16-month-old never STTN - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-13-2011, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping for any help here.  My son sleeps with us and we have been firm believers in AP and bedsharing.  However, two big things have thrown us:  we weren't able to breastfeed (4 months of trying, then 12 months of pumping and receiving donor milk), and DS simply doesn't STTN.   He still bottle-feeds and does most of it during the night.  Sometimes as much as 24 oz.  A LC friend said this is way more than he would be getting at night if nursing.


I work and handle the nighttime parenting because DP can't take it.   When I reach the end of my rope, DP may take the night shift but it never goes well.  DP is also a SAH dad so he handles most of the daytime parenting.


We have a routine for naptime and nighttime, and keep the times consistent, which does seem to help the falling asleep.  But nothing helps the staying asleep.  We try to make sure he's getting enough food and water and is plenty full at bedtime.  Doesn't seem to make a difference.


DS will only go back to sleep with a bottle, or sometimes getting up and rocking him or walking around.  Patting, talking, shooshing, cuddling ... these don't work.


Today DP said it's time to "Ferberize."  This idea horrifies me and makes me physically sick to even think about.  I'd like to at least take DS to the doctor and rule out any physical issues first, then perhaps try Dr. Gordon's night-weaning method and/or Dr. Sears' "water down the bottle" method.


I simply can't go on this way.  The sleep deprivation is affecting all areas of my life, including my ability to enjoy my son.


Any thoughts?  Thanks so much for your help.


Sweet, beautiful DS born at home 11/11/09!
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#2 of 9 Old 03-13-2011, 02:58 PM
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I don't know if this helps since my situation is different but here it is:

My son was breastfed. I nightweaned him (gosh, I forget how old he was - somewhere between 14-18 months I think). That reduced but didn't eliminate nightwakings and he still required some soothing to get back to sleep. At 21 months, I decided to wean him entirely (I was pregnant and experiencing nipple soreness). That was when he began sleeping through the night. Although he did occasionally wake, he would go back to sleep on his own without needing anything other than the presence of myself or my hubby.


Currently DS1 cosleeps with my hubby while I cosleep with DS2. DS1 still requires contact with hubby at times during the night but mostly no attention. Hubby recently suggested leaving DS1 to cry to get him to sleep alone since hubby has a business trip coming up but like you, I can't stand the thought.

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#3 of 9 Old 03-13-2011, 03:32 PM
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No real advice here but wanted to say my 17 m/o still not STTN (BF) and my friend's used to be FF baby now on regular cow milk is 21 m/o and not STTN and is NW.

My friend is a single mom who works. Her DD sleeps in her own room. She said she thinks she wakes up so much b/c she works and DD needs that extra bonding. I have no idea personally.


I would say at least night wean him and see what happens from their.


sorry NAK

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#4 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 07:58 AM
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We don't have to deal with bottle feeding and we co sleep (though DD spend most of the night in a twin bed, pushed up against mine) and I still couldn't take it. We did a modified Jay Gordon version of nightweaning almost a month ago. I don't know what you mean by STTN, but we didn't even try to get her to go 11 hours. I can't go that long without getting hungry and I don't expect her to. But we don't nurse from 11-4 so that I can get a minimum 5 hour stretch of sleep. She goes down between 7 and 8 and usually wakes once or twice before 11 to nurse. If she doesn't wake between 9-11 to nurse, I usually dream feed her before I go to bed around 10:30. I do this because I started out just letting her wake up naturally and she would wake up at 2 or 3 and cry and not be able to put herself back to sleep or be consoled. She was genuinely hungry. So I started nursing her in a half sleep state to give her a last snack before her long stretch and that worked much better. Last night for instance, she woke up at 10:15 and I nursed her and she didn't wake up again until 5am. The night before I had to wake her a bit to nurse her at 10:30 because she hadn't woken since going down at 7:30. She slept until 4:30 (and then nursed and slept until around 6:30 when she usually is up for the day).


