Last night she was on the breast for over two hours non stop, and then woke up every half an hour or so and wouldn't settle without the breast. I actually don't think she's that hungry, i just think she needs a dummy, but she refuses one. She's been doing this for a while now, what can i do?
How does she go to sleep - does she feed to sleep? If you can get her to self-settle when she goes to bed she might self-settle better through the night. If she won't take a dummy, try a binky (Mothercare do these little soft toys that have a blanket for a body so they're easy for a baby to cuddle). In my opinion you're better off without dummies anyway now because she's still too young to be able to find it herself in the night so she might just cry when she wakes without it. Then you're up half the night replacing the dummy! (Been there, bought the t-shirt). And by the time she's old enough to find her dummy in the night, your health visitor will be on at you to wean her off...
Lots of people will be horrified at me suggesting this I know but once she turns 6 months you could try controlled crying or the gradual retreat method to get her to self settle? We just did it with our 6 month old twins and they went from waking every hour to waking once in the night. DT2 now falls asleep with her thumb in her mouth, cuddling her binky - it's very cute!
I'd also recommend the Millpond clinic book, Teach Your Child to Sleep. It's written by British health visitors and it's quite hard line, but it's very practical and their explanation of baby sleep is very good.
Thank you so much for your very helpful answer! She feeds herself to sleep, Im afraid. I will try anything to get her to sleep properly, I've got two other kids under 5 and my eldest comes to my bed every single night since dd3 was born... Im still on maternity leave so i feel like i can cope an the moment, but for how long? I must sort it out before i got back to work Im January!
It might be a growth spurt. My dd went through patches of feeding like crazy overnight at this age. You could try working in some more feeds during the day as her tummy is big enough to be able to 'tank up' a bit.
I'd carry on feeding her to sleep - it's really not a problem weaning them off it when they're older (did DD at 7m and DS at 8m - easy peasy with both).
Do you think she might be waking up because she's a bit cold? My DD was waking up regularly (every hour) and would just have a little suck before falling straight back to sleep. We put an extra layer on her and she now sleeps for much longer spells of 3-4 hours.