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CRY for HELP! I have no energy left !My 14 months old still wakes up at least 5 times & needs a bottle every time

(24 Posts)
nehamantri Tue 13-Dec-16 16:37:40

Hello People,

I am at the verge of breaking down completely and I have no energy left whatsoever. My 14 months old daughter, still wakes up at least 5 times on a "good" night and needs a bottle feed every time she wakes up. Let me not even get started on what happens on a "bad" night...that just means being up till 4 am and then leaving for work at 8 am after dropping her off to the nursery... Result- no sleep for her or me ( I sleep for 3 hours on a average since she arrived) . The other problem is that she needs a lot of bottle feeds at night and if I give her water instead, she throws a fit and she also knows the exact amount she wants- so if you give her less, at times she asks for more and there are times when she also refuses it, so I am totally confused. I have no idea what to do and how to do this ? I want her to sleep through the night or I am even okay with her waking up once/twice and I also want hr off the bottles. Any advice on how I should begin this training? Also, any recommendations for a sleep therapist/ trainer etc?

Veggiesupremeextracheese Tue 13-Dec-16 16:40:49

You could be me last week! I was reluctant to sleep train as she generally seemed hungry and drank multiple bottles all night, so I genuinely thought she needed it!

Last Friday I bit the bullet and did controlled crying, it took 2 hours of me going in every 5 minutes and shusing her, 20 minutes the next night, and she's slept through since shock

scrumptiouscrumpets Tue 13-Dec-16 18:15:06

Sounds like your only option is going cold turkey and not giving a bottle at all. Yes, she will scream, and for a long time too probably! But I'd definitely do it before calling a sleep consultant - I bet she'll sleep much better if you get rid of the sleep association.

Famalam13 Wed 14-Dec-16 12:40:35

I was reluctant to drop DS' night bottle as I thought he must be hungry. Did cc though and turns out he doesn't need it at all and happily sleeps through. It had become a habit.

nehamantri Wed 14-Dec-16 13:02:43

Thanks. I guess, cc seems to be the way to go. I wish I had the heart to try it earlier . Any tips on an effective cc strategy...Whenever I tried it earlier, I gave in, so could use some advice. Also, currently I sleep with her in her rooms, as she wakes up so often and it is just difficult to keep running , so I guess that is also something that needs to change ?

Mythreeknights Wed 14-Dec-16 13:04:36

Your answer is in your subject heading. At 14mo she absolutely does not 'need' a bottle 4 times a night, or even once a night. It's time to get tough on her and break this pattern before she breaks you. Good luck.

Introvertedbuthappy Wed 14-Dec-16 13:07:39

Just a word of does not work for every child. I had similar with my eldest and tried cc out of desperation at 15 months old. He wouldn't calm down, going in made him upset that I wasn't cuddling and feeding him and after 45 mins of checking every 5 minutes he started hyperventilating and threw up repeatedly (obviously i ran in and picked him up) and then had a horrendous few weeks getting him to overcome what seemed like a pathological fear of the cot.

Obviously it works for many; just a warning that it doesn't work for everyone.

Sunnie1984 Wed 14-Dec-16 13:15:55

I'm afraid it's time to cut down/out the bottles at night - 4 bottles a night is ridiculous at that age - it's not needed.

Have you tried a dummy? If they are pushing for a bottle it may be the year that she really wants.

There are many sleep training options, not just controlled crying, so do some reading and choose the best one for you.

Choose a method and stick to it, it might take 4+ nights before it makes a difference.

Yes you need to stop being in her room at night.

Good luck! X

PurpleTraitor Wed 14-Dec-16 13:21:38

Is your child otherwise healthy?

I had a similar child suffering from bad reflux which was caused by lying flat so she was woken by pain, which was exacerbated by crying, then soothed by ice cold milk/being held upright and cuddled.

You can say she didn't 'need' the milk if you like, but she was using it as pain relief.

LapinR0se Wed 14-Dec-16 13:25:40

Is your baby falling asleep on the bottle? Are you putting her down asleep?

nehamantri Wed 14-Dec-16 13:29:51

@Introvertedbuthappy: Thanks for the warning. How did you solve the problem then? I am not a big fan of cc either and that is one of the reasons why I still have not been able to train her. So , I would be keen to know how you overcame this situation.

@PurpleTraitor: She had reflux when she was born, so she use to take very very small feeds but more frequently. Was on infant gaviscon up to 6 months and then things changed. This bad habit of night feeds started becuase she would hardly eat or drink during the day and would compensate for it at night.


oleoleoleole Wed 14-Dec-16 13:35:02

You could try a bottle of milk but with water in, ie diluting the milk to wean her off it if you don't want to go cold turkey. A child will not starve itself so she doesn't need the milk if she's got a good daily diet, if that's poor, reduce the milk intake anyway as she will gradually eat better.

Stop sleeping with her.

Reduce the milk.

Do CC.

I would also give her the bottle and go back to bed. At her age she is capable of feeding herself on the night.

Good luck.

Introvertedbuthappy Wed 14-Dec-16 16:51:19

Hi nehamantri, unfortunately we didn't. At around 2 he started eating more and started accepting water in the night. By aged 3 he was sleeping through, but by 2 had dropped to one wake up. Sorry, it's probably not what you want to hear! Now aged 7 he's a fantastic sleeper though. Our 8 month old sadly seems to be doing the same. It's hard flowers.
We get through it by doing night turn about so DH and I get a full night every other night. As DS2 gets up at 5am whoever got up in the night goes for a nap until half 7. Could this be a possibility? I hope it works for you, but after our experience I wouldn't do it again (not judging those who do at all though).

waterrat Thu 15-Dec-16 19:33:30

She does not need milk at night - milk is food. Wpuld you give her toast four times a night? I also had a child who had milk at night until about this age and suddenly a light went on in my head and I realised nights are for sleeping. Not eating !

