Breaking the feeding to sleep habit?(19 Posts)
Right so 8m DS (EBF up til now, weaning on 3 meals a day, massive boy 13lb born now on 95th centile) has been taking an afternoon bottle consistently for 2 weeks-so i thought i'd start on the morning feed and sleep today.
I'd normally feed him to sleep around 9.15 after school run. he's taken 7oz of milk from a bottle and I have cuddled til he was calm, have placed in cot awake. I must have lay him back down 30 times already, so i have walked away. He's standing in his cot, he giggling he appears to be wide awake but the minute I pick him up again he starts to rub eyes and yawn so he is tired. He is just starting to cry, he sounds like he will ramp himself up into frenzy any minute. How long til I go up? What do i do when i go up? Patting does not work, picking up does not work.
I have to break this feeding to sleep habit I have inadvertently encouraged, otherwise he will never sleep through the bloody night. He was awake every bloody 45 minutes last night, he was pretty much latched on all night and morning was 4.45.
I did this with my EBF fed baby at six months when trying to break feeding him to sleep. I always followed the same routine so he knew what was coming - put in sleeping bag, read books, lie in cot and walk out. He yelled and yelled for about thirty minutes on the first couple of days but it got less after that. I would go up after fifteen minutes and give him a kiss and lie him down. He will yell but there is no other way to do it I'm afraid! He probably will carry on like this for a couple of days but it will get less and less each day and then after a few days it will stop and you can go and have a cup of tea. Once I sorted out his days the nights quickly followed and I just figured he would be a happier baby and I would be a happier mother so life would be much improved.
Probably worth turning the monitor off and hanging out the washing for fifteen minutes or so though!
I used a favourite CD (of mine!) which I played at bedtime (where dd's performance on going to sleep herself was really picking up) and naps (where it wasn't.) So we listened to it while I fed her, whether it was to sleep, or to nearly asleep or later just fed her a bit or later than that not at all. The CD now makes both of us feel saturated with sleepiness whenever it's put on. Which is all good, I think. Although at two years plus, DH is now busy trying to break the "tunes" habit.
You don't necessarily have to break the feed to sleep habit to get him to sleep through the night. I nightweaned DS2 at about 16 months (I think), but was still feeding him to sleep at bedtime at that point, because he wanted to and it was easy.
Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution is good for a gradual method to ease them into self-settling.
... Oops. Pressed the wrong button! When my dd was about 9mths old I started getting her to sleep by pushing her around in the pushchair. This was to break the feed to sleep. I just couldn't do the leave to cry method. She was too distressed and it felt really wrong. That was an interim to get her off the feed to sleep.
I then moved her to a cot and a rigid routine. I wish I'd started a routine earlier as it really helped with her naps. She had milk and books and into her sleep
I started a proper routine about then too. I would do that earlier if I had my time again. So precise times for feeding, books etc. As i was preparing to go back to work i started formula around then.
Then I moved her into the cot at lunchtime with full routine of nappy change, books.
Oh dear. Sorry the above post is a mess. I was mid edit and trying to remember what i did to break the feed to sleep habit with my dd 1.5 years ago! I'm typIng on my iPhone and the space bar keeps disappearing and the post button is right underneath it. Sorry!!! I give up for now.
But basically I did routine and never did cry it out. Then one day at about 12 months she just went to sleep on her own with
Without crying. Sorry I really do give up now!
We have just done this with our 14 month old.
He now has a bottle downstairs in his gro bag with iggle piggle on quietly on the tv. (Just a routine so he knows the cues) once he's finished his bottle he sits on my knees for 5/10 mins and we have a cuddle.
Then dad(if he's at home) takes him to bed. Lie him down in bed, give him dummy and comfort bear, cuddle, kiss, walk out.
Dad outs him to bed when possible as ds2 still plays up a bit for me sometimes, where he goes straight to sleep for dad.
But when we first did it and he wouldn't settle we went in as soon as we heard him standing up/babbling/ whining as we don't want him to get upset but also he needs to stay calm so he goes to sleep.
We don't want bedtime to be something he dreads so we did the softer approach. He started sleeping through after 2 days! Wish I'd stopped feeding to sleep months ago.
But do what feels right for your baby and good luck
Hi - I bought teach yourself baby sleep on a mnet suggestion. 3 days in my 5 month old has slept in 4 hour chunks (instead of 2 hours), napped in the cot (instead of being rolled in the pram for hours) and is settling self after feeds (including at bedtime) in about 10 mins without a tear.
