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Night away but 14 month old baby never gone to bed without breastfeed. Help!!

(13 Posts)
onelittlespeckledfrog Mon 11-Aug-08 20:01:08

Any advice greatly appreciated.

In about 4 weeks DH and I are going to be away all day and evening at a wedding. DD feeds first thing in the morning and last thing at night before bed. On the day of the wedding she will be able to have her morning feed as normal, however, she will be left with her grandparents for the day, and they are going to have to put her to bed without her normal breastfeed.

DD has never been to bed without it. She normally feeds for about 30mins until she is either asleep on me or dozy, then I pop her into bed.

So I am panicing a bit already.

Should I do some trial runs at home getting DH to put her to bed without milk or will this just upset and confuse her?

It's also raising questions about whether I should stop feeding her. Help. I'm so confused.

Not sure it matters, but DD will also be staying at her grandparents house (which she has never done without us) so there are lots of different factors which also may prevent her settling.

What should I do?

pinkspottywellies Mon 11-Aug-08 20:22:24

I think I would be tempted to have a trial run at home and see how she goes. Do you express milk? Perhaps if she had her normal milk but in a bottle it would do? Or does she have drinks of milk in the day? If grandparents do the same drink in the cup that she's used to it bight be ok.

The other alternative is to say leave it as it is and when you're not there on the day she will have to settle for whatever gp's offer. (Although I think perhaps you might not enjoy the wedding as much worrying about whether she's coping or not.

I thinking giving up breastfeeding entirely is a bit knee-jerk unless you want to. DD stopped bf of her own accord at about 19 months but had been fine being put to bed by someone else with breastmilk and later cows milk in a bottle then a cup. There's no reason you can't bf if you're there but have the option of going out if she learns to have milk and bedtime with someone else.

Sorry, that was quite long. Hope it helps.

fishie Mon 11-Aug-08 20:26:06

it will all be so different that i can't see any point in trying to recreate it at home. i suppose you could go out and leave dh to put her to bed, but it still won't be another house.

at 14m she will be ok, i am sure gps can put her to bed. not end of world if they have trouble either, she can fall asleep on sofa with them for one night if that is what it takes.

onelittlespeckledfrog Mon 11-Aug-08 20:30:28

Thanks for replying PSW.

She wont take a bottle, but might have some milk in a beaker. She will rink cows milk, but only sipping at it like water as she is not used to a proper milk feed from anything but a boob!

She should be fine in the day, it's just the feed before bed.

It's good to know your DD would go to bed without you doing it. Did you start this when she was very young though? Am a bit worried DD is too old too understand that it's just a one off if I do some trials. I was supposed to do a trial tonight bt couldn't face it in case she jsut cried and cried and I ended up feeding her achieving nothing! wimp!)

onelittlespeckledfrog Mon 11-Aug-08 20:34:28

Ooh thanks for advice Fishie. I think you're right - it's just one night - what's the worst that can happen? If she's that tired she'll probabl just crash out on them like you say.

Cathpot Mon 11-Aug-08 20:41:56

I think it would be hard for you to put her down without feeding her as she associates you with boobs and milk and all the comfort of that, but she might be surprisingly ok with someone else. When we were weaning DD2 my husband put her to bed (with a bottle admittedly) and she was fine - as long as she didnt hear or see me and realise there was another option. I might try a trial run of her sleeping at her grandparents if thats practical, not least so if it goes well you will have more confidence to enjoy the night off. Can you leave expressed milk to see if she will take a bottle or cup - she might if no other option perhaps? Also if its only one night I'm sure the grandparents wont mind if they just have to walk her round til she falls asleep? Whenever mum baby sat in early days if she woke up mum just had her with her in the lounge with TV, one night out of routine is no big deal

Maenad Mon 11-Aug-08 20:42:50

I feel for you! I had to do this when DD was 9 months old. I know that's a rather different proposition to a 14-month-old, but my perspective on it was that there was no point in doing trial runs in advance unless I had been planning to offer a cup/bottle on a regular basis afterwards.

I pretty much knew that she wouldn't be happy about it, so I figured trial runs would just create more nights of upset than were strictly necessary and left DH with some expressed milk to put her to bed. She was not happy when she realised what was going on, but she did eventually go to sleep. And it was just one night, rather than lots of extra nights of crying about it. I felt pretty bad about it, but it was absolutely unavoidable, and DD was fine afterwards. (and we didn't give up that bedtime feed or offer any alternatives until she was 22 months, when we switched to a cup of cow's milk with absolutely no trouble at all)

I would have thought that if your DD has a good relationship with her grandparents she might be distractable and better able to be comforted than a younger baby would be.

