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Four month old breastfeeding herself to sleep

(10 Posts)
sazza1970 Mon 19-Oct-09 21:47:45

I'd be really grateful for any advice - my lovely four month old daughter won't settle for the night unless she falls asleep on the breast. I give her a bottle of expressed milk at 7 as my supply is low at night, but she won't go to sleep unless she has access to the breast (she sucks for about two minutes then falls asleep). She normally wakes up once before her 'big sleep', and once again, I'm the only one who can settle her with a very brief feed. If my partner tries to settle her, she'll fall asleep on him but as soon as she goes into the cot start crying and this pattern just continues until she's allowed to breastfeed. I'd really like to break this cycle as I'm starting to feel trapped and I don't think its good for either of us - does anyone have any thoughts on how to ease the transition?

morocco Mon 19-Oct-09 21:52:32

if you can bear to hang on in there, it won't last forever and when she's a bit older it will be easier to move over to your dh settling her to sleep. we've done it this way with ours but a few months later.

how is he putting her down in the cot? keeping a hand on her back for a while til she falls asleep more deeply might help.

Hattie05 Mon 19-Oct-09 21:57:14

sazza1970 this is how my two have always been. As morocco says it doesn't last.

Breastfeeding is an aid of comfort as well as food for a baby. There is nothing 'wrong' with them sucking just for comfort.

As your baby gets older, you can try and wake her for winding, before laying her down, to try and break the habit of laying her down asleep. But 4mths is stil very young i really wouldn't worry.

Drooper Mon 19-Oct-09 21:57:31

I would usually say to carry on giving her a bf but try to put her down when she's drowsy but before she falls asleep, but difficult to do that when she's asleep in minutes smile

You could try a dummy.

Options are a bit limited as cc (controversial anyway) wouldn't work on a babe this young.

What I would say is that this isn't harming her and there is plenty of time to establish sleeping routines when she's older.

sweetkitty Mon 19-Oct-09 22:03:17

Two of mine always BF to sleep and I allowed them to, they are babies for such a small amount of time I just decided to go with the flow. You are a human dummy, if they do wake they want a little comfort suck to get back to sleep but hey that was fine too.

DD3 is 15 months now she goes down to bed awake in her cot in her own room and doesn't stir until morning (I had to wake her this morning) naptimes she goes awake and goes off to sleep absolutely no problems. I miss us both snuggling down for that last BF of the night.

If you find it a problem have a look at the No Cry Sleep Solution which is a gradual process of weaning them off the breast to sleep not a quick fix but a gentle method.

iwantitnow Mon 19-Oct-09 22:13:01

All I can say is that DD fed herself to sleep and would wake up constantly through the night - we did gradual retreat as described in the no cry sleep solution and did manage to put her down awake (but with a bit of screaming for a few nights).

DS has always settles himself to sleep, was keen for him to do so but has never wanted to feed himself to sleep. He is 7 months. He doesn't sleep through the night either.

Keep doing it for as long as you want, it will probably make no difference to sleep patterns.

DrCosyTiger Tue 20-Oct-09 13:20:47

Hi Sazza, I don't mean to sound unsympathetic but I agree with the other posters. If you have found something that works to send your LO to sleep, I'm inclined not to mess with it. My DD was the same but feeding to sleep stopped working at about 5 months and we then had to find other ways to settle her which we eventually did. I know it's really hard when it has to be you every time who settles her back to sleep but it's unlikely to last too much longer and surely is better than lots of screaming? Hang on in there.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 20-Oct-09 13:44:09

Message withdrawn

inthesticks Tue 20-Oct-09 15:22:42

Be grateful while it works.
I found that around 6/7 months BFing no longer sent them to sleep and it was much , much more difficult to get them off.

Reesie Tue 20-Oct-09 20:52:13

Your lo is doing brilliantly. Breastfeeding is a natural way of getting your baby to sleep. I just don't understand why so many people fight against this notion.

You baby is still so little. Keep bf her to sleep - she's a vulnerable little human being who cannot do anything for herself. She needs to feel secure to fall asleep and the breast will do this.

I also would feed the last feed as a BF to stimulate your supply is you feel you are getting low in the evening.

Don't worry about doing things the 'right' way at this stage - whatever the 'right'way is. Be relaxed and do whatever.

This stage really will be over soon.

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