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Feeding to Sleep

(18 Posts)
Scotinoz Wed 05-Mar-14 08:32:11


I currently feed my 13week old PFB to sleep at night. She's happy, I'm happy, husband is happy - it works for us.

Nobody else in my Mothers' Group seems to do this and my Child & Maternal Health Nurse (Aussie health visitor) tells me this is wrong, a terrible habit and that I'll be doing forever more.

I know it's not ideal but the baby is thirteen weeks! Surely she's still allowed a few comforts! It's something I do plan on working on a few months down the track but for the time being I really don't see it's going to be an issue.

So, people of Mumsnet, please tell me what I'm doing is okay...please! Or if I'm being a stupid first time Mum and really c*cking it up please tell me so I can fix it!!

Thanks v much.

BillyAndBamBam Wed 05-Mar-14 08:33:53

I still feed my 11mo to sleep. It's easier for everyone and it still works for us at the minute, though I have no idea how I'm going to stop!

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 05-Mar-14 08:38:56

Sounds perfect to me, what a lovely way to fall asleep, safe in Mummy's arms, feeling warm, safe, loved, secure, a tummy full of sweet milk ushering the way to soft dreams.

Your HV has no right to advise you this, very few 20 year olds who were breastfed to sleep as a baby are still doing so.

callamia Wed 05-Mar-14 08:41:40

I think it's fine. My 20 week old was/is fed to sleep as often as it worked. Now, there are times in the evening where he's had enough milk but isn't asleep, so he goes into his cot and falls asleep (after some mild protesting). In the middle of the night, he pretty much always feeds to sleep.

I don't think I've created a monster, or a dreadful habit. Actually, given that he cluster fed every evening until quite recently, him falling asleep was my only really way of knowing that he'd actually had enough. It worked very well for us, and we never had fractious bed times (just evenings in bed - cosy in the dark winter months). If it feels like it works, and you're all happy, then do it.

MissRatty Wed 05-Mar-14 08:44:32

Sheesh...I sometimes feed LO to sleep, and give him boob just for comfort...I think they are a bit young for all that habit forming malarky...and yes I agree with the above, never seen a 20 year old still feeding to sleep!

Myfirstcalendar Wed 05-Mar-14 09:31:51

My mantra is do ANYTHING to make life easier and enjoy your baby. For my first I guiltily fed to sleep but felt I should be trying not to. She gradually gave it up herself. What an amazing trick to have up your sleeve! Think this is one of those things people say to give you something else to worry about. Didn't look back for number 2&3. In fact the later two who I didn't even try to "self settle" are better sleepers than no 1.

SmeeHee Wed 05-Mar-14 10:02:30

I wonder how many of the people who strongly advise against feeding to sleep have actually done it and experienced the "problems" they say it creates?

I didn't feed DS1 to sleep - in part through fear of creating poor sleep habits, in part because he was windy and refluxy and would promptly vomit if I put him down without winding him, which required him to be awake.

With DS2 it was a question of survival and I fed him to sleep and had him in bed with me in the end. I barely woke to feed him. grin Even when he was in his own room I continued to feed him to sleep until it stopped working. Ultimately it was a lot less stressful and made no difference to how they slept in the long run - both are great a settling themselves at bedtime.

The only issue I had was that it meant I missed out on doing DS1's bedtime. I also did end up having to always be around for DS2's bedtime, but that was because we didn't give him expressed milk in a bottle often enough and when we wanted to use it so I could go out he refused to go near it. Got him using a lidded cup eventually though. smile

leedy Wed 05-Mar-14 10:05:50

Oh God, I hate that whole "bad habit/rod for your own back" shite. If it's working for you and not a problem, keep doing it unless it becomes a problem - it's a v handy tool if it works and it's nice and snuggly for everyone.

Also, as everyone else says, of course they'll stop doing it. DS1 fed to sleep til he was past one and then just sort of grew out of it (he is now 4 and sleeps like a log all night), DS2 (15 months) still feeds to sleep at bedtime if I'm there, or if he wakes up in the night, but doesn't feed to sleep for naps any more.

Scotinoz Wed 05-Mar-14 10:32:54

Brilliant! Thanks ladies!

I do hope she'll grow out of it/I'll work out how to get her off to sleep without it down the track a bit. Selfishly, so I can go out!

The Child & Maternal Health Nurse is bonkers (I think she's just 'old school'). I learnt pretty quickly to smile and nod and do my own thing. Every time I see her she imparts some wisdom - baby isn't feeding enough supplement with formula, baby is feeding to frequently don't feed in's was a lecture on self settling and then an instruction to use a pacifier to help with her hiccups. Sigh!

Thanks again for reassuring me that I'm not the only one with this dirty habit and that I'm not creating a monster!

Scotinoz Wed 05-Mar-14 10:33:59

PS Sorry for the typos - damn auto correct!

MrsJoeHart Wed 05-Mar-14 10:35:09

I fed all three of mine to sleep until they stopped needing it, they all slept through from about 4 months and it didn't cause any problems. Mother's instinct is a wonderful thing.

weebairn Wed 05-Mar-14 12:01:25

Until a week ago, I still fed my 17 month old to sleep. Then she slept 12 hours straight through. Bad habits my arse.

A week ago, she stopped feeding at bedtime of her own accord.

From around 10 months when I went back to work and sometimes missed her bedtime, my DP would put her to sleep when necessary. No milk needed (or sometimes she'd have a bit in a cup). It would take him a little longer than me, but no problems with this. Similarly if I wanted to go out.


Happydaze247 Wed 05-Mar-14 21:14:41

"I know it's not ideal"

It is ideal if it's working for you and your family. This precious time is soon over and you will miss it when it is. Enjoy it guilt free! smile

Munxx Wed 05-Mar-14 21:16:57

I still feed my DS to sleep. He's 18 months.

I fed my DD to sleep until she was 12 months, she decided enough was enough herself.

DS however.....well that's another story!

But you do what works for you as a family, and if you are happy it's nobody else's business IMO.

Rommell Wed 05-Mar-14 21:26:07

I always fed my son to sleep and also fed him on demand. He started sleeping through at 13 weeks but only eventually stopped being fed to sleep at 15 months, all on his own and although I was dreading it, when it happened he just refused the breast, nuzzled into my arm and when I put him into the cot awake settled himself and went straight to sleep. It really was that straightforward.

As I understand it, babies are supposed to go to sleep with their mothers' milk. Doesn't the night feed milk contain hormones that makes them sleepy? It's nature's way of sorting things out so it would seem rude to fight against it. Keep feeding and nurturing your baby - you are doing a wonderful thing and she is getting both nutrition and comfort from you.

CityDweller Wed 05-Mar-14 21:43:25

Just do whatever works for you! I fed DD to sleep until about 5.5 mo, when I helped her learn how to self-settle in an attempt to reduce night wakings (which it did slowly - she started sleeping through about 2.5 months later). I really missed feeding to sleep once we stopped it - and secretly quite like the odd occasion now when she demands it. Make the most of those sleepy baby snuggles while they last!

Quodlibet Wed 05-Mar-14 23:00:11

I may be being dim but I can't see how you can avoid feeding an on-demand baby to sleep at least some of the time?! She is hungry, she eats, she falls asleep satisfied - how can you avoid that chain of events (and why would you want to?) I am genuinely puzzled. Am I meant to keep her up after she's fed so that I can get her to sleep without the boob? Or put her down without boob when she clearly would like one? Either seems ridiculous to me.

Happydaze247 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:05:07

Exactly Quodlibet I used to wonder the same. Looking back I really wish I hadn't worried so much.

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