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Struggling with DD and breastfeeding

(10 Posts)
fhdl34 Thu 09-May-13 12:43:38

I'm feeling at my wits end and I don't know what to do. My DD is 16 months and still very much enjoys breastfeeding. She has always fed to sleep, which I've been fine with but I am 9 weeks pregnant and a drop in my supply has meant that there often isn't enough milk to get her to sleep. Unfortunately though she doesn't want to accept this, she still wants to use that method to fall asleep but it doesn't work and then she gets upset and won't sleep at all. She won't let me rock her, she won't lie down with me and the last 3 nights, my DH has had to take over from me at bedtime and she's gone to sleep with him in just under 10 minutes.
I am pleased to be pregnant but I'm very upset that this drop in supply is distressing her. I'm trying to encourage her to fall asleep off the boob by explaining that milkies goes to sleep when she comes off but when she's tired she just cries and says no but when she's not tired she'll say bye bye milkie.
I've read adventures in tandem nursing, from my LLL group but it didn't really say anything about this problem in pregnancy.
I won't leave her to cry but I'm at a loss, DH studies in the evenings so can't put her to bed at night as it takes him about an hour to rock her enough and he's not here during the day.
Please, does anyone have any suggestions? I'm wondering if I should stop feeding her upstairs and just let her go without a nap if she refuses it rather than putting her in the car and driving her around.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 09-May-13 12:59:58

Around this time we stopped feeding DS in the night. He was having about 2 or 3 bottles a night as he wouldn't go back to sleep without it (we stopped BF at 12 months ish).

You need to break the association between sleep and feeding, but in a gentle way that doesn't involve you abandoning her. If you are pregnant, the time might be right.

With DS, who was 17 mths, we would pick him up cuddle and then put down, repeating until he was relaxed enough to lie down , and then sit down with him next to the cot with a hand on his tummy. He very quickly forgot that he needed milk to sleep - took about an hour the first night, similar the second, 15 mins the third.

He's 18.5 months now and actually has been sleeping through, or just waking briefly once, for the last couple of weeks. He settles himself to sleep (we have a story, milk in a cup, a cuddle and a song and then he goes in his cot and blows me a kiss good night!)

The transformation from 6 weeks ago is amazing really. In terms of the whole bedtime settling and nightwaking thing he seems to have gone from baby to boy very quickly. He has started eating about twice as much in the day too, as he is now no longer having loads of milk overnight.

Good luck. It won't be easy but you don't need to leave her screaming. There are gentler ways as I outlined above.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 09-May-13 13:00:57

Yes, watch the naps too. I've noticed if my DS has more than 90 mins or is asleep after 3pm, he won't have a great night.

fhdl34 Thu 09-May-13 13:12:58

Thanks for replying, she really objects to me just cuddling her though, and she especially hates going into her cot awake. I'm currently trying telling her that milkies goes to sleep when I count to ten and then we say bye bye. This works sometimes but only when she's ready to give it up. I think I'll have to stop feeding her in her room but this will be problematic in the night.
I never leave her alone in her distress but she becomes distressed if it involves her wanting boob and not getting it but I'm getting sore nipples.
I also don't want to wean her completely as she's not ready for that and I'd like to still let her self wean if I can.
Did your DC stay lying down when you put them in their cot?

fhdl34 Thu 09-May-13 13:14:59

Also she's refused her nap today completely as she couldn't feed to sleep!

DeathMetalMum Thu 09-May-13 17:25:24

We did a gradual withdrawal type method with dd at this age. We swithched bedtime routine around so that the feed wouldn't be the last thing that happend before sleep. Then rocked/patted/did anything but feed to get her to sleep (we had prevoiusly been feeding anywhere from 7.30-10.30 in the evening without sleep so needed to change that). There was lots of tears but I never left her alone in terms of rocking I had to hold on very tight at times as she would fight it if she got very upset I would let her have some milk to clam down and then start all over again.

First 3-4 days were very hard but then we started to see an improvment. Less crying etc and shorter time for her to fall asleep. I definatley agree with pp you need to break the feed - to sleep association. No cry sleep soloution has some good techniques also.

fhdl34 Thu 09-May-13 17:50:38

Thanks, she's bitten me twice today so the last two feeds were cut short. Tonight is my weekly night off to go out for a couple of hours so DH is doing full bedtime and I've already said goodnight. I'll do done reading in gradual withdrawal, the last 3 nights have been awful so it's already bad. I have NCSS but I don't have infinite time to sort this. Perhaps gradual withdrawal is the answer

fhdl34 Thu 09-May-13 17:58:23

Just had a quick read of gradual withdrawal, I don't think u could leave her in the cot so might try a combo of that and PUPD. Unfortunately we go away in a week and a half so I think I might speak to DH and get him to do bedtime till we go away and then start the new stuff when we get back. She seemed really happy to be going to bed with him this evening, even though we had to cut her last feed short due to biting.

DeathMetalMum Thu 09-May-13 19:19:10

I did my own version of the gradual withdrawal. Started cuddling/rocking rather than just leaving her in the cot. Dd would just scream until she was sick if I tried that sad. Maybe you could just try getting dp to do bedtimes for a while and it may break the habbit. I wasn't able to do this due to dp being at work for bedtime.

fhdl34 Fri 10-May-13 07:35:16

Well DH put her down last night but she woke after I'd gone out and wouldn't go back to sleep until I got back. She then fed quite frantically, going back and forth from side to side, obviously trying to get enough milk to send her to sleep. In the end, she bit me again so I took her off, told her milkies had gone to sleep and she let me rock and sing to her smile I tried twice to put her in her cot but she woke so she let me lie cuddling her on the bed and I then transferred her when she was solid gone. I really hope this is a turning point, I think today if the weather stays nice I'll try and get her to nap in her pushchair and then I'll give bedtime another whirl.

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