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To ask mn to help me sleep train 19 months old bf dd

(44 Posts)
Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 14:09:43

Dd doesn't take the bottle but wakes up at night hungry hmm. I am trying and failing to teach her to sleep through the night. I partially co-sleep and it's all a bit of a mess with no structure. I have been mostly 'reactive' in that I just give her a bf to stop her fro crying at night and to catch some sleep myself.

She wakes up at night because:
- seems hungry and wants to bf
- has a constant cold / cough as just started at childminder
- wants cuddles hmm

I used to just give a a bf and she went back to sleep straight away. However she has been waking up several times recently wanting to feed for ages and refusing to be put down to sleep again, keeping us up for hours every night.

Please help me solve this conundrum, I can no longer cope, I fear I have become a sleep deprived zombie.

Charitybelle Fri 07-Nov-14 14:21:27

At the risk certainty of being flamed..... Control crying?
I know it's not popular, but it worked for us. Read up about it, it's not as harsh as it sounds, and at the moment it sounds like you need to do something to save your sanity!

FYI, at 19 months she should not be hungry during the night unless she's not eating/drinking enough during day. More likely she's waking for the other reasons you mentioned, so cut out the feeding at night whether bottle or breast.

Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 14:30:23

I am willing to give cc a try but it didn't work great with ds1, we caved in before he was trained, it was awful!!!!!! But I will have to won't i? Should I offer anything to drink or nothing at all? What if she is hungry sad. Or shall we employ the help of a sleep consultant? Any recommendations? Tia.

cornflakegirl Fri 07-Nov-14 14:37:13

We had a similar situation with DS2 - he was still waking for feeds, but not really needing them and kind of messing around. I think he was about 16mo when we decided to night wean. I didn't fancy CC, so we used Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution, which is basically gradual withdrawal from their room. Took about a month of sitting in the dark until he fell asleep after a night waking, so it wasn't easy, but it did work.

bangersmashandbeans Fri 07-Nov-14 14:39:12

I'd give controlled crying a proper go before you fork out for a sleep trainer. 5 mins, 5 mins, 10 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins, 15 mins. My DS was 10 months and fed once every night. I knew he didn't need it so did cc to get him to sleep through. First night was 13 mins crying, second was 6, he's slept through since grin
You have to be committed though and if you have a DH/DP make sure he is onside too as you'll need support.

IamSlave Fri 07-Nov-14 14:40:25

we cracked this earlier this year i was co sleeping and BF bascially i slept down stairs for a week until DD realised there was no milk coming from daddy, daddy was still sleeping with her so no sudden harsh on her own malarky.

she stopped waking up as she realised there was nothing to wake up for.

do it when your mentally ready, i wobbled on first night but dh was great and each night it got better and better.

it was so simple i wish i had done it much sooner

MamaMed Fri 07-Nov-14 14:40:54

I would stop breastfeeding. I think that will solve the Problem.

Golightly133 Fri 07-Nov-14 14:46:37

Try giving her some supper to fill up maybe a rusk or some porridge then if she is full going to bed then u can put her in to her own bed and get her settled its a case of breaking the habit stop breast feeding give a beaker of milk and that's that its so hard at first but so worth it. We didn't like cc but the above worked Good luck x

SeptemberBabies Fri 07-Nov-14 14:47:58

Hi Purple

Be assured that your daughter will not be hungry in the night. Babies as young as 8 weeks old can easily sleep all night without milk, certainly my 12 months she is physically capable.

It sounds like she wakes and doesn't know how to (or doesn't want to) settle herself back to sleep so she fusses for BF instead. I'd break the breastfeeding at night first, then the self-settling once feeding is no longer an issue.

For feeding I'd go cold turkey. I say this from experience because with DC1 I just moved the dependency from one thing to another - dragging the waking for drink in the night out until she was 2 1/2 years old!

We went from breastfeeding to allowing sippy cup of warm cows milk. But this still required getting up because PFB that she was she wouldn't have the milk cold. Then moved from cows milk at night to bottle of squash because PFB wouldn't have water. Finally we just banned all fluids at night because she just used it as an excuse to wake up and get us up.

Suffice to say with subsequent children as soon as I knew they could physically cope without milk during the night then they got no alternate.

Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 14:48:43

Yes I want to stop bf in the next couple of months but would like to start this process by getting rid of the night feeds.

Slave, I like your idea and might try your approach. thanks

Stripylikeatiger Fri 07-Nov-14 14:49:52

We followed the jay Gordon night weaning advice at around 14 months, it involved still co-sleeping and comforting the child but not giving breastfeeds. It worked do well, one night ds cried for an hour (sad) but I cuddled/comforted him, night 2 he cried for 15 mins I cuddled him again and he fell asleep after after 15 mins. 3rd night he slept through! It was awful to let him cry but it was the right thing to do as all the family was happier and had more energy after a full nights sleep!

At 19 months she will be able to understand that she doesn't get boob at night.

I have ds his favorite dinner (pasta) every night for 3/4 nights, he is obsessed by pasta and eats tons of it so I was confident he wasn't hungry, we also offered him water in a sippy cup when he woke.

Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 14:50:07

Sorry, will pop out for school run. Back later.

