Anyone still bf-ing 16 mo + through the night? Think I've had enough :(

(39 Posts)
stottiecake Thu 22-Nov-12 21:47:08

Am shattered. He feeds a couple of times during the evening and then on and off from 3am and gets up for the day at 6am.

I night weaned ds1 at 16mo but he had all his teeth by then. Ds2 has 4 molars to go.

I'm just really fed up. If you still feed your toddler at night how are you coping?

Booboostoo Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:06

DD is 18 months old and still bfs at night. On a 'good' night she bfs every 2-3 hours, on a bad night (e.g. teething) it can be as often as every hour. Nothing else seems to give her as much comfort and although like you I am desperate for a break I don't see it happening any time soon. They do say that bf drops at around 18 months so here's to hoping!

stottiecake Thu 22-Nov-12 22:43:39

Sorry you're having a hard time too!

Hope you're right about it dropping off around 18mo. It just doesn't feel right to night wean yet altho' I think I'm so rubbish during the days that I wonder if it's worth carrying on.

And now I would really like to go to bed but he is feeding!

golemmings Thu 22-Nov-12 23:20:08

I went back to work when DS was 12mo so night weaned at 11mo. It took a week or so but I figured he didn't need middle of the night calories.
And besides I sat on a bean bag to feed him, and kept falling asleep so I was regularly spending less than 3hrs in bed a night. I managed to trash the tendons in my hip so badly I could barely walk. It took several sessions of sports massage to diagnose not a running injury but a bean bag slumping injury.

LauraPashley Thu 22-Nov-12 23:23:50

Me! Dd 19mths, best night is down at 8, feed at 12ish, feed at 5ish, up between 5-6. I feed lying down and just doze off but still totally knackered. The above is a good night and we have more bad than good! (She's been up twice since 8pm already). Dd1 started to reliably sleep through around 2.5yrs when she moved to a bed, thinking I might try moving this one sooner!

plutocrap Thu 22-Nov-12 23:44:34

Only 11m here, but suspect it will continue as she has a health problem I want to keep on top of.

Sorry about your injury, golemmings sad

PessimisticMissPiggy Thu 22-Nov-12 23:53:21

Yep. Normally at around 4am but can be at 1am too. DD 18mo and showing no signs of wanting to drop morning or night feeds.

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Fri 23-Nov-12 13:41:19

15 month old here who bf to sleep (can take up to an hour) and 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 times through the night. I'm really starting to struggle with it now. Getting her off to sleep is so hard she just feeds and feeds and won't do anything else. And I want to get some sleep in my own bed! One or two wakings I could manage. But I just can't face the crying and trauma of trying to change things. A bit sad and worried about it all really. And VERY VERY tired!

Chickpeas2 Fri 23-Nov-12 13:51:10

Hello, me too, but 22 months old DD here. Up 3-7 times every night. Am on my knees with tiredness and have turned into shouty horrible mum with both DCs.
I've put on heaps of weight eating to give me some energy or as a reward for surviving another day.
Can't summon up enough energy to tackle it even if I knew what to do sad have tried refusing bf between midnight and 5am but DD just screams and screams and wakes her sister so we are all even more tired the next day.
Will be watching for inspiration!

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Fri 23-Nov-12 13:59:39

Oh no Chickpeas, that sounds utterly exhausting. Lots of sympathy. You've described exactly what I fear happening if I were to try night weaning! Can't see it going any other way. Massive mugs of coffee all round, fingers crossed someone pops up with a magic solution considers booking into a spa hotel for the weekend and just leaving DH to enjoy the fallout

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Fri 23-Nov-12 14:15:07

I night-weaned 14 month old DS two weeks ago. I followed advice I'd found on MN thanks to whoever wrote it!

Specifically for the night-weaning I upped his milk intake during the day two weeks before weaning. I pushed his breakfast earlier, added a milk feed in the morning and upped his afternoon milk. He only BF evenings and in the night/morning as I work FT.

