I have a nearly 1-year-old boy who is currently enjoying solids a lot. He'll normally eat all of his dinner, which is whatever we are having, and a lot of the time he'll also finish his big brother's meal too.

He is being breastfed, though we have cut down his feeds. He used to be on a feed every 3 hours, but in recent months this has come down to a feed at bedtime.

Bedtime routine is that he will have a bath at 7pm, then change into his sleepsuit and sleeping bag, then fed until he falls asleep at the breast. This normally takes up until 8pm.

He is still waking up during the night, insistent on being fed again. Normally this is once, but once he wakes up he is awake. Last night he woke up at 11:45. After seeing if he'd go back to sleep my wife and I both went in to try and comfort him, with no success. Eventually my wife gave him breast and, after he'd had his fill, he settled back down and went to sleep after 40 minutes. The previous night he woke up three times, requiring multiple feeds.

Other than that he is a healthy, happy boy, though he has had surgery a few weeks ago. This behaviour was occurring consistently before the surgery. He is having cooled boiled water to drink through the day.

We are of the opinion that he wants the breast as a comforter, and also that feeding him until he falls asleep isn't good and he should be put down awake, but a lot of the time he simply zonks out. We're going to try changing the routine and see if we can put him to bed earlier so he's still awake, but any other tips would be good, as to put it bluntly we are at our wit's end with rarely getting more than 4 hours sleep a night.

1 Answer 1


I have good and bad news, this can be done, but it isn't quick or easy.

top tips

  • Make waking up in the night dull
  • Keep it dark, a nightlight is good for this
  • keep it quiet and calm, so only person

I used the method called slow withdrawl

here is a link explaining it https://www.netmums.com/baby/sleep-training-techniques---gradual-retreat

The seven steps of gradual retreat ...

1 Place a chair or cushion by your baby's cot.

2 Put your baby down to bed when she's drowsy, then sit on the chair or cushion.

3 When your baby cries, go back to her and gently pat or stroke her. Try to avoid eye contact.

4 As soon as your baby stops, very quietly move your cushion or chair slightly further away from her cot and sit down.

5 If your baby cries again, go back to her and gently pat or stroke her. As before, try to avoid eye contact.

6 As soon as your baby stops crying, very quietly move your cushion or chair slightly further away from her cot and sit down.

7 Repeat this process until your baby is asleep. It can take a good 10 minutes for them to fall into a deeper sleep so that you can leave without waking them.

As my baby's room wasn't actually big enough to do this I read a book next to him, so he got no entertainment from me in between soothing.

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