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  1. #1
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    Default Reducing quantity of middle of the night bottles to encourage sleeping through

    My daughter is almost 8 months old and she used to sleep through most nights but hasn't at all for about the last 2 months. She usually wakes once, anywhere between 1-4am. Some nights she'll have her bottle and go straight back to sleep but nights like tonight she's wide awake (May be due to teeth though).

    I've tried dressing her in an extra layer of clothes in case she's cold and sticking to a consistent bedtime routine (dinner, bath, book, bottle, bed) but no luck so far. I've tried settling her without a bottle but she just will not go back to sleep. So a friend suggested that I should gradually reduce how much milk I'm giving her in the middle of the night and she'll eventually realize it's not worth waking up for. The last 2 nights I've offered 100mL and she has drank the whole thing, which makes me think she actually is hungry rather than just waking out of habit. Is it bad to reduce this bottle? I feel bad that she might be hungry but in saying that, she drank her first bottle of the day much better today than she usually would; she rarely finishes a bottle during the day and maybe it's because she knows she can fill up on her nighttime bottle? What have your experiences been with reducing the quantity of bottles? I don't want to get down to only offering 20mL then have her cry for an hour (I want to avoid crying completely, I'd rather keep getting up to her and giving a bottle than let her cry).

    Sorry for rambling a bit, I'm just trying to get my thoughts straight.

  2. #2
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    How are you when you go in for the bottle at night?
    Do you make it extremely boring for her and dim the lights, minimal eye contact?
    I found if I went in and didn't make any fuss at all, so no lights expect the hall way, no talking, limited eye contact they soon started waking only every now and again and mainly if they were sick, night mare or uncomfortable.

    It could be that she is waking up thirsty or is genuinely a little hungry.

    If you think it's hunger you could try reducing the her bottle by 10mls each night and seeing what minimally gets her though to breakfast or what isn't enough, hopefully when you find the minimal amount to get her through she will start having more food during the day.
    Or you could just offer warm water in a bottle and see if it's just thirst, if that works I would just try to up her water intake during the day or start introducing foods with high water content (broccoli, watermelon, cucumber)

    I use to stress when my kids didn't completely sleep through the night.
    Ds was a great sleeper and nothing, including his own hunger, could ever wake him up.
    Dd is 3.5yo and still does wake up once a night a few times a week.
    usually it's at 2am and she will stir and just want me or dh there for when she goes back to sleep. She goes to sleep a lot quicker when I make it all very boring though.
    I've tried leaving her to cry and it usually causes more problems, more waking up and it's generally a horrible experience for all of us.

    I wouldn't cut the bottle out right away as I do think she will get upset by it.
    I would just try a bit of trail and error on things and see if you have any improvements or if you start going backwards and just keep note of what you changed etc.
    I think that's the best way to go if you want to avoid crying.
    At 8 months some babies are sleeping through, some just aren't ready for that yet.
    Don't stress that you think she should be sleeping through because others her age are. It's all normal.
    It could be teething (not all babies scream when teething, ds would just have trouble getting back to sleep and would seem happy, the only sign was a new tooth a few days later, where as dd would be up in pain for hours on end) it could be a series of growth spurts that have her brain working in overtime.

  3. #3
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    I did this! Works a treat. I was hesitant the first couple of times too. My mum gave me the idea & swore it was 'just for a suck' not hungry etc. we got down to 60mls for a few nights then she stopped waking. You will know if she's hungry because she'll drink the 60mls & grizzle if she wants more, my dd never did, just a couple of sucks & back to sleep. Her day feeds improved dramatically too,


 

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