I have a 10.5 month old baby boy, who doesn't sleep through the night, not even close. My husband and I
can't handle him crying. It's so sad. He is my 4th child and my husband's first child.
I know I screwed up in the beginning not letting him fall asleep on his own, but my husband needed his
sleep because his job is dangerous if he's tired. Xavier (the baby) is nursing still at nap time and bed
time and it seems like every hour some nights. I know there isn't much milk for that kind of nursing so
he is using me for a big soother. He doesn't have a different soother.
I've been trying to up his solid food intake and lower his fluid intake. I would like to discontinue
nursing as he bites me often with those razor sharp teeth. I always give in though because he refuses to
bottle feed and screams his lungs out when people are trying to sleep. Then I just want to cry for him.
This is our sleep routine. Any where from 7:30-10:00 pm he falls asleep, usually while I nurse him. I
put him in his bed and go to my bed then he wakes up in 1-4 hours later. I get up take him to a bed in
his room, nurse him. It is my plan to leave him when he falls asleep, but I'm sleeping long before he is.
Then he wakes up more times then I can count and I'm rolling over from one side to the other nursing him
I have tried getting up with him and nursing him in the living room and then putting him back in his
bed, but he wakes up over and over again. It takes me up to 2 hours to get him back to his bed just to
have him wake up an hour later. I have been advised to let him scream it out, I have tried that during
his afternoon nap, but the poor little guy will cry and cry sitting in his bed, start to fall over and
jerk himself up. I've left him for 30 minutes or I'll go in every few minutes, lay him down, kiss him,
but it just doesn't work and it rips my heart out. So I'll pick him up and he falls asleep right away,
but I can't put him down at all for his whole nap because now he doesn't want to be let go of.
If someone has any ideas to help me fix this mess, please write. Thank so much for taking time from
your busy days to help me.
Brenda from Canada
I really think your milk is not staving off his hunger and, of course, babies quickly learn what works.
I read recently about late solid feedings. i.e. feed him solids around 7, then bottle, he'll probably
fall asleep, then get him up at around 10:30 or 11:00, feed him again and another bottle, don't wake him
just feed him.
We cured our crier with an automatic baby swing.
Could it be teething that is keeping him up?
The nursing all night idea just doesn't work, obviously. I would also add the formula that you are
using to his cereal so he gets used to the taste. He could be having gas problems, so I would avoid cow
milk, except possibly fat free Lactaid milk. Cow milk is for cow babies! I would be careful about fruits
and green vegetables, and no sugar!
When you put him to bed don't stay in the room. He does need to cry it out and learn to fall asleep.
No music, no stimuli.
How come we can sleep with someone, but babies have to be alone? (03/10/2006)
Oh boy just went through that! My second was like that, I nursed him to 9 months because of seizures, but
his teeth came in late (first two at 9 months) and he started biting. I tried bottles and he threw them.
But I gave him a sippy cup by Nuby with the silicone top, so he could suck like a nipple and he was fine.
Not nursing was especially hard because we didn't know what he wanted. I basically weaned him cold turkey
and he was fine as long as he had that sippy cup and drank with big brother. He ate three meals a day and
snacks, plus 24 oz of formula/breast milk. He slept through the night fine with Orajel.
