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How do I (gently) encourage my DD to sleep for longer without waking for a feed?

(16 Posts)
haloflo Tue 04-Oct-11 21:30:15

DD is 6 mo, started on solids, still feeding about 9/10 times a day. Her feeds are very quick and she is very distractable. At home I feed her lying down on the bed, out and about I have to find a feeding room or quiet corner.

She has gone 6 hours at night without a feed a couple of times, 5 hours about 3 times. She usually wakes for food every 3 hours and wakes for her first feed at 9/10ish (bedtime is between 6 and 7) (She also wakes for her dummy, wakes because she wants to sleep next to get the picture)

We have a bedtime routine and she goes down awake, albeit with a dummy. Often she is actually hungry when she wakes (although not always, but I can never tell until she is latched on)

Now here is my problem. I have an evening out booked on Saturday. I didn't imagine I would have a problem going out at this point and even naively thought she would be sleeping through the night. (We can co sleep to deal with the rest of the night wakings for now)

I now don't want to go as I worry she will need me and will cry for boob. DP will offer her milk in a cup (she is a bottle refuser) but I fear this won't be enough (she often spits a lot out).

How do I get her to sleep longer without milk? I currently give her some of our tea at half 5, then its often straight into the (fairly short) bedtime routine.

Do I offer her tea earlier so she is still hungry for milk at bedtime? Have a set feeding routine? I am fuller in the evenings than the mornings at the moment so think it is reverse cycling. sad

Oh and she is teething atm which doesn't help.

Thoughts and advice appreciated, thank you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 05-Oct-11 10:40:30

Is it generally waking that is causing the issue or just that you are going out on Saturday haloflo, and if it's Saturday, what time will you be leaving?

AllBellyandBoobs Wed 05-Oct-11 11:53:42

I have no advice Haloflo but just wanted to say I'm in the same boat, except without the night out planned for this Saturday. My 6mo is exactly the same in terms of night time wakings, feedings, bottle refusing, potentially teething and also now the added injustice of a cold. I'm up so often at night with her that I'm really resenting breastfeeding at the moment, I think once she is better we might try and go cold turkey on the night feedings, I'm reluctant to but I feel the need to try and salvage some sanity.

Anyway, I hope someone has some advice for you and you get to enjoy your night out. All I can think to say is that it is only one night and your DP will be able to cope for a few hours if she won't feed or sleep, at her age it is unlikely not feeding her will do any harm for a few hours. I'll try and tell myself that too!

MigGril Wed 05-Oct-11 12:07:00

Ds is like this, he's now 11months and when well often goes 11-6am over night but still wake's in the evening for milk. It's like he still need's to cluster his feed's a bit to go through latter.

It's a pain for going out, I have been out. useally what happen's is I go out leave DH with milk. DS will wake up and cry's at him, will not take the milk and crash out after 30mintues ish on DH then I'll feed him when I get in. I must admit it has put me off going out a few time's but not altogether. So sorry no words of wisdam. I have in the past poked him awake just before going out so he's topped up this sometimes' work's depends on what time I'm going out.

DD was a much worse sleeper in general but at lest did her 5hours straigh at the start of the night so I could go out without worrying, but was then up goodness know how often during the night.

BellaBearisWideAwake Wed 05-Oct-11 12:12:21

watching. same boat.

lowra Wed 05-Oct-11 18:03:04

Another one in exactly the same boat. 6 month old DD, EBF, bottle refuser waking every 3 hours for feed. Really feel like I need a bit of time to myself and the odd night out! Hoping she will soon get the hang of a beaker but it's a slow process.

haloflo Wed 05-Oct-11 18:58:50

Thank you all for your replies.

JiltedJohnsJulie I would love her to normally do longer in the evenings but its mostly because I'm going out that I'm really bothered. I will be going out about 7, home at 11.30ish (I'm watching a band)

migGril Glad you have managed to go out before. Interesting that your DS then goes 11-6. We have had an 12am-4am before when we had a feed at 6pm, 9pm and 12am which makes no sense to me!

Tbh I know there isn't really a solution, especially given the short notice. Guess DP will just have to cuddle and offer her the cup. Fingers crossed she is ok and I actually enjoy myself. After 6 months I think I deserve it!

Sorry to hear there are lots of us in the same boat sad

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 05-Oct-11 20:03:40

I had a similar problem at 6 months and she's slightly better now at nearly 8 months so I think hopefully it's just a matter of time (for both of us!)

StetsonsAreCool Wed 05-Oct-11 23:57:08

I had a similar thing when DD was 4mo (now 16mo) but I was going out for a birthday meal. My mum came round with a hard hat and buckets of patience and actually, with me not being there DD was a lot less adamant about the boob.

I fed her before I went out and did a close estimate of normal bedtime, just a bit earlier. She did wake up while we were out, but Mum just gave her a bit of bottle while she was still in the cot. Then a quick cuddle about an hour later IIRC. There wasn't a lot I could do in the run up, but it helped in the days afterwards, I think DD realised that she could survive for a few hours without me and she actually stayed asleep for longer in the evening. Of course, then she stopped sleeping through but that's another barrel of kettles.

I recently did a similar thing as I had to go out straight from work, so DD had to go to bed with no bf whatsoever. And she slept through, for the first time in months!

SurprisEs Thu 06-Oct-11 00:16:22

I have no words of wisdom but just wanted to reassure everyone that it DOES get better. DD is 2yrs now. I bfed until she was 13 months. I found that in my case it wasn't until about 10 months that DD ate a relevant amount of solids and therefore asked for a night feed leas and less.

Feed just before you leave, go out, enjoy yourself and be sure that both DH and the baby will be ok. I found that if I theboob wasn't there DD didn't ask for it.

Ohnoredundo Thu 06-Oct-11 18:20:56

Oh my God you are actually me. Watching thread intently.

haloflo Fri 07-Oct-11 10:43:23

Well last night she slept from 7-11 before waking for a feed. She is just so unpredictable! Of course I will now be trying to recreate the exact same feeding and schedule on Saturday...

AllBellyandBoobs Fri 07-Oct-11 15:35:12

Let us know how you get on please? And I hope you enjoy yourself!

haloflo Sun 09-Oct-11 07:50:39

Well I had a good time and DD survived ok though it wasn't ideal. She napped brilliantly yesterday and I think she had a good lunch and tea (trying mostly BLW). I fed her at 4pm, 5pm, solids at 6pm and feed before bed at 7. I then went out. Apparently she woke a few times for her dummy early evening and then at 10 she wouldn't go back to sleep. She refused the bottle and DP said there were a few tears but when I came home at 11.15 she was very happy to see me and didn't seem at all distressed.

She had a short feed (not hungry!) and then wouldn't go back to sleep til about half 12. Cue a unsettled night where I didn't count her wakes ups.

I think it was worth it <tired>

haloflo Sun 09-Oct-11 08:01:40

Oh and DP forgot to try the cup so we won't know if that will work until my next night out. <starts planning smile>

AllBellyandBoobs Mon 10-Oct-11 12:06:35

So, no disaster then. These babies can manage without us for a few hours even if they like to make us think they can't. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

I'm getting married in a couple of months and will be away from baby (in terms of being able to feed) for nearly 24 hours. I'm absolutely dreading it as she won't take a bottle and so far I'm the only one able to get her down for the night. I just keep telling myself that she'll be alright, she won't like it, but she'll be alright...

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