.

We then had had a weird few weeks when BF stopped/started at night (illness, teething), until DP was just giving him a bottle of formula at around 2am, at 9 months. I then reduced this bottle over a week by an ounce a night. On the night I was expecting him to wake and I would be only offering water (ha!), he didn't wake until 5am and I just BF him.

It took a little bit of time (and we had a few nights of him waking at 1am - until 3am and I would end up feeding him through desperation), but we did manage to stop the night feedings slowly and with no cc. But it does take a bit of determination and patience on your part - and don't feel too bad if one night it all goes tits up, as it were...it's called 'weaning' for a reason!

HTH. xx

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