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11 month old still waking 3+ per night

(9 Posts)
Macdaddylonglegs Tue 03-Jan-17 11:40:22

DC2 has never slept through, best we've managed is the occasional night when there is only one wake up. All the books tell you that you just need to teach them how to fall asleep on their own, we've done that but it hasn't made any difference DS still wakes regularly.

There isn't any pattern to it either, the times change every night. We have good routine at bedtime, he is bf then placed in cot tired but awake and goes to sleep on his own. We've tried stopping bf at night, my dh went in with bottles instead, then we changed from formula to just water, again no change. I go back to work in a few weeks and I'm starting to panic as both dh and I can't cope with current lack of sleep.

We set about the idea of sleep training last night. Decided not to feed over night and just to go in cuddle, stroke etc and then leave the room and not to give a bottle or breast. He screamed for over an hour settling slightly only when we picked him up but becoming hysterical once back in the cot. We gave up eventually and gave him a bottle. He drank half then happily went to sleep. He doesn't actually fall asleep when being fed. He is put in the cot awake and rolls over and sucks one of his cuddly toys but he seems to need to be fed/have even water in a bottle to enable him to go back to sleep. How do we change this? Any tips on encouraging him to stop waking so often or to sleep through. DC1 slept through from 7months and all we had to do was teach to fall asleep on her own and stop bf at night. Any help appreciated

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Jan-17 13:58:21

It's not likely to be something you can change in 1 night.

Remember that breastfeeding is more about comfort than milk at this age. He could well just simply want your comfort and reassurance.

It sounds like his sleep association is a full tummy, rather than actively feeding to sleep. The way to solve this is to completely seperate feeding and sleeping. Not just "not feed to sleep", but move the timings of when he had milk completely.

Or, is he actually hungry or thirsty in the night and needs the feed? Is he drinking enough water in the daytime? Dehydration could wake him.

Tumtitum Tue 03-Jan-17 14:48:51

This is my DD! Have tried not feeding her periodically and had drastic improvement for a few days then she becomes inconsolable and we go back to night feeds. I'm also back at work soon so following for advice/tips!

user1474439326 Tue 03-Jan-17 21:43:15

I'm following too for same problems! Sorry I can't help x

OohNoDooEy Tue 03-Jan-17 21:50:10

I'd make sure that feeding is not in the bedtime routine. So feed in the lounge then into bathroom to do teeth then pjs, book and bed.

When they wake at night don't pick them up. Wait 5 minutes before responding at all then if they're still upset go in and reassure them that you're there but don't pick them up. Don't feed them.

If you're consistent it'll take a few days to transfer the calories to daytime

OohNoDooEy Tue 03-Jan-17 21:52:34

Sorry just to add, no lights or eye contact just literally be there so they can see you then leave again and go back in 5 if still upset or just sit until they fall asleep but don't do any of the work.

Macdaddylonglegs Wed 04-Jan-17 09:32:40

Thanks Fate and Ohno. I agree that changing bedtime routine could help and is definitely something we will try. I do think after trying again not to feed last night he is actually hungry as dh managed to get him to sleep without feeding but he woke only 30-40 mins later which is unusual for him and I then ended up feeding. We're not being consistent at the moment because we're finding it really hard, he gets very upset, hysterical actually. It starts to feel like CIO. I don't feel like I've got the strength to do it, hearing him cry for over an hour, even with us popping in and stroking etc is really hard. Are we deluding ourselves if we just hope things will improve on their own?! Can't decide what's the best thing to do, I guess I was hoping as he could put himself to sleep he wouldn't get so upset or be so resistant to not being fed overnight!

OohNoDooEy Wed 04-Jan-17 13:56:37

He will now be used to having a feed at nighttime and will be hungry. I would personally tackle it now because he could carry on waking for a feed at night for another 18 months if left to his own devices and he doesn't need it.

You can choose to night wean - I did this when my DS was 7 months old and eating well. I would do this alongside the changes to the bedtime routine. It takes a little longer though but is much less like CIO. If you're night weaning off BF then take a two pronged approach... If they're put to bed at 7 then no milk for 4 hours and only feed once then no milk until 7am.

For the middle of the night feed, time how long it is and then reduce by one minute every other night. If they still wake up when you've weaned down to nil then settle as you have been doing. I did this and DS slept through unless teething or ill thereafter. Some babies don't just drop the feeds on their own until they're a good bit older.

Hope this helps.

Macdaddylonglegs Wed 04-Jan-17 14:36:54

That's really really useful OhNo. I think we just need a plan and then it'll be easier to stick to in the middle of the night. We'll try that as it sounds a little more gentle. Thanks for your help!

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