ProveMeWrong Fri 07-Nov-14 14:56:00

I will also get flamed for the opposite reason but, I think every few months there is a really intense bit where they will....not....sleep. This then makes you think, right controlled crying/gradual waithdrawal/insert latest expert fad. You do it, you get success for something like a week, then it's all change again and you are starting at the beginning. And it's so depressing and bloody boring.
I really think it just depends on the child and if they want to sleep on their own, they just do it when they are ready. We tried and failed with loads of methods with our breastfed son. He is nearly three and still breastfeeding. At 2 years 7ish months (so three months now) he has been sleeping in his own bed, daddy does the final story and tuck in so boobs are out of the equation. And he is finally getting it. We did a bit of gradual withdrawal that time which we'd tried at about 19 months with no success. I think it's a bit like potty training, you can try when you think they are ready for it, but if it doesn't work it's best to stop flogging the dead horse and try again in a few more months. This is at least for breastfed babies as that's my only experience.
Think about walking and talking, really it's just another skill they have to learn and they all do it in their own sweet time!

Feel free to bombard the OP with all your magic sleep success stories now though grin

cornflakegirl Fri 07-Nov-14 15:05:29

When I nightweaned DS2, I didn't stop daytime breastfeeds, or feeding to sleep. I would have happily done so, as I actually didn't enjoy feeding him at all, but it was really important to him. The only reason I stopped nightfeeding was because it wasn't settling him back to sleep - he was using it as play time instead.

Waiting for them to do it in their own time is fine (and actually, is pretty much what we did for feeding to sleep and for totally stopping feeding), but when night wakings completely mess up your sleep, you just need to sort it.

cheesecakemom Fri 07-Nov-14 15:05:57

I think you waited too long for this.
1. Your Dd eats solids now so ensure she's not sleeping on an empty tummy

2. Don't feed overnight. I dropped the night feeds before DD was 6 months. You should have stooped these earlier.

3. Try controlled crying

4. Teething is hard - ensure you have cal pol for any increase in temperature. It doesn't last forever though and you will have to wake up a few times if they are teething.

Good Luck OP - pick a strategy and stick with it.

giantbiscuit Fri 07-Nov-14 15:06:48

I tried a little bit of lemon juice on my nipples at night with my then 18 month old when I decided to try and get her to sleep without BFing in the night. I went in and comforted her but told mummys milk tastes funny in the night. she had a tiny suck and made a face, but that was the end of that. she didnt seem upset or worried which I had thought she might do. she just seemed to accept it and slept through (barring an odd non sleep now and then) just a thought

TheWitchwithNoName Fri 07-Nov-14 15:24:00

Sorry Giant, I have a mental image of a woman twiddling two halves of lemon onto her nipples! Just thought I'd share that...grin

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Nov-14 15:34:39

We did a gentler version of cc when our 2 persisted in waking for breastfeeds. How we did this is by sending dh into the room instead of me. He provided comfort and a drink of water but (obviously) no breast milk.

They didn't want the water and howled. He comforted them til they settled back to sleep. I sat on the sofa and cried but I knew they were OK, just cross at not getting something they liked but didn't need.

After about 3 nights of this they gave up in disgust and slept through.

We did this at 10 mo and 12 mo respectively. I salute you for lasting this long.

Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 19:24:49

giantbiscuit did you offer some tequila with that? grin

Purplebumbo Fri 07-Nov-14 19:26:40

I appreciate all the comments and together with dh will try out the strategy that we feel most comfortable with, probably me moving out of the roo and dh settling dc at night. If that doesn't work, I might give the 'lemon method' a try, just to see his face grin.

HonoraryOctonaut Fri 07-Nov-14 19:32:41

Ds4 is 22 months, BF and co-sleeps. He wakes up loads in the night and just seems to want to feed constantly, I feed him laying down and go back to sleep myself. It can be a pain though as if I move or want to roll over he loses his latch.

I can't bring myself to do sleep training though, I'm hoping it sorts itself out in time.

trilbydoll Fri 07-Nov-14 19:41:45

This week we have tackled bedtime, next week is the nighttime waking but we're going to use the same method - basically lie her down every time she tries to get up, no eye contact, no talking. So we stay with her so I know her tears are anger rather than distress. It has worked really well for bedtime. I am a bit dubious about how quickly it will work in the middle of the night when I just want to go back to sleep!

Lucyccfc Fri 07-Nov-14 19:48:34

Whatever you decide to do, which ever strategy - choose it and stick with it.

Chopping and changing because you tried one thing (for 1 or 2 nights) and it didn't work, so you try something else, will only confuse your DS. Pock your strategy and stick with it for at least 7-10 days.

Part of the reason why people struggle is because they have 'tried everything' and nothing worked. Give your choice a chance to work.

GoogleyEyes Fri 07-Nov-14 19:52:02

I would try some sort signal that it's night time (we used a Groclock) and that there's no milk at night time. Combined with sending your DH in, rather than you.

Both the Sears and Elizabeth Pantley are worth googling for ideas and possible approaches - they understand breastfed babies in a way lots of other 'experts' don't, and for this it really makes a difference.

missymayhemsmum Fri 07-Nov-14 19:58:32

The key is to teach her to go to sleep without suckling. Institute a bedtime routine- supper, bath, pyjamas, story, breastfeed, lullaby and go. Don't feed to sleep, just wait until she is sleepy, put her down and go. Once this is working drop the breastfeed.

In the night, get yourself some passion killer nightwear that she can't get into and just rock, cuddle, offer milk in a cup, and just leave her to go to sleep. Keep the room dark and don't engage. Say, no, mummy and daddy need to sleep, so do you. go to sleep. Lie down and ignore for a bit, then repeat.

Eventually she will get the hang of sleep, or just wake for a cuddle and go back to sleep next to you.

There is no hard and fast time to give up breastfeeding, but I do think that a child who is old enough to argue the toss about it is too old.

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