Night Feedings

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by LisaKalinowski, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. LisaKalinowski

    LisaKalinowski New Member

    I am sure this has been posted in the past, I just looked at the first few pages and decided to just post myself. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get rid of the night feedings. I have b/g twins that are 11 months old. The boy is a healthy 25 lbs and the girl is about 18.5 (they eat the same thing!!!). Gabriel (boy) has been waking up pretty much every night between 3 and 5AM. I usually nurse him and he goes right back to bed. Genevieve (girl) mostly sleeps until 5 or 5:30. If before 5:30 i will nurse her and daddy holds her to keep her sleeping. If after 5:30 I am in the shower, etc. getting ready for work... I typically feed them both around 6AM no matter how often they woke up in the middle of the night. But do plan to wean quickly after they turn one. They typically go to bed around 8PM. AND sleep the 45 min ride to daycare at 7:15 - 8AM.

    I just want them to sleep until 6AM. Issue; if Gabriel wakes up, he SCREAMS and pending on the time is if Genevieve will wake up too.

    I guess my question is, what did you do to get them to sleep through or get them off that night feeding (he OBVIOUSLY does not need it ;) ).

  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Originally with our twins we did CIO but then we got tired of having to do it over and over again (and started to feel it was not the right choice for our family) so we started co-sleeping with them around 18 months old. My youngest is almost 17 months old currently and still wakes 3-5 times a night. I've co-slept with him since birth though and night wakings are brief and I soothe him back to sleep by breastfeeding. It's working really well for us right now and my current feeling is if it ain't broke don't fix it so for now I'm just waiting it out. ;)

    Some resources you could check out are Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution For Toddlers" or if you'd prefer something online you could try Jay Gordon's approach ( It's fairly particular to bed-sharing but I imagine it could be adapted for babies in their own beds too. HTH!
  3. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking about your post and thought i might come at your problem for a totally different angle.

    It is hard to imagine that he is waking because he is hungry. I have two other ideas on what could be causing the 3-5 am wake time.

    1) waking has become a habit and for whatever reason he is not self-soothing to return to sleep. the answer to this is tricky to solve. if you do decide it is a problem that you want to address, the problem will be to teach him to self sooth. that will involve some crying no matter whether you use extinction or graduated extinction. the big problem as you said is that DD is involved and you will be dealing with two tired kids. Would it be possible for DD to sleep elsewhere for a few nights (a pack-n-play in your room maybe)? Then you could deal with DS without removing him from his bed so he can learn to return to sleep in his bed.

    2) the other possibility is that he has a sleep deficit. my DD has EXACTLY this response when she is not well rested. Even the wake time is the same between 3 and 5 am! The catch is that it is hard to catch up on sleep when you are waking every day at 3am!
    some kids at this age need 16 hours of sleep. I don't know how many hours of sleep your LOs get total. Even if they are going to bed at 6 pm with a 5 am wake time he is only sleeping 11 hours at night + 45 min am nap. if he is one of those kids that needs a lot of sleep even a 2 hour nap at day care might not be enough.
    Ideas: Can you put them to bed earlier? (even now, at 15 mos, if DD starts waking early i put them into bed at 5:30 (normal bed time is 6/6:15) until her wake up time goes back to 6:30!.. no joke. the first time i tried that, i.totally.did.not.believe it would work, but i was desperate! and it worked)
    Can you leave a little earlier for day care and drive around for an extra 15 minutes? there is a big restorative difference in a nap that is 1 hours verses a nap that is 45 minutes.
    Can you spend a few weekends concentrating on getting as much sleep as possible into him?

    If you can combine all three you should be able to get him caught up. If i were in your situation i would try to help him catch up for a few days / a week and keep my response to his wake ups the same. Who knows, maybe he will just stop waking. Wouldn't that be nice. After you feel he is more rested you may still have to do some teaching to self sooth but it will be much easier with a kid who is rested.

    hope you find the answer. Lack of sleep really, really stinks!
  4. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    You didn't say if they take bottles at all. My twins were FF after about 5 weeks, and we had one who woke at night until 14 months. We tried to wean her off that bottle at 9 months and she just wasn't ready -- even though she was growing well (or maybe because she was growing well), she was clearly still hungry. She would suck the whole bottle down and go straight back to sleep.

    At 14 months it started to feel more like she was waking from habit. I started putting less formula in the bottle (a half-ounce less every couple of days) and then when I got down to 2 ounces, I started watering it down. After a few days of that, she would just suck on it for a minute and then ignore it.

    We did CIO at that point. She only cried for 15 minutes or so (fortunately her sister was a VERY heavy sleeper) and then went back to sleep, and it only took a couple of days before she quit waking, or at least quit crying.

    I have no idea how you'd do this with BF -- would it be possible for your DH to give him a bottle instead of you nursing him? He might decide that isn't nearly as rewarding.

    I'm pretty sure we put them both to bed closer to 7 at that age. 8 would have seemed really late. But they were in daycare and barely napped at all (until, strangely, they were in the toddler room, and then started taking great naps).

    My DD did keep waking at 5-5:30 until she was nearly two. She is just an early bird, and nothing we did as far as tweaking bedtimes seemed to make any difference. But there's a big difference as a parent between getting up at 5 (and staying up) and getting up between 1 and 4!
  5. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I agree with daisies. I think he needs to go to bed earlier. You should be shooting for 12 hours of nighttime sleep or as close as possible. If they need to get up at 6:00, they should be going to bed at 6:00. Plus a couple hours of naps. Sounds like he is overtired. It's really true that sleep begets sleep.
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