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Extended breastfeeding to sleep. Father feeling excluded

(8 Posts)
PortSalut Wed 24-Nov-10 23:51:03

Hi there, just wondered if anyone had any advice about this. My dd is just over 2 and I am still feeding her, mainly at bedtime and morning but also twice during night, naptimes at home and when she's upset/tired etc.

My Dh has a very demanding job and has just not been available to help with the bedtime routine. He also needs about 9 unbroken hours sleep to function so sleeps in another room during the week.

He is a very attentive Dad when not working but recently has been feeling second best especially when dd won't settle for anything but nursing.

I really don't want to stop feeding her but think it would help if he could manage to get her to sleep at night another way. Has anyone managed this while still bf to sleep yourself?

Would also be interested in people's experiences of self weaning and how the transition from bf to sleep to going to sleep by themselves occurred. Would love it to happen naturally but finding it difficult to convince people that it will!

bedlambeast Thu 25-Nov-10 01:07:37

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ClimberChick Thu 25-Nov-10 02:05:15

If it were me, I'd only start changing the routine if DH would be around every night to do the bedtime routine, at least until it starts to work. If he can or only wants to do it once or twice a week, then I don't think it's fair for DD.

My DD is a lot younger, but I feed her then DH takes over. If there's a chance she'll go to sleep I feed in either in the living room or bedroom with lights on.

While it's sad to feel second best, this would have probably happened even if the comfort you use isn't BF. Unfortunately you can't just come in and have a DD who loves your touch. As you're aware you've put in a lot of ground work to get this relationship and DH will have to too.

PortSalut Thu 25-Nov-10 13:29:46

Thanks Bedlambeast, that's very reassuring. Might start doing longer stories as she gets a bit older and hopefully will happen by itself. I'm sure she eventually would go to sleep for dh as occasionally I have to rock her to sleep after feeding. I suppose I'm happy to rock through the intermittent protest crying though as I know she needs to go to sleep whereas dh can't see her in any distress so they just go downstairs again to play! That used to be ok but now she's older she just gets really tired and needs to be in bed. I actually hardly ever need to go out anyway and might just avoid Christmas parties this year. Just out of interest what method did your dh use to settle your children?

Thanks Climberchick, your bedtime routine sounds ideal and suppose was what I was thinking of but you're right dh would have to be there every night and because of on call etc won't happen. I have put in a lot of groundwork but I feel very lucky because I haven't had to work and so have had the energy and flexibility to do it. I feel quite guilty that dh has to work so hard and worry that the methods I'm using for dd will harm their relationship. Having said that it does feel like a very loving way to get her to sleep so it's complicated!

bedlambeast Sat 27-Nov-10 01:08:05

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ClimberChick Sat 27-Nov-10 07:23:46

Could you start on a gradual withdrawal technique yourself, aiming to get her asleep more and more independently. Though IMO if it ain't broke and you like it...

There is so much your DH can do, in fact all the good bits, playing, bathing. There is no need for this to interfere with his relationship with her. Plus there is still so much time when she's older. I think it's more important that when he is there with her, he is there 100% (i.e. not on the sofa reading a paper).

Your DH's relationship with his daughter is also HIS responsibility, it isn't your fault. I assume your not stopping him with interacting with him full stop or saying bad things about him. Even without the BF you'd most likely still be the only one who could calm her. That's life

Sorry rambling a bit, but wanted the message that this isn't all on you to come through somewhere

Bucharest Sat 27-Nov-10 07:44:36

Did he also feel left out that he didn't give birth to her? grin

In all honesty, I'd say you're dealing with a non-issue. How does he feel about you "still" breastfeeding? Is that the real reason why he's feeling left out possibly?

My dp is out of the house from 6.30 am till 7pm and also Saturday mornings. Dd co-sleeps with me and he sleeps in "her" room. They play together at w/es, he takes her off on his own when they can, which admittedly isn't often.

Agree totally with Climber Chick that his relationship with his daughter is, actually, very little to do with you. You shouldn't feel you have to change any of your relationship with her to help his.

Dd self-weaned at, erm, 5 yrs and 10 mths. (and yes, he did get chinny about it, then I educated him. wink)

EauRouge Sat 27-Nov-10 08:17:37

Yes, I agree this should be something that you want to change because you are not happy, not because your DH is not happy.

My DD is 2 and still BF to sleep if she has a nap during the day but at night she will feed and then we cuddle and I sing to her. I'm 28 weeks pregnant and it was getting sore her falling asleep on the boob. I started gradually by unlatching her when she was almost out and then just holding her. If she got upset I started BF again, it's harder to get a toddler to sleep if they are screaming the place down! It wasn't a long transition and now she will happily stop BF, snuggle into me and say 'mummy sing', although she is quite picky in her choice of songs grin

That's just how I did it, might not work for everyone. If you want to carry on BF (high five) then the bed time feed is usually the last one to go.

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