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On my knees. 11 month old wakes hourly since birth and won't eat solids. Please help.

(23 Posts)
Oofy2016 Mon 03-Oct-16 13:17:29


I'm hoping someone can help me. I have a beautiful, generally happy 11 month old. But she won't sleep. Ever. And has now started to refuse her solids.

I have tried 3 different sleep consultants now and have followed each programme religiously for 3 weeks each time, with no improvement. I have no more money for these things (they are now outstanding debts) so have come in search of help.

To cut a long story short, my daughter has severe ige mediated cows milk and soy allergy and severe silent reflux. Despite 14 visits to the GP, these conditions were missed until she was 5.5 months old. She eventually was diagnosed with failure to thrive and that finally made the GP actually listen to the sobbing mum in her consult room (me), instead of telling me that 'babies do cry, you know' and asking me 'is this your first baby'? We had a referral to a specialist and we got a swift diagnosis following a one week hospital stay.

She is now gaining weight nicely and is much more comfortable, but I still can't get her sleeping. I once (once) got her to sleep for 5 hours using pick up put down, but now she is back to waking every hour, even when I soothe her and don't feed her overnight.

We have a good bedtime routine, honed by the three sleep consultants, and feed about an hour before bed, so there is no milk anywhere near her bedtime.

I am changing to bottle feeding in desperation to get her sleeping, which makes me sad, as I loved breastfeeding.

Also, initially at weaning, she ate everything and anything we put in front of her. But this has deteriorated to the current time, where she refuses any solids we offer her. So that is an issue that may also be affecting her sleep, and is creating intense anxiety for me.

I am so lost, so tired and so lonely. All my mum friends babies sleep through the night and eat well and they are bored of hearing me moan about my woes.

I would do anything, anything (apart from controlled crying or cry it out) to help her eat and sleep. She is really struggling with sleep deprivation, and so am I.

Any ideas? The specialist and gp just tell me to do controlled crying and have no sympathy for me so that is a dead end.

Can anyone help? I love her immensely but I am going mad.

Thanks xxx

Ps I started my parenting journey feeding on demand, breast feeding exclusively until 9 months and co sleeping until 4 months.
Now I am on a structured routine, in line with natural circadian rhythms, mix feed (as I go back to work on Monday) and she sleeps independently in her cot in her own room. She settles well in 15 minutes and there is no shred of feeding to sleep, apart from me feeding her every other wake up overnight.

I could take a loan if anyone has a sleep consultant that can actually help, as I'm so desperate and should be able to pay it back when I start work, but I would like someone who actually supports me and helps me as I am very tired and emotional and now need a bit of hand holding through this.
But really, I wondered if anyone had any advice at all that might help.

Do you just get non sleeping babies and might I have to wait till she is three to get her sleeping? (AGh)

Oofy2016 Mon 03-Oct-16 13:19:57

Ps I tried 4 months of pick up put down religiously, according to the book, and it didn't work. Despite many hours of hard work, she would fall asleep and wake twenty minutes later. :-(

DowntonDiva Mon 03-Oct-16 13:26:25

Can I ask what formula you use?

DD was a new child after starting Neocate. She has CMPA, egg and soy.

Once i got DD to feed (which is still a battle) on the new milk and followed sleep consultant day time nap routine (weeks of hell but finally cracked) her night sleeping got very good. It seems the milk and sleep all worked well together.

Each day I constantly offer her more milk, do a 6pm feed after bath then another at 7pm when putting her in bed and then dream feed at 11. I "tank her up" then she's usually asleep till 5am.

Hope this helps flowers

Diddlydokey Mon 03-Oct-16 13:36:55

Just a few suggestions, you might already be following a few:

Solids - offer food separately from milk. 7am milk, 8am breakfast, mid morning snack, 11.30 lunch, milk upon waking from nap, mi afternoon snack, dinner at 5, supper/snack, milk before bed.

Offer lots of little bits so you don't overwhelm her with a big plate of food. You can do quite a lot of prep and keep it all in the fridge. Let her feed herself. I did like to give banana porridge or something before bed, just to fill them up.


Bedtime routine of bath if needed, pjs, milk, teeth, book and bed. In that strict order.

Don't feed until morning time. It won't help the solids.

I'd do gradual withdrawal. Put her in the cot and don't talk to her, get her out or interact with her until morning. Put a chair by her bed. If she wakes up, give her 5-10 minutes until you go in and listen to her cry. If she is distressed, go in and sit next to her on the chair but do not pick her up or talk to her. No eye contact.

Oofy2016 Mon 03-Oct-16 14:07:18

Thanks both.

Downtown diva - we are on nutramigen puramino. We've been following our new sleep consultant feed/sleep routine for 2 weeks now... How long did it take you? How old is your little one?

Diddly doky I agree, I think we need to stop feeding her overnight, but it's really hard, as I still can't relax about her weight and worry that she might be waking because she really needs the calories... Catch 22 as I realise it may impact daytime feeds. I also really want to go as gently as possible with her, as she had such a rough start, and she will scream blue murder if I withold's really hard, and after no sleep for 11 months I'm not that emotionally strong. Should I just go cold turkey on feeding overnight and tough out the crying? :-(

We already have a really strict bedtime routine and there is always at least an hour between any milk and solids....we also have a nap routine and the structured daytime routine we are following from the sleep consultant.
I try to only feed twice overnight, but recently if I withold food she only sleeps for fifteen-twenty minute blocks when I withold food and try to settle her using other methods...which is just unsustainable unless I want to end up in an institution.

Thank you so much for the help. I really appreciate it.

