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Self settling and nightime breast feeding

(26 Posts)
Raspberryandorangesorbet Sun 30-Sep-12 20:18:01

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EauRouge Sun 30-Sep-12 20:23:32

Ah, never let someone else tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing wink

The question is, how do you feel about the way you are getting him back to sleep now? If you are happy with feeding him back to sleep, then carry on. It's not habit forming or making a rod for your own back or any of that crap. A lot of mothers find it a really helpful way of getting a child to sleep.

However, if you are not happy then there are a few things you can try but 7 mo is pretty small- you might find it easier to just go with the flow and wait until he's older. Very few babies are able to 'self settle' at 7 mo so this isn't unusual behaviour at all.

What sort of thing were you thinking might help him sleep more?

Raspberryandorangesorbet Sun 30-Sep-12 20:29:06

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Shybairns Sun 30-Sep-12 20:35:33

How long do you plan to co-sleep? Cos while he's in bed with you it would be enormously tempting to use your boob as a dummy. Given the choice a child may co-sleep till they are 4 or 5 or untill another sibling comes along (then its either 4 in a bed or eldest is pushed out)

You do what ever feels right to you, but have some kind of rough idea of how you want things to pan out. If you don't look ahead you can find yourself in situations that are hard to get out of.

Shybairns Sun 30-Sep-12 20:39:51

If I was going back to work i would be making a plan now to get him into a cot in his own room.

Start soothing him with shushing and patting etc

Your gonna need better sleep when your back at work.

Tracy Hogg baby Whisperer has some good techniques that are not harsh on the baby but help you make changes.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Sun 30-Sep-12 20:43:02

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Shybairns Sun 30-Sep-12 20:50:49

Just an older baby that is very used to one way of doing things. If you then decide you've had enough and want things to change you've a bigger battle to make the change. But alot depends on what you do when you do it and the nature of the child involved.

EauRouge Sun 30-Sep-12 21:45:42

Babies of all ages have been moved out of their parents' beds. There's no evidence I know of to say it will be harder at one age than another.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 13:07:37

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EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 13:43:10

If he's teething then you could try some kind of pain relief, whatever you would normally do for him. Some mothers find a bedtime routine works; not necessarily a strict schedule but more like a ritual order of doing things- like a nice warm bath with a massage with some lavender oil afterwards.

What would your goal be? Realistically, I mean- we'd all love for them to sleep 12 hours on the trot grin

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 13:56:03

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Baaartimaeus Mon 01-Oct-12 14:05:59

Can you swop the book and feed around?

I did that with DS when he was 11 months (thanks to advice on here cos I was on my knees with exhaustion!) and in 2 days he went from absolutely having to BF to sleep, to going to sleep by himself in his cot! (and we'd been co-sleeping most nights for the last 4/5months).

So now our routine is bath, BF in chair next to his cot, book (he loves books so this bit was easy) then into his cot. I sing and place my hand on him and he goes to sleep. First night he cried 30 minutes (horrible - I hate having him cry) but I stayed by him, reassuring him until he fell asleep. Since then he goes to sleep in about 5-15mins after I put him in his cot but no crying. He's also waking up less which is great, although he never does a full night he will do 6-7 hour stretches which is a miracle smile (although the first 10 days or so he was still waking 6 times a night, now it tends to be once plus an early morning start of 6am)

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 14:11:48

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megandraper Mon 01-Oct-12 14:21:17

Baar interesting - I might try that with DD (15 months) who I bf to sleep. She wakes about every 3 hours in the night to feed back to sleep, and I'd really like to cut out those night wakings.

With her brothers, I stopped bf'ing altogether, but would like to continue bf this time, just not during the night.

I know it's going to be noisy though, so am waiting for halfterm...

RedKites Mon 01-Oct-12 14:38:07

I don't see anything 'wrong' with what you're doing, but if you were wanting to make changes, do you have a DH/DP who could help a bit? Initially they could perhaps have a go at the 9.30 resettling (which I realise doesn't help with your sleep other than perhaps allowing you an early night, but if they've not been involved before, might be easier on DH/DP)? Once that was going well, DH/DP could perhaps take on the first resettle after the 3.30ish feed, with the hope that that might encourage DS to sleep a bit longer at that point in the night.

Baaartimaeus Mon 01-Oct-12 15:08:53

From what I understood of the theory, not feeding to sleep means it's easier for the child to self-settle when they wake in the night.

Basically no child (or adult) sleeps through the night. We all wake up but we just turn over and go back to sleep and often don't remember it. Babies can't do that.

The theory is that how they fall asleep at bedtime is how they expect to fall asleep whenever they wake up in the night. So, for lots of our babies, that means BF.

Since introducing this method, DS has slept longer stretches and will occasionally cry out once for me but then go back to sleep by himself.

I do still have to get up to him at least once, and I do BF him a bit (1-2mins max) but I put him back in his cot awake and when I put my hand on him he'll usually just fall straight asleep again (once or twice he is properly thirsty so needs more BF but again, falls asleep in his cot not on me).

The method (Andrea Grace's) says that you should gradually reduce your "intervention" (sitting next to cot, singing, touching him etc.) so the baby falls asleep by himself, in his cot, without you in the room. And this should stop all night wakings.

I've been doing it for 3 or 4 weeks now and haven't gone up to this step because it's no hardship sitting next to DS singing for 10 minutes an evening (especially as I work full time so I'm happy to be with him) so that might be why he's still not sleeping a full night but I'm happy with this right now. Maybe later I'll get a bit tougher and leave him to whinge a bit, but for the moment we're good.

raspberry DS also used to fall asleep sometimes by himself. In fact, it got a point where he'd feed lying next to me on the bed, then turn over away from me to go to sleep. I thought we'd cracked it and he'd sleep through...but he never did!

It's not a miracle cure because like I said, he still doesn't sleep through. But the huge difference is that his first sleep is now 6 or 7 hours which means that I have my evenings back (we went through an awful few months of him waking every 30-60 mins until midnight and taking AGES to get back to sleep so I had no evening and often no dinner) so I feel happier.

EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 16:30:14

The thing is though, breastmilk contains hormones that help a baby get to sleep so by trying to get them not to fall asleep at the breast, you are fighting biology.

There are a lot of experts that recommend not feeding to sleep but I've yet to see any scientific evidence to back it up.

By all means give it a go if you like but you aren't creating bad habits by feeding to sleep- it's what babies do.

This is a really good website about sleep.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 18:21:11

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Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 18:25:39

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EauRouge Mon 01-Oct-12 18:29:48

There's a really good book called Nighttime Parenting by Dr Sears, if there's an LLL group nearby then they'll probably have a copy you can borrow.

HalleLouja Mon 01-Oct-12 18:30:21

I used to feed both of mine to sleep at some point they both realised they could sleep without me now my 4 year old likes me next to him.... But both were finger suckers so that helped. I don't believe in this rod for own back business. But that's me.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 20:09:10

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HalleLouja Mon 01-Oct-12 20:46:55

You could force him to suck his thumb / fingers grin. Comforters (such a muslin) may help. Especially if you put it under your top first.

Raspberryandorangesorbet Mon 01-Oct-12 20:54:11

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megandraper Tue 02-Oct-12 09:26:38

Oooh, DD (15 months) went back to sleep two times last night WITHOUT me feeding her. She was in bed with me, and both times I just patted her and she wriggled a bit and went back to sleep. First time and probably last that's ever happened!

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