Then I prepared myself for a few awful nights and just stopped offering the breast when he woke in the night. I offered water, then carried him around in my arms (so he wasn't snuggled in a feeding position but was still getting the cuddles) and when he was sleepy put him back in his cot.

I was shock that this worked fine from night 1! He didn't root or pull my clothes (partly because he wasn't in the position to feed but also because he'd drunk water which he loves). And the amazing side-effect was that he sleeps so much longer! I really didn't think it was possible as a few weeks earlier I had been getting up every 1-2 hours to BF him back to sleep.

The real test was last week when he was ill so I was up a lot in the night with him. I really wanted to give him the comfort of a feed but didn't want to go back to night-feeding so just cuddled him.

Before the night weaning I'd started introducing a book between the last BF and going into his cot to sleep to stop DS feeding to sleep. So DS had already got into the habit of falling asleep in his cot (although I sit with him with my hand on him, singing until he falls asleep). This reduced the number of night wakings until I felt ready to tackle the night-weaning (basically once he was consistently waking only twice a night which took about 2 months).

Aged 11 months he was waking every 1-2 hours, was BF back to sleep and getting a maximum of 9 hours sleep a night. Aged 14 months he is waking once (unless ill), is (usually) very easy to get back to sleep and is sleeping 10.5-11 hours a night!

mamababa Fri 23-Nov-12 14:17:09

golemmings how did you wean them off during the night? My DS is 11 months and can be re-settled if wakes up only a couple of hours after bed by music on the monitor but from 10pm onwards, needs milk. He is really hard to re-settle without feeding and the amount he eats I am convinced he doesnt need to milk!! DS1 was sleeping through himself by 5 months so this is really killing me!!!!

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Fri 23-Nov-12 14:21:57

Oh and I've also stopped BF in the morning.

At first we started offering DS a bottle as soon as he woke up (horrible faff) but we've discovered that it's best for him if he eats his breakfast (porrige/weetabix) one hour after waking and before that just drinks water.

No idea why, but that way he eats the most breakfast, before then was too early.

I'm thinking of totally stopping BF in January. It was easier to think this a couple of weeks ago because DS chipped his tooth sad and BF became very painful for me. Now though it seems his tooth has smoothed a bit because it doesn't hurt anymore...and DS does love his evening feed (which is his one and only BF now).

Iggly Fri 23-Nov-12 14:28:47

My DS had trouble with his tummy and that was one reason for wanting constant feeding.

I started giving him weak peppermint tea after his dinner (one teaspoon mixed in water) and it help settle his tummy. Same in the night if need be.

(He had silent reflux from a baby).

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Fri 23-Nov-12 14:50:43

Oh yes, I forgot that! We think his sleep also improved once he was taking reflux medecine that worked and gaviscon last thing at night.

fallingandlaughing Fri 23-Nov-12 15:35:25

DD is 16 months and still feeding through the night. I had essentially night weaned her, but then she got ill... I am going to try again this week as I am so very tired! She also won't really drink during the day. The most we can manage is to get her to take a few sips from a straw cup. It would be a lot easier if she would drink something other than breastmilk - or maybe the partial weaning comes first?

stottiecake Sat 24-Nov-12 22:22:37

Oh dear sad poor us. It's reassuring to read it's not just me but I'm sorry we are all struggling.

I know it gets better. Ds1 is 4yo today and he moved into his own bed last week. He was worse than ds2 as he would wake up when he lost his latch. At least ds2 unlatches and rolls away when he falls asleep. Ds1 is a brilliant sleeper now after needing so much input at night time - hours and hours of settling and resettling. I'm still amazed at how easily he goes to bed and stays there. Such a great little chap.

