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Did your DC drop night feeds on their own?

(11 Posts)
haloflo Sun 31-Jul-11 21:03:16

Hi, I wondered if anyone could give me a bit of hope that the sleep deprivation won't last forever?

DD is 17 wo & ebf. Never slept through. Goes 2 hourly at night from 7-7 (5 or 6 night feeds) These are good nights. Sometimes from 3am/4am she goes hourly and can be wide awake 2 hours at night having done an untimely poo. These are bad nights. Sometimes she is hungry, sometimes she wants comfort but the nights vary with no pattern (that I've noticed, I don't keep a log)

Before 4mo she has done 3-4 hourly stretches and one 5 hour stretch but never the 8 hours that many friends babies have done....

Her bedtime routine is bath, sleepsuit, feed, dummy (unless fed to sleep). Nap routine is feed & then dummy unless in car/pram.

Naps are at different times each day and inconsistent in length and time but she always sleeps pretty much every 2 hours.

Will she lengthen the stretches of sleep on her own or will I have to encourage her to drop feeds? I'm happy to feed at night (and understand I need to at this age) but I can't see her going 12 hours without at 6mo given our current situation. I've been reading the baby rice threads and am happy to wait to wean but clearly I'm hoping that will magically be the answer.

I know I've properly made a rod for my own back with the feed to sleep/dummy but on more than one occasion she has gone back to sleep at night an hour or so after milk all by herself (never without milk that I know of but I can't sleep next to a wriggly noisy baby so just try the easy sleepy boob option first)

I have her in a bedside cot & co sleep in the early hours. Co sleeping full time is not an option.

Off to bed now, I hope someone can help.

Albrecht Sun 31-Jul-11 21:15:02

You will get a split of responses I expect as some think they go longer when they are ready and some think you have to train them to do it. Think it depends on the baby as well.

Have you read about the 4 month sleep regression (see here for example?

Sorry to tell you solids were not the answer in this house. Just do what you can to survive, if feeding to sleep works, do it I say and be pleased you have such an amazing tool to induce sleep.

pyjamalover Mon 01-Aug-11 10:03:15

my 8 mo has had phases of waking a LOT like yours is now, which he did seem to reduce on his own just as I was tearing my hair out, but I dropped his last 1-2 night feeds a few weeks ago. He probably would have got there on his own eventually.

It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be, a couple of bad nights where I wished I could just feed to get us both back to sleep but it's been worth it.

RitaMorgan Mon 01-Aug-11 11:47:02

4 months was the worst time for night waking/feeding for me too. At 5 months I limited night feeds to 4 hourly for my own sanity! Then dropped the 3am one once ds was well established on solids, and finally dropped the 11pm one just before he was 8 months.

Not feeding in the night is NOT the same as sleeping through though unfortunately hmm

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 01-Aug-11 13:22:39

Mine was just like yours - 3/4hr stretches and then hit the sleep regression at 16 weeks and was back to feeding every hour ot two in the night like a newborn. It lasted about 6 weeks (with her in a side-cot and spending a lot of time in bed with me after midnight so I could get more sleep!) and then she reverted to her old 2 or 3 feeds a night. Since then she's dropped down to one feed at about 4am and is sometimes skipping that now. Slowly but surely, yes, dropping them on her own.

I also feed to sleep but have recently adapted the bedtime routine to be a feed and then 30second rocking; this is after she started occassionally sleeping 10 hours through. Don't worry about that now. If it's still a problem later on (still lots and lots of night feeds at 6 months say, or needing feeding to sleep when it's no longer possible or once verbal enough to be told to lie with eyes shut!) then talk to your HV about it. Or if it starts to impact on your mental health obviously!

LeggyBlondeNE Mon 01-Aug-11 13:25:22

Oops I should have said - she's 11 months, dropped to one night feed at about 9 months.

HandMini Mon 01-Aug-11 14:36:55

Isn't napping every 2 hours in the day quite frequent for a 17 wo? I dont know the answer, but base this on my 8 wo who usually does only 3 x 1 hour naps each day.

