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Does my 13 month old really still need night feeds? Am starting to feel a bit of a wally about it.

(26 Posts)
HuffwardlyRudge Mon 01-Jun-09 18:34:33

People look at me like the world's biggest wally when I admit that my 13 month old still has night feeds.

Am I alone?

(If you want more details, read on, but please feel free to just answer the first bit)

I'd really quite like him to stop, but it's not happening.

I feed him to sleep at 8ish.
He wakes up between 9 and 10 for a big feed.
He feeds some time between 12 and 1am.
Sometimes a 3am feed.
Feeds again at 5ish.

Breakfast at 6ish.

Breastfeed at 8ish.

One or two other big breastfeeds during the day, depending what we're doing. Plus the odd snacky feed as and when he asks.

He eats well. He has lots of pasta or rice at supper time. We mostly co-sleep because I can't be arsed putting him in and out of his cot all night. He doesn't always wake up for every feed listed above, but he never sleeps through without some feeding.

For the first time we tried dh going to him and offering water but he worked himself into a rage very quickly, pointing at the bed, demanding "Mama". I fed him. I would like to stop, but not in any way that is distressing for him. So I'm stuck with it really, aren't I?

iwantitnow Mon 01-Jun-09 19:01:44

I had the same problem I did a very limited form of control crying at 1 year, never let DD cry for more than 30mins in total - went in 5-10-15 minute intervals. It worked in 2 nights, limited suffering but high rewards for all IMO. He probably won't give up night feeds on his own but miracles do happen.

Littledawley Mon 01-Jun-09 19:04:55

Please don't worry about being a wally. If you and your DS are happy then there is no need to change things.
However, most children I know at that age are happily sleeping 12 hours so there is no reason why your son can't go for longer if you want him to. You need to think about what you want, try not to worry what other people think.

HuffwardlyRudge Mon 01-Jun-09 19:13:37

But I want him to just give up night feeds on his own!

ABitStretched Mon 01-Jun-09 19:14:15

You are describing my life with ds1 when he was nearly 1. Everyone has wakeful periods during the during night, we stir, get comfortable and drift back to sleep(unless dh is snoring his head off). Because your ds1 is used to falling asleep with whilst bf'ing when he stirs he roots around for the thing that gets him off to sleep(you) can't find it, cries and falls back asleep when you bf him? Sound familiar? Now my HV talked about it as if this was some from of abuse it was so terrible. Personally I don't see anything wrong with it if you and dc are happy. There will come a time, as it did for me where you won't be happy. One night totally out of the blue when he woke up I just said to dh 'I am not feeding that baby back to sleep' so dh cuddled me to stop me breaking, then got up every few minutes to check on ds - it only took 2 nights. Words of advice - leave the water thing - its more trouble than its worth in my experience it offers no comfort,and if it did do you really want to be getting up every night for the rest of your life offering him water! And ds will find it much easier to settle back to sleep during the night if he already has practice falling asleep on his own,not on the bottle/breast when he goes down for naps and when he first goes to bed at night.
Hopethis helps and doesn't sound too sanctamonious (spelling?)

Jojay Mon 01-Jun-09 19:15:21

Don't we all?? grin

thisisyesterday Mon 01-Jun-09 19:18:23

he sounds exactly like my ds2. he stopped night feeds by himself at around 18m. then he started again a couple of weeks ago, but has slept through last night and the night before, so I think we're mostly there and I didn't do anything to make him stop

nellynaemates Mon 01-Jun-09 19:44:25

OK, you're not a wally at all. As others have said if you and your baby are happy with the arrangements that is great and it won't do him any harm to continue night feeding (it's all so good for him and it's a lovely closeness between you two).

However if it's all doing your head in (I had to put a stop to co-sleeping at around 8 or 9 months because I was going insane getting woken up all night by a wriggly, suckly baby!) then it's worth looking at it. For us, night feeds only stopped after he was established in sleeping in his cot (and it was a good few months after I think). I think some babies just can't sleep next to mummy's boobies without having the odd snack.

