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Any ideas how to cut down BF-ing at night?

(25 Posts)
doingitagain14 Mon 27-Oct-14 19:48:19

Hi, just wondering if anyone has any tips for my current situation. My son is 9.5 months old, breast fed but solids going well now (BLW). He feeds from me at about 9am, 1pm and then before bed around 6.30pm. Then he will wake to feed at least 3-4 times over night, often more, not settling down again for any length of time unless I feed him. I definitely don't think he's ready to go totally without milk overnight but would like to try and encourage him to start dropping some of the night feeds as frankly I am exhausted.

He will not take a bottle and when offered milk in a cup (either EBM or formula) he just throws it around, although will drink water from a cup at mealtimes. I have tried offering extra feeds during the day but he will not take more than a few sucks other than at the three times mentioned above.

I have been guilty of just going with it up till now as I kept expecting him to drop feeds gradually like his big sister did (she stopped feeding at night by 9 months with little, if any, encouragement) but I am struggling now as not had more than about 2 consecutive hours sleep for months on end.

Any tips welcome, thanks.

Booboostoo Mon 27-Oct-14 20:42:12

I don't have any helpful suggestions, sorry. The only thing I can offer is that co-sleeping and feeding lying down can make this situation more bearable.

MoHintawnFein Mon 27-Oct-14 20:45:21

I moved into my mums for 3 nights while DH coped with nights at home with the baby because if I went to ds (and dh never wakes up) he would just bf so he was waking all the time at 11months old just for the comfort feed. It worked for us.

BookTart Mon 27-Oct-14 20:49:27

Solidarity doing, my 9.5 month DD is much the same. Feeding her 5-6 times a night at the moment and have been co-sleeping with her in her room since birth to try and retain some sanity. It is no longer working! I've read that one way to do it is to reduce the time of each feed by a minute a night - so if you want to drop the first feed and it normally takes 10 minutes, make it 9, then 8 etc. Would that work for you? I don't think I have the energy to try it!

Tiredbadger Mon 27-Oct-14 20:53:44

Can't offer any help but place marking as I'm in the same position with my 14 month DD. Doesn't feed during the day but makes up for it at night!

lolalotta Mon 27-Oct-14 20:59:47

14 month old doing the same here, it's nearly killing me!

doingitagain14 Mon 27-Oct-14 21:21:09

My goodness the thought of still doing this when he's 14 months terrifies me - not convinced I can keep going like this for another 5 months! I have co-slept at times but he is now such a wriggler/face scratcher that I don't find it makes things any better as the quality of my sleep between feeds is greatly reduced!

doingitagain14 Mon 27-Oct-14 21:24:16

Booktart - that might be worth a try although I find if I stop him before he wants to he'll just scream until he gets back on!

OsMalleytheCat Mon 27-Oct-14 21:28:49

13month old here still bf through the night hmm we co sleep from about 1am to ease the pain slightly although I think that has hindered more than help us as baby wakes up and is outraged to discover he is alone, our plan is at Christmas (so we've got time off so can catch up on sleep during the day) we're moving him into his own room (hopefully we won't hear every movement and we won't disturb him as much) and only DH will get up and offer him a bottle, once we've cracked that the plan is to give him water in a bottle instead of formula...
But this is all hypothetical! Ask me in a few months time!!

Booboostoo Tue 28-Oct-14 07:07:06

From 12 months onwards you may want to try the Dr J Gordon method. I used this when DD was 2yo and it worked really well.

Artandco Tue 28-Oct-14 07:11:45

I would just feed more in the day and not feed at all at night. At 9.5 months here mine would have around 6 feeds 8am-9pm. Then nothing until the morning

I would add in another feed in late afternoon, and another before bed . Put to bed 8pm so feed last at 7.30pm

doingitagain14 Tue 28-Oct-14 07:59:31

If only it was as simple as that sounds Artandco. DS is not interested in feeding at any other times, no matter how often I stick my boob in his face! And keeping him up later not an option either unfortunately - if I kept him up till 8 he'd just be overtired and even more difficult at night. Thanks anyway though.

Artandco Tue 28-Oct-14 08:14:50

Have you tried adding a later nap then keeping up later?

At 9 months bedtime here was always around 9/9.30pm. They would nap x3 times in day, with last nap around 5pm. Meant feeds in eve could be later, which obv means they up up later, but at least it's when your awake also instead of during the night

doingitagain14 Tue 28-Oct-14 10:10:21

No haven't tried that but to be honest I'd be reluctant to. Despite the night feeding he's actually in a good routine for naps and bedtime, having a good sleep morning and afternoon and no problems getting him to bed at 7. So changing that dramatically would seem like a step backwards as 9.30pm seems to me to be rather late. Would also be a hassle in terms of my older daughter's routine.