Mozismyhero Mon 03-Oct-16 14:33:12

We phased out night bottles by watering down the formula. So 4 scoops of formula, 5oz water for a few nights then down to 3 scoops to 5oz etc until you are eventually giving them just water. Theory is they will stop waking for milk. Read this online and will try to find the link. The basic advice was don't try to settle to sleep if they are used to milk as it won't work. You need to eradicate milk first.

Mozismyhero Mon 03-Oct-16 14:35:19

We phased out night bottles by watering down the formula. So 4 scoops of formula, 5oz water for a few nights then down to 3 scoops to 5oz etc until you are eventually giving them just water. Theory is they will stop waking for milk. Read this online and will try to find the link. The basic advice was don't try to settle to sleep if they are used to milk as it won't work. You need to eradicate milk first.

Mozismyhero Mon 03-Oct-16 14:35:48

Sorry- didn't mean to post twice!

Try this.

Mozismyhero Mon 03-Oct-16 14:35:53

Sorry- didn't mean to post twice!

Try this.

Mozismyhero Mon 03-Oct-16 14:36:28

Gah stupid me phone.

DowntonDiva Mon 03-Oct-16 17:23:16


DD is 6 months but we sleep trainer her when she was 3 months. It took about 10 days being super consistent to get her to start napping during the day then she naturally started stretching her evening sleep. Now she is teething we have a few hard nights but revert back to "the plan".

We used The Parent & Baby Coach and went to her workshop which was £50 vs £££ to have a consultant come visit. If your near SW London I really recommend her.

Diddlydokey Mon 03-Oct-16 17:51:30

I would go cold turkey between 11-7.

I suspect you might just need to be a bit less responsive to night wakings. I had to be pretty tough on my ds and when our circumstances meant that we couldn't his sleep went down the pan.

ohisay Mon 03-Oct-16 18:03:04

I'm sure you probably have, but Have you tried white noise in her room? Something such as a fan, or you can even get CDs of white noise!
Also, do you have anyone that could take her for a night for you? Or better still, someone who could have her in your home and you could go away for a night? I would gladly do this for a relative or friend who was struggling!

MYA2016 Mon 03-Oct-16 21:27:21

I can't offer a lot of info other than I really really underestimated how good white noise could be when ds was waking 8-10 times a night. We now leave it on constantly all night on a tablet in his nursery.

I did however want to say that you sound like a fantastic mum who has your daughters best interests at heart and she is very lucky to have you.
Don't beat yourself up because it sounds like you're really doing a fantastic job. I hope things get better soon flowers

Girliefriendlikesflowers Mon 03-Oct-16 21:37:15

Oh God that sounds so hard flowers for op

I think I would look to reduce/stop over night feeds and just to make food look fun. Just give her foods she can play with it and if she sticks a bit in her mouth great and if not <shrug>

What is the issue with control crying? In my mind it is completely different to CIO as can be done with you sat right next to them. I would look to comfort but not feed and begin to give her a little bit of time to try and settle herself back to sleep.

I know this won't be of any comfort now but fwiw this won't be forever, she will eventually sleep and eat fine I promise!

Enidblyton1 Mon 03-Oct-16 21:50:32

Poor you, sounds totally exhausting.
Is your mum, mother in law, or even a really good friend near by who could help you? You sound very anxious (probably exacerbated by complete lack of sleep!), so not sure if you could bear to hand your DD over to someone else for a few nights? But if you could, you might be able to recharge your batteries and they may be able to help settle your DD without food.
I know it's worrying, but she really won't starve if she has nothing to eat between 11-7 at night, and it should help with day time eating.
Good luck flowers

LalaLeona Thu 06-Oct-16 20:40:24

my health visitor advised me to cut down the night feeds by 1oz every 3/4 days. That way it's more gradual for the baby apparently! I wouldn't know I haven't started yet..I'm gearing up to it!

123bananas Thu 06-Oct-16 21:12:32

Alongside reflux pain there could be an additional factor at play. Teething. The excess saliva being swallowed can aggravate reflux. When my children were teething I sometimes pre-empted and gave pain relief at around 10pm knowing that 11pm onwards would be worse.

My sympathies hourly waking would have me hallucinating. Dd1 was a 2 hourly or less waker right up to 2 years old. I reached breaking point and sent DH in with water only for a week of nights. She screamed, I cried, but she did start to sleep through.

Oofy2016 Fri 07-Oct-16 10:29:54

Thanks all....

lots to think about.

She has now started nursery and is refusing all solids and milk during the probably not the right time for tough love, but will take all your points on board and come up with a plan.



LivinOnAChair Fri 07-Oct-16 10:47:24

Could you not go back to co-sleeping for a little while? Just to get her used to sleeping in longer spells then move her to her own cot then in her own room? My DS is a brilliant sleeper when he's in my bed when his dad is away, then quite wriggly and wakes frequently when in his own cot (although recently he's much better recently and going in his own room soon)

SoftlysoftlyOK Sun 01-Jan-17 22:02:17

Hi, I am starting my own business sleep coaching, if you want help I'll do it for free for a testimonial.

seven201 Mon 02-Jan-17 00:06:46

How are you getting on now? As a mum to a dd with silent reflux and cow's milk protein allergy you really have my sympathy! My dd is only 6 1/2 months and is only now 'normal' as in is now all (currently) under control reflux and allergy wise. Are you sure they're all sorted i.e. right medicine, best formula etc. I've seen a definite change in our dd. We were never too bad overnight but she just couldn't nap during the day. We started doing cry it out (have tried everything else but us being present makes her angrier so just prolongs the crying/screaming) and it's been going much better than anticipated.

ImYourMama Mon 02-Jan-17 00:25:40

I was going to suggest co sleeping too, the comfort of being close may outweigh the habit of waking so regularly?

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