Need sleep, is bf at fault?

(22 Posts)
drnoitall Mon 14-Apr-14 11:37:31

I know this is not the right place and I have posted elsewhere. I'm at my wits end. I must sleep properly of go insane.
Ds is 13 months.
He has always been a terrible sleeper and we have both become too reliant on bf to get him off to sleep and back to sleep, he wakes at least 4 times on average every single night.
I don't wish to feed him any more, please can you advise of any useful tips/strategies to make this happen.
Thank you.

sadsaddersaddest Mon 14-Apr-14 11:43:13

DD3 is 18mo and the same. DS and DD1 were the same. For both of them things improved almost overnight at 2.
In the meantime, co-sleeping has helped me keep my sanity.

pianodoodle Mon 14-Apr-14 11:47:02

When we cut out night feeds my husband would go into DD when she woke at night for a while.

She settled back down more easily because if I went in she automatically assumed it would be a feed smile

BerniesBurneze Mon 14-Apr-14 11:47:32

Do you have a partner who can help get you into a new routine?

drnoitall Mon 14-Apr-14 12:01:20

Thanks for replies.
Sad. Yes co sleeping has been a quick fix but I want a solution now. I don't want to feed anymore. Sleeping and feeding have become one and I don't know how to start. I know he will be very upset and cry a lot. I want to try and minimise this.
Do if my dh puts him to bed, how long did it take??

sadsaddersaddest Mon 14-Apr-14 12:09:09

Have you tried feeding him when he wakes up, but stopping before he falls back asleep and cuddling him instead? I tried it a couple of months ago - DD cried the first few nights but she is now able to settle herself (next to me) if I say no more boob. She went from 6-7 feeds a night to 3-4.

BerniesBurneze Mon 14-Apr-14 12:11:55

Try a time your baby generally wakes up and seems hungry, be it 12 or 3 pm and get your DH to settle every other time, offering a drink if water if needed. Feed during your prearranged time.

Try and get as much bm down during the day as possible, and drink lots before your night time feed.

CrohnicallyChanging Mon 14-Apr-14 12:13:01

For DD, Dh going in never worked as she knew I was there somewhere and would hold out for boob. What did work was my mum looking after her for a night at her house.

ExBrightonBell Mon 14-Apr-14 12:13:21

You don't have to stop feeding altogether, but it sounds like you want to change the feed=sleep dynamic.

You could start by changing when you do your last bfeed before bed. Feed downstairs, or somewhere not related to sleep, and do it before you do the final stages of your routine. Perhaps before bath/teeth clean/story or whatever you currently do. Then have your DH put your DS to bed and stay with your DS until he falls asleep. You could do some variation on PUPD or gradual retreat to help him fall asleep at this point. Then your DH can go in for any subsequent night wakings. Once your DS is used to going to sleep without feeding, it will be easier for you to go in and settle him instead of your DH.

You might find that your DS takes to the new routine without too much fuss, it's not a certainty that it will be difficult.

pinkdelight Mon 14-Apr-14 12:27:28

I went away for a weekend and that sorted it. Had to stop BF, obviously, but DS was 14mo so felt I'd done my bit and it really wasn't helping. DH didn't get much sleep for the first night, but the second night was much better. Both nights were great for me! And when I got back it was better for everyone. Hope you manage it. They do need to settle themselves.

CurlyBlueberry Mon 14-Apr-14 14:11:21

Look up the Jay Gordon method - we used something similar on my son at around 12 months and it worked beautifully.

parakeet Mon 14-Apr-14 14:54:53

Controlled crying saved my life. Took two nights max. We were all - including the "cryee" - much happier afterwards.

katienana Mon 14-Apr-14 15:31:31

I nightweaned at 14/15 months, cutting breastfeeds down to morning and bedtime. We did it over Christmas when DH was around every day to try and settle DS at night. We co sleep so I slept in the spare room. It took a while to sink in and he did wake up frequently at first but it got less and less and he started to just wake once, come into our bed and then sleep till 6am. The morning feed naturally went as DS lost interest in it but the bedtime feed lasted until last week when I started getting DH to put him to bed.
If you are still feeding often then it wouldn't be a good idea for you to stop suddenly as you might get engorgement which could lead to mastitis.
There will be tears, there is no way around it, but if your DS is being cuddled by someone who loves him then he is fine, the best thing for you is to busy yourself or have a bath or something!

dustarr73 Mon 14-Apr-14 15:39:09

You need to change your routine slightly so its not associated with bf.What i did was he used to have a feed in the morning wiht me before we got up,i got dp to put him straight in the highchair.Took a few days but it was grand though.
Also i never co slept as it didnt work for me so during teh night just fer him water and get your partner to go in.When he realises hes not getting boob he should sleep for you.