She always had a good bedtime routine so am now not letting fall asleep, puting in a song then in cot with white noise and kiss! She needed her dummy up till last night but then I couldn't believe it when she didn't.
I started with a nap in the cot where there was 50 mins of frustration, crying, playing, rolling about. I patted, gave dummy, put side down and cuddled in. After that has 2 15 minute grumps and now she's rolling over and chattering a little.
I felt so guilt after the first nap but tbh it was no worse than her fighting sleep on the nights feeding didn't work.
Well you've fed him to sleep for his whole life so need to get him used to adjusting... If someone changed something, how would you know what you should do? Eg if someone expected you to sleep differently?
You could try a gentle method of feeding until drowsy then putting down and settling in the cot by patting/rubbing his back and saying reassuring words? Then work back from there (after a short nap/bed time routine)? That's how I did it with mine although they always went back to feeding to sleep at some point.
FWIW, my ds slept through when I fed him to sleep or if I rocked or let him fall asleep himself. It didn't matter so much how he got to sleep - he would still wake if hungry, upset, unwell etc.
The book is fab, tells you what to do in a series of case studies and really helped me form a plan I would stick to.
Baby is happier, better rested and eating better during day too.
No doubt will all go tits up tonight
mine stopped feeding to sleep suddenly at about 8 months, then started again a few months later.
it didn't seem to make any difference to his sleep at night. i fed or cuddled him to sleep when he wanted and he just slept through by himself gradually.
i am lazy and found just waiting much easier than doing something.
hoping it will work for DS2...
well the feeding to sleep has become intermittent now. Just getting him to bloody stay asleep has become a nightmare. hes waking every 2 hours in the night.
When my 6.5mo DS was waking every 2hours at night, I did the No Cry Sleep Solution 'Pantley Pull Off' technique to get him off the boob. Never managed to do it completely as the book says, but after a few days he did a 9hr solid sleep!
Idiot that I am, I didn't persist with it and now, a few months later, I'm about to try it again...but it did work initially at least, and quickly.
Hi people jumping on this thread and sorry to hijack. Our baby is only a week and a half old but I wondered when you started the whole 'routine' thing? In the last couple of days she has been hard to settle in the evening after her feeds - just random wails and chirps, then getting overtired and starting to cry in earnest. I have the Baby Whisperer book and it has some really good tips but I don't know if she's just too young and it's crazy trying to get her into routine at this stage? The other books you recommend sound like they are for older kids or could they be used for a newborn? I don't cope well with sleep deprivation...
The No Cry Sleep Solution has ideas for not getting into the patterns it helps you to break as well. I'd have a look at it for that.
I have always fed my 4 month old DS to sleep but in the past few weeks he has started to finish his feed and still be awake. As a result we have been forced to address the issue of learning to go down in his cot awake and fall asleep by himself. Neither of us want to do CC or CIO so started by trying to use shush-pat and lift him to cuddle him if he got too distressed. Unfortunately this wasn't really working and he was getting really worked up before finally falling asleep upset and exhausted. Then this week we have tried three new things and either one or a combo of them have worked a miracle! Firstly we have been leaving a night light on instead of putting him down in the dark, secondly tucking him in with a blanket instead of just putting him down in his sleeping bag (he would instantly flip to his front and end up at the other end of the cot) and thirdly, we bought him a Ewan the Sheep! I can't recommend Ewan enough, it is amazing and seems to cast a spell over DS. The past 3 nights I have put him down, turned on Ewan (he plays different sounds like a heartbeat plus white noise) and DS has just calmly watched me tuck him in, stretched out his arms then gone to sleep! Until three nights ago I would never have believed he would go to sleep in his cot at all, let alone with no tears or distress. Check out Ewan the sheep on amazon, pricey but gets rave reviews and after the past few nights I would pay triple for another one if it broke! In addition he is now waking 3 times in the night instead of up to six, and we have heard his several times over the past few nights wake up and fall back asleep again by himself (he has never managed this in the past).
Have ordered couple of books recommended here including No Cry Sleep solution - and Ewan looks v cool! Thanks for tips. Did any of you try swaddling and do you recommend any particular type? Am considering Miracle Blanket or Swaddle Pod...
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