Brigitte Langevin is a sleep specialist. She is a speaker and author whose goal is to improve the quality of sleep and understand dreams. She is the author of several books on the subject. Helping my child sleep provides a great deal of information for parents. She is a dynamic person who is much sought-after for her humour and ability to make theoretical and scientific concepts accessible to all. Nights are more satisfying so performances during the day are improved thanks to her help!
Ten month old needs night-time bottle
Our daughter is 10 months old. Our family is sleep deprived and I feel that our daughter's evening routine may be the culprit. Let me explain. After dinner I bathe her before giving her a bottle while rocking her. Around 7:30 PM, she is exhausted. She begins rubbing her eyes, is unable to stand, does not want to sit on the floor, and cannot bear to be near her brother. We rock her in her room before putting her in her bed. She is not asleep when we do so. Around 10:30 PM, we wake her up and give her another bottle to make sure she sleeps through the night...but our plan backfires sometimes! If all goes well she sleeps until 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM. If we do not wake her up for her second bottle, she wakes up several times throughout the night. If we give her the second bottle earlier (around 9:00 PM), she does not to sleep through the night. I do not know what to do, we are exhausted. Do you have any suggestions?
I feel that your evening routine is perfectly suited for a 10 month old. You make sure that all her needs are met: she is fed, she is rocked, she is noticeably tired, and she is put to bed while she is still awake at a perfectly reasonable time. Do not change this routine. I think the problem may be related more to the following: 1- waking her up at 10:30 PM and 2- she still requires a bottle during the night.
Specialists agree that a healthy 6 month old who weighs more than 5 to 6 kg or 12 to 14 lbs is capable of sleeping through a 10 to 12 hour night without eating. When babies continue to require night-time feedings it is considered to be learned behaviour since there is no nutritional need for nocturnal feedings. At 10 months, your daughter is more than capable of absorbing the required calories she needs in four meals throughout the day. What is going on? Since she is used to being fed one or more times during the night, she feels hungry. She is unable to differentiate a habit and an actual need. The more we eat, the hungrier we are.
I suggest that you no longer wake her up at 10:30 PM for a bottle. If she wakes up during the night, give her a bottle of water. To prepare her for the change, you should speak to her and tell her exactly what you expect of her. Furthermore, if she refuses to drink water, which is highly possible, avoid giving her milk. You may stay by her side for a minute or two, gently caressing her. Tell her that it is night-time and that it's time to sleep. Do not hesitate to tell her that you believe in her and that you know that she will learn to fall asleep without needing any intervention on your part. If you see that your attempts to calm her are only making things worse, you must leave her room. She will probably cry a lot to express her disagreement. Keep in mind that sleep is essential for her physical, emotional, and intellectual health (the same goes for adults by the way). Remind yourself that parents must fulfill their children's needs. You are fulfilling her need to sleep. After three or four nights, your daughter should sleep from 7:30 PM to 5:00 or 6:00 AM. Perseverance, patience, tenderness, and firmness are the ingredients you will need to help a child learn to sleep through the night.
Brigitte Langevin, author
Speaker and teacher
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