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15 month old wants to be latched on all night

(13 Posts)
Saffra Tue 01-Jan-13 22:43:26

My 15 month old DD has always been a poor sleeper - she hasn't slept through once. I've coped with it by co-sleeping and BF to sleep at night, as we were getting totally exhausted with it. She starts off the night in her cotbed and then comes into our bed at her first waking after our bedtime. Now, I love the night time cuddles, but she wants to be latched on through the night, which I'm sure isn't helping sleeping habits as she wakes up frequently. I do unlatch her if I'm still awake, but usually not successfully. Unless she's in a deep sleep, she will root again and fuss if she can't find my nipple. This then escalates to frustrated crying if I don't give it to her.

I've read the NCSS and tried a few things, but it's not made any difference. I suppose I was hoping that, by now, she would have learned to self-settle and go to sleep by herself.

I was planning to follow Dr Jay Gordon's method and night wean in a couple of months, but I'm worried that might spell the end of our BF relationship, which I'm not ready to do.

I want to carry on cosleeping (for now) but also encourage her to sleep for longer. And not need to be latched on all night.

Any advice will be gratefully received.

mawbroon Tue 01-Jan-13 22:54:51

DS1 was like this. Wouldn't sleep unless he was latched on. Years later I realised he had tongue tie which can affect breathing at night and I think he was sucking as a protective mechanism.

No answers about how to stop it as I found that absolutely nothing worked for us except time. Sleep deprivation is shit, isn't it!

Fazerina Wed 02-Jan-13 00:07:03

Watching with interest, as DS (soon 20 months) is a bit like this.. With the exception that he is supposed to start the night in his own room on a floor mattress, but most nights (well all nights TBHsad) he wakes up every 15 minutes or so (!!) until we all go to sleep.

We co-sleep too and he is in his side-car cot (one side off and cot pushed against our bed) and roots on a lot throughout the night. I sleep through it mostly, but the problem is that I'm hypermobile and suspect BFing has made my joints even more supple and lying in one position all night makes me sore all over the place and I'm in constant pain..

mawbroon, how old is your DS and at what stage did it get easier? Also, what does tongue tie look like and do they just grow out of it?

mawbroon Wed 02-Jan-13 00:31:31

Fazerina, ds1 is 7 now. It got easier when he started to sleep though the night more often, but that wasn't until he started school, sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear.

His tongue looked completely normal, many tongue ties do. It was the back of his tongue which was restricted and he could stick his tongue out and apart from a tiny lisp, his speech was fine. But it's not how the tongue looks that's important (although some ties are really obvious) but how it affects function that matters.

We had it revised last year when he was 6. The first release wasn't done properly so we had it lasered later in the year to relase the back of his tongue. The tongue tie has also caused a high palate which creates many probs too, he is wearing a brace just now to help expand it.

mawbroon Wed 02-Jan-13 00:32:38

And also, despite what some people say about ties tearing or stretching or being outgrown, it is generally not true.

Saffra Wed 02-Jan-13 10:56:18

Thanks for the replies.

Fazerina, every 15 minutes? You must be really fed up. How exhausted you must feel, you have my sympathies. Have you tried any form of sleep training?

Mawbroon, that is interesting re: tongue tie. Would your ds sleep if held by you/someone else or in moving pushchair? DD will nap in these ways (and stay asleep if still tired), so not sure if she needs to be latched on. (btw, my DH was gutted this year when he didn't get a The Broons book off his parents for Xmas!)

leedy Wed 02-Jan-13 11:10:18

FWIW, we did a variation on the Dr Jay Gordon nightweaning when DS1 was about 18 months and it didn't by any means end our BF relationship - it worked very well (with a few nights of squawking and DP doing the lion's share of settling) and I continued to feed him morning and evening for nearly another year.

Saffra Wed 02-Jan-13 15:24:25

That's good to know that you had a good experience, leedy. We were also thinking of trying at 18 months. Basically when dh can take some time off work to do it with me. Has ds1's sleep improved a lot?

leedy Wed 02-Jan-13 18:48:53

He has basically slept through ever since, except when ill and the odd nightmare. There is hope! I've heard that it's a very good time to night wean/adjust sleep habits, once they get through the big developmental spurt around then (which can make sleep even worse).

hmotb Wed 02-Jan-13 20:01:26

We are going through exactly the same situation at the moment with our 10 month old. He has, pretty much from day 1, only settled to sleep with me breastfeeding him. We have been cosleeping but he spends no time in his cot at all ( he would scream as soon as I tried to put him down) so I would carry him round feeding/asleep and go to bed at about 8pm. Even in the day, if we are at home, I would have to sit/lie feeding him and couldn't put him down. My main motivation for trying to get him to sleep in his own cot is because he too would literally spend most of the night attached to me. I was tired all the time. However, I have no intention of giving up breastfeeding but what I do need is a little time for me in the evenings before I go to bed and sometimes in the day if he naps at home. I discovered Dr Jay Gordon's website over Christmas and decided that now was a good time to try some gentle sleep training. We are on night 5 and I am pleased to say tonight is a huge improvement. I have fed him and for the first time ever he has gone into his cot awake and with a bit of gentle patting (and no crying) he is fast asleep. The last few nights we have been up and down like yo yos so it requires a level of commitment but the very fact he is, at this moment, asleep in his cot is such a leap I am ecstatic. What I should also point out is that he is still a very happy baby in the day. Good luck.

hmotb Wed 02-Jan-13 20:16:47

I should add that I know he only recommends his sleep training for babies over 12 months but our son will be 1 at the beginning of February and we decided while we are both off work over the Christmas holidays it made sense to try now. And like I say, it appears to be working.

Booboostoo Wed 02-Jan-13 21:54:36

I have exactly the same problem with DD who is 19mo. I also tried Dr Gordon's method (not as strict though) and on the whole it does help. On a good night she can do 11pm to 5am through, however if she has a cold or is teething it's back to bf pretty much constantly.

I am also suffering physically from it as I am beginning to hurt a lot, especially in my hips and back from spending so long in the same position.

Sorry, that's no help to you at all, just commiserating.

DW123 Thu 03-Jan-13 19:35:02

DT2 was like this. We found he slept better with DH than me (woke less frequently and could be settled back sometimes). So I sleep in the spare room and trot through to feed back to sleep 2-3 times a night when he won't settle but get better sleep.

When it got v bad DH and I once took turns settling him back without bf (when he woke at 830 after feeding to sleep at 715 so we were very confident he wasn't hungry). It took 45 minutes of holding him but he slept better that night and from then on so no regrets.

Was considering Jay Gordon but what we needed was to reduce duration of night feeds rather than night wean (am not convinced night weaning will help DT2 sleep better).

Good luck with whatever you decide to try.

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