My son is 10-months-old and he is still having to have 1 bottle of 100% whole milk at night in order for him to pull through to the morning. He used to have at least 2 or 3 but I was able to wean him off that but somehow I can't seem to wean him off this last bottle. Do you think babies will know when they are ready to stop drinking at night?
Also he has problems trying to soothe himself back to sleep - i have a pacifier in the crib and when he wakes up he cries and eventually I will have to go into his room and pick him up and rock him back to sleep. I am concerned because we have baby #2 arriving on Christmas Eve this year and my husband works shifts at a hospital in a different city so I will have to be on my own for most of the nights. Is there any advice anyone can give me to help him wean off the bottle and also to self soothe himself? Sometimes I get so exhausted I don't want to deal with it but I can't bear to hear my son cry for such a long time.. HELP!!
I had a hard time weaning night feedings as well. My baby was 10-12 mo (if I remember right) when he was finally weaned at night. I did it by giving him a sippy cup of water and if that wasn't enough, I simply stayed with him and patted him and "shushshshshed" until he fell back asleep. Similar if he woke up in the middle of the night and needed help falling back to sleep. I refused to pick him up, but did pat him and shush a lot. The amount of time he needed me gradually reduced to eventually not needing me (or my husband who also did this) most of the time. Be prepared though, my baby was a few months into his first year before he very consistently slept through the night.
I would advise interviening as little as possible when he wakes. If you can shush from the doorway to put him back to sleep that is better than going in and patting him, which is better than picking him up. He will protest the first few nights, and you'll want to give in, but after a couple of nights it will get better and you should see progress.
Also, I did do the ferber method, sort of, a bit - letting him cry for 3 minutes before going back in, etc. But that was very difficult - as they know how to cry to encourage you to come back sooner. I'm sure in the long run it did help him - but if you can't handle him crying and your husband will not be home to support you, I'd skip it and try a sippy cup of water and the other methods I mentioned above. Good luck, I know how hard it is to have a baby who will not sleep through the night, but you will get there eventually.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!
My son was over a year old when we finally got him off the last bottle. And as mean as it may sound we just had to take it away. We gave him a sippy cup of milk instead but in the beginning he wanted nothing to do with it. Eventually he learned he wasn't going to get his way and started drinking the sippy cup. As far as the sleep problem I can't help you there as we have the same problem. Right now we are trying the method of just letting him cry. Our Dr told us that it is not going to hurt him to cry and in the morning they have no memory of it. For the most part it works but I do have my moments where I break down and I can't be mean.
Our oldest didn't sleep through the night until she was 14 months old (about 2 weeks before her little brother arrived) so I can feel your pain. It sounds horrible, but the best way to do it is to let him cry it out. (It took me that long to convince myself to do it).
The first 2 nights were HORRIBLE! I would go in after 5 minutes of crying shh and pat (like suggested above) and then leave for 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then 20 at the most. I swear she cried all night the first night, but by night 3 she was completely soothing herself.