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14 mth old won't sleep through night.

(27 Posts)
PeteandArtie Mon 31-Mar-03 14:19:50

Help needed! My Ds has never slept through the night. He eats constantly throughout the day and large amounts too so I am confident he is not hungry.

I went back to work full time when he was 4 mths and he moved from breast to day bottles and night feeds and then at 6 mths day and night bottles. He goes to bed at 7 each evening with no trouble but from 10/11 each night will wake nearly every two hours. I believe it is for comfort as he doesn't wake fully unless I put a bottle in his mouth. I don't get him out of the cot but just put the bottle in his hands and he feeds himself until he has had enough and then drops it.

It is due to laziness and having to get up to work that I do this as otherwise I have to listen to him until he wakes which makes it very hard to get him back to sleep.

Does anyone have any advice/guidance on how I can break him of this habit and how will I maintain the habit when he is teething as he obviously wakes in pain and wants the comfort of the bottle.

Finally, he drinks from cups during the day and doesn't appear to have a dependancy on bottles. I've tried watering down the formula but he knows this and wakes which then means an hour of getting him back to sleep. All advice welcome. Do I just need to be tougher?

edgarcat Mon 31-Mar-03 14:21:48

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Meanmum Mon 31-Mar-03 14:35:42

Thanks. I thought that too but his hands and head are generally toasty warm and they are always out of the blanket. He seems warm enough would I be wrong in thinking that he is and should I add another?

PS - I just changed my password so it is still me.

Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 09:10:05

Can anyone else tell me if they think my ds isn't sleeping because he is cold? I thought it was because he wanted the comfort of the bottle as he was initially always put to sleep with either the breast or bottle. I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried weaning their child off drinks during the night and how they did it, how long did it take and what did they do to get the result. Thanks

edgarcat Tue 01-Apr-03 09:24:00

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Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 09:35:51

I didn't try it last night but will definitely tonight. Don't think I was ignoring your advice as I wasn't but I left my dh to look after him as I had extreme stomach cramps and wasn't up to anything last night.

Feeling better now though and will definitely put it into action tonight. Will let you know tomorrow how I go.

Meid Tue 01-Apr-03 10:01:57

I know it might not be a road you want to start going down but have you tried bringing him into your bed? My dd (21 months) wakes most nights, usually about 2a.m., but falls asleep again the minute she's in with us. By bringing her into our bed we all then get a good night's sleep, (well, we're only disturbed the once when one of us gets up to bring her in).
I too work full time and think that maybe dd wakes for comfort so I am happy to bring her in the bed to give her the comfort and security she needs and, in the morning, it is a nice bonus waking up with her.
HTH
Good luck.

Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 11:02:05

Meid, thanks for the advice. I bring him in with me sometimes but try not to do it too often. Lately, since we returned from Oz on holiday, I have been doing it at about 3.00. I just don't know if I need to be tougher or am doing the right thing by putting him in bed with me.

It's just that when others tell you how their child sleeps through the night with no issues I wonder if I am doing something wrong and need to correct it now. In every other aspect he is a great baby so I suppose one issue is not too bad. I just don't want it to be due to laziness on my behalf that he continues to wake in the evenings and I suppose a lot of it is down to my own guilt of should I or should I not be doing it.

Sorry to not have responded sooner but I'm supposed to be working (from home) and thought I should do something as opposed to surfing the web all day.

edgarcat Tue 01-Apr-03 11:06:34

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Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 11:13:41

Edgarcat. I didn't think you were bossy and I'm going with your advice tonight. I assumed because he felt hot that he was warm enough but considering when he is in bed with me he lies right beside me and is absolutely roasting you may be right and he does need to be warmer. There is quite a draft in his room but his cot is not near the windows at all so I once again assumed he was not being affected by this. Maybe he is.

I just can't decide whether it is due to comfort that he semi wakes up or due to him being cold like you suggested. I'm hoping its the cold that is the issue. I'm going to see how he goes with more blankets over the next few days and if that works then I might buy him one of those sleeping bags as that will save me getting up during the night to put the blankets back on.

Being a first time mum I obviously question whether I am doing the right thing or not and making a rod for my own back. I don't have family or friends in this country that have kids so getting advice can sometimes be hard and time delayed.

Mind you, even though my mum raised us brilliantly they did have a different style of child rearing back then and I never know whether her advice is too harsh or not.

I definitely liked your advice because the last couple of nights he has thrown up (just a little) because he has had too much to drink so I am desperate to now get him off the bottle.

edgarcat Tue 01-Apr-03 11:18:20

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Demented Tue 01-Apr-03 12:18:13

Meanmum, if he is still waking after you get the sleepingbag I would try either reducing the milk you give him, by an ounce every couple of nights or gradually watering it down until it is just plain water, hopefully he will learn that it simply isn't worth waking for. I had to do this with my own DS1 although it was juice he started waking for (he was older and asked for juice) in the end we just gave him plain water and he stopped waking.

Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 13:11:16

Demented, thanks for the advice. When you reduced the amount were you actually holding the bottle for him or leaving him to it. I leave mine to it and he holds it and decides how much he will drink each time. It's never the same amount and sometimes very little.