You need to sleep in a separate room and when the baby wakes you offer water. So if it's thirst then they are still getting a drink.

Yes it will take time for him to get used to it but don't even think of the term controlled crying it sound harsh but you are doing something totally normal in helping your child learn to sleep at night.

He needs sleep ! And so do you. Believe in this and you will have the ability to stay strong ...he need to know that night is for sleeping snd if he wants to play at night he will be alone in his cot you won't be joining him !

IamChipmunk Thu 15-Dec-16 19:35:39

You dont have to do cc to sleep train.
We night weaned/sleep trained ds at 10 months due to frequent waking & feeding.

First I would only feed him if he woke between 12 and 4am (I didn't want to just stop) outside of those times we did a mixture of sush pat/ rocking & singing and gradual retreat. It involved some crying but it was minimal.

It took about 5 nights of only feeding during these times that one night he just slept through.
It was suprisingly painless.and his waking was a mixture of habit and being unable to settle himself.

waterrat Thu 15-Dec-16 20:18:37

I agree that there is a huge middle ground between leaving a baby alone crying - which I think people rarely do - and feeding a toddler several times a night. The term controlled crying is emotive but in reality you are just teaching them new sleep habits in a gentle way .

I sat next to my sons cot and patted him to sleep instead of picking him up. I sang to him as well. When he was older sbd more mobile and I wanted to sort his sleep out again I just went in and out comforting but not getting him out of the cot. Eventually they learn to go back to sleep on their own without the milk and it is so much better for them.

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 15-Dec-16 20:26:44

Yes gradual retreat worked, well, a treat at that age for my DS. We also had the sweaty hyperventilating vomiting mess when I tried controlled crying. I couldn't understand why he was getting WORSE each time I went in, rather than better as all the books claimed happened. No, it doesn't work for everyone, and don't listen to anyone who tells you that it does- there are other methods. Gradual retreat may not be an ultra-quick fix but it was the best method for Ds1. Didn't need anything for DS2. Once his colic was gone he was just glad to get to sleep of a night. He''/ still like that at 10. Straight off to sleep, never wakes up, gets up bright-eyes and bushy-tailed each morning.

MonkeyBrainsInPickle Thu 15-Dec-16 20:28:28

We had this and we gradually watered down the milk. It worked. I was like some mad unhinged woman at work due to the sleep depravation but I'd never do CC.

tohaveandhavenot Thu 15-Dec-16 20:30:46

I paid a fortune for a paediatric sleep consultant (not just some self qualified baby whisperer) when my son was doing the same at 18months.

He told me to go cold turkey completely and let DH go into him at night and literally just talk to him once then leave him.

It took 2 weeks (!!!) and it was the worst experience of my life. I would not advise it. Granted he sleeps like a champ and doesn't seem to have any trauma after the experience but shit it was rough.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Thu 15-Dec-16 20:33:12

I got a timer that I could hang round my neck and I set it religiously when doing CC with DS1. It was my permission to go in to him, iyswim. It took 2 nights. DS 2 slept through from 7 weeks without any intervention whatsoever. Children are all different...

alotlikeChristmas16 Thu 15-Dec-16 20:35:26

I agree with waterrat, and I'd also say both my dds were happier and less cranky when they slept through.

archersfan22 Fri 16-Dec-16 12:59:17

I agree with the others - nutritionally she absolutely does not need anything at all overnight and for her own sake (not just yours) she needs to learn to sleep at night, just like you will teach her not to throw her food on the floor, not to run into the road etc etc. It sounds like at least some nights she's really not sleeping enough so that isn't good for her.
I used to leave a sippy cup of water in with mine so then I knew if he was crying it wasn't because of thirst.
And yes look at the different options available to you in terms of sleep training and decide what will work for you - mine was a lot younger when I did it but any sort of gradual retreat/pick up put down etc really really didn't work for him as he would get more distressed. Whereas leaving him for 5 mins then 10 mins then going in every 15 mins did work though it took a while. We then had another issue when he went from a cot to a bed but that time gradual retreat did work.
Once you've decided on a strategy that will work you must stay calm whatever she does and stick to your plan - at 14 months she will be able to be quite persistent (as she's already showing by staying up till 4am some nights) but it will be worth it if you all get more sleep. If you have a partner, one of you might find it easier to stay calm in the face of screaming. Is she sleeping a lot at nursery? If so, you could also ask them to keep her awake so she's more tired at night? And keep telling yourself it's for her benefit too!

notquitegrownup2 Fri 16-Dec-16 13:09:43

At around 14 months - the same time as your dd - we weaned ds off a bedtime feed, wanting to show him he could go to sleep without milk. We bought blackouts, offered water, then said "Dark now. Sleepy time. Night night," and then hummed a tune. We repeated the mantra and humming regularly until he fell asleep, and it worked surprisingly well. We didn't do it everytime he woke during the night, as a) he was much more insistent on a feed (I was bfing) and b) we didn't want to do cc.

Until he was 24 month olds, and I was ill, and desperate for sleep, and dh stepped in and took over. However, ds screamed for 7 hours before falling asleep! Then 20 mins the next night and a whimper on the third night! It was tough, but I've never come across anyone else whose baby could hang on, purple faced and screaming for quite that long!

Are you on your own with your dd or do you have a partner?

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 16-Dec-16 17:52:23

I do think they suffer with their molars at this age too. It becomes so very hard to tell when they genuinely need a cuddle because of tooth pain and when it's just a habit.

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