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To think I'll never sleep again and just give in

(37 Posts)
Wishfulmakeupping Thu 05-Jan-17 09:25:51

Bf 1 year old just does not sleep well. I want to stop feeding but nowhere near that. He's currently waking 6-7 times a night- I'm on my knees with tiredness.
Dh tries to help but I can't listen to ds crying and shouting for me plus I have a 3 year old did I don't want to wake up. I've tried filling him up more, dream feed, putting extra covers on, changing him to bigger cot, just offering water, giving him dummy, cutting out all caffiene, speaking to health visitor...nothing works! A
Am I better to just give up and resign myself to never sleeping again?!

Trifleorbust Thu 05-Jan-17 09:28:19

Does he bf in the day? I would be introducing a bottle.

BillSykesDog Thu 05-Jan-17 09:31:41

I'd try a bottle too.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 05-Jan-17 09:40:10

Tried milk in a bottle when he was younger he wouldn't take it- now he's over 1 I've tried just warm cows milk in a soppy cup but he won't have that either only tried it a few time though

MatildaTheCat Thu 05-Jan-17 09:44:14

Either co sleep or give up bf? You can't go on doing this without getting ill or at least seriously stressed and knackered.

CatsCantFlyFast Thu 05-Jan-17 09:46:59

I'd night wean from bf. It takes a week of it being unpleasant but in your situation it sounds as though you can't carry on as you are. Can you sleep in a different room and let your husband offer milk/water/cuddles for a week?

Dulra Thu 05-Jan-17 09:52:56

You said yourself you are on your knees with exhaustion so I don't think you have much choice here you need to try and get your baby to sleep through or at least wake less frequently. He is 1 now so I assume on solids, his stomach is larger so can now hold enough food to sustain him through the night so he isn't waking out of hunger but out of habit. All babies wake a few times a night as we do but most turn over and settle themselves back to sleep and that is what you need to start encouraging him to do. Does he settle himself to sleep going to bed? If not you need to tackle that first because he may not have developed the skills to self soothe once he does he is more likely to apply the same during the night when he wakes. I wouldn't blame the bf and if you want to keep feeding do but that does not mean he still needs night feeds because he doesn't.

Burntbum Thu 05-Jan-17 09:57:58

I reached this stage when DS was 16months old. This is what worked for me: I picked a time in the school holidays so that if he woke DD up screaming it didn't matter so much. I would go to him as normal but just offer him milk in a cup. The first night was awful. He was enraged when he saw the cup and flung it across the room, he point blank refused to have any. He did scream a lot and I kept going to him and offering him the cup and comforting him but he wouldn't drink.

The second night he woke up as usual and screamed when I offered him the cup. Again he wouldn't drink but didn't cry for as long and I only had to go back in to soothe him a couple of times. The third night he woke once, cried a bit, refused the cup and then went back to sleep. Night four he slept though the night for the first time!!!

I didn't feel bad as I wasn't leaving him to cry. I was going to him, comforting him and offering him milk just a different delivery method!! He was eating well by then so knew he wasn't actually hungry. I hope you manage to find a solution soon!

Artandco Thu 05-Jan-17 10:08:00

I would just stop feeding at night

Have last feed in living room unrelated to sleep and remind him no feeds at bedtime anymore. Then do bedtime with a new teddy he can take to bed, and some stories. When he wakes, repeat no feeds (wear tucked in top so he can't the first week), and reinforce giving teddy back, tucking in, rubbing back to sleep.
Your Dh can do half the wakings then also as no feeds, and actually if he did all the next two nights it will be easier as he can't try and feed.

In the morning don't let him feed in bed, only when back in living room with lights on etc as 'daytime'.

ErnesttheBavarian Thu 05-Jan-17 10:12:42

You know a 1 year old doesn't need feeding probably at all during the night, never mind 6-7 times. So actually this isn't really about feeding, be it bottle or bf. This is about poor sleeping habits and your not wanting to leave him to settle himself.

It's a vicious circle, the more you go to him, the more he will want you to.

Your choices -
1. carry on as you are.
2. Do sleep training.

With option 2 you then have to further decide if that involved bf/bottle milk/ just bottle water etc.

I had this with dd. At age 2 I couldn't take it anymore. Did sleep training. Hated it and felt shit, but soon felt so much better.
Sil had it too. She felt too guilty and couldn't do it. She still complains now about her ds up every single night, shit sleeper at age 7 (almost 8) wishes she had followed through. She still could tackle his sleep issues. But I guess still feels bad about doing so. I don't think she has had a solid night since her dd was born. Almost 10 years ago.

Personally, I'm glad I took the feeling horrible for a week but sorting it option.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 05-Jan-17 10:15:17

Ok Ernest is that what burntbum was saying or is sleep training leaving them to cio

Artandco Thu 05-Jan-17 10:18:55

Sleep training isn't leaving them to cry unless you want to.
A child who is currnetly only breastfed back to sleep can be sleep trained easily without being left to cry. Yes they might cry, but if parent is there comforting with stroking forehead, lullabies and soothing shhh shh to sleep, that isn't being left to cry it out alone

ErnesttheBavarian Thu 05-Jan-17 10:19:43

burns idea is one approach. or just offering water is another, or offering nothing is another....By cio, I wouldn't just leave a baby to scream indefinitely either. I mean there are variables. I can't remember exactly what I did. I remember it was horrible. I would go in every 5 minutes, not speak but shush or head stroke then leave again. maybe lengthen the gap. but def not continue the feeding. It's not necessary and not good for either of you.

