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to expect my 3 year old to sleep through the night and other own?

(97 Posts)
cathyearnshaw Fri 16-Oct-15 10:25:05

So DD is 3. We have always co-slept and she helps herself to boob whenever she wants- probably 2 or 3 times a night and sleeps through til 8 ish. DH and I went away for 4 nights; on the first night she cried a bit then slept through on the rest.

We came back. She wakes 3 times a night and for the day at 6. DH says no more boob. She cries a bit but is not distraught but I can't go to her as trying to night wean and DH is exhausted. As am I as I wake up too and I can hear her crying.

Surely after 5 nights of this she should have settled? I think it's not going to change right now. I was expecting a few nights of this but it's not changing at all. My solution is just to go back to how we were with me sleeping with her because we all get sleep that way but DH says no.

AliceInUnderpants Fri 16-Oct-15 11:37:19

I'm sorry but your DH does not get to decide where you sleep, or when you stop breastfeeding your daughter. Are the pair of you arguing over this? Could your daughter be picking up on tension?

FTR my 7 year old usually sleeps through at her weekly overnight with her dad, and on the occasions that she sleeps at grandparents, or even when we are on holiday. At home, with me, she's in my bed 9 times out of 10 - or even more! She just likes to be with me.

CordeliaFoxx Fri 16-Oct-15 11:47:56

I agree with your DH. To go back to how things were makes what you've been doing pointless. DD can go through the night, she's proved this as she's done it before, I think you need to persevere.

If you go back to how it was, when do you think it will end? Will you just wait until she doesn't want unlimited access to your boobs? What if that's another year or two? How will that impact on your marriage? Sorry lots of questions, but all things to think about

Purplepixiedust Fri 16-Oct-15 11:51:42

It is not your DH's call when you stop breastfeeding. My son stopped at about 3.5. If my DH had tried to stop it before we were ready he would have been told where to go!

When our DS was about 3 we bought a superking bed to make co sleeping easier. I used to feed him at bedtime in his bed and somewhere usually between 1 and 6 he would come and get in with us. By 3.5 he woke less and less in the night so that is when he weaned. Some nights he would fall asleep with dad instead of me while reading so some days had no milk at all. After a few gaps of a couple of days break I started to say there was none left now he was getting big. There was no fuss, it was all very gentle.

It probably wouldn't be long before she stops wanting to feed anyway now. If she has her own room could you settle her in their with a feed? If she is sleeping with you it is easy for her to reach for you when she wakes.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Oct-15 12:33:51

"My solution is just to go back to how we were with me sleeping with her... DD is 3. We have always co-slept and she helps herself to boob whenever she wants- probably 2 or 3 times a night"

How long do you intend to continue treating your 3-year-old as if she is still a baby?

Pyjamaramadrama Fri 16-Oct-15 12:41:22

Do you want to stop breastfeeding and cosleeping?

Why don't you wean her off so say for the first couple of weeks put her to sleep in her own bed then let her get in with you if she wakes, then move towards getting her to stay in her bed.

Artandco Fri 16-Oct-15 12:42:19

I would stop the night feeding ( just wear a few tops so she can't access at night), but I wouldn't stop the co sleeping at the same time

My 4 year old still shares our bed 1/2 the time. He fed in the day until 3 1/2, but we night weened him at 4 months. So it doesn't have to be all or nothing.

Pyjamaramadrama Fri 16-Oct-15 12:44:01

I just think that if you take that type of parenting approach it's harsh to bring it to an abrupt end. It's taking away what a child is used to for comfort.

JustAWeeProblem Fri 16-Oct-15 12:50:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumOfTheMoment Fri 16-Oct-15 12:57:47

"Dh says no" hmm

That aside, it is a different scenario that she slept through while you were away. She knew you were away. Now she knows you are in the next room. She is confused!

SalemSaberhagen Fri 16-Oct-15 13:15:43

Cote what part of that is treating her like a baby?

DoJo Fri 16-Oct-15 13:50:41

5 nights seems like a very short time to be expecting her to change what are literally her habits of a lifetime - my son is 3.5 and occasionally wants to sleep with one of us and we have never really co-slept so I can imagine that it will take significantly longer to change her sleeping patterns since you already knew that she was waking up 2 or 3 times a night to feed before you made this change.
However, it's only worth sticking to it if you actually want to - why does your husband want to change things?

