Judy’s Advice: Use Gradual Adjustments To Alter Your Baby’s Sleep Times

So I know that at 10 months, my daughter does not physically “need” to be fed during the night, but I have a dilemma. She is in bed early at 6pm. I nurse right before bed and she is put in the crib awake and usually goes to sleep without much protest. She stays sleeping until ~3-4am but wants to be fed then and nurses well at that time. She will then sleep until ~6/6:30. When I’ve tried letting her cry it out instead of feeding her, she just keeps fussing/napping until her normal wake up time and then is cranky. She doesn’t eat much for solids still – maybe 4oz total plus a bites of finger foods. She is still nursing before 2 naps and before bed. I’d like to get rid of the early morning feed b/c I’m worried about continuing the habit, but not at the expense of her being so tired and cranky. I think if she ate more food, it would probably correct itself, but I don’t know. Any advise?
(posted on the MamaSource message board)

Congratulations on nursing your daughter for so long!! It is wonderful to see you meeting her needs so well. If your daughter goes to sleep at 6 PM, then she is probably starving by 4 AM. I wouldn’t cut that feed out. I’m sure she needs it. Her little belly can only hold as much food as the size of her little fist, so she is already going 10 hours without eating – I wouldn’t even dream of asking you to make her go longer.

If you’d like to try getting her to sleep later in the AM, then I would suggest that you gradually change her evening bedtime. It is best to do this VERY gradually. Keep her up 15 minutes later until she is happy going to bed at that time (for probably a week or two), then adjust it another 15 minutes for a week or two, then another. This gradual adjustment will help to adjust her internal clock so that she can learn to stay up later and also sleep later. It will take you several months to complete the cycle and may disrupt her sleep habits for a bit. But gradual is really the best way to do it. Eventually you can get her to the point where she is going down at 8 and sleeping till 6 and then going back down until 7 or 8. As you adjust her nighttime schedule, her daytime schedule will also likely adjust – so be prepared for that.

Good luck adjusting her schedule and congratulations again for doing such a great job with your daughter!

1 comment to Judy’s Advice: Use Gradual Adjustments To Alter Your Baby’s Sleep Times

  • This is great advice that Judy is giving. My daughter used to go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 6am for a feeding. When my milk supply went down she start waking up at night and we both ended up getting cranky. I found the solution in that I put her in her crib at 8pm, then nurse her again around 11pm before I go to sleep and she sleeps just fine until 6 or 7am. Something else that worked great for us is giving her about half a (small) jar of yogurt at her 11pm feeding if she was still hungry and couldn’t go to sleep.

    My daughter is 10 months old too.

    Mara’s last blog post..Boutique Custom Order Hair Bow – One Bow

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