THe problem with nursing them late at night is that they start to expect that and so do their
stomachs. They need the mommy milk, but are starting to depend more on solids. I am willing to bet his
teeth bother him more than his stomach, especially if he is growing like he should. Try giving him
baby/jr Tylenol at night, if it is safe for him, and save your breasts! Babies know best when they need
something different, as I am sure the others let you know! My husband works graveyards and I
wholeheartedly sympathize with your situation. If the doctor says he is okay growth and nutrition wise,
DO NOT nurse him any more at night! It'll hurt for a night or two, but is worth it when everyone can
As I read through again, he sounds like a cuddler! Give him a teddy bear (he may pick his own) and wear
it under your shirt for awhile to get your scent. If you are worried about suffocation, you can move it
away when he falls asleep. My older son had an elephant and he would suck on the trunk! (03/10/2006)
Have you tried keeping him up during the day so he is good and sleepy later. I agree too with feeding him
a solid meal late in the evening. Most babies at 10 months (or used to be when I was a young mother) took
only one short nap after lunch, not longer than two hours. The rest of the day, try to keep him awake. If
he attempts to fall asleep, keep him occupied. It's worth a little extra time playing with him for a few
days during the day, to get him to sleep nights and the rest of the family is probably suffering for the
loss of sleep too. (03/10/2006)
Our third was an "all night nurser". I tried much of what you have and a few more of the "solid" food
ideas. The best thing that worked was to choose a couple nights when we weren't working the next day, We
put her between us in bed and snuggled her, but didn't let her nurse. When she wanted to nurse I lay with
my back to her and dad snuggled her while she screamed bloody murder. The first night was hard (ripped my
heart out). The second night was better. The third night she slept right through. We tried leaving her in
her bed to scream, but like your little guy she then became afraid of being abandoned. In bed with us she
felt safe and secure even though the new restrictions were not to her liking. Once she was past the
screaming part, she slept a few nights with her sister and then alone just fine. (03/10/2006)
It sounds like he is dependent on you to help him sleep and he'll need to learn how to sleep on his own,
like the rest of us did. It's a tough process to teach him how to sleep on his own, but there are a lot
of things kids don't like to do that they have to do (take baths, eat vegetables, etc.). I highly
recommend the Healthy Sleep, Happy Child (I think that's what it's called) book. Most books I've read
have said that after 3 nights of sleep training, they learn. You might want to try the modified approach
of letting him cry for 15 min. and then soothe and then the next time 30 min. It's a lot of work in the
beginning, but so worth it for you and him. We did this with my son when he was 5 or 6 months, and
sometimes had to repeat it every so often, but overall he's been a good sleeper since then, and he's a
happy child (and we're happy, too!) Most people that I've talked with have had to do this.
Good luck! Remember that what you're doing is good for him. Babies need lots of uninterrupted sleep.
Also, my son likes to have music going at night and his teddy bears. I think it's a lot to expect a child
to not have anything to soothe them at night.
By Mary Lou
When my son was like that I put cereal in his bottle and he would go right to sleep. (03/10/2006)
My husband put his foot down with my last child. He did the same thing. My husband had to literally hold
me in the bed so I wouldn't "rescue" my son from crying. It took 45 minutes the first night, but was
quicker the next few nights. It was hard, but after I found out he was healthy, I realized he was just
spoiled. Cuddle with him all you want during the day, but they have to learn at night, kind of like
puppies have to learn. You would have to let a puppy cry at night until he learned it's time to sleep at
Good luck. (03/10/2006)
Please trust your instincts. If letting him cry it out seems wrong to you, then maybe that isn't the
right thing for you and him. Get on one of the attachment parenting groups they discuss this topic
endlessly and you will receive a lot of support.
Blessings to you all.
By TC in MO
I agree with Mary Lou. My little girl had colic for several weeks during which she slept on my chest or
in her car seat. As soon as that cleared up, she had months of ear infections until finally at 9 mos. we
had tubes put in. So basically I had to teach her how to sleep in a crib altogether, much less through
the night. I also used the 3 night sleep method. It took about 3 hrs. a night. This is not for day naps!
I would be outside her room and when she cried I would go in and just quietly lay her back down over and
over stretching out the time. As little stimulation as possible, lights, talking, etc. You have to teach
your child a new way to sleep without depending on you. Both of you will be happier in the long run.
Have you spoken to a doctor perhaps the baby has colic. I realize your husband needs proper sleep, but a
baby is a gift and reality and I noticed you said "I" have a baby and not "we". Babies can also pick up
tension and stress so if you are tense being awake each hour. I would be also, that can further cause
I would seek help from a doctor maybe calling and talking to the nurse, as this pattern does not seem
healthy for you, baby, and family. Good luck let us know how it goes. (03/10/2006)
I had a similar problem and found out much too late that our little one had what is known as 'silent' ear
infections. They don't get a fever and so you don't realize they have it. I was doing the same thing
thinking it was a food problem, but that was exacerbating the problem because I was nursing and feeding
her so much that it was then giving her a stomach ache. She also would not take a pacifier, but would
nurse and nurse. I think the sucking some how helped the ear feel better. It took me changing doctors to
find out that it was her ears and once we got tubes in her ears she was fine. We still had to train her a
little to stay in her own bed and whatnot, but then it was with much less crying and pain. Good luck! I
know how trying this problem can be on the nerves, family, and marriage! (03/11/2006)
By Jen in UT
Here's what worked with my sons. I would go into their room and talk softly and comfort them from outside
the crib, but wouldn't pick them up. I let them know that I was there, wanted to help them, but they saw
that crying wouldn't get the breast or the rocking chair, so it wasn't really worth it. This also only
took a few days, but I feel it was more humane than letting a baby cry.
