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to think baby sleep chaos will sort itself out?

(27 Posts)
blondieblonde Thu 07-Jan-16 12:38:26

My baby is 9 months old, breastfed, happy and growing well. The only problem is sleep - it is in chaos!

Yesterday went like this:

7am wake up (after having been up and down all night)
breakfast of porridge
9-10am breastfeed and nap
12 lunch
1-2 breastfeed and nap
5 supper
6.30 breastfeed and bedtime
7.30-8 crying out, more milk and resettling
10 pm-11.30pm awake, won't resettle, comes downstairs
11.30 breastfeed and sleep
4am Awake and crying, comes downstairs til 6am...
6.30-8 breastfeed and asleep.

She breastfeeds constantly and won't sleep for long unless I'm next to her. Husband has been kicked out of the bed and my older child is quite tired. I don't even know where to start. My question is, will she naturally reduce bfs and start sleeping longer on her own? She does have a cot by our bed that the early-evening sleeping and naps is done in. She always feeds to sleep except when really tired and in our bed. Someone help me. Don't want to do CC.

scrumptiouscrumpets Thu 07-Jan-16 12:48:43

It will sort itself out but will take a long time, seeing as she is completely dependent on the boob for her sleep! I think you need to make some changes, which will involve tears but you don't need to do cc, the are other ways of improving sleep.
I'd look into gradual retreat.

Don't feed her to sleep, ever, put her down awake - she will cry, but you will be there to soothe her without picking her up. Also, no going downstairs when it's supposed to be bedtime! If she's supposed to sleep, then she stays in bed.
If I say no feeding to sleep, I also mean during the night. At 9 months, she doesn't need milk during the night except for comfort, so you can night-wean her. Again, there will be tears, but you are not leaving her alone to cry.
The key is to be absolutely consistent or she will end up confused.
Get your DH on board, you both need to be resolved to improve her sleep.
You have my sympathy, I know what you are talking about! Which is also why I know it is a problem that can be solved, but you need to be convinced you want to change things.
I'd also take a look at the sleep board, loads of people in your position there!

bumpertobumper Thu 07-Jan-16 12:50:29

I have a 10.5mo who is not much better than yours, but we don't have the up in the late evening bit. Mine naps later than yours (then, has now moved to one long nap) and goes to bed quite a bit later - 7.30 /8. Then wakes for a quick top up at 11, then one or two more times in the night eg 3am or 2 and 4, but doesn't wake up for the day until 7.30 /8. The bedtime & get up time being a bit later suits or family routine, just wish the early am wakings would stop.
In the viscous cycle of feeding back to sleep as it is the easiest option, so she wakes for food. Like you I don't want to do cc and she gets furious and awake for AGES of breast not on offer. A friend suggested giving a bottle in the small hours, so she gets her milk but not the snuggle factor, so less worth waking up for. I haven't got around to trying this yet but she said it worked for her.

Have you tried going to bed a bit later to avoid the 10pm hang out?
Good luck. It will pass - I hope! That's what I keep telling myself

BumWad Thu 07-Jan-16 12:52:21

I'm hoping the answer is yes as my 7 month old DS is doing this, although I'm hoping its teething related!

SunsetSinger Thu 07-Jan-16 12:53:03

Well I don't know how much I can help given that we are having the same problem, but I'm very interested in sharing strategies! smile I take it the only way you can get her to go to sleep at all is by feeding her? Can your DH rock her off to sleep or will she ever go down with patting in the cot?

My DD is 8 months. I'd be interested to know if anyone has had these issues and they just sorted themselves out or if you had to embark on a definite strategy.

BathtimeFunkster Thu 07-Jan-16 12:54:03

My first child was constantly up in the night feeding at 9 months.

I think it was that she was big at that point and needed a lot of food, buto she wasn't eating enough solid food yet to be able to cut down on feeds. In fact she needed more.

It sorted itself before she was a year old as she gradually got better at eating solid food.

How's she getting on with non-milk foods?

blondieblonde Thu 07-Jan-16 12:59:48

Hi everyone! offers around coffee Thanks for the responses - it can feel a bit like I'm the only one with a bad sleeper.

