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How can I help my baby sleep longer?


Our 11 month old takes two good naps a day, but has never slept in long stretches at night and we're not seeing a whole lot of progress as she gets older. She is petite and gains weight gradually, but she is on solids as well as breastmilk and given the amount of diapers in a 24 hour period, I know she's getting enough to eat. After nursing and a regular routine of bath, singing, prayers, I put her down drowsy but awake and usually have no problem...she babbles herself to sleep. BUT, she wakes up between 3 and 4 times throughout the night, wanting what I assume is comfort nursing. I'm wondering how many of you had the same problem when your babies were this age and did you resort to a crying-it-out method (if so, how did it go???), or did you just wait it out and eventually your baby slept through the night? She goes to bed early so I know she's not overtired when I put her down. And, I'm assuming she is not hungry.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:14 PM on Jul. 5, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (8)
  • Either cut one of the naps out or both of them.

    Answer by itsallabtthem84 at 8:18 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • At 11 months old my DD was waking up no less than 4 times a night. To nurse. And no, it wasn't comfort nursing. She was actually eating. At 21 months she's still waking up 1-3 times to nurse. She really does need to eat at night. She's very busy and active during the day, and eats a lot, but I think she's SO active that she needs to eat during the night too. I decided when I became a mom that I was going to listen to my child. My child is telling me that she still needs this. And if she does it another 6 months, I've, what? Gone 2 years with broken sleep? Out of 80ish? Doesn't seem too bad to me.

    Answer by Arisce at 8:19 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • I'd cut out one of the naps.

    Answer by KairisMama at 8:29 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • If she is still napping in the morning I would cut out that nap, give her a no more that 2 1/2 hour afternoon nap. Put her to bed with a music in the room with soothing sounds that will play through the night. When she wakes make sure she is fully awake and give her a drink of water from a sippy cup-do not nurse her-in the middle of the night. Make sure to nurse her really well before you put her to bed. That is how I was able to cut our all three of my children for the middle of the night nursing. My children are 25, 22, and 16 now my 22 and 16 year old still get up to get a drink and go to the bathroom around the time I nursed them when they were babies but they cut out the middle of the night feedings around the age of 8 months.

    Answer by Caregiver1 at 8:34 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • My DD is 12 months and is still nursing at least 3-4 times during the night.  This is not uncommon for this age. I have her in bed with me so that I can still get a good night's sleep and meet her needs. My first suggestions would be to do this! She will stop nursing during the night on her own, even if you do nothing (we just don't know when that will be!)

    Check out this article for a good alternative to CIO:

    If/when I get to the point when I want to night wean, that is the method I'm going to use. Sometimes night weaning will put a stop to night waking at this age, and sometimes it will not!


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 9:04 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • I waited, after EVERY method failed including CIO.

    All things pass. More parental sleep is lost intervening with infant sleep than would be if we followed their cues.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:55 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • One way to help you get a little more sleep is to nurse your daughter before you go to bed. What I do, and it has worked very well for me, is do my dd's bedtime routine, nurse her and put her to bed. She goes down at 7. Then at 930 when I am ready to start getting ready for bed myself I pick her up and nurse her, then put her back to bed. My dd usually wakes 1-2 times, but that last nursing session before I go to bed has cut out one of her wake-ups, it used to be 3-4, and makes it so that the first time she wakes is as late as 4am instead of midnight.

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 11:48 PM on Jul. 5, 2010

  • My 10 month is bottle fed and wakes up any where from twice a 8 times. I have tried everything. I don't know what to do any more. He absolutely must have naps at least twice a day. If I omit the naps hes sooo cranky I can't stand him. And hes so overly tired he doesnt sleep all night. Any other suggestions on this one?

    Answer by allisonc242 at 5:12 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

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