I read once that babies need 'a womb with a view' for about 9 months, in other words, to be able to be
held and nursed most of the time. Your baby is just past that age. You and the baby both will feel better
if you handle this gently. (03/11/2006)
I highly recommend a book called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child", by Marc Weissbluth. He is an MD
whose specialty is pediatric sleep. It explains pediatric sleep and how it develops from newborns
through the teen years, and how you can promote it or unwittingly undermine it.
Unfortunately, it's not really organized in a way that makes it useful as a quick-answer reference, but
it's invaluable for giving you a good overview of what this sleep thing is all about. It really helped me
cut through all the old-wives-tales nonsense that floats around everywhere about how to get your child
Good luck! (03/11/2006)
We went through something similar with our youngest son, who is now 10. After we moved from our home to
an apartment when he was six months old, our son began waking every hour to two hours, although two hours
was a relief for us. Prior to this, he slept from 8:00pm to 8:00am, and he was completely nursing still.
He also had a tiny rash that the Drs. just kept saying was nothing. I knew they were wrong and suspected
an allergy, although they denied it. After going back to visit my folks five months later, the rash went
away. When we went home, it came back. We then left to visit my husband's mom, and the rash got better.
By now, he was on a cup during the day, and we switched to a cup at night at my MIL's house. He also
refused a bottle.
Anyhow, my husband ripped up the carpet at the apartment, and when we went back, the baby was fine.
The baby could have an allergy, especially if you or your husband, or any other family has allergies. We
just found out two years ago, the extent of our son's allergies. They are so numerous that I don't know
how he has been able to survive. Since finding all of this out, though, he has been such a pleasant
person to be with, whereas before, he was very temperamental. It was so extreme at times, that we had even
sought counseling for him, which never helped. Thankfully, he was never put on any meds. Now we don't
use chemicals when he is home, and we watch what he eats. It takes getting used to, but it is so worth it.
At his age he doesn't need any food or milk at night, so this is all about him not being independent
enough to fall asleep on his own. You're not doing your son any favours by making him so dependent on
you. He's got to learn that he's competent enough to get himself to sleep. You've taught him that he
needs you to get to sleep, when in fact he doesn't; you need to be with him because you can't handle his
crying. It's not fair to make him so dependent just because you feel guilty about doing this to him for
so long. Instead neither one of you gets a good night's sleep and you keep dragging it on. You don't have
to leave him alone wailing by himself, you can gradually wean him by first giving up the nursing at
night, but staying with him until he sleeps, then only staying for a while and even leaving him with a
toy or something to occupy himself until he's ready to fall asleep, etc. It may seem like forever (he may
be quite stubborn at first since this has been going on so long), but you've got to remind yourself that
this is what is best for him as well as for the rest of the family and even if it takes an hour or two
the first night. He will eventually go to sleep and within a couple of days he'll be able to put himself
to sleep peacefully for the rest of his life. Isn't a few difficult days worth having him happy for the
rest of his childhood? (03/11/2006)
I recommend checking out: Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. There is a website by that name which
features a parent forum. You can talk to other parents there. Your son can only communicate by crying and
it is possible that you are not picking up what he is trying to say.
Check with your pediatrician to rule out anything physical. Create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
Same time every night. Some suggestions: Warm bath, warm milk in a sippy cup (this does work) and bedtime
snack, read to him, soft music in his room, night light, stuffed animals, glow-in-the-dark stars or even
a loud ticking clock. Brainstorm with his grandparents and other parents. And try anything and
everything, maybe even, and I may take flack for this, Benadryl to get him started. Talk to Dr. about it
Also, you might want to look around his room after dark and see if there are reflections that bug him.