My ds went down to morning and night feeds, then just morning feeds then pretty much self-weaned at around 16 months (I just didn't offer and he didn't ask).

DS was a terrible sleeper and very keen on night feeds and we honestly could not have tackled it without changing sleeping arrangements. It was a long hard slog but he now (at 18 months) goes down in his cot wide awake with a goodnight from me and sleeps all night long.

Every family is different but do a bit of research and have a think about what might suit you best.

bambipie Mon 01-Jun-09 19:47:55

Abitstretched are you megrin? That is exactly what we did with dd! Definately needed dh to help me! Once we'd done one night it seemed silly to feed her the next night and the night after that she slept. It was wonderful! And it meant she stayed in her cot all night so we all slept better. I'm glad I fed her as long as I did in the night, but I'm glad I'm not doing it anymore!
It is weird how you can be quite happy with night feeds and then just suddenly want to stop, no planning, just 'I don't want to feed her'.

So no OP you are not a wally! When I stopped night feeds I did the pre-bed feed (the last to go) downstairs so she never got fed upstairs again. I think if you want to stop you could but there would be some crying for a night or two - and you might need a helpful dp/dh.
Good luck with whatever you decide!

sparkle12mar08 Mon 01-Jun-09 19:52:22

Me!! Can I join your club?! I'm still feeding my 15 month old 1-2 times at night and would like for him to stop of his own accord. It does bother me that he's still feeding at night, but it's so quick, easy and above all else quiet when I feed him, that at the moment it's still just about worth it. I know eventually we'll probably end up doing CC but I'm not quite ready for that yet and I desperately don't want him to wean altogether if we stop the night feeds. I think that's what keeps me going more than anything else tbh.

HuffwardlyRudge Mon 01-Jun-09 19:56:48

My dd stopped of her own accord, but milk for her was always something necessary and quick between attempts to take over the world.

Ds just loves his milkies in a way dd never did. I honestly can't even see him giving up of his own accord. And I will never do any sort of cc with him. We're doomed!

ABitStretched Mon 01-Jun-09 20:05:41

Not doomer forever -hopefully he'll stop some time between now and when he leaves for uni :-)

snowgum Mon 01-Jun-09 21:03:49

This sounds exactly like me and 12mo dd.
I started getting really fed up with it when she was about 10mo because around then all my friends babies started sleeping through and I was the only one still feeding in the night. (2 hourly)

I had a look at the ncss and tried a few things, mainly putting her in her own room and not bringing her into our bed anymore. (In case sleeping next to a milky mummy was causing her to wake up).
Also tried dh putting her to sleep - resulting in much crying and hours of wakefulness.
None of it worked, it just ended up with me either spending all night in her room
or being very grumpy in the morning after running back and forth.
This went on for almost 2 months.

Then I talked to my lovely paediatrician, who has 7 children and he said ...
Don't worry about it - they all start sleeping through by themselves anyway when they're ready.
It's a developmental stage so just keep feeding her if she wants it.
So I brought her back into our bed and decided to just enjoy the cuddles.
Both me and dd are now sleeping better, as I don't have to wake up to feed her and she just snuggles instead of waking up and crying and I'm enjoying it instead of worrying about it.

My friends do laugh at me though grin

Grendle Tue 02-Jun-09 00:14:33

My dd was feeding v fequently at night at this age. By 17 months she'd started to be happy just crawling over for a cuddle once a night and not asking for milk. soon after she started sleeping all night (9pm-6am?) most nights. All spontaneous and nothing to do with me. She's still in a bedside cot too.

As others have said, they all do it eventually. some mums find methods that gently nudge the process along and others are happy to wait it out smile.

wastingmyeducation Tue 02-Jun-09 08:37:11

Unless he's ill, DS (13 month) usually wakes once around 4/5am, and about once a week sleeps through til gone 6.

As he can settle himself earlier in the night I've been presuming he does need that feed, but it's been getting lighter too so I'm going to get a blackout blind for his room.

