Our son has experienced some sleep training... regression. I don't think that's the right word for it given the circumstances, but here goes.

We started sleep training with him when he was 7 or 8 months old. We got him to where he would sleep through the night more often than not with occasional waking in the wee hours of the morning.

Now he has been teething for about 4-6 weeks. He has one tooth close to fully grown and another that has (finally) broken through the gum-line on the bottom. I can see and feel his top two teeth coming in on the top as well.

Now at 10 months, he is waking up in the middle of the night, every night without fail, to nurse. And he is most assuredly eating and not just comfort-nursing.

Has the middle-of-the-night nursing blown away any semblance of the sleep training we did, and how difficult is it going to be to break him of this habit?

I will be back to update if any breakthroughs occur :)


We have a very normal and predictable bed time routine in place. 7 PM nurse, change the diaper, get in pajamas, read a story, sing songs, down for bed at around 8 PM.


We came home from a long weekend out of town and he got sick (we think). He has(had) a VERY runny nose with clear discharge. This weekend was highlighted by short naps (if any) and waking in the middle of the night with nothing to comfort him. He refused the breast, a bottle, being held, and rocking in the chair. After half an hour of sleep training (Ferber style), we brought him to bed and he finally nursed himself to sleep.

The problem (most likely) is pain from teething that is waking him up. His front two teeth are causing the problem currently. One has completely cut through the gum line, and the other is still working its way. I think the tooth should be all the way through today.

Update #2

For the last two nights I have gotten up with him (thanks @Aparente001!) and given him a bottle. The first night was awful... he wanted mommy something fierce. Last night was a bit easier. I rocked him and patted him and he fully calmed down. I thought about trying to get him to go back to sleep, but he gave me the impression that he wasn't going to have any of that. After he put down a 5oz bottle (glad I gave it to him) I laid him back in his crib and he went directly back to sleep. This may be a "wait-it-out" kind of situation (thanks @Ciacciu!)

Update #3 My wife and I both got a full night's sleep last night! I have a feeling he wanted mommy when he woke up, but after two nights of getting daddy he figured it was just easier to sleep. Here's hoping this is the new pattern.

  • Exactly how old is he now? Apr 9, 2015 at 0:33
  • 10 months almost to the day Apr 9, 2015 at 0:37
  • 1
    Not worth an answer: I can only say that we went through the same thing with premolars, and we didn't find any solution except bearing with it. Good luck! :)
    – Ciacciu
    Apr 28, 2015 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


I have two children, one who was VERY slow to night wean, and one who was a breeze (in that regard, only!).

If you set aside your anxiety about the future... can you and your spouse live with one night nursing for the time being? In another month or two, you could try night weaning again. Night weaning is hard on the father. The baby can smell the mother, so father and baby need to be in a different room for the duration of this project. Father may need to walk and sing, walk and sing, to get baby over the hump.

If he were wanting to nurse two or three times during the night, that would call for drastic, immediate action!

Power struggles in the middle of the night are not good for anyone in the family.

  • He only nurses once a night right now. Thankfully it's just the one time. May 1, 2015 at 20:35
  • Happy ZZZZZZZs. May 2, 2015 at 3:58

This may be way too simple an answer, but it's the one that keeps recurring to me: could it be that your son is waking up because of his gums, but staying awake because he's hungry? In other words, is he getting enough to eat during the day?

I'd try to increase his daytime intake. If and when he wakes up in the night, you could try giving him a refrigerated teething ring, refrigerated bottled breast milk, etc. but no breast to comfort him.

If you're sure he's going to cut a tooth very soon, a dose of acetaminophen at night might help as well.

Not much of an answer, but I hope it helps.

  • 1
    I swear all this boy does is eat! Doesn't invalidate your answer though. I'll have a look at how much he should be eating Apr 9, 2015 at 11:48
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    @BrianRobbins I have found that what babies and toddlers need to eat varies quite a bit from day to day, and month to month. FWIW, our youngest kept drinking a lot of milk during evening/night, past 1 year of age, and he did not really eat a lot until we cut that out. I think it took a week or two of crying a bit when going to bed. (he was never sleep trained, and we didn't attempt - we held him until sleep also when he wanted to eat).
    – Ida
    Apr 9, 2015 at 20:37
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    I may give the dose of acetaminophen a try and see if that keeps him asleep through the night. I'm confident now that he's getting enough to eat during the day. May 11, 2015 at 14:37

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