... to not sleep train DD

(70 Posts)
LittleSausageFingers Tue 01-Nov-16 19:50:57

I have no idea what to do, nothing has had me questioning myself more than this parenting melark.

DD is almost 9 months, was EBF to 6 months when we introduced solids. Very stubborn spoon refuser, so we are doing BLW. She finally started eating at approx 8 months, although not massive amounts, but we're getting there.

I feed her to sleep for pretty much every sleep. It's the only way I can get her to sleep (except for the car). Won't sleep in buggy. She's on two naps a day, but will occasionally skip one (despite my best efforts), which makes her insanely grumpy by bedtime.

She wakes usually 4 times a night, and I feed her back to sleep. We've tried my DH going in to settle her, but it always ends with an hour of screaming, and I then have to feed her to calm her down anyway. So for me it's so much easier to feed her for 10 minutes, put her back down, and go back to sleep. Despite 9 months of broken sleep I'm doing ok, I'm a long-time insomnia sufferer and I don't seem to need as much sleep as other people (I'm wondering if she takes after me in that respect...)

I've had two HVs give me a ticking off for feeding her to sleep, told me to let her cry it out, basically made me feel terrible and responsible for her not eating (this was when she wasn't eating at all, she is eating now. They said she wouldn't eat when she's full of milk).

I go back to work three days a week when she's one, and she'll be at nursery two days and with my parents, including an overnight, for one day. I'm worried about how she will nap at nursery/with my parents, and I have no idea how my parents will cope with her night wakings. Will it be horrendously traumatic for her if I'm not there to feed her? Logistically they can't have her without having an overnight. I could cancel this arrangement and put her into nursery for a extra day, but they would be disappointed and the extra expense would be difficult.

I don't want to sleep train. AIBU to carry on as I am and hope it'll work out?

We've tried formula before bed, made no difference. Not interested in dummy, despite my best efforts. We've tried the baby whisperer method, it just made her angry. Even when she's eaten a big dinner she's up after 3 hours.

Am I doing this all wrong feeding her to sleep?

Sorry it's so long. Maybe I should read this post to DD, I'm sure it'll put her straight to sleep... wink

Boundaries Tue 01-Nov-16 19:55:06

Nah. She'll get there. I fed my DS to sleep until he gave up breastfeeding at about 14 months.

He now has stories and falls asleep within about 3 mins. He's 4. Sleeps through, or will creep in with me in the night.

Don't stress. And you don't have to see health visitors if there are no issues..,,

Boundaries Tue 01-Nov-16 19:55:57

Oh and re naps at nursery, she just will. Ditto with your parents, I bet...

celeryeater Tue 01-Nov-16 19:56:14

I'm sorry I have no advice but I'm following as I always feed to sleep and nothing else works.

Binglesplodge Tue 01-Nov-16 19:56:58

No, you're not doing anything wrong. If you're happy to feed her to sleep, then you're right to carry on following your instincts. She'll sleep differently for other people. I haven't any experience of grandparents giving care but my son started nursery at 10 months, when I was still feeding him to sleep. I still breastfeed him to sleep for his nap now, and he was 2 last week. At nursery, on the other hand, he happily does what everyone else does and has his nap.

Basically, if it feels right for you and works for her, please don't second guess yourself. Being a mum is hard enough without wondering if you're doing it right.

emmyhNL Tue 01-Nov-16 19:57:55

Every parent is different. Your child will grow so differently and much so don't worry too much about when she's one, just focus on getting more sleep, helping her routine etc.

We tried everything as well. There are some good Facebook groups that don't focus on cry it out that might help you out

Clickclickclick Tue 01-Nov-16 19:58:37

Don't sleep train, ignore the HV. Feed her to sleep if it suits you and don't worry too much about her being at her grans or at nursery. Babies and toddlers behave differently easier and better for people who aren't their parents .

