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16 month old STILL waking at night for milk....wits end and exhausted. please help!

(20 Posts)
charl25 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:22:23

hi all. just wondered if anyone had any advice for me. my gorgeous little boy is 16 months now, and is still waking in the night for a full bottle of formula milk!
He has never been a good sleeper, but we thought he'd get better, but if anything hes getting worst. He has 3 good meals aday + snacks and a bottle in the morning and before he goes down(about 8)
He will then sleep until about 10 without a peep, but then he seems to get restless, and we are in and out settling him. if we're lucky, he will go until about 2/3pm before screaming the house down until we give him his bottle..there really is no 'patting his back to sleep' or anything.
its causing serious problems as my hubby is thinking we should leavehim to cry, but i just cant, it breaks my heart and i cant sleep anyway.
please tell me im not the only one to be going through this!!???

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Mon 05-Oct-09 16:27:28

If he's eating well throughout the day then it's unlikely he's waking for milk because he's hungry. It's habit I should think. How you deal with it is up to you. You could try offering him water instead of milk until he realises that it's pointless waking and crying for milk as he not going to get any. That worked for my DS. Or controlled crying?
At 16 months he knows what going on doesn't may just have to be firm with him.

charl25 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:30:09

thanks for that. We havent tried the water thing, so think id prefer to give that ago before we try controlled such a wimp!

Ladyem Mon 05-Oct-09 16:37:04

I agree with Kidcreole in that he probably isn't hungry, more likely that it's a habit or he wants some reassurance or comfort. A friend told me how she managed to combat this with her DS. She gradually reduced the amount of milk in the bottle, so that the feed goes from a full bottle down to an ounce of milk. The theory is that they'll soon get fed up of waking up for such a small amount of milk. Seemed to work for her. grin

I did the controlled crying thing, but if you do this you can start gradually by being near his cot with a hand on him while he cries so he know you are there, then when you feel stronger sit just out of his sight, then by the door and eventually not in the room. Then you don't feel that you are abandoning him, but he gets the message that there will be no getting out of the cot and eventually learn to settle himself. It is heart breaking to leave them to cry, but it worked in the long term for us. Be strong! Good luck!

ElectricElephant Mon 05-Oct-09 16:43:11

Oh, I feel your pain. Our DS woke 2-3 times in the night until 16 months.

How many times does he wake in the night? At this age, if he's eating well, it's probably more habit than hunger.

I wouldn't just cut out the bottle though, as he's so used to it. Just reduce it gradually by 1/2 oz every couple of days, and give extra water if wanted and hopefully he'll stop waking for it.

We night weaned - picked one feed (the 2am one) and gradually, over about 10 days, reduced the amount of milk we offered. He could have as much water as he liked, but no more milk. He'd then wake again about 4:30am for another bottle, which we gave as normal.

Once you're down to about 2oz for a feed, he'll probably stop waking for it, and if he does, try water first and perhaps a nappy change.

After that, we attempted to wean him off the 4:30am feed, same way. Took a bit longer, but we got there in the end.

We now have a 22mo who (almost always) sleeps through from 7am - 7pm... finally!!!

I don't think not wanting to do CC makes you a wimp by the way, I'd never have been able to do it myself.

charl25 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:43:21

how long does the crying normally last for? would it be a couple of days or weeks? I know there isnt anything really wrong with him, but i just make excuses like 'oh hes teething' or 'having a bad dream' pathetic i know! lol

charl25 Mon 05-Oct-09 16:46:10

ps thanks so much ElectricElephant, i was begining to think there was something wrong with him(or us!!) lol
The only time he really seems to sleep well is the first hour or so after he goes down, and the hour or so after his milk, other than that its hit and miss

Ladyem Mon 05-Oct-09 16:52:24

You are not pathetic, you just don't want to see your child in distress!! I found that the crying usually lasted for about 20 minutes, and gradually reduced to a couple of minutes before she'd fall asleep, but I began to know when I could leave her and when I needed to go in and comfort her or when there was something else wrong. We also used one of those light shows with music on to sooth her, which helped. For some it takes a week, for us it took more like 3 weeks, but you have to do it when you are ready or else it will be horrible for both of you! Good luck!

ElectricElephant Mon 05-Oct-09 17:25:33

If he's awake do you ever bring him out of his room or anything?

iwantitnow Mon 05-Oct-09 17:45:38

I did a limited form of CC with DD at 12 months, I went in and said reassuring words at 5,10,15 minutes but never let her cry for more than 30mins would BF then. It worked in 2 nights. I hated the idea, but we never had to do it again and she has woken only a handful of nights in the following 2 years.

charl25 Mon 05-Oct-09 20:49:13

thanks for the ideas, i will be trying a new tactic tonight, and see how it goes. good to know im not the only one though. cheers all x

thrifttwig Thu 22-Jan-15 11:36:23

I know this is very very old but any chance of an update char25 ?
I am going through the exact same thing and losing my marbles!

simba30 Sat 14-Feb-15 23:15:25

Hi thriftwig just seen your comment. Did you find a solution? I'm going through the same with my 16 month. I am knackered. Would be greatful of any advice.

thrifttwig Fri 20-Feb-15 14:05:16

Hi simba30
No solution found here!! TBH I'm now at the stage today where I have thrown all bottles in the bin. I know it's going to be hard but he is now 17 months and it's not right that we are still feeding at night.
How's it going your end?

simba30 Sun 22-Feb-15 12:40:22

Thanks so much for getting back to me. Still wakening 2/3 times a night. Tried water and she screamed house down. How are you getting on with no bottles? Keep hoping that its a phase and it will pass but know its more of a bad habit. Hope you are both well.

elongatedbuttocks Wed 25-Feb-15 15:37:47

It's not uncommon but it does suck. I asked our health nurse for advice about this because my daughter has always been a poor sleeper. What she said made a lot of sense to me: of course babies wake up at night, they want cuddles and milk because those things are nice and pleasurable to them. But at some point you do have to consider the sleep of everyone else in the family as well. A 16 month old that is developing normally does not need to eat in the middle of the night. What we ended up doing was taking her into our bed but not nursing her. She screamed a lot about it, but she still got comfort and cuddles. After a week she has stopped asking to nurse and instead just snuggles. It was HARD and she was SO SO mad about it but it did work.

simba30 Wed 25-Feb-15 23:04:55

Thanks for your advice. I am guilty of just giving in to get her back to sleep again. Unfortunately she has just taken scarlet fever so that has knocked our whole routine out so I will try to stop the milk as soon as she is better again.

simba30 Wed 18-Mar-15 21:55:05

Just wondering how you got on thriftwig?

Tsc26 Sat 20-Jun-15 06:04:41

How did you get on? I have had to join a discussion group as I'm experiencing the same, it's getting silly now 2-3 bottles a night .... It's driving me insane sad

simba30 Thu 09-Jul-15 23:30:01

Hi tsc26 Sofia is now thankfully off the night feed. To be honest she got sick and went off food/ milk herself for a while so by the time she was better I refused to let her have milk upstairs. She was eating more than ever from no night feeds so was more satisfied. Hasn't made her a better sleeper. Very restless but no more milk. Hows your situation?

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