The first couple of nights were rough and it took 2 weeks to really see results, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. The first couple of nights she was upset and mad and cried, but not for more than a few minutes at a time. I would offer to cuddle her and after being mad and crying for a few minutes she'd come over and cuddle. at first it took her anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour for her to go back to sleep. But then it lessened. She'd pop back up and want to nurse but really the problem was that she just did not know how to fall asleep without nursing. Now she does. I think she woke up briefly at one point last night during her long stretch, but immediately put herself back to sleep ( I only know because she does this by cuddling with me, but it doesn't require me to DO anything). When she is genuinely hungry, she sits up and signs to nurse and won't take no for an answer. But as long as I nurse her before I go to bed and once around 4-5, we both sleep well. And we get to keep cosleeping.


This is a baby who woke every 1-3 hours a night to nurse until we nightweaned at 14 months. I feel like a different person these days. Try the gentle way first, you don't have to Ferberize. And good luck, I know how hard it is to be sleep deprived and have even the simple things be a huge struggle.



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#5 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 09:41 AM
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My first ds was an all night nurser and wouldn't fall asleep without being on the boob. So yes different because we weren't dealing with a bottle. I am forever greatful that he was a paci baby though and the pacifier really helped with night weaning. I nightweaned him at 18 months with a great deal of help from dh and some tips from "No Cry Sleep Solution". He did start STTN after he nightweaned, he would still have an occasional night where he woke up and needed help to get back to sleep. But so much better than nursing every 1.5-2 hrs!


Considering how much he's taking in. 24 oz does seem like an awful lot! I would try the water down method and work towards night weaning from the bottle.

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#6 of 9 Old 03-15-2011, 09:52 AM
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my 17 mo old wont sleep lately either. for the last month we have had issues with her needing to be touching me at all times. she is getting her molars....

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#7 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 04:25 PM
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My DS didn't really sleep through the night until he started to self wean around 24months.  We co sleep so it was easy to just wake up and let him nurse and fall back asleep.  

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#8 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 06:06 PM
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Is your babe getting formula or BM now?

24 oz isnt that outrageous for formula. But if its BM, then it sounds like reverse cycling.

My guy is 19 mos and ff, and until he got sick a few weeks ago would easily take 24 Oz between bedtime and morning. I've tried watering it down and he ate a proportionally larger amount that night, which tells me he is actually hungry.

What's your longest stretch of sleep? What's your schedule?

My guy doesnt STTN by my definition, but by the medical definition he does some nights. There are nights he sleeps from 7:30 until midnight or 12:30, but then is up every 2 hrs and starting his day around 6. If i went to bed with him at 7:30 even one night a week, id be getting a lot more sleep than i am now. I have a friend who goes to bed w her 7 mo every night. Her day starts around 4 am, but at least she gets a fair bit of sleep.

Other things to consider - does she sleep better before you guys get in bed with her? Might she sleep better on her own sleep surface (toddler bed in your room), or even her own sleep space? I start my night on the couch because i realized that just the act of going into the bedroom, getting undressed and crawling in bed was causing him to wake up within 5 minutes. But once he wakes the first time, i cant leave the room again or he'll wake and start screaming. Its frustrating, but this is what i've learned he needs for the best night's sleep possible.

Another thought, something that i inadvertantly started doing was falling asleep w him at bedtime. My DH gives me about 45 minutes and then wakes me so i can do all the stuff i need to. But that nap, gotten consistently has really helped w the sleep dep.


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#9 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 09:22 PM
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My DD didn't start sleeping for longer periods of time during the night until she had all her teeth in at about 2.5 years old. We nursed on demand and she wouldn't go back to sleep with out milk. After her teeth were all in she slept about 9 hours, nursed and then slept another 2 or 3.  I really wouldn't consider CIO since it does permanent neurological damage. I, as a SAHM, always did the night parenting since I could nap with DD during the day. If your DH has chosen to be the stay at home parent it seems he could do some of the night feedings in a calm gentle manner that would work for your DS. Here are some articles if you need to show him the harm CIO can do http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/04.09/ChildrenNeedTou.html and http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/linda_folden_palmer2.html .  2 or 3 years of sleep deprivation doesn't compare to a lifetime of being over sensitive to stress and decades of adult stress related diseases, at least in my opinion.  We look at the time we co-slept and I night nursed as an investment in our DDs health.

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