Borntoflyinfirst Tue 01-Nov-16 19:58:42

do what is right for your family. Don't worry too much about what other people recommend. Advice is one thing but you have to do what you have to do. Don't make things harder for yourself.

emmyhNL Tue 01-Nov-16 19:59:23

One group is called sleepy littles

sleepy16 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:00:03

My 9 month old is exactly the same, although she wakes up a min of 4 times a Night (norm between 6/8).
She isn't interested in foods may have a bite of whatever I give her, or a few mouthfuls of food of a spoon.
My hv has said to do what ever I feel comfortable with, and although it is very hard sometimes it won't hopefully last forever.

HmmHaa Tue 01-Nov-16 20:00:15

I have been you and honestly, I could rabbit on and on!
But here's the gist:
1. Do what you want to do. If it's CC, do it without guilt. If it's feeding her to sleep, do it without guilt. The insanity will not come from lack of sleep, but in driving yourself made with coulda shoulda woulda.

2. She'll sleep fine in nursery. I couldn't believe it, no matter how many people told me this! So just don't worry about that AT ALL.

3. If she is with other people, she will be rocked, played with, fed formula if needs be, and will be fine. I promise. It is also another whole three months away - remember how much she changed in the first 3 months! She'll be a different baby by 1.

Relax. Do what works. Good luck x

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Tue 01-Nov-16 20:00:52

Basically exactly the same as Boundaries said. My DS was a nightmare then shortly after 1 it all just stopped. He goes to sleep in a matter of minutes and sleeps beautifully. It will end, do what you are comfortable with and ignore HVs and any other judgy pants people.

Nickanickname Tue 01-Nov-16 20:01:52

You may need to do it at some point, but it is fine to carry on until you feel like you cant cope anymore - if you are coping now then makes sense to put it off. I imagine she would actually cope fine at your parents and it may help things for her to not have the option of breastfeeding.

I sleep trained dc1 at 7 months at it was really traumatic. Couldn't face doing it for dc2 but then I went back to work and needed several sick days and I figured I was just too run down, so eventually did sleep train at 13months. By then it was much easier though - she was much more ready for it, and I didn't feel the same guilt because I felt it was something I really needed to do.

LittleSausageFingers Tue 01-Nov-16 20:07:42

Thank you all so much flowers this is so helpful and reassuring.

I hadn't had much experience with babies before she came along, and I really didn't appreciate how smart they are. My DH does bedtime bath and story, gets her all ready for bed, and she's a little angel for him, happy as anything. As soon as she sees me she goes bonkers demanding to be fed. And if i have to do bedtime routine alone she whines the whole time because she just wants to cut to the feeding part confused

Seriously, thank you. The last time I tried to get her to sleep without feeding (during the baby whisperer phase) she was screaming in her cot and I was on the floor sobbing. I just can't handle that sad

TheLongRains Tue 01-Nov-16 20:12:32

This thread has made me weep tears of joy! OP, I could have written that word for word, and all the people I know think that the way we operate is insane - but it's the only thing that works for us! I can't face leaving her to cry!

I'm glad others have added reassurances here that things will be fine when your routine changes, but I'm just here to say THANK YOU! for making me see I'm not the only feed-to-sleeper! And thanks to others for the hope that there will come a time that I'll get a full night again smile

MuddlingThroughMotherhood Tue 01-Nov-16 20:13:56

I'm pretty much going to repeat most pp so will try to keep it short...

Do what you want to do and relax about it. I'm lying here feeding my 2 year old to sleep as I type this. We had her 2 year check recently and I was dreading the sleep question but the HV surprised me and said to do what suits us but to be aware that she will need to fall asleep on her own at some point. To be honest it's the middle of the night wake ups which is like to stop but I'm hoping that in a few months they may reduce to none.

My dd will only fall asleep for me if I feed her, that's at night and day nap, thankfully car and buggy work too if she's super tired. My mum looks after her a day a week and just makes up a story to tell her to put her to sleep whilst lying on the bed. One day a week nursery stroke her head to put her to sleep.