drnoitall Mon 14-Apr-14 17:23:41

Thanks for your replies. I will read up on the Jay Gordon method, never heard of it.
Yes yes I need to change our routine.
It's become so ridiculous, with ds and I sleeping in his room (has double bed and an empty cot, that has never been slept in, and my dh in our bed. I just want a few hours unbroken sleep and to wake up next to my dh. He has slept alone for over a year and it's not great.
Right, I've got some good ideas from you and I'm gonna start tonight.
Parakeet I tried the cc a few times but just hate the crying, how long did you leave your dc before they either slept or you went in?
Ds gave up soon when first put down but has always woken after an hour, that gave enough energy to cry for England so dh and I gave up!
Thanks.

CurlyBlueberry Mon 14-Apr-14 17:41:52

Good luck. Mine now gets put to bed in his own room on his own (double) mattress on the floor. My husband and I have our own bed back! We do sometimes have to go in to him during the night and often end up cosleeping in his bedroom, but it's gradually getting less, and we no longer feed during the night.

smartypants1000 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:16:06

I'd recommend a book called The No-Cry Sleep Solution.

sazzle82 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:39:47

I was just talking to the person, who runs the hospital baby group I go to, about this today. Dd is much younger (7 months) but my issue is that she is waking and feeding for less than a minute before going back to sleep. Given her age I'm happy to do proper night feeds.

Her current bed routine in bath, story, feed, bed. I've been told I need to move her feed earlier so she doesn't associate it with sleep. What they have said to do is time how long she feeds for. If it's 10 minutes I should feed her for 1 minute before the bath then 9 at bed time, tomorrow do 2 mins before bath, 8 after and so on until the feed comes before the bath and bed time is separate. This should help her learn to settle without milk, the hope being that she settles when she wakes in the night without needing boob.

Artyparty Mon 14-Apr-14 20:16:20

Hi drnoital
I feel your pain. My eldest was just the same. Woke every 2 hours for a feed & I co-slept to deal with it. At about the age your DC is, I wanted to try to night wean:
I got my DH to put her down at night after I had bf. I slept and he settled her when she woke until 1am. Then he slept and I settled the rest of the night.
We got it down to 1bf at 4am (!) and she would sleep thru until then.
After a while of doing that I had a night away at about 18 months and wore a high top for about a week after... She started sleeping thru then and it was bliss smile. It will happen for you too smile smile
I believe that babies who are bf on demand do this- no one tells you that formula makes them sleep better but it does.
Just be proud of yourself for cop

Artyparty Mon 14-Apr-14 20:16:54

.... Be proud of yourself for coping this far x

Coldlightofday Mon 14-Apr-14 20:25:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wickedwithofthenorth Mon 14-Apr-14 21:25:12

I could have written your post op, dd was and to some extent still is a rubbish sleeper. But like you when she reached 14 months I needed more sleep. After thinking we cracked her sleep at 11 months illness on all our parts meant she was taking several hours to settle and feeding almost constantly through the night. So it was my new years resolution was to stop night feeds.

For us it meant less sleep before we got more. Dh works evenings so bedtime mean I'm on my own. Sleep for dd was bf and me. From new years day I fed her until she lost intrest/ got sleepy then put on several layers and lay in bed with her with my eyes closed until she fell asleep.

For night wakings I told her that the breast was asleep, that she should go to sleep too and that it needed sleep to make milk for the morning. Then that she could have a drink of water and a mummy cuddle. Chatting reassured her and she'd eventually go back to sleep with less crying than I'd expected. She'd also cuddled into dh if I said no. Her morning feed was allowed when dh went to work, so I told myself and her milk was for when daddy got up. After 4 weeks her she woke once or twice and settled back to sleep quickly without feeding.

The big difference for settling her to sleep came with converting her cot bed into a toddler bed. She has a feed in her bed, story, teeth brushing, night light on, song, kiss good night and tucked up. I'm very gradually retreating. I sat next to her holding her hand, then hand on her pillow, then the edge of her bed, then sitting at the bottom of her bed. Two months on I sit in the doorway and wait for her to fall asleep. We had her bed pushed against the side of ours to begin with. Now she starts of away from us and we move her bed when she wakes.

So sleep's still not ideal, but is getting better and we've been able to do it gently. The plan is to slowly get her into her own room.

The things that really helped when we started this change was dh being able to take over in the days so I could sleep in preparation for the night. Having dd between us in the bed. And making sure she got a good day time sleep at the cost of almost everything else.

Good luck op.

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