My ten month old baby still doesnt sleep through the night
(San Jacinto, CA)
Question: I'm a single mom and every other night i give him a bath massage him when i lotion him up then rock him to sleep at about 9pm but by 2 he's up again for a bottle or wanting to lay with me (just moved him to a crib). Also i have a childcare provider so how can i have him on a schedule if i dont know if she is actually keeping him on his nap and food schedule .... recently single mom so I'm new to doing this on my own do you have any kind of advice for me?
Heidi's Answer: Dear Sandra, Having one night feeding at 10 months old is not uncommon at all but you can start working to wean him from it. Do this by gradually diluting the formula: use a little less formula for the same amount of water every two nights. Of course only do this if you are absolutely sure he gets enough food and milk during the day. If you think he may need extra during the day, do not give it right before bedtime but spread the extra intake throughout the day.
You also want to shift his night time bedtime to earlier. This may sound surprising but earlier bedtimes very often result in much better nights - this is because they go to bed less (over)tired and this gives a better start of the night (meaning more restful sleep for longer stretches). Go for a drastic switch to 8pm first and then in a week or two gently move towards 7.30pm.
If the drastic switch from 9pm to 8pm seems to much of a change to you now, you can also shift by 10 minutes every other day.
This is also a good time to start working with the gentle soothing method: you will still rock him to sleep as you do now, but very gradually move towards putting him down earlier and earlier (more and more awake).
And yes, also the regular daytime nap schedule will help with his nights. Talk to your childcare provider, it is one of her tasks to provide the children with rest and food at regular times. Most child carers much prefer to have a strict schedule with the children as it makes their days easier.
So talk to her and discuss what she usually does as a schedule with other babies, and tell her what you usually do when you are at home with him. Together you should be able to find a system that works: having a baby who is well rested and sleeps regularly will be most pleasant for her too.