Now going to study Bartimaeus' post to figure out what I need to do! grin

kiwilizzie Sun 25-Nov-12 17:59:53

So glad to find this thread. DD2 turned 2 on Friday...just can't crack this night-waking and resorting to bottle to settle. It breaks my heart yet I'm so tired and constantly battling myself over what is 'right' and what feels right. It affects marriage, mood, work-days. Dd2 is the poorest eater ever and still survives on follow on formula as refuses anything substantial and a lot of less substantial food options too...she has asthma and hayfever meds and we cycle constantly through infection after infection. Sigh! So glad to find this tho and will re-read advice. Xxx

kiwilizzie Sun 25-Nov-12 18:02:00

I like the idea of breakfast before feed but I just can't see it happening...without some tough love approaches!

Satine5 Sun 25-Nov-12 21:49:18

iggly, does it help with the tea at all? Do you mean obe teaspoon of tea mixed in a cup of water? My DD loves comfort feeding for exactly the same reason, silent reflux and suspected cmpi. She is almost 16 months and still feeds at night, twice on a good night. It's exhausting she gets so upset if I don't give it to her, it's not worth it.

Iggly Sun 25-Nov-12 21:52:41

Yes one spoon in water. Really helped DS when he was having a bad phase - especially when teething, his wind was appalling.

Both of mine had/have the reflux and CMPI (plus soya) and other sensitivities to foods. It makes a huge difference to sleep and it's hard as I don't always know what it is until a bit later.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 26-Nov-12 09:12:26

Hope you all start getting some better nights soon.
We had a wonderful night Saturday : 7.45pm - 5.40am! With only one stir at the beginning because he needed to be winded.

Then last night was a disaster sad I had to get up at least 10 times and stayed up with DS for 2.5 hours at one point. Didn't BF though, and I think he had tummy ache, or was teething or something.

And of course, now I'm not BF him back to sleep I don't have those lovely hormones to help me get back to sleep!

Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 10:41:56

Yes me! Ive had enough too, so busy with work though i cant handle night weaning yet. Im trying to build up enough courage to end it at Christmas. 17 months and he has never slept through. Still waking 1-2 times at the moment.

Im not sure why it is not simpler for us as he doesnt need bf to fall asleep and hasnt needed it for quite a few months now. Often he will feed and then push me away as he wants to go in his cot while still wide awake, but for some reason he still expects milk around bedtime and during the night.

Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 10:44:29

And I feel cheated of those sleepy hormones Bartim as I have never experienced them. Motherhood blessed me with the gift of insomnia (and a poor sleeping baby/toddler to boot) sad

Beamur Mon 26-Nov-12 10:45:29

I night weaned at 13 months as the lack of sleep was killing me. DD took to it fine, much much easier than I was expecting, by the third night she was sleeping through.
She is 5 now and sleeps really well.

stottiecake Mon 26-Nov-12 22:40:54


Have been trying to get ds to feed more during the day - hoping this will mean less night feeds. We'll see!

Bartimaeus - hope you have a much better night tonight!!

Just night weaned a 3 year old, although he has just been poorly, so reverted back to a few feeds. I probably should have done it sooner, the lack of sleep was driving me bloody insane.
I was suprised how easy it was though. Had one night with awful crying, but he soon went back to sleep. He still wakes up at 1am, asks for a feed, I say no and he rolls back over.

Have to say I was petrified of night weaning. If I had to do it again though I would have probably done it sooner.

AllBellyandBoobs Mon 26-Nov-12 22:59:30

I promised dh I'd attempt to night wean 20mo dd just before Christmas (he has extended holiday so will be able to help out). She feeds an average of 3-4 times a night at present and I'm constantly knackered. Plus, dh is relegated to the spare room. However, I know it's going to be such a battle and as it gets closer I just don't have the heart for it. If someone could promise me it'd be 3 nights of hell followed by sleeping through then I'd do it but I think it's more likely to be a week of battles followed by me giving in.

mamababa Tue 27-Nov-12 08:07:16

Ok ladies, night one of night weaning down, god knows how many to go sad

Fed DS at bedtime (7pm) an then gave a bottle at 11.30pm so I knew he was full of milk. Woke at 5am. Offered water, not interested, not particularly rooting but not settling either. He hasn't been back to sleep got up at 6.45am. He cried and whimpered on an off all that time. Not interested in a feed at 7am though which tells me it must be about comfort rather than hunger. Hoping for a better night tonight smile

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 27-Nov-12 09:29:14

We had a much better night thanks smile Just two wakeups (one because of noisy neighbours) and another at 5am but I managed to get DS back to sleep! (until 6.50am - total bliss)

Once DS started sleeping better he did get into a bad habit of waking at 5 or 5.30 every morning (full of energy!). However that only lasted a couple of weeks fortunately and he naturally began sleeping later, although only until 6am or 6.30. Still, much better than 5!

