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Feeding to sleep - or not

(16 Posts)
aliphil Mon 10-Dec-12 13:45:19

I keep hearing and reading that I shouldn't let 4mo DD feed to sleep; my HV was especially forceful about this when she was still visiting (she stopped about 2 months ago). My first question is, why not? And the second, how could I stop her anyway?!

What tends to happen is that I feed her to sleep after her bath and put her in her cot (and then she wakes up after 20 minutes max, but that's another thread!), and then the same at about 11 pm (and she usually sleeps for several hours). She sometimes falls asleep after daytime feeds too, but more often doesn't - no consistency in it though!

MolotovCocktail Mon 10-Dec-12 14:01:25

Anything that you choose to do with your DD is only a problem if it causes you a problem. If you are happy with your DD falling asleep whilst having her milk ... is there a problem?

My DD2 (8mo) has the most contented naps when she's gone to sleep during having her milk.

I can see a problem if your bf and she's not emptying your breast(s) adequately an only getting the watery milk, or if she will only go to sleep whilst she's feeding.

But, it's up to you! Listen to your instinct x

EauRougelyNight Mon 10-Dec-12 14:24:59

"I keep hearing and reading that I shouldn't let 4mo DD feed to sleep"

Time to change your reading material then grin Try here for accurate info on sleep.

What's wrong with breastfeeding a baby to sleep? NOTHING. Your HV is out of order telling you not to do it when there is no evidence to support her advice. Think about making a complaint if you have the time/energy. If you are happy with BF your DD to sleep then carry on smile

Squiglettsmummy2bx Mon 10-Dec-12 14:29:42

My DS is 10 months old & often feeds to sleep. He can fall asleep in the pushchair if we are out as long as he isn't hungry but other than that I tend to bf to sleep. He's happy, I don't mind so there's no problem. Do what makes you and your baby happy grin

ChunkyPickle Mon 10-Dec-12 14:31:06

Does the idea fill you with horror? If not, then go for it.

DS fed to sleep for naps and night sleep pretty much every day for the first year of his life. Then for most naps, and 50% of night sleeps for the next 6 months, then by now, at 2.5 he occasionally feeds to sleep to nap, but generally falls asleep on his own. I didn't force any of that (any time I tried, he resisted) - at each step he just started doing it on his own.

He's an only child, I work from home, I've rarely had to be away, and rarely had to leave him to be put to sleep by DP/GPs so my circumstances are a bit unusual, it might not work fo you.

Character-wise, he's an independent, confident little boy. He eats well (and anything), sleeps OK, but I suspect that that is just him, not anything to do with feeding him to sleep.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 10-Dec-12 14:37:39

I thought with DD2 that I would try not to feed her to sleep, but in practice it was impossible not to at bedtime because you want to give them a feed at that time of day and they invariably fall asleep when you feed them! In the end I just didn't worry about it until I switched to cows milk at 1 year and then we did a sort of gradual withdrawal thing.

ThoughtsPlease Mon 10-Dec-12 14:44:54

I agree that the question is are you happy with feeding to sleep?

You say that she wakes up shortly after feeding her to sleep after a bath, does she then not settle back to sleep well? If that is the case and it is a problem then yes feeding her to sleep may not be wise unless you want to be doing this for a long time.

How does she sleep throughout the night and are you happy with that?

AngelDog Mon 10-Dec-12 22:00:18

DS still feeds to sleep most nights at nearly 3 y.o. He's not a particularly good sleeper but we've had plenty of spells when feeding to sleep did't work and they were much worse. smile

aliphil Tue 11-Dec-12 17:09:28

Thanks everyone. Sometimes she settles again after her post-bath feed (though usually on DH or me), sometimes not. Last night turned out to be one of the nots, no matter what we did, and then she was so tired at the later feed that she didn't take much and didn't sleep well. hmm

I think I'm reasonably happy with what she does apart from the bad evenings. And I took her to the clinic for weighing today and saw a different HV, who said at any rate not to worry about it too much until she's started solids, and also not to worry too much about her usual refusal to sleep much during the day, so I'm feeling happier.

aliphil Wed 12-Dec-12 11:42:12

Further question: Is it worth keeping on putting her down in her cot after the bath and feed, even if she'll only be there for a few minutes, in the hope that she'll get the idea about night and sleeping at some point? Or should we just give up and bring her down right away?

Startail Wed 12-Dec-12 12:19:57

My 5 year old used to feed to sleep quite often.

It's a total non problem.

From 8 months she'd self settle after a drink of juice and a yoghurt if I went out.

If I was about she'd BF while I watched TV with the subtitles on.

At night she BF co-slept for 30minutes to two hours, got fidgety and happily went back to her cot.

When older DH offered her a drink and then she was just left with one.

She instinctively knew preventing mum sleeping was bad news.

(Naps here were rare and almost always after car trips, but that's because she wouldn't nap when big sister was home and it was too early when she was at preschool. Feeding her didn't figure).

flipflopson5thavenue Wed 12-Dec-12 17:28:46

what the others said - things are only a problem if they are a problem to you. Soon you'll miss the whole feeding to sleep time of their lives. I often look at my DS as he snoozes on me after feeding that I wish I could be fed to sleep in the same way! a warm sweet drink and a cuddle and drift off. Perfect.

My HV said to me on day ten that the more you cuddle them, the more they sleep/are close to you, the more you pick them up as soon as they cry etc the quicker they become little independent people, as they know you are always there for them.

feekerry Wed 12-Dec-12 20:10:38

Totally a non issue. Do it. Its a lovely way for babies to sleep. For what its worth i feed my dd to sleep most nights and she sleeps for 12 hours straight and if she does wake she gets herself to sleep no problem. It takes me 5 mins max to feed her to sleep and more recently she has fallen asleep after feeding but put down awake.
so we are living proof it doesn't create problems or bad habits. Unless sleeping 12 hours straight is a bad habit lol!!!

aliphil Wed 12-Dec-12 21:57:44

feekerry, how old is your DD? Really envying the 5 minutes - mine takes 40 minutes minimum!

feekerry Thu 13-Dec-12 17:00:39

She is now 8 months. I make sure she hasn't napped past 3pm so she is tired enough. And i give her a bf about hour before bed and loads throughout day so she is not hungry at night and.most nights i put her to bed about 6.45pm and by 7pm i am sitting on sofa with a glass of wine!!!!
she then pretty much sleeps straight to 7am. If she does wake for whatever reason i go to her immediately and offer boob. She usually falls back asleep within minutes.
Personally i think its so comforting them it encourages them to sleep well. And like i say some nights now i feed dd put her down awake and she falls asleep on her own.
I'm really glad i went with it and ignored all the rod for your back comments as its worked out great for us.
40 mins isn't that bad tho? Least you are not up for hours padding.up and down the hallway!!

aliphil Thu 13-Dec-12 18:23:24

No, 40 minutes isn't that bad as it's come down to that from 90 at the beginning! DD just doesn't seem to like going to sleep - I think she's afraid she'll miss something. hmm

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