Self soothing during the night

My 20 week old baby is able to fall asleep by herself in her cot when it's bedtime however when she wakes up in the night she will not go back to sleep unless I give her a bottle of milk. She will only have about 3oz and then she falls asleep. I know that she's not that hungry as she struggles to drink even this small amount. She has been waking up just the one time in the night which wasn't too bad but the last two nights she's woken up twice and I really don't want this to become a habit. I know it's good to self soothe but when I've searched for strategies, all I can find are bedtime routines which is a thing that we have already established.

Basically, she wakes up and I start by giving her a dummy. Sometimes she goes back to sleep while other times she starts crying again after a few minutes. After this happens for the 4th time I go down to warm a bottle up and she falls asleep while taking it.

I know I probably shouldn't be giving her a bottle but when I'm tired I just want a quick solution. Im going to try and only offer her the dummy. I am prepared for a few nights of poor sleep as I know I have to think about the bigger picture.

If anyone has got any advice or strategies or similar stories that have had a positive ending please comment. Thanks!

7 Replies

  • Here's all our information on babies sleeping patterns:

  • Why do you feel bad about giving her the bottle? It's normal for bubs to wake during the night. I wonder whether if you gave her the bottle straight away she would take more and sleep for longer? My 19 week old has changed up his night wake ups a lot - he went from one wake up to two last week and now he's gone back to one - yay! (Plus a dreamfreed) i tried a few things (dummy,more blankets,etc etcetera) but resolved just to feed when he asked and try not to stress! I've read that when they go through developmental milestones they might need more calories/ comforting. Good luck!

  • Last night I left her to grizzle a bit longer and she did fall back asleep again. I offered her water when this didn't work and she went off to sleep after an ounce. I'm sticking with this. It worked better than I expected it to. I'm not the type to get stressed. This is baby number 5 for me and drawing on my experience I know what mistakes I don't want to do again. I wasn't feeling bad about giving her a bottle but I know that she's not hungry. She's probably just thirsty. Trial and error, what I did worked last night so I'm going to stick at it.

  • :) glad to hear you've found a solution!

  • this is very common ,try taking a flask of luke warm water up and a milk dispenser so you can do her milk quickly so she doesnt get upset.My one year old is teething and get fussy sometimes at four for a suck on his bottle.This is common and It is just a phase the night is long for a baby and she sounds like a really good girl.It just breaks up the night when they are having a drink i think .I wouldnt worry about this at all

  • also growth spurts ,my baby is on grown up solids now and wont even look at baby food now I am glad if he has a little formula as hes growing so much and walking a bit too.

  • Sounds like you are doing really well and congrats on your 5th baby! I have always given milk in the night when baby wakes up - I know some could argue that I'm making a rod for my own back. However, babies are all different and they do go through various phases of waking in the night and sleeping through( with glitches along the way). Personally, I feel that there is too much pressure on us mums to get our little ones sleeping through the night as soon as possible (though we also long for that rest as well). They all do it eventually :-)

    I'm glad it sounds like you have your solution now and your little girl is doing well.

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