I too was terrified of night-weaning but DS accepted it so well, I was really surprised! I make sure I always have water to hand though. Sometimes he refuses it but other times he gulps it down, then goes straight back to sleep.

stottiecake Wed 28-Nov-12 11:01:24

Well more milk during the day is making not one jot of difference to the wakings. Have had to have words with myself to chill out about it a bit - half of what keeps me awake is feeling annoyed about it and the injustice of having to lie there awake while he comfort feeds for hours! And worse still when he unlatches, sits up and says 'da da?' to announce the start of the day when I feel he should just be going back to sleep so I can too! Humph.

Also I could attempt night weaning but I don't think he is ready (could be wrong).

It took 3 nights with ds1 at 16mo. First night was bad, second better and 3rd no problems and no problems at all from then on.

Maybe I should just try.

mamababa How was last night?

Bartimaeus Glad you had a better night!

pickledparsnip You are amazing to have managed to do night feeds for so long!

Beamur Wed 28-Nov-12 16:45:32

Good luck Stottiecake - it probably won't be as bad as you think, especially as you've done it before. I think removing the milk at night will perhaps stimulate the appetite during the day rather than the other way round. Being used as a human comforter when you are tired and grumpy is not much fun is it!
My DD had definitely got into the habit of using a feed to help her back off to sleep if she stirred in the night, when this option was removed, it obviously wasn't worth the effort of waking up for and she slept much better.

stottiecake Wed 28-Nov-12 21:50:59

Thanks Beamur smile

mamababa Thu 29-Nov-12 12:11:14

Hi ladies. 3 nights down each I think better than the last smile

Night 1 - woke up at 5am no further sleep
Night 2 - woke at 4.20am back asleep about 5.15am
Last night - awake at 5.10 still awake at 5.50am but he must have gone back to sleep as so did I and I would sleep through the crying.

It's very frustrating as he self settles at all other times. He eats lots anyway so I don't think it's hunger although a feed would settle him within 5 minutes.

I will not give in I will not give in I will not give in grin

mamababa Thu 29-Nov-12 12:14:37

Wouldn't sleep through the crying I mean!! Good luck to you all x

BertieBotts Thu 29-Nov-12 12:20:14

DS didn't stop feeding at night until nearer 2 I think. We co slept.

If you're wanting to do breakfast before milk the trick is to get up before they do!

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Thu 29-Nov-12 15:41:18

sounds like you're on your way!
DS also started waking at 5 once he was sleeping better, but it really didn't last more than a couple of weeks. During that time the clocks went back which I was really scared of but after a couple of days he went back to waking at 5 (think there must be some noise that wakes him) and now generally it's 6ish.

To counteract it I started going to bed at 9pm and then we all got up around 5.30-6ish (lazed in bed before then) and had fun playing together, DH and I even started doing fitness videos just so we got the benefit of being up IYSWIM.

you could always try the night weaning for a few nights and go back if you really think he is hungry. I honestly thought DS could not do a night without feeding and I was so wrong.

stottiecake Thu 29-Nov-12 21:46:12

ooh mamababe sounds promising!!! Keep going! grin

Bertie Did you night wean your ds or did he stop himself?

Bartimaeus I do think it's mostly just comfort feeding and I think he's going to really complain about it if I stop. I just can't decide whether I want to put him through it if he feels he needs it. I do co-sleep so it's not like I'm not close at hand though. I just feel if I'm going to go for it I need to do it 100% and I still can't make up my mind.

Thanks for your advice smile

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