Try covering the windows, or moving his crib. This was a problem for one of my kids. There are some good
books on this topic out there too. Hang in there. They want to sleep all the time as teenagers.
Sedating your baby with drugs is not only lazy parenting, but can also be dangerous and it might not even
From Lane France, pediatrician
"sedating medications such as Benadryl don't always have the calming effect you want , some babies
get really revved up. Even testing the drug before your trip isn't foolproof. The same medication can
make your baby sleepy one day and hyperactive the next. Occasionally, the reaction can be far more
serious. I know of one baby who stopped breathing after being sedated on a plane flight, and the pilot
had to make an emergency landing to get him to the hospital. The baby was fine, but his parents were
Why put your child at risk when there are other methods to deal with the problem? (03/15/2006)
Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician and author of books on infant sleep, said it is an "old school"
practice to use cold and allergy medications to sedate babies, but even using a small amount of drugs is
dangerous. Young babies need to awake easily to protect themselves from dangers like choking when they
spit up. The sedative interferes with that natural waking mechanism, Sears said.
Sharon Dabrow, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of South Florida, said some
pediatricians do advise parents to use appropriate doses of Benadryl to sedate children who are at least
12 months old. Dabrow doesn't recommend it. "Our society is so wrapped up around medications being a fix
for anything," she said. "To be using it (Benadryl) on a 3-month-old is just horrible."
New York pediatrician Dr. Laura Popper tells The Early Show, infants should never be given medication
to make them sleep. She says, "The only person who should be administering anything should be in an
operating room and it should be an anesthesiologist. There are no sleep medications for babies."
From the makers of Benadryl (note this is for babies who get the Benedryl from breastmilk - the
effects are much greater if given directly!): Infants are especially sensitive to the effects of
antihistamines, and serious side effects could occur in a breast-feeding baby. Benadryl is not
recommended if you are breast-feeding. Do not take Benadryl without first talking to your doctor if you
are nursing a baby.
By benadryl worries
Hi. I too have an infant, born on X'mas Day 2005.
I credit this website and the books written by a darling lady named Tracy Hogg for helping teach me to
soothe my baby.
The website is http://www.babywhisperer.com/smf/ (run by volunteers). Tracy Hogg wrote 3 amazingly
insightful Baby Whisperer books which you can get at a bookstore or on the internet. Unfortunately Tracy
passed away last year from cancer, but her advice in the books is spot on.
So good luck to you and your baby.
John-John's Happy Mummy (04/07/2006)
My heart was breaking when I read your message. Please consider putting your baby on a schedule. I
received a book written by Gina Ford called "The New Contented Little Baby Book" from Amazon.com and it
works like a charm. My first child was able to sleep through the night after his 10:30PM feed and wake up
at 7AM since he was 10 weeks old. My second child is only 5 weeks old and wakes up only once since she
was one week old. This book helped us out tremendously. My in-laws said it's cruel to put a baby on a
routine, but it works! Babies love consistency. Please consider reading the book. Use it as a guideline.
Good luck. (04/09/2006)
I have to say that as you know every child is different. My 1st slept through the night at 2 weeks, 2nd 2
months, 3rd 10 1/2 months. My youngest is now 12 1/2 months and I can lay him in his crib and turn on his
music and he goes to sleep with no fussing. I truly think that sometimes no matter what you do all things
happen in due time. I really sympathize because by this age it's beyond tiring and frustrating.
By mom 0f 3
Just Leave a sip bottle of water in the crib.
Our boy wakes up two or 3 times in the night, takes a sip of water, and goes back to sleep. No problem.
He is perfectly fine, rested and charming.
Pity how few parents realize this simple solution. They leave water out for the dog and cat, but leave
none out for the child. Hmph! (02/24/2007)
All is well at about 1.5 yrs old he started sleeping through the night. I let him cry it out at nap times
for a few days. Then he was going down fine for naps. Oh yeah I found him a soother that he really likes.
Then I stopped jumping up to get him every time he cried at night and most of the time he fell back to
sleep. Now he sleeps through the night more often then not. Now I'm no longer a zombie. Thanks so much
for all your help. (02/25/2007)
By Brenda from Canada
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