I think I just need to accept that I have to keep riding it out until he's a bit older then perhaps try the Dr J gordon method that Booboostoo suggests.

lolalotta Thu 30-Oct-14 12:30:05

So last night I just decided NOT to feed my 14 month old DD, she was fine! She needed resettling 4 times, but only cried (loudly) for about tie minutes each time when I refused to. I went in, sat on the floor and just said "shhhhhhh" sleepy time now. Until she fell asleep then I crept out. I do realise that I am creating another crutch in sitting there "shhhhhhhsing" while she falls asleep but one step at a time I keep on telling myself!

lolalotta Thu 30-Oct-14 12:30:40

*cried for two minutes not tie!

Misty9 Thu 30-Oct-14 19:09:54

I'm starting to think about this for my second, now 6 months. If she' wakes for a feed less than 3 hours or so after bedtime then my husband will resettle if he can. It generally works for the first evening wake up. What is he like if you don't feed straight away? I ask because I sstarted trying to delay the early morning feed last night, so wake up was 5 and I held out until 5.30 before feeding but she wasn't really crying, more grumbling and intermittently crying. And it was a rubbish snack feed after all that so I don't think she was really hungry after just 3 hours. The three year old was already up (bloody clocks changing) otherwise I might have worried about waking him at that time.

My rambling point is that could it be more habit than hunger? Have you offered water? Sounds exhausting you poor thing.

Missrabbitshouldjoinaunion Thu 30-Oct-14 19:12:53

I used to give my DS a huge bowl of ready brek just before bed. Like an extra meal of the day! So tea at 5pm, then ready brek supper at 7

elvislives2012 Thu 30-Oct-14 19:27:31

Three milk feeds in the day may not be enough and he's catching up at night? Could u aim for four in the day and see how he gives? Should still be getting a lot of milk..... Food is fun before they're one grin

doingitagain14 Thu 30-Oct-14 20:23:08

lolalotta that sounds promising. Sometimes I can settle mine without feeding but if he's set on milk he will either scream or go back to sleep but wake minutes later (and repeat until I give in!). I believe he still needs some milk in the night as he will take full feeds and seem genuinely hungry, however I don't think he needs quite as many night feeds as he is demanding!

I have been trying to feed him more during the day but he is not at all keen - will sometimes have a wee snack outwith his usual times but not a proper feed.

DH is around over the weekend so may try and stretch the time he goes between feeds to longer than his usual 2 hours by leaving DH to resettle him if he wakes between designated hours. We'll see how long I can listen before running in with my boob out!

NorahBone Thu 30-Oct-14 20:52:20

I put my nearly 1yo to bed at around 9pm and feed him, normally, once between 1 -3 am and once between 5-7am. If he wakes any other time I rub/ pat his back and sing to him till he goes back to sleep, but I don't pick him up or it's game over! He used to feed every time he woke, no matter how often, but I've found that by restricting his night meals he doesn't wake as often.

feekerry Thu 30-Oct-14 21:04:13

Ds is 9m. He is feeding aprx 3-4 times between 7-7.
I have just gone back to work 3 days a week and can't express loads so 3 days of the week he doesn't get a lot of bm so obv making up for it at night. I had enough of co sleeping so he now sleeps in a cot right next to our bed which means when he wakes I drag him into bed for a quick feed and pop him straight back in his cot. I would no way get out of bed and go to another room 3/4 times a night!!

lolalotta Sat 01-Nov-14 05:56:27

So I've not BF my 14month old DD for 3 nights now, just resettled her with Sssshhhhhing.... looks like it's already starting to payoff, she slept for a straight 9 hrs last night... first I heard from her was 4.15am!!! Which meant I got 6hrs of uninterrupted sleep... I didn't sleep well when I was pregnant so this has been a long time coming!!! grin
It looks like it's worth persevering!!! Just thought I'd keep you ladies updated incase you needed the inspiration to cut down on feeding at night!!!! xxx

doingitagain14 Sat 01-Nov-14 19:47:27

That's great lolalotta, glad it's working out!
We managed to only feed at 10pm and 2am last night. Woke a couple of other times but was settled back with minimal drama so hoping to do same again tonight

Pusspuss1 Sat 01-Nov-14 20:16:09

Wish I did - my 14 mo is going through a horrendous phase of waking to feed every hour or two! Watching with interest...

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