Babies: 9 - 12 Months

Venturing over for advice

Hi all,

I am venturing over from the 3-6 mo. board because some ladies suggest I post over here to see if you had this issue at DS' age and what your LO's are doing now.  

We had DS' 4 month check this morning.  He wakes up to eat every 2 hours at night and also eats every 2 hours during the day.  Pedi says we need to stop the night feedings and just let him CIO.  I told her I wasn't comfortable with it and she said that he needs to at least stretch a bit longer.  I don't know HOW to do this. Every time I have tried to not feed him at night he screams bloody murder...when I feed him, he legitimately nurses and then goes right back to sleep.  I SAH so its really not a HUGE issue for me at this point. As he nears 6-7 months, I may think differently, but right now I feel like he needs it.  Any advice (other than to get a new pedi :))?

If you had an issue similar to this, what are your LO's sleeping habits like now? 

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Re: Venturing over for advice

  • Honestly, if you're comfortable with it, let it be. Pedis are there for advice and support. However, they are not with your kid 24/7 nor do they ever have to save your sanity. I trust my pedi for medical advice. For lifestyle advice, it's nice to have the perspective but it's ultimately up to me. I love my pedi but I don't always agree and that's perfectly fine.

    My almost 1 year old was still drinking six bottles a day up until last week. People were all over me like crazy. Meh. Whatever. She liked it. We were happy. We're now working on cutting back. And you know what? She's now ready. We dropped from 6 bottles to 3 in the course of a week with no complaints. What I'm saying is babies do things on their own time, their own way.

    For advice now, have you tried cluster feeding before bed? That worked for me for quite some time. My LO cluster fed until six months and was a great sleeper as a result.

  • DS was still up once a night for feedings at that point.  (He was actually 6 months old because he was a preemie...we subtract 2 months off his actual age to determine his gestational age.)  In our case, we were told to wake him and feed him if he got to 6 hours between feedings.  He needed all the calories he can get. 

    Every kid's needs are different.  Every parent's abilities are different.  Every pedi's advice will be different.  Do what feels right to you.  I don't like CIO, either, so I don't do it.  I'm more of a common sense type of parent.  If you feel you need to change pedis don't be afraid to do it.  We are.  It happens.  If you feel you have the best pedi for you, stay.

    Best of luck!

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  • Both my sons did the same thing.  DS#2 persisted waking every two hours until he was just over 6 months.  He then started sleeping 3 hour stretches.  Slowly but surely he increased his sleep stretches and now goes down around 6 pm, wakes around 2, feeds then goes back down until 6:30ish in the morning.  It was tough but IMH it is cruel to let them CIO when they are legitimately hungry and/or thirsty.  When I wake at night, I tend to drink a glass of water.  I didn't see anything different with what my LO was doing given that his tummy is so much smaller.  As long as you aren't bothered by it and your LO isn't gaining exceptional amounts of weight that could cause problems later on, I would continue to feed him but that's just me.
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  • Yea, I'd ignore that advice. No way could I let my 4 month old CIO when I knew they were hungry. 4 months is a rough time for sleep anyway, at least it always is for us. 

    I'd try the cluster feeding in the evening before bed, like PP mentioned. Beyond that, I'd just go w/ it. At that age, they are waking b/c they are legitimately hungry. I would not try to purposely drop a night time nursing until at least 6 months, but probably closer to 10. It can really suck some nights, but it's just a short time period  in the grand scheme of things. Chances are, they'll be dropping some of the nursings on their own before you know it - it might be a slow process, but it will happen. I've never really tried to get DD to drop sessions at night, she just has on her own. 


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    E 9.08, V 8.11, J 4.14
  • I'd keep feeding him. No way would I let him CIO. My pedi said something similar at that age. I ignored him. My DD had dropped all of her night time feedings a little after 6 months and started STTN then. Do what you feel comfortable with.
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  • I'm a SAHM, and my LO did EXACTLY the same thing your LO is up to. When he was 6 months old I started getting about 5 hours in a row of sleep. Now he sleeps 12 hours at night, and gives me 2, 2 hour naps a day. I GETS BETTER.

    In my humble opinion I will say DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO CIO. Your pedi is out of her mind. I was told the same thing, that "LO will never self wean, and he'll never get a good's night sleep unless you allow him to cry". That's INSANE. Your gut is telling you to nurse your child. Your gut is right. Keep listening.

    LO needs you, you are doing wonderful work, you are an amazing woman. You deserve praise for all that you are doing, without any sleep. You are literally keeping LO alive from your own physical being. It's so very hard. I know, I KNOW how hard it is, but it's worth it. Sleep will come to you soon, you're in the home stretch.

    To help get you through to longer stretches of sleep, ask DH if he could help whenever possible. My DH didn't get up at night until LO was about 5 months old. But if I had any sense at the time, I would have pumped just one bottle, and asked DH to take one feeding at night. Is this something that could be done? 

