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Feeding to sleep - sorry if this has been done before

(19 Posts)
SuperMonkey Fri 14-Sep-07 08:36:44

18 week old DS is fed to sleep - shock horror. He usually falls asleep at the breast, I rouse him a little to burp him then put him in his cot where he settles with his thumb in his mouth. Occasionally he wakes a bit more and chats to himself for 10 minutes before falling asleep. Most of the time though if he goes into his cot awake he just wails until I come and feed him some more. I just assume he's still hungry.

Now, I'm happy to do this - he goes to sleep contented, sleeps very soundly and it makes my life a lot easier (for now anyway!). If he wakes in the night, he will often just chat to himself for a little while and go back to sleep. Sometimes he needs milk, but again I guess that's because he's hungry. The only problem is that I have to be the one who puts him to bed, but in reality that's not an issue because I don't have much else to do in the early evening and I can Sky+ Eastenders!

I'm just looking for some reassurance really from other MNers who have done this that he's going to learn to sleep on his own eventually - I don't want to be breastfeeding him to sleep when he's 5!

cmotdibbler Fri 14-Sep-07 09:04:20

I always fed my DS to sleep (although he would settle for DH and a bottle of EBM if I wasn't there), and since he was 13 months he has gently decided not to do that anymore and now has a bf at 6, and puts himself to sleep after his bedtime story.
My HV had some wise words on the subject, in that she said that if they will go to sleep nicely on the boob, why break things when you are glad of it in the middle of the night / 5am - it certainly works for us.

bubbsy Fri 14-Sep-07 09:10:28

My DS always falls asleep in my arms and i am hoping he will eventually put himself to sleep

kiskidee Fri 14-Sep-07 09:12:07

Hey, that is the way babies have always been put to sleep. That is until 'baby gurus' started to walk the planet. why fix it if it ain't broke.

furrycat Fri 14-Sep-07 09:15:33

Breast fed DS2 to sleep for 7 months - he never fell asleep without it. Took about 3 days to break the cycle when I decided I need a little bit of my life back. From 8 months he'd be asleep within five mins of going into cot. Don't worry!

SuperMonkey Fri 14-Sep-07 09:18:15

That's great, thanks. I take some comfort from the fact that if he's calm and full but not quite ready for sleep, he will chat to himself in his cot then drift off. He is obviously capable of it. Cmotdibbler - sounds like you have a very sensible HV!

maisym Fri 14-Sep-07 09:19:02

I've done this - the perfect sleep solution. He'll grow out of it - mine did.

MaeWest Fri 14-Sep-07 09:25:08

DS always used to bf to sleep - like yours he is a thumbsucker. Now he's nearly 14 months he doesn't normally fall asleep on the breast (unless absolutely exhausted), usually I feed him and then DH comes in and does some bedtime stories until he's ready to go into his cot. And now that he's sleeping through (at long last) I've found that it makes no difference to his night settling whether he went down asleep or awake, so he obviously hasn't read the material about sleep associations!

If you're happy with it, just enjoy it

BroccoliSpears Fri 14-Sep-07 19:55:13

I BFd DD to sleep (for everything - bedtime, night feeds, naps) and then when she was about 14 months old she sort of lost interest in the boob so we tried DP giving her a cup of milk and a story for bedtime. I was biting my nails in the bathroom, listening and all ready to race in, boobs akimbo to BF her if it didn't work... it worked. She was quite happy with a story and a daddy cuddle. Happily thumbs herself to sleep ever since.

puffylovett Fri 14-Sep-07 20:09:05

mine is 6 months and the majority of the time he feeds to sleep - but then every now and again he doesn't.

i worried for months that i was doing the wrong thing.

now i just think WTF he's only little for such a short time, i'm just going to enjoy it.

will probably come unstuck when i go back to work part time, but what the hell there's always the buggy and if he's knackered enough he'll sleep anywhere ! besides he never gets niggly, just keeps going no matter how tired, happy as larry.

just enjoy it ! it will come good in the end.

oregonianabroad Fri 14-Sep-07 20:15:30

exactly, maisym.