I'm wondering if I should just fill the bottle up to about 4 oz and then reduce it the way you have said. I might try both approaches starting tonight. Warmer clothes/blankets and less fluid.

He certainly knows when it is water and is not happy about this at all.

Demented Tue 01-Apr-03 14:40:31

Meanmum, it was juice he was asking for and he was older (I think maybe even 2) so was holding it himself, I was worried about his teeth and it was getting to be a habit, I can't really remember if we gradually reduced the strength of it or went straight for the water (he is 4 now) but I do remember he was not happy about just plain water and the night wakings stopped pretty quick. Obviously you cannot reason with a baby and it may be gentler to do it gradually by either reducing the amount or diluting it more and more. Hope you have some success!

Meid Tue 01-Apr-03 14:44:32

Meanmum, I've just thought of something else that could be relevant. I have a friend whose dd would wake a few times in the night for a drink up until she was about 3 years old. My friend realised that what she was doing wrong was feeding her late at night with big dinners rather than "tea". She stopped doing this and her dd immediately stopped waking up in the night. Could it be something he is eating not long before bed that is making him thirsty?

Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 14:56:36

Meid and Demented - I often wonder about going cold turkey and putting him straight on water. I'll try the reduction in amount of formula to water first (along with more blankets) and see how that goes.

It may be what he is eating before bed. He eats so much during the day and because he is at the child minders I don't know exactly what it is he is eating. I take his meals but she also gives him meals. He is such a little piggy he will eat anything in front of him no matter how full he is. I'll check with the child minder to see what she is feeding him for dinners and may alter this. He certainly doesn't need as much as he is eating either so will ask her to reduce it slightly.

Hopefully all the approaches will work.

buttercup Tue 01-Apr-03 14:59:53

hi meanmum - my ds used to wake frequently in the night and after eliminating all the possibile causes (cold, hungry, teeth, tummy etc) we concluded that it was habit. Afterall that is what he had known since he was born. After alot of agonising we decided to 'sleep train'. This meant going in to let him know we were there but leaving again quite quickly. We would go in every 10-15 mins. On the third night he slept the whole way through and has done ever since (that was about 8 months ago). I think it was as big a relief to him to learn that he didnt need us to come in every 2 hours as it was for us.

Meanmum Tue 01-Apr-03 15:10:13

Buttercup - did your sleep training happen at the beginning of the night or during the night.

Did you pick him up, just touch him to let him know you were there or just talk quietly to him? Was it hard to keep it up? Did he actually wake up or was he just restless? Sorry for all the questions but any clarity on the issue is greatly appreciated.

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 19:11:21

To those of you that gave me advice. Thank you. Just so you know what happened. Last night ds went down at 7.30. Slept like a log until 11.00 when I put a bottle in his mouth with only 2 oz of milk in it.

Woke again at 12.30 when I put him in bed with us and gave him another bottle which was diluted to half strength. Didn't wake again until about 4.30.

I did have lots of blankets on him in his cot but gave in and put him in with us. He was very warm in with us so I'm assuming being close to us and under our duvet helped him sleep.

When he has slept with us in the past I have always been able to get him to go back to his own cot so I'm not too worried about setting a bad habit at the moment.

I'm hoping the reduction in formula and warmth will eventually work.

However, am I being too demanding of him expecting him to sleep through the night. Who is it that says when a child should sleep through the night in their own bed and what made them say that?

Who is Gina Ford?

Ozzie Wed 02-Apr-03 21:17:39

Meanmum - my dd was 16 months before she slept through the night. Like your DS she woke every couple of hours for a feed. I gradually reduced the amount of milk by 1 0z every few nights At 5 oz she suddenly slept through and we haven't looked back since. I also put a sleepsuit on top of her PJ's every night to make sure she is warm enough. Good luck!

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 21:33:53

Ozzie - thanks. Each time she woke up did she take the same amount of oz's and did you reduce each by 1 oz. Therefore, was she taking say 8 oz each couple of hours and you reduced it down to 7 for each feed or did she just wake up and take say 8 oz over the whole night and you just put 7 in the bottle for the night?

Ozzie Wed 02-Apr-03 22:02:03

I reduced the feed to 7oz for every feed over a couple of nights. ( I wasn't being very brave) Then 2 or 3 nights later I reduced the feed to 6 oz. I think it was around then that she started sleeping until 3 or 4 in the morning so it was just 1 night feed after this. Then feed was reduced to 5 oz and thankfully our problem was solved. I hope this helps.

Chinchilla Wed 02-Apr-03 22:20:48

Meanmum - do you use a Grobag? Ds always slept better in one of those, as he didn't kick his covers off.

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 22:26:34

I haven't got a grobag but am thinking of it now based on advice. My ds is quite big so anyone got any advice on good grobags that will fit for quite awhile. He's only 14 months but if I get one I would like one to last at least until he is 2 but preferably maybe 3.

Meanmum Wed 02-Apr-03 22:26:37

I haven't got a grobag but am thinking of it now based on advice. My ds is quite big so anyone got any advice on good grobags that will fit for quite awhile. He's only 14 months but if I get one I would like one to last at least until he is 2 but preferably maybe 3.

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