Booboostwo Fri 16-Oct-15 14:02:34

Have you seen the dr J Gordon method for night weaning? You do it while co-sleeping and once the child gets into the habit of sleeping through you can then stop the co-sleeping if you want.

Stopping bf, stopping co-sleeping and having your DH provide the comfort all at once seems like a lot of new things to adjust to.

Janeymoo50 Fri 16-Oct-15 16:16:33

I don't think you can undo (not that you want to, that bit came out wrong!)...3 years of co-sleeping and allowing your 3 year old to breastfeed several times through the night in just 5 nights, it's too much, too quickly.

hebihebi Fri 16-Oct-15 16:23:46

Following with interest as DD is 4 and still feeds through the night. Will check out that book. My daughter becomes utterly hysterical if I'm not there at night. It must be tough for you to take this approach.

I was talking to my doctor about it and she recommended giving her a snack and some cows milk before bed to fill her up. Just wanted to mention it as something to try.

hebihebi Fri 16-Oct-15 16:29:45

I found this article about it. Seems interesting. Thanks for recommending it!

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Oct-15 16:31:14

"Cote what part of that is treating her like a baby?"

Seriously? Oh I don't know, maybe the part where a 3-year-old school-age child is breastfeeding 2-3 times through the night.

There is absolutely no need, none whatsoever, for a 3-year-old to be waking up and breastfeeding several times in the night. Definitely no point to it nutritionally, and she should have been encouraged to develop other mechanisms for comfort by 3 years of age than sucking on a boob.

Your Dh is right. Do it slowly, by all means, but stop night feeds so your DD can finally learn to sleep through the night and move towards getting her in a bed of her own.

cathyearnshaw Fri 16-Oct-15 17:56:42

Thanks for all the thoughts/ideas.

I don't want to get into a discussion about parenting styles, obviously we are very different, Cotes.

But yes, it's all too much at once. I've also stopped feeding her down and first thing and realised that if I'm missing her she will be missing me more. I think we will carry on with DH doing the wake ups til 6 am then I will go to her. And will carry on feeding to sleep. So that's phase 1.

SalemSaberhagen Fri 16-Oct-15 18:15:16

School begins aged 4.

What is the difference between waking up for a comfort suck to say, waking up to cuddle a teddy? Do you take toys from your 3 year old too?

SupSlick Fri 16-Oct-15 18:57:06

I could write this op myself! Ds has just turned 3 & I am so so fed up of feeding him. He doesn't need it to go to sleep anymore but wakes in excess of 10 times a night & it's easier to feed him back to sleep than stay up for two hours whilst he cries when I work full time & am on my own! He's just had a sleep study to see if there is something else going on & I'm awaiting the results. It's hard, so I have no advice other than reassurance that you're not the only one, & I know what it's like.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Oct-15 20:32:36

Salem - You don't comfort a child the way you comfort a baby, just like you don't comfort an adult like you comfort a child. I would think that this is obvious to most people. If I thought you really don't know the difference, I would take the time to explain it to you. But I suspect that you are just faking ignorance.

QueenArseClangers Fri 16-Oct-15 20:49:46

FFS Cote, do you know anything about normal infant feeding and the biological human norms?
If not then perhaps you should butt out.

OP, there's a kids' book that helps with night weaning, think it's something like 'Milk When The Sun's Up'.
If you're personally happy to wean tomorrow and get your Dd to sleep separately that's fine and conversely if you'd like to tackle it in a gentler way than that's great too.

CoteDAzur Fri 16-Oct-15 20:55:31

Yes, I do. Thanks for asking. Who died and made you thread police? hmm

OP - You need to talk this over with your DH and come to a solution that both of you are happy with. I asked how long you intend to keep status quo going (co-sleeping & breastfeeding your 3-yr-old through the night) because this is a question you need to ask yourself and each other.

peggyundercrackers Fri 16-Oct-15 21:00:15

I completely agree with you DH and with cote - I've got a 4 month old son and he doesn't wake during the night for a feed, he sleeps right through, 8pm to 7.30am, and has done for a couple of weeks. A 3yr old definitely doesn't need fed during the night - sorry but you are doing this for you not for the child.

Pyjamaramadrama Fri 16-Oct-15 21:04:58

All babies and children are different, my older boy slept through, slept independently.

The baby is clingy as fuck and spends many a night in our bed.

Each to their own the op didn't ask for judgement on her parenting style.

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