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Pediatrics/11 Month Old Sleep Issues


I have an 11 month old girl, who has never slept more then 5 hours. She sometimes wakes up 4-5 times a night. I also have a 2 year old, the 11 month old is in our bedroom, she will share a room with her sister. Whenever she would wake up we would run to her so she didnt wake up her sister (apartment is very small), we would give her bottle and she would go back to sleep. It has become such a habit but its very hard to let her cry it out because she will wake up the whole house. We are at a wits end and just want some advice on how to handle this. I know I should stop the bottles and give her water or something but nothing we do to soothe her works besides a bottle and even with that she is still up every 2-3 hours. Please help! Thank you!

Hi Kelly,

"Sleep requirement" varies from person to person and it's ok if your baby sleeps for a short duration but is active (not sleepy) through out the day. There is nothing that can make her sleep longer.

It is also normal for any infant/ toddler/child to wake up briefly many times at night. However, by giving her bottle every time, you are unwittingly making her "dependent" on bottle to get back to sleep. Even giving her water in pace of milk would not be better from sleep point of view (although it would be better from dental point of view in the long run).

We, in India, do not recommend/ endorse even "crying it out" strategy either. The only solution is to help her learn getting back to sleep herself. To achieve that, focus your efforts around the time she goes to bed at night. Do not let her sleep while having her bottle.

I would explain the concept of "last waking memory" to help you understand the problem and its solution.

Whatever the baby does just before the sleep becomes "last waking memory"...and this memory is very "strong". Whenever, baby wakes up at night, she recalls what happened just before sleep. Hence, if the baby goes off to sleep WHILE feeding and then wakes after 1-2 hours, her first thought would be "Where is the feed?" and would start crying and won't stop till she gets feed.

Hence, to manage the situation, you need to focus on the last feed that is given to baby. There has to be a "gap" of at least 15-20 minutes between feeding and sleeping. In those 15-20 minutes, you can help her to sleep by patting her/ giving her a big soft toy to hold on. Now, if she wakes up (and she would), she can easily go back to sleep when you repeat the same (patting her/ giving her a big soft toy to hold on).

Practice it daily and you would hopefully get results in a few days....

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India



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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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