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Six month old feeding to sleep and won't settle for DH

(4 Posts)
sparklechops Sun 07-Oct-12 20:55:28

My DD is six months and having sleep problems. I've got into the habit of feeding her to sleep at night (and during the day, if I'm honest. Only other way she'll nap during the day is when she's in her pram).

This came about because she had colic from a couple of weeks and would just literally scream for hours ever evening. Feeding was the only way to settle her.

Anyway, I thought things might have evolved by now - that she'd be able to settle herself. But she is still relying on being fed to sleep. And even after she goes to sleep and I put her gently in the cot, she usually immediately wakes up, distressed. And as she is now able to pull herself to standing on the bars, she stands and screams!

We go straight to her to comfort her - don't want to do 'cry it out' - but these days she won't even calm down for her dad. I have to be the one holding her - and often than not, feeding her in order for her to stop crying and even start going to sleep again. The whole process - from when we start the bedtime routine of bath, pjs, lullabies etc at around 7pm - can take three hours. Once she's down, she never stays in the cot all night. She tends to wake around 1am and come in with us and then feeds sporadically through the night whenever she stirs.

I can sort of see why this problem has happened - and blame myself for it. DH is upset that he can't comfort her in the evening. What I would really like is advice. How can we help her to settle herself?

She is currently screaming in the other room as my DH attempts to comfort her. Thanks in advance for any help. Apologies for long post!

GailTheGoldfish Sun 07-Oct-12 21:02:47

There's another thread on this board called "advice needed breastfeeding to sleep" which might be worth a read - the OP has a younger baby but is struggling to get him to sleep at 7pm. My DD is only 11 weeks but sleeps well if fed to sleep and put down around 1030 pm. I don't know about 6 month olds but might a later bedtime and cluster feeding help? On that thread there is a great link to a Kellymom article which might help. And I have heard that grobags help stop babies and toddlers from standing up on their cots

theduchesse Sun 07-Oct-12 21:08:40

I'm probably not going to be too much help but my DS was pretty much the same at 6 months. They do get there on the self settling without crying it out but it can take much longer than 6 months. Mine is just 1 now and still needs my presence to get to sleep but it's now just a hug sitting down. It used to be breastfeeding to sleep, then walking up and down the hall, then rocking on the spot, now just sitting down). And he sleeps through about 50% of nights now.

All those changes came from him when he was ready other than the change from breastfeeding to sleep - that only came when I stopped breastfeeding him - first during the day at about 7 months (I went back to work) and then totally at 10 months.

So my point is basically that you have not started a situation that will continue forever and you will be able to move forward without crying it out. Hopefully someone else will have some advice for the transition from breastfeeding to sleep while continuing breastfeeding though.

sparklechops Sun 07-Oct-12 21:21:33

Thank you. We have only just started the earlier bedtime - she used to go to bed later but we realised she was getting overtired. But she just seems to fight sleep so much - during the day as well. I am starting part time work next week and my DM will be looking after her. I am hoping that this means she will learn to fall asleep without me during the day....

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