They behave very differently depending on who they're with so again, relax and keep on feeding to sleep if that's what you want to do smile

FarAwayHills Tue 01-Nov-16 20:15:28

Your is baby is dependent on you feeding feeding to fall asleep and IMO needs to learn to fall asleep without feeding. This is also likely to be impacting her daytime eating which is probably why you got a ticking off from the HVs. I think you know it is going to be difficult for your DD and your parents to deal with this when you go back to work. How you go about resolving this issue will require some sort of sleep training and lots patience and perseverance.

I persevered with both DDs for my sanity mainly but also because I believe that developing good sleep habits early in life is very important. I think you just have to ask yourself realistically- how long can this go on for? It's not just going to stop so it's up to you to break the cycle.

Good luck flowers

JaniceBattersby Tue 01-Nov-16 20:15:43

My three children have been identical to that. So have many of the other children I know. So it's pretty normal (on the shit end of normal, granted grin)

I've had all the same worries going back to work all three times. Guess what? They've all been fine. Mine were also held for most naps so I was worried that the people caring for them would not want to do that so they wouldn't sleep.

They did sleep, of course, the little monkeys. And you know what, if your baby doesn't sleep in the day, does it really matter that much?

Two of my three still wake in the night, I'm pregnant again, and I manage fine at work. It's not a walk in the park but it's nowhere near as bad as I assumed it would be.

After number one I just changed my mindset and realised that a baby not sleeping very well isn't always a problem to fix, it's just normal. If you want to sleep train crack on, but if you don't I wouldn't let anyone bully you into it.

JaniceBattersby Tue 01-Nov-16 20:22:47

Oh, and if your HV tells you off for feeding to sleep, tell her you'll be delighted to see her at 2am, 4am and 5am when she'll be rocking, shushing, patting, walking the fucking hallways with your baby. Feeding to sleep takes my toddler approximately three minutes now, so there's no way I'm stopping because some sticky beak tells me to.

MuddlingThroughMotherhood Tue 01-Nov-16 20:33:59

JaniceBattersby I think that your two posts on this thread are possibly the best things I've ever read on MN, hopefully the OP will take as much from them as I have. I have already posted on this thread as I'm pretty confident with our sleep routine at the moment but you've been very reassuring smile thank you

HmmHaa Tue 01-Nov-16 20:34:04

X post with everyone else!

43percentburnt Tue 01-Nov-16 20:34:33

Ah your hv would have kittens, I cosleep with 8 month old twins, but your hv isn't in my house at 3am listening to crying babies. I regularly feed to sleep. I also don't bother seeing hv.

DS moved into his own bed at 2 and sleeps all night (except an occasional wee).

In my opinion falling asleep is a milestone, like crawling and walking. One of my twins will sleep alone for up to 5 hours, the other wails like a banshee unless snuggled into me. Same techniques, same routine - different babies.

Do it your way and don't question yourself.

LittleSausageFingers Tue 01-Nov-16 20:36:01

JaniceBattersby grin thank you!

nephrofox Tue 01-Nov-16 20:40:41

My honest opinion is it would be better to encourage more independent sleeping now while you have the time to do it gradually than rely on a short sharp shock on her first day at nursery and she's exhausted but doesn't know how to sleep without you

CarrieLouise25 Tue 01-Nov-16 20:43:43

I stopped seeing HV as soon as possible. Soon as they sign me of...bye bye!!

Being a mum is hard enough, and the normal guilt/am I doing this right feelings, without someone making you feel even worse for doing things the 'wrong' way.

I am confident there are no adults in the world that still need feeding to sleep grin

Fed all mine to sleep, 3rd one is 8 months old and up a few times. He feeds for a few mins, goes straight back. Lovely jubbly.

Will tackle the next stage as and when we are both ready.

Enjoy your baby, and ditch the unhelpful HV flowers

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