What did you do the first evening that you didn't BF at bedtime?(22 Posts)
Just planning ahead for a few weeks time when I stop as I return to work.
We currently do dinner -> books -> bath -> BF -> bed.
That's a routine we just kind of slipped into.
I'm planning on changing books to after bath and before bed first.
But I can't quite imagine that first night with no BF. Did you just read a book and then pop your DC into the cot (and what was the reaction?) or did you rock to sleep/cuddle a bit first?
I stopped bf for the third time (with DC3) last week. Each time, including this last time, I just swapped bf with a cup of milk. Does your baby drink milk from a cup / bottle?
Singing a song or two can be a nice part of wind -down, too.
We moved to formula before bed when I stop BFing - so it's dinner, play, bath, milk, cuddle (in dark room), bed. Currently trying to move milk to before the bath so he can clean his teeth at bathtime and just have cuddle before bed.
oh and a dummy helps, if your baby likes one.
She will drink some cows milk from a beaker. How much do you worry about tooth brushing after this?
She won't have a dummy but is an enthusiastic thumb sucker (I have mixed feelings but it does get her to sleep for her daytime naps)
It is probably better for her teeth to brush after milk (or after bf) but if you brush before, and then she falls asleep, it probably isn't the end of the world for a few months as you make the transition. DS1 had milk after cleaning his teeth until he was about 3 (he is nearly 7 now with big teeth coming through and no dental decay). I am not a dentist!
IMO the benefit that comes from dummies or thumb sucking in terms of comfort as a baby / toddler (at least at bedtime) is worth it, even if it is a pain to get them to give it up later.
DS stopped his bedtime feed recently (about 2 months now - I'd think) and we just swapped me going up with him, to daddy taking him up and reading one or 2 more books. Before this he was properly fed to sleep too.
I went out for the evening and DH rocked DS to sleep (completely to sleep, then put him down). I normally still feed him completely to sleep though. He's not ready to go to sleep on his own yet I think - he did it once after a bf the other week, but not at any other point. He's 19 m.o.
She will be 11.5 mo when I stop for good. She is 10 months old now
Just to check - you do want to stop when you return to work don't you? Or need to because you will be away too many evenings? I'm just asking because you talk as though you will still be doing bedtime, but sound a bit ambivalent about stopping? There's no reason you can't continue to do morning and night feeds whilst working (assuming your working hours allow it) rather than stopping entirely, if that is your preference. It's what I did with DD1.
Assuming you do want/need to stop, I didn't force DD to drop her evening feed, she did it by herself. But what I had already done was move the feed to before bath. So it went feed-bath-stories-bed. I had wanted her to clean her teeth after her final food of the day, so she just had water after bath. The story is a good opportunity for a big cuddle. Could you do this for a few weeks before you go back? It will probably be easier to drop it entirely if it isn't directly associated with the last bit of winding down before bed. I'm assuming from what you've written that she doesn't currently feed totally to sleep?
Also, if you won't physically be away at bedtimes, have you thought about continuing the breastfeed for a bit after you go back, so that you just let her get used to one thing at a time?
Do you have a DP who is around at bedtimes? I've done the last feed (which you could later replace with a bottle feed) and then handed over to DP and DS has been okay when DP has just said something like "Mummy is sleeping/doing X now" and just gone to sleep with a cuddle, sometimes he doesn't even want a cuddle. He's older though and his speech is good. But friends have done this at around 1 year.
Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all the helpful replies.
I do want to stop really - I've never really loved BFing like some people seem to and I kind of feel that I've done my bit getting to (nearly) the year mark.
But work is awkward to continue anyway as I'm a surgeon so can get called into work without much warning at evenings so may or may not be present at bedtime.
I like the idea of swapping the feed to before bath as I have 6 weeks or so to get this routine going.
If/when I'm not there it'll either be DH or my parents doing bedtime. Unfortunately DH is away some nights so if neither are around it'll have to be me.
With DS1 he would have books after BF and then we introduced a beaker of cows' milk with stories. He rapidly stopped wanting to BF as he stories and a beaker were more attractive!
He didn't have any teeth until 13 months and had a beaker of milk after brushing his teeth until about 3.5 - his teeth are fine.
I didn't feed DS1 to sleep though due to wind and reflux issues. Not sure how we'll manage with DS2 - I should probably start doing stories after feeds now in preparation...
Kimberlina - hope the return to work goes well and glad the idea was helpful.
A daft question for those who did things like stories after bf. How did you keep the LO awake during / after bf? Do you just wake them up again?
Angel DS stopped falling asleep reliably during a feed, which is what prompted us to change things
DD stopped falling asleep during a breastfeed quite early on, so it wasn't an issue for us.
That makes sense, MBJ. DS screams his head off if I take him off before he's 100% asleep, but if he doesn't fall asleep feeding, it's because he's not tired enough to sleep yet - so putting him down awake would never have worked either. I could never work out how sleep books expected you to feed first, then put them down drowsy but awake.
I think they all get there at their own pace Angel. DS certainly wouldn't countenance being taken off before being asleep a few months ago.
Both times I've fed them quietly in the bedroom then taken them through to brush their teeth in the bathroom before gro-bag, cuddle/few minutes rocking then cot and back rub. Although I didn't stop BFing when I went back to work my hours are unpredictable day to day so I needed them to be able to go to bed without me. It's never been a problem for DH to get them to bed in my absence since the bedtime milk association isn't there. Shame it doesn't work through the night!
It doesn't particularly bother me, MBJ - I'm just happy to have something that works, and DH can usually rock DS to sleep if I'm out (although he's more likely to wake in the evening then). But I used to worry about it when DS was little, and I could never work out how you were 'supposed' to do it.
I bf at bedtime but not to sleep. When we first stopped feeding to sleep, we did feed-bath-bed. Now we tend to do bath-feed-brush teeth-story in bed. DP does the teeth brushing, then puts DS in his cot and reads him a story (DS often fall asleep during the story - if not he leaves him to self-settle).
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