Did your baby ever go through a phase of not feeding to sleep?

(37 Posts)
Effiethemonster Wed 10-Feb-16 20:33:19

My dd is 3 months and hasn't fed to sleep for ages, it's really thrown me and I've been struggling to get her to sleep ever since. I'm looking for uplifting stories of the ability to feed to sleep returning!!

nicg85 Wed 10-Feb-16 20:40:06

Yes my dd did this at about 11 weeks old and it lasted about 2 weeks.
I had to start pacing up and down the room with her over my shoulder to get her to sleep.
She has now gone back to falling asleep on the boob smile

Effiethemonster Wed 10-Feb-16 20:43:15

Oh good thanks this is hopeful, although dd's phase seems to be going on longer than that...she's become quite a distracted feeder in general recently.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 07:48:37

Anyone else? PLEASE? tired and shaking coffee cup brewbrewbrew

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 11-Feb-16 07:52:59

Hmm DD1 stopped feeding to sleep at about 3 months and never did it again.

Nan0second Thu 11-Feb-16 07:53:01

Sorry, mine stopped at 3 months and after her 3rd set of jabs, never did it again.
:'(
She remains a shit sleeper at 8.5months, although is a billion times better than she was...

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 08:06:26

Oh dear I wish I'd never bumped grin

Poppytime Thu 11-Feb-16 09:56:11

Hi Effie,

DS is 4 months and not really feeding to sleep anymore unless really tired (due to his crappy short naps!) - on the plus side he is getting better at settling himself to sleep instead so fingers crossed it progresses into this for you!

When do they stop waking so much for feeds at night again though?! confusedbrewbrewbrew

FATEdestiny Thu 11-Feb-16 10:13:21

OP - you could try a dummy instead, if baby likes sucking to be soothed.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 10:19:51

Thanks poppytime, I guess I'll have to accept that might be the end of feeding to sleep then! I can see her getting drowsy towards the end of a feed but she writhes around in frustration at the thought of actually drifting off! I really hope the self settling thing starts soon, the only thing that reliably gets her off to sleep is the sling and I'm very tired of wearing it now. She went to sleep with an hour of white noise and dummy re-insertions last night confused

Hi fate- she has had a dummy for ages. She's actually started to suck her thumb too. Neither can get her off to sleep on her own though.

FATEdestiny Thu 11-Feb-16 10:24:00

Oh dear. Rhythmic movement often helps - rocking, bouncy chair, pushchair?

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 10:29:24

Some of these work some of the time but none are reliable!! I know it must have a lot to do with how tired she is and I've been trying really hard to get her to nap as much as she needs (in the sling) during the day so she'll hopefully go down better at night but now not sure if I'm making her too used to the sling?! She won't nap for longer than 40 mins elsewhere which I know is normal but she'll just get progressively more tired if I let her do that and by the evening she's hysterical.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 10:30:53

She has also had quite a few episodes of screaming/crying during the night whilst still being half asleep. Again I presume this is cos she's overtired? It's not cos she's hungry cos I ALWAYS offer boob first.

FATEdestiny Thu 11-Feb-16 10:35:54

40 min naps are normal. These shouldn't cause over-tiredness as long as the naps are very frequent. I would limit awake time between naps about an hour. 40m asleep - 60m awake - 40m asleep - 60m awake - 40m asleep - 60m awake etc all through the day. Baby shouldn't then be over-tired. If baby is still over-tired, then lessen awake time, say more like 40 minutes awake.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 10:42:00

Maybe it's cos she takes so long to settle to sleep is pretty much be putting her down the minute she wakes?!

Sorry fate you have helped me with this on another thread but it's kind of all gone to shit since then grin, the nights are bad so she wakes up tired and then it's a vicious circle. She definitely wakes up from 40 mins naps still tired even after being awake for only an hour beforehand.

ACatCalledFang Thu 11-Feb-16 13:14:11

I could have written your post myself in early December when DS was 14 weeks old. We had a few weeks of refusing to feed to sleep except when he would, which was exhausting for all concerned as he didn't have a plan B and would get very frustrated. At 5 months, he will now feed to sleep again, though success is variable if we're out or there are distractions. So it might be a phase.

My friend had the same problem but her baby still refuses to feed to sleep so she has had to work on alternative ways to settle him. Unlike my DS, hers will self-settle at night not that I'm jealous or anything.

Like you, I find he's often tired after a short nap but refuses to go back to sleep; I try to ride with it and just bring the next nap forwards but that doesn't always work...

Solidarity brew here, it's hard work. We have tried formula and expressed milk in case the problem was hunger (it wasn't), dummy, rocking, shush/pat in crib, pick up/put down, swaddling (not strictly recommended at this age if you've not done it before so do your research), and even car seat (probably not recommended but thought rocking in it was worth a try surprised the neighbours didn't complain hmm). The only one we've had any consistent success with is rocking, and only when very sleepy - I usually use it to re-settle, not ideal but anything else leads to Total Outrage and only boob will do then.