Pootles2010 Mon 01-Aug-11 14:38:42

Nope i had to do controlled crying with ds at 7 months as was going back to work and couldn't handle him waking 7 times in the night.

Luckily he took to it very easily and wasn't too traumatic.

Yesmynameis Tue 02-Aug-11 10:16:59

HandMini, my DD was still struggling to stay awake for more than 2 hours in the day until she was over 7mo! & then sleeping 12-13 hours at night as well (broken by her waking for feeds obv).

Even now (9mo) she has only just dropped having a third nap in the afternoon smile

FWIW OP, I really don't think you should be accused of 'making a rod for your back' with feeding to sleep or using a dummy. Please don't worry, ime it is the vast majority of babies that need some sort of help to get to sleep or back to sleep, be it sucking or rocking etc. Babies that self settle early are quite rare and include thumb suckers etc, which many people don't like either. Just do what works and don't feel bad about it, it's totally natural behaviour for a baby to want to suck to sleep.

Also, I know it's probably not what you want to hear, but I think the whole thing that babies should do 12 hours straight by 6mo is a bit of a myth TBH. That's not to say it won't have massively improved by then, but my baby 9mo is still waking once or twice a night, and from reading on here I think that's pretty common behaviour too.

I see you say your DD is feeding every 2 hours at night on a good night. What about in the day? How often does she feed in the daytime? Could her day time feeds be increased in frequency in the hope of her waking less at night?

Don't know if it's worth considering, but at 4-5mo I used to do a bit of expressing and then give DD a top up bottle of ebm after her bed time feed so I knew she was totally stocked up, and she'd usually do a good stretch after this.

Oh sorry so looong!

BertieBotts Tue 02-Aug-11 11:18:13

Yes, he did, but probably a lot later than you were hoping.

I found that using a bedside cot and semi-cosleeping meant that the feeds disturbed me less, I couldn't have told you how often DS woke for the second half of the first year. I found at about a year he was waking around once, occasionally twice, and didn't sleep curled up to me any more, I probably would have moved him to his own room at this point, but I left XP when DS was 14 months and I decided to carry on cosleeping in the hope it would give him some sense of security when everything else was up in the air. I eventually moved him into his own bed at 2.5 when I got fed up with him kicking the covers off me, and actually I found this worked better - because he could walk and talk, he now comes and gets into bed with me when he wakes up, and usually this is once a night, at around 5am. He's started sleeping through on occasion now as well. When I first moved him he woke a lot more than he had been, but he settled down quickly.

FloweryBoots Tue 02-Aug-11 22:22:27

My DS would do 4 hour stretches before about 4 months, then got down to only two hours at the most. Once he was on spolids he did improve and with a little encouragement, but really not much, dropped down to 2 feeds a night, occasionaly 3, pretty quickly. He didn't drop any more feeds himself and at about 8 1/2 months I began the process of encouraging him to do so. I took it slowly, gradually pushing the feeds a bit later and bit later until the second dropped off, then started pushing the last one later, then cut it to one side, then cut it out at about 10 months, or bit earlier perhaps (funny how quick you forget!). That was hard work and not much fun. he's now almost 12 months, and I eargly await the time when he will sleep through!! Mostly we're down to perhaps 1 waking in the evening and another at about 5am ish. Sometimes it's two wakings in the night, sometimes we don't get any wakings in the evening.

When I was trying to get rid of the night feeds I also stopped feeding him to sleep and oh how I wish I hadn't. I did it because most stuff you read about improving sleep suggests it will help as if baby can self settle, they won't need you if they wake in the night. My DS has not fed to sleep (unless utterly shattered) since about 8 1/2 or 9 months. He no longer seems able to but has still not really learnt to go to sleep any other way and it regularly takes 45 minutes or longer to get him to sleep at night. Do not feel you are making a rod for your own back feeding to sleep, I feel I've done that by stopping! Also feeding to sleep or using dummy before sleep help protects against SIDS so is a good thing for at least first 6 months.

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