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  • DD was sleeping 8 hours straight at night at 4 months.  We did increase day feedings and decrease night feedings starting at 3 months to help.  I think waking every 2 hrs is too much. 

    However, I wouldn't do CIO or Ferber or any sleep training until at least 6 months. 

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  • At 4 months my DD was up at least 4 times a night and eating every 2hrs during the day (give or take).  Our pedi said do what works for us.  We did end up doing some sleep training at 4 months because it was clear some of her wakings weren't hunger (we only did the training at bedtime but that cut out some of the non-hunger wakings).  We probably could have waited another month or so but I was so tired and so unhappy.  Over the last 6 months she has, on her own, gradually slept longer and dropped feedings.  Now she sleeps 6:45 to about 3-4am eats and sleeps till about 6am.  The last couple days she has slept till 5am and nursed then back for another 40-60mins.  We didn't force any of that and I'm hopeful in the next 2 months she'll just STTN on her own.  Sure it would have been nice for more sleep sooner but I mostly preferred to let her go at her own pace.
  • smb722smb722
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    Personally, I would continue feeding on demand.  4 months is still very young! He will change his feeding schedule when he's ready.

    I feel like pedis offer "one size fits all" advice, rather than taking the specific child into consideration.

    My LO has always been super hungry and an avid eater.  Heck, he's just about  11 months and he still sometimes wakes once a night to eat (legitimately eats from both sides).  Only you know your LO.  If you think he's waking because he's hungry and needs to eat, then feed him.  If you think he's waking to be comfort nursed back to sleep, maybe try giving him a paci or rocking him/soothing him first and see if that works.

    FWIW I waited til 5 months to sleep train using CIO. 4 months seems really young to me still.

    Good luck!

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  • At 11 months DS still wakes up several, if not most, nights for a feeding.  It is only a couple - a few times a week that he actually sleeps the whole night. 

    I cant do CIO either, it makes me an anxious wreck!  Even at bedtime...he used to go right to sleep on his own, now he doesnt and DH and I have to go in a few times to settle him back down and try to get him to sleep. 

    I say if you LO is still hungry enough to eat that often, let him!  Do you pump at all or do you plan to?  At four months you should be able to add cereal to your LO's bottle, perhaps you can pump enough to try a nighttime or first wake bottle rather than nurse him and add cereal to that bottle to try to get a longer stretch.  I know BM digests much faster than formula so this may be something you can try if your able to. 

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  • My DD was opposite. She would NOT wake up at night to eat. It was a struggle. after consulting with her pedi, I stopped waking her up at night to eat, but only as long as she was getting plenty during the day, and wetting her 6 diapers. I kept very careful charts so that she wouldn't dehydrate. Granted, she is formula fed, so its easy for me to measure out 8 ounces and watch her consume it all. I would imagine its harder to determine how much they're eating when BF, unless you're pumping. I could be wrong.
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  • Well I cant say my DD was this way...she has slept 12 hours a night since she was 3 months. I will say she went through a growth spurt @ 6mo and woke a few nights to eat but for the most part she was good. I will say that we added rice formula to her bottles and that worked. We dont do that now but did from like mo 3-7. Good Luck and I also think that CIO is not the answer yet. I think the first year is to early for CIO. Good Luck!
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  • I know I'm going against the flow of everyone here, but since you came asking for advice it seems like you're not happy with your situation and probably need some much needed sleep at night! 4months old is plenty old enough to sleep longer and, even though you LO may wake up to eat that often they don't NEED to. And that's the operative word, NEED. They need you to help them learn how to go longer stretches. You're only doing him a disservice by jumping in every 2 hours and teaching him that this is the "normal" way to sleep. You don't have to wait to see if he starts sleeping longer on his own but that doesn't mean you have to let him "scream bloody murder" either. With our twins we gradually decreased their nighttime bottle amounts and upped their bedtime and daytime bottles. We also gradually moved apart and back their feeding time at night. for example, they'd wake up and eat at 10pm, then 1am, but we pushed back that 1am to 1:30-2-3-...etc, They would fuss for a little bit, then start crying for a little but eventually they learned that they can calm themselves back down. And that's what it's all about, even during the day, not just night. Babies need you to let them learn to calm down on their own by you letting them cry a little. Give your son 5min or 10min before going to him. I personally think it's crazy and not needed to have an 8 month old that's waking up to eat, especially multiple times, during the night. They don't need to be taught that eating 24/7 is right, they're more than capable of going 12 hours without feeding, but they need us, as the parents, to guide them with this.  
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  • image dashtwins:
    I know I'm going against the flow of everyone here, but since you came asking for advice it seems like you're not happy with your situation and probably need some much needed sleep at night! 4months old is plenty old enough to sleep longer and, even though you LO may wake up to eat that often they don't NEED to. And that's the operative word, NEED. They need you to help them learn how to go longer stretches. You're only doing him a disservice by jumping in every 2 hours and teaching him that this is the "normal" way to sleep. You don't have to wait to see if he starts sleeping longer on his own but that doesn't mean you have to let him "scream bloody murder" either. With our twins we gradually decreased their nighttime bottle amounts and upped their bedtime and daytime bottles. We also gradually moved apart and back their feeding time at night. for example, they'd wake up and eat at 10pm, then 1am, but we pushed back that 1am to 1:30-2-3-...etc, They would fuss for a little bit, then start crying for a little but eventually they learned that they can calm themselves back down. And that's what it's all about, even during the day, not just night. Babies need you to let them learn to calm down on their own by you letting them cry a little. Give your son 5min or 10min before going to him. I personally think it's crazy and not needed to have an 8 month old that's waking up to eat, especially multiple times, during the night. They don't need to be taught that eating 24/7 is right, they're more than capable of going 12 hours without feeding, but they need us, as the parents, to guide them with this.  

