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Cutting down on toddler's night time bfs

(13 Posts)
Booboostoo Tue 02-Jul-13 16:37:07

I posted a couple of months ago about DD (2yo) who was bfing 5-7 times a day and countless times at night, which I just couldn't do anymore. I got some great advice and have now managed to sort out the daytime bf by regularising the feeds and only feeding in bed. So she now feeds in the mornings, during her afternoon nap and going to sleep, which is great.

The last three nights I have been trying to sort out the night time feeds because I can't take it anymore (on a typical night she will sleep for 4 hours straight and then start waking me to bf every 2 hours). I am finding this a lot more difficult because there are no distractions and we are in bed anyway (bed is her daytime cue for bf). So far I have tried telling her that we will bf to sleep and then again in the morning but I am spending quite a bit of time awake at night.

She wakes up and calmly asks to bf, when I refuse she doesn't want cuddles but starts screaming/crying and tries to get out of bed. She won't let me hold her so I have to wait it out, in bed, I do stop her from leaving the bed and place her back on it. Eventually she is ready for cuddles and falls asleep in my arms while I am sitting up. This is the biggest problem because I have to lie down very slowly after she has really fallen asleep with the toddler on top of me. I weigh 53 kilos and she weighs 13 kilos so this is killing me! As soon as I try to ease her off me (staying in the bed and cuddling her) she wakes up screaming and we start from the beginning.

Any thoughts? Could there be something physical keeping her awake and up right that was being helped by the bf (reflux or stomach problems)? Do I just percevere and see how many nights I can survive? The screaming is horrific, she literally takes in a huge breath and then lets it all out - I have to wear ear plugs to survive it next to her!

feekerry Tue 02-Jul-13 19:36:51

Hello. My dd is 15m and i have just night weaned her for the same reasons as you. My dd also wont accept cuddles or water etc etc. Its boob or nothing.
Basically i started off by manually unlatching her sooner and sooner over a period of a week or so. Mostly she was okay with this so i would let her bf for a min less each night. After a week or so we just went cold turkey as im pg and really sick and physically just can't do it any more.
So when she woke i sent dh in. Yep she screamed hard for a good few mins but actually fell asleep being cuddled by him.
Every time she woke i sent dh in and the worst one for us was the 4/5am wake up as so hard to get her to sleep so dh bless him would get up for the day with her.... So she isnt getting a wiff of boob from 7-7.
After 3 nights it had all settled down and she has been sleeping pretty much 7-7 without waking!!!
If she does wake then dh goes in and she settles v quickly for him.
I take it from your post you co-sleep? Maybe you should put lots of tops on and just roll over??"

feekerry Tue 02-Jul-13 19:40:45

I have to say i enjoy bf her again now the numerous night feedings have stopped. Makes me happy to carry on the feeds we do have rather than resenting them

thepeanutsparent Tue 02-Jul-13 19:43:42

Timely thread, thank you! Have just decided to tackle this exact scenario and v encouraged to read feekerry's post. Good luck OP.

BeenieBaby Tue 02-Jul-13 19:47:45

I reduced ds bf when he was 13m by following ncss ideas and essentially disassociating bf and sleep ( not bf to sleep and the pantley pull off) and then he self weaned at 15m when I was pregnant anyway. But he only slept through around 20m as he wanted bottle milk then. However I am struggling with dd who (admittedly is only 8m) is a huge comfort feeder. I would follow feekerry's advice or read ncss in your position.

Booboostoo Wed 03-Jul-13 07:41:52

I have tried NCSS since she was about 10mo in an attempt to get to grips with the problem as she used to feed every hour for 15 minutes through the night! You know the last chapter where the author says "well if none of this works for you go back to bf ondemand"? That's us!!! Anything other than bf results in tears.

DP has tried but she howls as soon as she sees him walk into the room because he's not me.

However we had an OKish night last night. When she went to bed I told her the 'rules' again, i.e. bf to sleep, then sleep all night then bf in the morning, she woke up at 4am, I repeated the 'rules' at which point she started crying, I picked her up and managed to get ger lying down asleep within an hour, she then slept till 6am when it was light so I let her bf that time.

Booboostoo Sun 14-Jul-13 11:47:59

Just a little update if anyone is interested: things are going very well. DD seems to have accepted the no bf during the night rule. She slept from bedtime to 6am once, then had an unsettled night, but has now slept through, on her own, no bf, for four nights in a row. Of course she may regress but I am really pleased with how it has gone! She now bfs with her afternoon nap, to fall asleep at night, and when she wakes around 6-7am until 8am when we get up.

thepeanutsparent how are things going for you? I hope you've made some progress.

thepeanutsparent Wed 17-Jul-13 08:45:21

Hi booboo great to hear your Dd is settling well. I was just checking in here too to share my amazing news that DS slept through last night for the first time ever. Am deliriously happy! It was quite tricky the first few nights - he got pretty cross when refused boob. But I just gave him a big cuddle and soothing talks and he settled down and went back to sleep. That continued for about a week I guess waking twice and then just once and now he has slept through completely ! Will wait and see what the next few evenings bring but am super happy at havin managed to crack it without too much pain on everyone's behalf.

Booboostoo Thu 18-Jul-13 13:16:49

Well done!!! I can't believe how much DD has changed in the last few months and it is a huge relief to finally get some sleep!!!!

Fooogle Thu 18-Jul-13 14:03:56

Wow, I'm very jealous. That's great to hear. Same boat as you were here with 20 month old dd and can't bear the angry screaming and thrashing if I deny the boob. She won't accept cuddles or soothing just 'out mummy' from her cot! Last time I sent Daddy she just flips...
Do you think it worth waiting til she is 2 (I hear there are lots of changes and hope she may understand more then?). I've got really sore, damaged nipples (but that's another thread!) so its making me very frustrated and uncomfortable 'using' them so much in the night.

Booboostoo Thu 18-Jul-13 18:09:48

Fooogle I know exactly how you feel! I don't have any amazing ideas, if you feel you can't take it anymore now maybe persevere and see what happens, if you feel that going back to bf on demand is the option that lets you survive the sleeplessness give her a bit longer before you try again.

For me I had to get to the point where the upheaval of saying 'no' outweighed my general tiredness. I just couldn't take it anymore so something had to be done. Luckily she was at the right time to accept change, in fact I am surprised how quickly she has accepted the new rules.

Fooogle Thu 18-Jul-13 18:16:37

Well done to your little lady. I've held out this long. Think I'm secretly wishing I can have a 'rational' agreement... Sounds like there may be some hope!

Booboostoo Thu 18-Jul-13 21:53:43

Well they do change a lot during these early years and I think DD understands a lot more at 26mo than she did at 20mo. I did talk to her about it, and kept repeating the 'rules' so maybe some of it sank in. Also I played bf with her and her dolls, so that if she was pestering me too much I would do the same to her with one of her dolls and she would start giggling and getting the idea that it's not always nice if someone is trying to lift your top and bf all the time!

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