Good luck with however you decide to tackle it. x

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 05-Jan-17 10:35:35

Thank you so would I do a feed downstairs then get dad to put him to bed in stead of me maybe

Cel982 Thu 05-Jan-17 10:42:04

Have you tried co-sleeping? It made an enormous difference to how much sleep I got at this age, and in reality it's how a huge number of breastfeeding mothers arrange things in order to maximise sleep for everybody. Baby is likely to wake less and settle more quickly when you're there beside him, and you won't have to get out of bed.

Night waking, while exhausting, is perfectly normal at this age, and sleeping through isn't something that babies need to be trained into. They all get there eventually. Sarah Ockwell-Smith's book 'Sweet Sleep' might be worth a look.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 05-Jan-17 11:30:51

I hit this stage when DS was 10 months old.

I got in touch with a Sleep Consultant, put DS in his own room, stopped all night time breast feeds and sleep trained with CC.

Within 5 days he was self settling and sleeping through from 8pm-6am.

ErnesttheBavarian Thu 05-Jan-17 12:08:43

Cel982, I disagree with this sleeping through isn't something that babies need to be trained into. They all get there eventually.

While some learn it, it is NOT something that all babies learn eventually. And the issue is when is eventually? By the time they are 2/4/6? OP sounds likes she's reached breaking point. The disturbed nights are a killer, especially when there is no end in sight.

My sil couldn't bear to hear her ds cry and went to him every time. Now, at the age of 7 he still can't sleep through. He cries, she is there. Then moaning about how she never gets an undisturbed sleep/ how ds comes into her bed every night.

My dss did learn it. My dd definitely needed training.

JsOtherHalf Thu 05-Jan-17 12:14:57

A relative used to get her parents to move in for a week to help the children go to sleep without breastfeeding.

I don't know if she still breastfed them after that ( eg mornings and teatime) but each of them was around 12 months old, and she was back to work full time.

They don't remember it :D

cookieswirls Thu 05-Jan-17 12:23:08

This sounds exactly like my 11 mo twins. I considered sleep training but after one week gave up as we were all having disturbed sleep with no sign of progress. They have got into a habit of feeding to sleep and I know they don't need the milk. I have found that If they only have milk from 6 pm onwards they sleep a little better as they are not still trying to digest solid food. Hope you get some sleep soon

BIgBagofJelly Thu 05-Jan-17 12:23:15

Comfort feeder like mine was. I was essentially a night time dummy. I found there really wasn't any solution (except lie ins both weekend days while my DH took the LO for a few hours). Obviously I could have night weened but until DD was older enough to actually understand what was going on it would have led to weeks of screaming through the night.

mistermagpie Thu 05-Jan-17 12:28:36

At 1 he shouldn't need feeding in the night at all really so the breat/bottle thing is a bit of a red herring. As a PP said, he is using you as a dummy.

Does he have a dummy? Or any type of comforter?

I think you might need to go cold turkey on the night feeds to be honest, or get dad to offer milk in a cup when he wakes. I don't like controlled crying personally but at 1, he isn't too young to try it if you are getting desperate.

thenewaveragebear1983 Thu 05-Jan-17 12:28:42

My ds is 15 months and bottle fed. He is starving in the night apparently and still wakes every night and drains 7oz bottles. Sometimes 2.
Watching this thread with interest because I'd love to stop the night feeds.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 05-Jan-17 12:36:57

He's one. I would stop the breastfeeding completely. In my experience, a breastfed baby just won't stop on their own. They will always come to you first.

I wouldn't just stop it in the night, because it will just confuse him. Just stop completely. Offer sippy cups with water or juice if he really won't take water and don't wobble. I'd also do this over a weekend as he will not be happy.

I don't like CIO but controlled crying got us to get our 14 month old sleeping in his own cot all night within a week. I was working full time, breastfeeding during the night as we co-slept and was a zombie. Best thing ever.

He's five now and would probably still be breastfeeding if he could!

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 05-Jan-17 12:37:40

Thenewaverage - have you tried just offering water?

Artandco Thu 05-Jan-17 12:50:46

WIshful - yes if your Dh is there, I would do feed on sofa. Then get Dh to do getting him in pjs, nappy, and in bedroom with lights dimmed, then a short story or two. Then into bed. If he wakes in the night I would also get Dh going to him the first two nights. After a few days of new routine you can swap over who does bedtime, but still keep last feed on sofa unrelated to bed

FYI mine breastfed until 3 years. But last feed from 4 months old always out of bedroom, and first one always back in living room.

Make sure you are offering enough liquids during the day if he's used to stocking up on that at night. But at 1 year I would be aiming for just three ish breastfeeds a day between 7am-9pm. Water in a cup overnight if thirsty when its hot.

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