    I totally get that some people do CIO and some don't and that there are difference w/ EBFing and FFing. That being said, I think your knowledge of normal infant feeding and needs is a little off. At 4 months old it is still on the end of normal to need to eat often. That is not teaching them than eating 24/7 is right. It is attending to their needs at that age. It is normal for a baby to need, not want, NEED, to eat once a night up to a year. I'd love for you to come "teach" my 10 month old at 4am that she doesn't NEED to eat. At that point she's gone 9.5 hours w/o eating and her stomach is still not as large as older child's. She is legit hungry. That doesn't mean I want to nurse a 10 month old every 2 hours at night, but at 4 months old that can still be normal. Hard? Challenging? Exhausting? Yes. Needed? Also a yes, sometimes. I could see maybe cutting out one session, or at least try it out, but starting CIO w/ a hungry 4 month old isn't right. 


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    E 9.08, V 8.11, J 4.14
  • DD was still waking every 3 hours or so at that age to eat (EBF) and pedi told me to continue as is at 4 months.  I also around that time had issues with the 4 month wakeful, so she started waking every 45 minutes or so which was a nightmare for a few weeks.

    By 6 months she was down to feeding every 5 or so hours (so one middle of the night feeding) and it was at that point that pedi said I could drop the feeding.  She said she would readjust her milk intake naturally to take more in during the day, plus she was getting solids at that point as well.

    It seems like my friends/family who sleep trained at 6 months had better success than those who tried it at 4 months, probably b/c they still need to eat over night (excepting the kids who naturally drop those feedings on their own).  I personally waited til 6 months. I did it then and it took 3 nights and I ended up with a 12 hour per night sleeper who occasionally has a bad night when she is coming off a cold or back from vacation etc.

  • Uh, yeah. Your pedi needs to get over themselves.  My LO ate over night until like a week ago.  It worked for us and he honestly couldn't go 12hrs without eating.  Even now, he can usually only go 10.  We're working to push it back a bit.  But, he's a hungry dude in the middle of the night. 
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  • Dd still gets a few feedings per night. I might start night weaning after 1 year but we'll see.
  • Thank you all so much for your advice/input.  It makes me feel better that many of you had kiddos that did this and now only nurse 1 or 2 times a night (if at all).  I'm really ok with it but I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't creating poor sleep habits for DS.  Honestly, I just think he needs that extra nutrition right now.  If he didn't...he wouldn't eat and would just comfort nurse... :)
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  • I think sleep questions need to be sorted out into two catagories: Breastfed babies and Formula babies.  There is a pretty big difference.  If you are a bfing mom, you should be getting advice from fellow bfing moms.  Not that FF mom can't weigh in, but we're comparing apples and oranges here.

    BM is digested much quicker than formula, so yes, a baby can most definitely be hungry 2-3 hours after a feeding.

    At 4 months I was doing at least 2 feedings a night, sometimes 3.  This is normal.  It sucks.  I'm sorry hun, that's all I got - it sucks : (

    My son is 9 months and I'm *still* having this problem.  Wander over to the Sept 2011 board and you'll see two post by me, one is a poll for bf babies and how many feedings are being done at 9/10 months and the other is a vent about how freaking tired I am : )  My research from the poll I did showed about 75% of us were still nursing at least once a night at 9/10 months.

    Someday we will sleep again and I will rejoice when that day comes, LOL!

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  • My DD just started dropping to one feeding during the night and occasionally sleeping through the night within the last week. She is doing it on her own without me forcing her or any crying.

    My pedi said to drop the night feedings at 6 months, but I wasn't comfortable with that. She's growing really fast, so I had no problem waking with her for the 10 minutes it took for her to eat then she went right back to sleep.

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