Good luck. I really hope you find a way of handling this that allows you to enjoy yourself at the wedding rather than worrying too much.

pinkspottywellies Mon 11-Aug-08 21:07:50

We gave dd a bottle for the first time at about 3 months (first time I could be bothered to express!) and she didn't bat an eyelid and was always happy to drink whatever milk from whatever cup/bottle was offered so obviously my situation was quite differnt! (ie she didn't attach any importance to me whatsoever!)

I think I agree with not doing a trial run actually. Like others have said it's only one night so why not minimise the disruption and if she drops off in front of the tv or has to be put in a buggy and rocked then so be it. (I mention the buggy thing because when dd was.. can't remember - nearly 1? .. I got her all fed and down to sleep and went to the pub with DH and my sis and bil. Only she hadn't settled like she normally did and woke up just after we left shock. She wouldn't settle, even after another drink of milk so mum put her in a buggy and rocked her, howling, off to sleep. When we got home I was horrified and wished they'd called me and I could have come back etc etc, but actually we had a nice meal out and she was absolutely fine and perfectly well looked after by Grandma!)

dairymoo Mon 11-Aug-08 21:14:55

I'm facing exactly the same predicament with my 1yo DTs in a month's time, speckledfrog.

I was thinking the same as you re: trial runs but if the trials didn't go well then I'd feel even worse about leaving them when I have to. So I just figure that their GPs love them enough that they won't mind walking them up and down the corridor if that's what it takes to get them to sleep. And I'm going to try my best not to ring home and risk hearing them crying in the background.

will keep watching this thread with interest though - in case anyone has a magical solution! grin

StealthPolarBear Mon 11-Aug-08 21:45:20

I left DS for the first time at 14 mo. Most of the time he is bf to bed, but he is cuddled into naps during the day (at nursery or with Grandma) and does occassionally fall asleep on his dad.
Can't hurt to have a few goes of letting someone else get her to sleep. Has she ever had a bottle? I gave Mum and Dad a bottle for his last feed and during the night, though he has a cup I thought a bottle might be more comforting (and less messy). They could also feed him to sleep with it.

anastaisia Tue 12-Aug-08 10:47:03

when I go out and leave DD with my mum for bedtime we all forget about any sort of routine. DD was not a routine baby anyway but does have a pattern to the evening with me. I figure that just taking me away changes the pattern so why bother trying to keep everything else the same.

So instead of bedtime like normal they stay up and do jigsaws and reading or whatever until DD seems tired enough to fall asleep, then snuggle up on the couch together and watch a film (a real treat as she doesn't get to watch TV before bed with me) till she falls asleep.

It wouldn't work if I went out every week, wouldn't be fair to DD. But for special occassions it works really well.

I don't think over 1 year there's really any point in introducing the idea of someone else feeding him to sleep when they could start developing other ways for that individual to comfort them to sleep that can be continued as they get bigger.

luvaduck Tue 12-Aug-08 11:05:27

I did it recently with my almost one year old DS - will try and link thread, for 2 nights at a hen I was organising.

Normally DS is BF until drowsy and put down just about awake but he doesn't get that drowsy unless he BF. He does take milk from a cup (first cup tommee tippee) but again only sips at it - he might take 50ml max

when i was away he took more quite happily -up to 100ml a time so he had little and often throughout the day, along with solids. we spent he weeks beforehand trying out the cup for his daytime feeds (although i have now gone back to BF'ing 3-5 times a day)

in terms of getting to sleep in the weeks running up we started putting him down a little less drowsy each time and patting him gently. on the night my dh gave him a cup of milk, had a cuddle and when he was really tired patted him to sleep. even though he didn't have the BF he had built up enough of an association with patting that it worked - maybe you could teach it to your GPs??

i didn't sleep a wink the first night worrying but he was fine smile. second night away was much better. he had a lot of yoghurt to make up for milk!

it is only one night as you say

what really pissed me off is people (a lot of my friends) who say - hes almost 1 surely he can go to bed without you by now. arrrrgghhh hes my baby i will do what i want - we are both happy thank you very much!

the wedding is coming up in a few weeks and we will be in the same situation as you with GPs putting him to bed so fingers crossed

onelittlespeckledfrog Tue 12-Aug-08 19:56:16

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your advice, and sorry for not coming back to check sooner - the joys of a 1 year old!

maenad - I think you're right - there's not much point stressing DD when it's just going to be a one off.

I think the general advice seems to be that it is a one off, and therefore not too much of a problem how (and if!) grandparents get DD to sleep. I totally agree, and think I will just leave them with a beaker full of milk, her buggy and let them see what they can do (and not worry!)

Well done on the hen do luvaduck. 2 nights away! That's impressive! You've made me see my 1 evening is quite do-able.

I know what you mean about some peoples opinions being annoying Luvaduck. Because of this coming up, quite a few people have hinted that it's time to stop feeding DD altogther, the thought of which makes me really sad.

Anyway - thanks again everyone, and good luck with your wedding too luvaduck. I'll let you know how mine goes, if I can ever find this thread again!

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