CorrieDale Fri 14-Sep-07 20:22:31

I did this with DS, who was a rubbish sleeper but even so, he learned how to go to sleep without a feed. And there was no crying involved in him learning this either! I'm now doing it with DD and not worrying about 'bad sleep associations' as I did so often with DS.

bookthief Fri 14-Sep-07 21:13:30

I've fretted about this on and off (when I'm not having great zzzzzzzzzzzzzz from my baby being asleep wink) since ds was born such are the howls of rod. own. back. if you admit to doing it.

Well, ds is now just short of 10 months and for the last 3 at least, dh has done most bedtimes so no feeding to sleep there and few problems. I've mainly stopped doing it as well now except if ds is very fussy or it just happens by accident.

We've recently started doing shush/pat in his cot which is working brilliantly and a few nights ago ds actually self-settled! (not done it since though).

BTW, contrary to what the experts say, ds has almost always settled himself back to sleep if he wakes in the night since he dropped the night feeds so the feeding to sleep hasn't meant that he wakes up bewildered or what have you.

spottyshoes Sat 15-Sep-07 22:59:16

Thank god for this thread - i'm not a freak!!! My ds is 5 mths and will not sleep at all unless fed to sleep, that includes day time naps. Everyone I speak to says I'm'doing it wrong' and making a rod for my own back so its reassuring to know that he should just grow out of it

Annie75 Tue 18-Sep-07 08:52:14

I do the same and think it's completely natural. That's why breast milk has sleep-inducing chemicals in it - for us as well as them! Agree that the baby gurus have made us all completely paranoid

OrmIrian Tue 18-Sep-07 08:55:59

Yep. That seem right to me smile. At least you are putting him in his cot. Mine rarely made their way there until they were about 2 grin.

I don't give a flying f* about teaching bad habits and making a rod for my own back etc....for my babies feeding to sleep and sleeping with their parents was the obvious and right thing to do.

BTW - by 3 they were happily going to sleep on their own and sleeping through.

Anna8888 Tue 18-Sep-07 09:30:10

My daughter (2.10) still likes a little breastfeed to send her to sleep if I am around. But if I'm not she'll quite happily go to sleep by being read a story.

Nowadays she even comes to see me when I'm sitting down, helps herself to a little breast-snack, and then gets into bed on her own.

It's not a rod for your own back - it's just perfectly natural behaviour smile

mossycow Fri 21-Sep-07 21:06:20

Have been wondering about 'breast feeding to sleep' and being a 'human dummy'. My daughter is nearly 4 weeks old and have just taken her off the breast after having her attached for the last three hours. She had a good 30 minutes of good sucking then seemed to dose and suckle (some of it gulpy and swallowing).

I let her continue as we were both very comfortable (God bless my banana shaped pillow!) and she seemed to be drinking most of the time.

However I eventually stopped her because I was thinking about how she might get used to falling asleep at the breast and using me as a dummy etc.

Then I think "come on! She's only tiny and she's happy and putting on weight"

I'm quite confused. Any thoughts?

pampam Fri 21-Sep-07 21:52:35

mossycow, at 4 weeks old you do not need to worry at all about how your dd gets to sleep! Do what feels natural to you. Remember too that the dummy is a replacement for a breast, not the other way around. It sounds like your dd might be "cluster feeding" to build up your supply, my dd was attached to me every evening for about 4 hours until she was about 3 months old have a look here for some useful information about feeding in the early weeks. You will not spoil your baby by feeding her to sleep!

Supermonkey, i'm still bfing my 16month dd and have always fed her to sleep when she wanted but recently she will have a feed then have a story with dh and go to bed very happily. i'm sure you won't still be feeding to sleep when your ds is 5! If it aint broke.....

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