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21 month old - still not sleeping through the night!?

(17 Posts)
MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 11:51:34

Our dd started sleeping through the night at 6 months old for about few weeks when she became ill with ear infection and throat infection. She then started waking at night again (stuffed nose so can't sleep etc.) and the only way to get her back to sleep was to give her some milk. That was 15 months ago and she is still waking at least once a night for milk - we tried letting her cry and giving her water but nothing does the job. In the end, in the name of peacefull sleep, we just give her her bottle and that's that. When she is ill with cold or something, she wakes as many as 5-6 times a night and again, milk is the only thing that she will accept. Anyone got any suggestions?

otto Wed 06-Apr-05 11:56:30

When you say you tried letting her cry, what happened? Did you cave in and give her milk?

Do you give her any medicine when she has a cold? Medised is good as it has a decongestant. Tilting the mattress is also supposed to help congestion as is putting some drops of Karvol on a muslin in the cot. Other than that, there's not much you can do about night waking during illness.

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 12:01:06

When she has cold we give her either calpol or calprofen depending on illness (calprofen seems to work better when she's teething). In cases of earache or conjuctivitis we go to gp's and get antibiotics. We also give her cough medicine if she's coughing a lot at night as that seems to wake her up most of the time.
When letting her cry, we just let her cry a little bit - unless she gets hysterical we don't go in and she then falls asleep but not for long. If we give her milk, she'll sleep longer before waking again.

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 12:04:47

It's the waking when she's NOT ill that's bothering us as we think she is old enough to make it through the night or at least most of the night without having milk. She has dinner at 4.30, some snacks like fruit and around 7oz of milk before she goes to bed (usually between 7.30 and 8pm), so it shouldn't be that she's hungry. It's deffinitely comfort milk at night.

otto Wed 06-Apr-05 12:15:38

Yes it does sound as if she's waking from habit rather than hunger. There are various ways of getting her to drop it . You could try gradually weakening it. The theory is that once you've reduced the formula and give only water then she will no longer wake for it. I'm not sure how well that works though. Other approaches are controlled crying and gradual withdrawal - ie sitting near the cot and soothing her without picking her up until she falls asleep and then moving the chair further and further away from the cot each night until she no longer needs you around to go back to sleep.

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 12:31:38

Might try diluting her milk until she's used to it being weak, and will accept water. I also browsed through this thread and found someone recommending Night Time Milk from Sainsbury's. I think I'd give anything a go at this time! Completely knackered!

bakedpotato Wed 06-Apr-05 12:32:04

can really recommend Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem by Dr R Ferber if you want reassurance on whether she is able to go through.

otto Wed 06-Apr-05 12:34:23

What's night time milk? I don't see that point of substituting forumla for any other kind of milk. Just gradually wean her off the formula and then take it from there. And would also recommend Ferber.

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 12:57:35

What's Ferber?

According to that thread, Night Time Milk contains melatonin and seems to be helping a LOT of kids sleep through the night and whilst some noticed no difference at all it's deffo worth a try!

otto Wed 06-Apr-05 13:53:41

Ferber runs a sleep clinic in the US and has written a book as mentioned by Bakedpotato. It's a very good read and helps explain sleep cycles and why children wake and helps to solve problems such as the one you have. If you can't find it in a book shop you can order it from Amazon,

I thought the point of your post was that you no longer want ds to wake in the night for milk. If you give her another form of milk she will still wake up for it, so you won't be solving the problem.

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 14:08:32

That's what I thought as well, but the parents are saying Night Milk makes the kids sleep throughout. She still has to have milk before bed time, so basically the idea is to give her Night Time Milk instead of her usual one.

otto Wed 06-Apr-05 14:18:33

I see. I do think it's better to actually solve the problem though, rather do a sort of quick fix. Good luck anyway, whatever you decide to do

MrsWood Wed 06-Apr-05 14:31:08

I know, and usually I'd be all for it - but lately the lack of sleep has been making us ratty with eachother and very impatient with our dd. We're soooooo tired and desperate that we need a quick fix much more than anything else. She's extremely easy going kid and I'm pretty sure we'll get there soon and if this milk change doesn't work, we will have to take other steps towards sleep routine anyway - everything's worth a try and this certainly can't make situation any worse - especially as so many parents swear by it.

MrsWood Wed 20-Apr-05 14:48:12

OK - update - night milk didn't help much, she's still waking up at least once at night.
She goes to bed at 7 with no problems, has her milk (8oz), reads some stories with us and then alone, and falls asleep on her own around 7.30-7.45.
She then wakes sometimes between 2 and 5 and won't go to sleep unless we give her milk. We tried the ignoring thing, but
1. it's difficult at night when you're so tired and just want to go back to sleep asap and
2. if we leave her, she'll scream for hours - and that would be a nightmare as, if she doesn't get enough sleep at night, she gets very whingy and tired the next day (along with us!) and is a handful. When she gets her sleep (after we give in with milk) she's as happy as punch the next day and very easy to be with. Do you think it's worth seeing GP or Health Visitor about her sleep or are they just going to tell us to do controlled crying at whatever cost?

Nemo1977 Wed 20-Apr-05 15:01:07

hi dont know if it will help but my son used to wake for milk. Now before he goes to bed he has a fromage frais and since then he hasnt woken for milk.
The other thing is to give her water instead of milk..she will prob throw a fit for a few nights but soon realise shes not going to get what she wants

MrsWood Wed 20-Apr-05 15:38:49

If we give her water, she just cries and cries until milk comes. We tried it few times. After her meal at 4.30pm, she has things like banana, grapes, yoghurt/fromage frais or something else dairy, then her bedtime milk... She shouldn't be hungry.

otto Wed 20-Apr-05 15:56:53

Sorry to hear that things aren't any better for you. IMO your ds is waking out of habit and not hunger and the habit needs to be broken. You could try asking your health visitor to refer you to a sleep clinic. I got referred to an NHS one and they were very helpful. We did controlled crying with ds at 7 months and after one awful night it was fairly painless - certainly nowhere near as bad as dealing with sleepless nights. There are other sleep training techniques you can try such as withdrawal if you don't feel happy with crying. Many of the parenting books explain what to do.

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