I think feeding to sleep is the issue, for us at least, as he needs the boob to go to sleep at bedtime, so wants it later on. I feed him to sleep for his non-pram naps too.
I'm a bit chicken to change it though. blush

I'm going to have another look at NCSS and the Pantley pull-off, as I was too sleep-deprived to get it last time I read it!

gabygirl Tue 02-Jun-09 09:40:02

I night weaned my three at 8 months, 12 months and 24 months respectively. As my family grew I became increasingly less bothered about it, but when I was ready to stop I stopped. I'm afraid I did cc with all three, which made me feel bad, but it worked so quickly with dd1 and ds1 (a couple of days) that I shrugged off the guilt. Ds2 is a different kettle of fish - he's energetic and a bit obsessive and I ended up giving up with the cc when it became clear to me that it wasn't going to work quickly. I moved him into his brother's room and that seemed to do the trick more or less straight away. (he'd been sleeping in our room up until that point).

By the way - if you're looking for shaming admissions: I used to climb into ds2's cot with him on a regular basis to cuddle him back to sleep.......

wastingmyeducation Tue 02-Jun-09 10:02:51

For those that did cc, were you putting them down awake and doing cc then, or just during the night wakes?

burningupinspeed Tue 02-Jun-09 10:10:49

Are you co-sleeping? Sorry if I missed that, I couldn't decide if you meant you were or were not.

I stopped nightfeeds at 18 months - by default - by moving DS into his own room. DP went in with a cup of milk at first, well he wasn't that interested, then after a few nights, went in with water. I'd feed him in the morning though until he stopped asking. I think after a few nights he felt reassured that he was still getting that morning feed and so accepted it.

13-18 months is a big difference though and I left it as long as I did because I just couldn't see that he was ready before then (though I wanted him to be!)

goingnowherefast Tue 02-Jun-09 13:02:45

Have you seen this nightweaning plan? Very gentle and may be an option?

Babieseverywhere Tue 02-Jun-09 13:34:00

You are not alone many mother do night feeds (both formula and breast milk) sometimes which much older children.

I night nursed my DD in her own room,until she was 16 months or so. I was pregnant with DS and too tired to get up to nurse at night any more and so I started offering water in a cup. This worked well and she stopped asking for milk at night.

Since her baby brother was born and she moved back into our bed. At 2.9 years old she does ask nearly ever night for milk when DS nurses. I answer "Yes, you can have milk in the morning" offer her water to drink and she goes back to sleep.

It is hard to keep waking up to feed him at night but if he needs the comfort/milk...he needs it.

All the best.

HuffwardlyRudge Tue 02-Jun-09 19:14:49

Well last night we tried dh going to him instead of me and it didn't work at all. He obviously doesn't want any gentle nudging so we'll stick with it for now and see how we go.

On balance, much as I would be delighted if he started sleeping through, I prefer night feeds to the idea of him crying because he wants me.

mawbroon Tue 02-Jun-09 19:35:01

I only put my foot down about night feeds about 6 weeks ago when I was ill.

And my ds is 3.7yo.

Some of them need it more than others.

If you're happy doing it, then keep doing it.

You're not a wally!

HuffwardlyRudge Wed 03-Jun-09 19:21:41

You're right Mawbroon, some of them do need it more than others. And while ds doesn't need it, it would be hard on him to give it up. They're only small for a short time.

pjmama Wed 03-Jun-09 19:45:35

I nursed my twins until they were 16 months old and it wasn't until I stopped that my DD finally slept through. I think as long as it was still on offer, she was happy to wake up for it! For the first couple of nights after we stopped, DH went to settle her when she woke and she went back to sleep without too much fuss. Now she sleeps for 12 hours straight without a murmour - bliss!

mawbroon Wed 03-Jun-09 20:37:41

Yes Huffwardly, you are right. None of them need it, as in they are going to die of hunger in the night, but I could definitely see that my ds was benefitting from having milk/company/reassurance in the night.

He still wakes in the night, even though we don't do milk until the morning. He has a very strong desire to be kept close to me, and I am happy to oblige. smile

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