7 month old always bfs to sleep - anyone else?

(31 Posts)
13Iggis Mon 14-Jan-13 21:56:08

..well except in the daytime, when he happily naps without a feed, DS2 almost always needs a feed to send him over to sleep. In fact he is very unkeen on bfeeding during the day (is on 3 meals though) and makes up for it with about 5 feeds during the night! I have just been going with it but am getting fed up with the advice to let him cry etc. If not fed, he gets increasingly upset and simply does not "cry down" to sleep (which my DS1 would have done).
I figure it is important to be able to put him down to sleep still awake, but he always conks out on the breast after his bath. For about 30 mins. hmm
He sleep in a bedside cot next to me so it is not that hard to feed him in the night (though uncomfortable) but I am feeling increasingly like I've failed by feeding him to sleep for so long, when he obviously doesn't need the milk.
Don't know which is worse, the sleep deprivation of the feeling of being judged!

13Iggis Thu 17-Jan-13 21:44:37

Oooh, loving the hugs and warmth on this thread!
It's right of course, we all do things for comfort, so why not babies too? Trying to do a bit more cuddling to sleep (as it seems to work a bit more now for some reason) but if he starts rooting I'm just feeding him, guilt-free thanks to all of you!

amazingmumof6 Wed 16-Jan-13 18:02:16

needles - a big hug from me going your way!smile

NeedlesCuties Wed 16-Jan-13 17:39:42

>hugs OP<

I've been really worn down by few things recently related to being a SAHM to a 3 yr old and 5 month old, and this thread has cheered me!

DD (the baby) will not sleep for anyone else and loves to sleep while feeding, or with my nipple near her mouth. I can't recall DS doing that when he was a baby, so I'd been dementing myself thinking there was something wrong.

Glad to know we aren't the only ones, and that it'll pass!

Startail Wed 16-Jan-13 15:04:06

For my outwardly super confident DD2, just for comfort was the most important thing.

The flip side of being bright and socially very astute is knowing that the world isn't always nice and the story doesn't always have a happy ending.

amazingmumof6 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:35:12

"So 'just for comfort' perhaps, which people always say as if it's a very bad thing! " exactly, what's wrong with comfort?

ok, let's see about some things that we use for comfort (and other reasons of course) : houses, cars, electricity, heating, chocolate, slippers, dressing gowns, fridges, beds, washing machines, dishwashers, umbrellas, pushchairs, baths &showers, calculators, pcs & mobiles and most gadgets, clothes, shoes, hairdryer, sippy cups......

basically most things.

I rest my case

grin

13Iggis Wed 16-Jan-13 13:52:10

LO will take a bottle of expressed milk from dh, or even water, but then looks round for the real stuff. If I offer a bottle it is batted away (at night - he's happy to drink it in the day). I do think it is the method of drinking that he's looking for more than the actual milk.
So 'just for comfort' perhaps, which people always say as if it's a very bad thing.

nethunsreject Wed 16-Jan-13 13:08:54

aye, i am another one nursing a 2 year old to sleep most nights. it is lovely! smile

amazingmumof6 Wed 16-Jan-13 12:59:58

13iggisgood girl, if you ever think some people might judge you, remember also that a lot of people just as soon would agree with you!

glad I made you laugh, you are welcome!smile

Startail Wed 16-Jan-13 12:57:32

DD2 would settle for DH with yoghurt and juice, but she was probably a bit older than 7 months.
She never took a bottle and hates milk.

It's a long time ago, but I'm guessing she'd drink we'll from a fancy valves cup by 7-9 months and I could leave her once she got the knack.

13Iggis Tue 15-Jan-13 23:27:40

I will be laughing at the Mr Tickle boobs whenever I feed him tonight, thank you amazingmumof6!
EauRouge there are classes during the day but I've no family nearby to mind him. I usually try to do lunches not dinner but it's things like a friend's birthday this weekend - a night out, which I will manage a couple of hours of hopefully.
It has been really useful for me to get a different perspective on the perpetual night of feeds, I think I will try to get him to settle himself at bedtime on his own but just feed him through the night so we both get some sleep. And I'll stop thinking about what other people might think about it smile

EauRouge Tue 15-Jan-13 16:36:08

grin at Mr Tickle boobs.

I think 7 months is a tricky age, they are getting too big to just bung in a sling and take with you to a restaurant/pub/wherever but too little to leave alone for very long. It doesn't last though!

In the meantime, are there any classes you can get to in the day? Or maybe exercise first thing in the morning before your DH goes to work, babies are usually less fussy first thing. Maybe go out for lunches instead of dinners?

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 16:22:40

I'm mean not as a normal state, but to be extendable for car journeies and cold nights...grin

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 16:21:15

have you tried or is he not happy with bottles (formula or EBM) ?
or how about baby apple juice?

"Wish I could leave the boobs behind when I go out!" grin I always fantasized of boobs like Mr Tickle's arms!
although having breastfed 6 kids I'm halfway there

13Iggis Tue 15-Jan-13 16:10:31

This is all great advice, thank you. Think I need to tune out the sleeping-through questions.
I think what IS a problem for me is that as he finds it hard to fall asleep minus milk, or to resettle when he wakes, it is very hard for me to leave the house in the evening. Trying recently to attend some exercise classes and the odd meal out - dh seems unable to settle him, I've come home to sobbing that ends - after an exhausted feed for a few minutes - in him fast asleep. Wish I could leave the boobs behind when I go out!

EauRouge Tue 15-Jan-13 14:44:32

I still feed DD2 to sleep sometimes, she's almost 2! She will go off to sleep on her own maybe about half the time, she started doing it around 8 mo. They are all different, some do it earlier than others.

