Hi! I am Kim West, the Sleep Lady, and in today’s video I’m going to answer Dishanta’s question:
“My daughter is nine months old and she’s never slept through the night. She’s usually asleep between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m. She gets up twice during the night at 1:00 and at 4:00 am and then she’ll wake up for good between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. The only way she goes to sleep after waking in the middle of the night is by giving her a bottle. She’s teething now and has been diagnosed with acid reflux.
“Unfortunately, right now she’s unable to have her own room to sleep without us by her. She sleeps in her crib fine though she doesn’t sleep through the night. The only way she falls asleep is if I rock her. We’ve tried “cry it out” and I couldn’t take it.
“I’ve tried cutting back the formula amount and she’s still waking up during the night. I need help. I’m exhausted. I’m starting a new job and I can’t be cranky for my new job.
“Here is my question: I don’t know what time to start putting her down to sleep. I’ve seen between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. but that’s when she’s (currently) taking her last nap before she goes down for the night. Please, help.
A desperate and tired mother,
Dishanta, you have given us lots of great information. Thank you for sharing.
First Things First
You mentioned two important things:
- Daytime Feeding. One is that you’re concerned about her feeding during the day and whether she needs feeding at night.
- Diagnosis of Acid Reflux. You also told me that she was recently diagnosed with acid reflux.
I’d like you to ask your pediatrician about the number of night feedings feeding and her acid reflux.
Ask your pediatrician the following questions:
- Given your daughter’s age, weight and health, how many calories should she be consuming in a typical 24 hours?
- If she is taking in any solid meals during the day how many ounces of formula should she be eating?
- In light of this information, does she need formula at night to help her be able to sleep through a 10 to 11-hour period?
- If so, how many ounces?
Make Sure Her Acid Reflux is Under Control
Next, we need to talk about her reflux. You will need to discuss the following items with her doctor:
- Does she need medication and is this affecting her feeding schedule or amounts during the day?
- Does this affect or change your plans for the nighttime?
If her reflux warrants medication, then it is important to wait until the reflux is under control – meaning that she no longer has any pain from it – before you start sleep coaching.
There is potentially some crying that can happen with sleep coaching. You do not want to make the reflux worse by increasing her crying. Also, you don’t want to lay her down and then hear her crying and not know if it is the reflux causing the crying or the sleep coaching.
Start To Move Her Bedtime Up
In the meantime, while you are settling these two issues, you could start to experiment with pushing her bedtime earlier. When you’re starting a new job, you’re likely going to have to get up earlier in the morning and, therefore, she’s going to have to get up earlier.
For example, let’s say she has to start getting up at 7:00 a.m. in order for you to get out the door and to your new job on time. This means she needs to go to bed closer to 7:30 p.m. Typically, between 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. is the average bedtime for this age group. But, in your situation it could be as late as 8:00 p.m.
In this situation you have two options:
- You could try to slowly push her bedtime earlier. Or,
- You could make her last nap time, which has been 7:30 p.m., her bedtime. Then, of course, she’ll start her day earlier.
This second option could help you both get ready for the schedule of your new job. It will also mean that you’ll need to shift all of her naps.
Here is a typical sleep schedule for her age group (9 to 12 months)That you can start to work towards.. Continue to rock her to sleep and give her bottles during the night until you talk to her doctor and settle the feeding and reflux issue.
Your Next Steps to Help Her Sleep Through The Night
- Talk to your pediatrician about how much formula, if any, your daughter needs in the middle of the night.
- Follow the plan to get her reflux under control.
After talking to your pediatrician you will also know when you want to begin night weaning.
Then you can work through the 9 to 12 month old chapter of my book or you could join Gentle Sleep Solutions where we’ll coach you through the entire process through a series of videos and emails.
Once you begin sleep coaching focus on having her go to bed while awake and then implement your night weaning plan. I would recommend you start gradually with my sleep coaching method called The Sleep Lady Shuffle, outlined in Good Night, Sleep Tight. .
The Shuffle is where you stay with your child, offering physical and verbal reassurance while she learns to go to sleep. You do not have to do “cry it out” at all.
Video filmed by In Focus Studios