The baby is eating a bit at mealtimes but is a tricky bugger, and won't let anyone put anything in her mouth. She is therefore doing a sort of self-selecting baby led weaning thing of trying to feed herself. She eats a little bit but no, not enough to make a big baby full.

eurochick Thu 07-Jan-16 13:05:27

I don't think the problem is feeding to sleep per se - loads of people do that. Quite a few still want night feeds at that stage (mine did).

But I think you need yo create the right night time environment. In your post you say she comes downstairs. At 9 months I suspect she isn't managing this without help! My recommendation would be to keep the lights out and the room quiet, feed her and then put her down.

nephrofox Thu 07-Jan-16 13:09:21

Definitely stop bringing her downstairs in the night. It's just confusing and TV blue lights etc are one of the worst things for good sleep.

LaurieLemons Thu 07-Jan-16 13:10:24

Have you tried putting her to bed later? Cutting a nap out during the day? 6:30 till 8 is quite a long period. There's only so much you can do I hope it gets better for you sad

Also could you express then add a bit of baby rice just before bed? I know they say not to add things to bottle but it seemed to help my DS a lot.

blondieblonde Thu 07-Jan-16 13:11:41

I know I know! But she is so wide awake. My first child was never like this. I think she believes the first part of night sleep is a long nap!! But I will try, though last time I did it meant staying in the bedroom trying to cuddle her for two hours while she screamed at me (meaning she wanted to go downstairs). Is a nightmare.

DorotheaHomeAlone Thu 07-Jan-16 13:14:09

Sorry but no in the short term this won't just sort itself. These are all habits and can be broken but will need some sustained effort on your part to do that. I'd start by cutting out the night feeds and getting her to settle without feeding. She is old enough to go through the night without feeds although her habits mean she's accustomed to eating so does feel real hunger.

DorotheaHomeAlone Thu 07-Jan-16 13:16:11

Please no baby rice in the bottle. That is not safe. If you really want some food in her system before bed we often do cereal at around 6pm. Easy to eat with hands and you can be confident they've eaten

BrokenVag Thu 07-Jan-16 13:21:32

1. There's a massive sleep regression at 9 months.
2. Main source of nutrition up to 12 months should be milk (breast or formula) - food is for fun and taste development, not to fill them up
3. Feeding to sleep isn't a problem. They won't still do it at 15!
4. Some babies have a wakeful spell at night - we don't expect adults to sleep alone all night but do small babies.

LovelyBranches Thu 07-Jan-16 13:45:12

I could have written your post to the letter OP. I have a 14 month old who has co slept with us since day 1 because I refused to let him cry it out, he hates bottles, he hates his cot. Yet I am now, in the last few weeks, able to put him in his cot bed and although he wakes in the night, he wakes more between 7-11 than he does from 11-7am.

At 12 months old DS went through a particularly bad period of feeding constantly and as soon as my nipple left his mouth he'd howl and act like a starved child so he started having double portions of all of his meals, more snacks and even a supper of wheatabix if necessary. He had been ill with a sickness bug and had lost weight so this helped him gain extra weight too. I don't mind that he has loads and loads of food now because it's healthy and he is active.

When putting DS in his cot bed, first I tried settling him there. It was quickly apparent that this wouldn't work so I started transferring him when asleep. When he would wake up, I tried pacifying him in the cot-didn't work. In the end, responding quickly, feeding him back to sleep from the chair next to his cotbed and transferring him again has worked over the period of about 1.5-2 weeks. No crying, no fuss and yesterday he slept in the cot in nursery for the first time. It takes time if you don't want to do cc but not that long if you are consistent and stick to the same action. I agree with pp-no taking your dd downstairs after bedtime.

You know your baby, comfort and love your baby and respond to their needs, it builds trust and they feel more settled then.

MummyPig24 Thu 07-Jan-16 13:54:49

Dc3 was a real pickle and the only thing that really made any difference was not feeding him to sleep. It broke the feed-sleep cycle and he did start to sleep better during the night.

Diddlydokey Thu 07-Jan-16 13:58:03

Yes eventually. Most sleep before they go to school or at the least 6 years old.

I would stop breastfeeding to sleep, just do it when she wakes up and before PJs in the evening and maybe after an afternoon sleep if she's asking for it. I think you would see a huge improvement. Solids should be enough other than that.