There are a lot of opinions floating around about whether or not you should feed your baby to sleep but there is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL to show that it's a bad idea, that you need to teach them to sleep with it etc etc. So if it works for you then carry on, and if it stops working, then think about changing things.

A lot of people rate No-Cry Sleep Solution but I actually didn't like it all, it does have a bit in there about not feeding to sleep but as I said above, there's no reason to stop if it's working well for you. Nighttime Parenting by Dr Sears is another sleep book that's well worth a read, ISIS online is also a great source of info.

Another thing to bear in mind is that adults will wake a couple of times a night (most of us don't remember or just roll over and go back to sleep)- sleeping for 8 hours in a deep sleep without stirring is a total myth, it's just not how sleep works. So having realistic expectations can help change your perspective.

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 13:11:01

spirited I knew you meant babiesgrin

well, mu older kids can read, but still stay awake
my oldest is eleven and is the worst, he was still reading at midnight the other day.......I didn't realize he was awake, only found out coz I went to the bedroom to retrieve dirty clothes!

some just don't need that much sleep, as his example prooves

and mine, doing washing at night tells it all...smile

Startail Tue 15-Jan-13 12:55:48

7 month's? DD2 would happily feed to sleep occasionally long after she started school.

It's a total non problem, as they get older they learn to feed sometimes and self settle sometimes.

As they get older and you dare to go swimming, to PTA or whatever, they learn to settle for DH, DSIS or a baby sitter.

Some nights I'd just say to DD, sorry no good TV (often watched tv with subtitles, as she'd face me and ignore it), got things to do, you've fed long enough - bed

The first few times you just have to catch when they are dozy and not fighting sleep, but an older child who eats reasonably and is feeding for comfort as much as food will get the idea that you are not always going to stay on the sofa longer than 20 minutes (or however long = a feed and a cuddle in your house)

Spiritedwolf Tue 15-Jan-13 12:49:30

lol! I meant the babies but i've sometimes woken when DS has slept longer so maybe both!

i read to sleep myself, no idea if this is a bad habit, however i'm full of sympathy for babies who can't yet read.

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 12:40:29

spirited I agree with every word, but do tell "babies whose parents have stopped the night feeds still often need resettling" you mean the baby or the parent needs resettling? grin
when mine wake up I often get quite exasperated so resettling me would be a good idea! grin

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 12:35:50

poledra - how interesting that they do an older version of what they did as babies!
thanks for sharing that, very insightful!thanks

amazingmumof6 Tue 15-Jan-13 12:34:04

"before he goes to Uni" hahahaha! grin

Snusmumriken Tue 15-Jan-13 12:21:44

I BF my 15 month old to sleep at night and for naps. I'm fine with it as long as he stops before he goes to Uni!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 15-Jan-13 12:18:11

Who is judging you?

I BF my 21 month old to sleep most nights, and very often for his nap as well unless he drops off in the buggy or car!

Soon enough he will be big and not want you - enjoy smile

Spiritedwolf Tue 15-Jan-13 12:17:32

look, i know there's pressure to get to them to sleep alone, lots of folk around you might be asking if he's sleeping well YET or talking about sleep training their own little ones but 7 months old is still really little.

However you get him to sleep now - bfing, singing, rocking, dummy reinserting, sushing, patting, driving, walking etc - you won't still be doing it when he's 16 years old, and it'll stop a lot closer to now than then. the intense baby stage doesn't last forever and babies learn to sleep whether or not you attempt to 'train' them. Isis online provides information on normal sleep patterns in infants.

So put thoughts of others' unrealistic expectations out of your head, along with the notion that you've failed him (nursing to sleep is not somehow a uniquely bad sleep habit as opposed to other methods mentioned , in fact, its the biological norm).

What works for your situation, do you get enough rest? If you are happy with bfing to sleep then carry on - maybe work on your position to get more comfortable though! If you don't like nursing to sleep or want to see if other methods get you more rest then go ahead and try it. Cosleeping is one strategy, if it doesn't work for your family then try something else.

The caveat is that stopping nursing to sleep does not guarantee he'll suddenly sleep through the night. if he's not ready then you'll just have wakings to deal with in other ways. some formula fed babies in my postnatal group take bottles overnight and babies whose parents have stopped the night feeds still often need resettling.

You say he 'obviously doesn't need the milk' - maybe he can go longer without food, but if he's taking decent milk feeds at night then he'll need to adjust his daytime intake of milk to compensate if you stop them. If he's comfort suckling, then he might need to still wake for reassurance - though other methods of comforting could work.

I hope I've said something useful, fwiw, my 5.5month old also sleeps in a bedside cot and i nurse him in the night. its not for everybody but it works for us, and I can't see us stopping anytime soon. I use a long 'body' pillow to support me in a comfortable position (ish).

Poledra Tue 15-Jan-13 12:15:52

Bfed DD1 to sleep for months. She's now 9 and would love for me to sit with her every night till she fell asleep, but that doesn't happen.

Bfed DD2 to sleep until she was about 9 months, then she started of her own accord coming off the breast and wanting to be put down in her cot and LEFT ALONE thank you very much till she went to sleep. She's 7 now and prefers to be left alone in a quiet dark room to go to sleep.

Bfed DD3 to sleep in our bed (co-sleeping) for ages. She's now 4 and likes a multitude of teddies to be properly tucked in with her before she goes to sleep.

I don't think it was what I did that made the difference, it's the child in question who decides what they want to do. Enjoy your baby, he won't be little for long smile

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