When we were at the height of the not-feeding-to-sleep phase, we had marginally more success getting DP or my mum to resettle by rocking/picking up/cuddling than me. Probably due to the milk smell. Something you could try, perhaps? Mine also thrashes around and sometimes needs to be almost held still, it's as though he's physically fighting sleep.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 11-Feb-16 14:04:38

I wouldn't worry too much about the sling thing. DD2 would only nap in the sling until she was 5 months old. Every single nap. Every now and then I'd try somewhere else, it wouldn't work so we'd go back to the sling. One day at about 5 1/2 months I put her in her cot, she chatted for 2 mins and then went to sleep. She's 7 months now and hasn't napped in the sling since!
Mine always had at least 2 hours awake time between naps even as a newborn, she would never have gone back to sleep after an hour.
She gradually started having longer naps at about 6 months and now has 40 mins in the morning and an hour and a half at lunchtime.

Sandsnake Thu 11-Feb-16 14:19:13

DS fed to sleep for about the first three weeks and just stopped after that! That was the start of our troubles getting him to sleep. He became so, so overtired and was just miserable (not helped by silent reflux). Almost by accident we stumbled on the fact that white noise really helps him. He now has his 'baby music' (a baby white noise track from i-tunes), which is his sleep cue for both naps and night time sleep - well that and a dummy. Things with his sleep are by no means perfect (he is also three months old) but being able to (fairly) reliably get him to sleep when he is tired has revolutionised our days and makes bedtimes so much less stressful.

He now feeds to sleep very, very rarely (perhaps once every two weeks or so) and only when really tired. He is quite an alert little think and pretty intense about his feeding so can't see him re-starting feeding to sleep any time soon. The same may well be true for your DD, which is a pain but I suppose might be a blessing in disguise if you're able to find an alternative way to settle her. Maybe give the white noise a go? You'll probably need it louder than you think - there are some free samples on YouTube that you can use first to see if it works. Hope you guys see some progress soon.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 14:48:15

Omg acatcalledfang and sandsnake do we have matching babies? People have always commented on how "alert" dd is and she's incredibly nosy, which I think makes it hard for her to shut down.

Acatcalledfang yeah the problem with the 45 mins nap is if the night has been shit night a 45 min nap is not gonna cut it is it?! It wouldn't refresh me so it's certainly not going to refresh her. She's been miserable all day today, despite lots of naps including a 2 hour one in the sling, she just can't shake the tiredness, just hope tonight is better so she's in a better mood tomorrow. The rocking has worked sometimes, but quite often she'll wriggle and fight it. I'll try and get dh to try tonight if need be though.

And YES to the needing to be held still, her legs go crackers when she's tired, proper kicking about, I've actually let her nap in her snowsuit today which is stiff and keeps her legs still but obviously not ideal as I don't want her to overheat!

Sandsnake we have been using white noise recently, it definitely calms her down but still takes a while for her to nod off. I might try the ones on iTunes though as I've been using an app.

Worldsbiggestgrotbag that's good to know! I actually could deal with the sling naps if she could stay awake for more than 2 hours which she just can't manage at the moment.

Sandsnake Thu 11-Feb-16 15:19:19

I like the alert thing when he's grinning like crazy at me but at bedtime I sometimes wish he was one of those docile sleepy babies! Yeah, we originally used the white noise to calm DS down as he had 'colic' and cried for around three hours every night from about 3 weeks until 9 weeks (fun!). If you're interested the white noise we use is called 'Baby Got Colic' - there's a ten minute sample on YouTube for free.

Effiethemonster Thu 11-Feb-16 20:05:46

How long do you wait for them to settle before trying something else? Dd is in the cot whinging and sucking her thumb with white noise on and I know she wants to go to sleep but can't but I don't know when to switch tactics. It's been about 20 minutes. I'm so tired of trying to get her to sleep I'm finding this phase so hard.sad

winchester1 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:19:31

If she is around three months is it that she is more aware and more able.to see? Mine got weird at that age and needed darker rooms, and preferably not to be able to see me even if I was there shhh ing them. I taught dc2,that shh ing is her sleep noise by always doing it when she is dropping off as a bonus dc1 has also pocked this up. I def recommend it as part of your long term plans.

How long - no crying I leave them but I've two close in age in one room so daren't wake the second ifyswim.

Have you tried naps in the pram walking/garden well.wrapped so no wiggling and obv noise around. With dc1 we did this loads gradually working down from walks to rocking to just placing the pram in the garden.

Good luck it gets better.
until teething, night terrors and growth spurts grin

winchester1 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:25:05

Oh of she like to have her head raised while sleeping and is generally a bit grouchy could be worth having her checked for an ear infection as well.

luckiestgirlintheworld Thu 11-Feb-16 20:35:10

I haven't read the full thread but when my DS's stopped feeding to sleep I realised it was because they were wanting a bit longer between naps and I was feeding them before they were tired.
So I'd feed after 90 mins instead of after 1 hour, and they would feed to sleep then. And that gap just gradually increases as they got older.

Lifeisontheup2 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:55:48

Mine never fed to sleep, they'd go a bit sleepy but always woke as I put them down and fussed a little bit before going to sleep properly.

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