Diddlydokey Thu 07-Jan-16 13:59:32

3. Feeding to sleep isn't a problem. They won't still do it at 15!

For you maybe. If that was my baby I would be trying ways to not be up all night feeding back to sleep!

DisappointedOne Thu 07-Jan-16 14:26:24

Sorry but no in the short term this won't just sort itself. These are all habits and can be broken but will need some sustained effort on your part to do that. I'd start by cutting out the night feeds and getting her to settle without feeding. She is old enough to go through the night without feeds although her habits mean she's accustomed to eating so does feel real hunger.

Hideous post.

LovelyBranches Thu 07-Jan-16 15:05:07

Op, lots of people are telling you to cut night feeds but I know how difficult that is if you have a baby who simply must be fed to sleep. At times I've felt a bit trapped because DS wont go to sleep without an action -car, pram or being fed. I tried settling DS to sleep by shushing and patting, being calm and reassuring-it didn't work and instead DS would cry with frustration that I didn't seem to understand him. He's stand up in his cot and tap my chest.

I had to find a way of calming my baby and making sure he knew I was listening to him and so I fed back to sleep, over and over again and within two weeks he's in his cot and settled.

BathtimeFunkster Thu 07-Jan-16 15:40:12

If she's eating very little, then it stands to reason that (by 9 months) she will need a lot of feeding.

I wouldn't want to cut feeds from a baby who was hungry.

Formula might help someone else do some night feeds so you can sleep. But if she's a child who's taking the "Food for fun until one" slogan seriously (which my eldest did, they sound similar that way) then her increasing need for food as she grows will have to be met with milk.

I always fed my kids to sleep and didn't ever have any problems weaning them off the breast and going to sleep without it. Although DH took over bedtimes for a time when I stopped Bfing to facilitate this.

blondieblonde Thu 07-Jan-16 16:17:43

OP here. Those of you like the previous poster who did what I'm doing but say it was no trouble meanings them off eventually, can you remember how you did it? I have an older child and did it with her but can't remember (though she's only a toddler really too)!

I am not someone who could ever do proper routines or Gina Ford and am generally pro BF on demand etc. but I have lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel on this one!

blondieblonde Thu 07-Jan-16 16:21:14

weaning not meanings!!

RedToothBrush Thu 07-Jan-16 16:29:20

At 9 months DS refused pretty much all solids still. This was not for lack of trying.

If anyone knows how to force feed a baby, then I don't particularly wish to know as I find the idea deeply unpleasant.

As for feeding through the night and cutting night feeds. This is a very western modern way of thinking that ties in with modern work patterns more than being what you actually should do.

It should be more what you want to do and are comfortable and happy with rather than this idea that if you baby is still feeding through the night then there is something wrong. There isn't.

Typically at 9 months, babies need 11 hours sleep at night, which I suspect might be causing your issue if you are putting down for the night at 6.30pm. I do think that shifting back an hour or so would help a lot. Also pushing back your nap times might help with that. 10 - 10.30 in the morning and then 2 - 3 in the afternoon.

I do agree with the - don't take downstairs thing - though quite strongly. It will be unsettling. I don't think a feed around 10.30 - 11.00pm is untypical either at 9 months and if you can go to bed around this time too, its not too much of a chore. Its less about feeding to sleep and more about them needing the food.

I do very much resent those who insist you must stop feeding them through the night, especially if they are a baby who refuses to be fed. Not all children are the same and what works for some won't work for all. At 9 months, not all children are ready for solids despite the info out there (DS got it about 10 and a half months and did baby led, which I wasn't planning on doing, but he had other ideas about).

Its that middle of the night bit that's the real issue if its causing YOU problems. Its fine for her. You can either try and train her or embrace it and consider co-sleeping at this point. I had never considered doing it, but ended up doing it in pretty desperation as DS would not sleep unless I was next to him no matter what I did. He would sleep for an hour at most and then wake and scream and scream. It worked for us and we were all happy with it rather than the stress of training.

It is very much down to personal preference and what suits you though. Don't let anyone tell you different.

mouldycheesefan Thu 07-Jan-16 16:30:19

Well if you won't do proper routines keep on with current circumstances!
Your baby has not been helped to develop a good sleep pattern, they are up from 4-6am? Why? Because they can be! They haven't learned this night time.
Seriously you are not doing any of you any favours by refusing a sleep routine.

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