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Should I make DS2 go cold turkey on night feeds? Or would it be mean/make him stop entirely?

(15 Posts)
bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 11:21:41

Sorry if you've seen this in chat - re-posting here so this makes more sense!)

DS2 is nearly 10 months and at the moment wakes hourly at night. I currently feed him at 7pm, 10.30pm and then randomly throughout the night. The last 10 nights have been spectacularly bad and I've just been feeding him to shut him up so he doesn't wake DS1 up.

Problem is that after 10 nights of no more than 60 minutes uninterrupted sleep, and now being painfully ill myself, am verging on the point of self harm.

I know he doesn't' need the feeds nutritionally, so I could maybe just stop and hope that breaks this awful habit. But if he's teething it's more for comfort and then I feel bad not doing it. Also DS1 self-weaned at 11months (I fed him a lot less and more to a routine) and I don't want DS2 to do that. But it's getting to the point where it's him or me.

Any experience of this? Would it be cruel to just say at 10.30pm, "that's your lot mate?"

Bubbaluv Fri 12-Jun-09 11:39:41

OMG - you are a saint! My experience is that these habits are always far easier to break than you imagine they will be- it's just taking the first step that is hard. You might have a few sleepless nights, but it sounds like you are used to that!!
You will BOTH be happier when you're getting a proper night's sleep. smile

bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 12:08:47

thank you Bubbaluv! I really hope so - but do you think total cold turkey is the best thing at this stage? Or should I still do the half ten feed?

But yes, we both desperately need the sleep now, it's a necessity. sad

Bubbaluv Fri 12-Jun-09 12:21:05

I would still do the 10.30 feed and then pull my pillow over my head!
You can start moving the last feed earlier and earlier once you have got him sleeping through (should take 4 nights MAX!)
It's hard, but it won't do him any harm and you won't know yourself after a good night's sleep - the whole world will seem a better place!

bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 17:54:31

Thanks. I'm going to sleep somewhere else so he realises that it is not an option. I think he's feeling a bit under the weather so I feel a bit mean, but it just can't go on.

bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 19:35:25

bumping for the Friday evening breastfeeding people... smile

burningupinspeed Fri 12-Jun-09 19:41:08

Is co-sleeping an option?

I sympathise, I was determined to stop the night feeds so many times from about 10 months but always ended up taking pity on my poor DS, after all from his POV it is normal, and the idea of it helping when he was teething weighed on my mind too.

You say he does not need the feeds, nutritionally - what does this mean? He will still benefit from them... though I do think there is some truth in the idea that stopping night feeds can lead to an increase in the amount they eat during the day - it just takes a bit of work to get there.

Could your DH/P offer EBM in a cup for a few nights to give you a break?

bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 20:07:17

haha....co-sleeping's the problem! We've recenlty shifted him sideways into the co-sleeper and that has improved things a little, he actually seems to want his own little space.

Nutritionally, I just mean that at 10 months he doesn't need 2 hourly feeds to stay alive, and if it's not 100% vital I could do with stopping it for my own sake, because I really can't hack it anymore. Not as often as it is.

How often would you say you fed your DS at this stage burning? Was it a manageable amount?

burningupinspeed Fri 12-Jun-09 20:23:31

Ah, I see. Yes I got sick of co-sleeping too. It was bloody hard as he got bigger and shifted around more. I hated sleeping with him latched on, I'd lay there feeling really bloody annoyed with him blush

It probably was around two-hourly at that stage, and I had just gone back to work, but it varied, some nights I would stay asleep while feeding and others I'd be wide awake.

It was only ending co-sleeping that stopped the night feeds, and that was only at 18 months - sorry... I could have done it sooner I think but felt sad about letting go - I think he would've been okay from about 14 months. I made a big fuss about moving the cot into his room which he loved, made a big deal out of stories in his new room, and then DP went in with milk for two nights, then water, and that was that... I still fed him first thing in the morning in bed but he did quickly lose interest - so I was a bit sad about that, but I had stopped day feeds, if you haven't then I can't see why it would mean weaning completely.

Sorry for the essay and no flow, I am packing to go away! But the other thing I would suggest for anyone with a baby really, is have a few nights where you go to bed when they do - even just to relax, read, take your laptop, or watch a DVD - if you can with him in the room of course - that was when I knew co-sleeping was over, when I woke him up just by going in...

Rhian82 Fri 12-Jun-09 20:25:21

Ooh we did this recently, when DS was about six and a half months. He'd slept through for a week at four months, and then just got worse and worse until he was waking constantly. We did the cold turkey thing, put him to bed at half seven and then didn't feed him again until it was gone five and could reasonably be considered morning!

The first couple of nights were pretty horrible, DH took over so my breasts weren't taunting him, and just cuddled him lots, but he screamed a lot. He got a lot better pretty quickly though. It's about a month later now and his sleeping is soooo much better than it was, he doesn't really sleep through, but last night for example he slept till 5.45am, then went back to sleep for another couple of hours after - bliss! Some nights he still wakes around 3am and takes a while before he'll settle back, but he's never really upset any more, just little whingy cries rather than screaming.

He seems a lot happier for it as well - I don't know if it was just his age and would have happened anyway, but he got a lot smilier in the days, I think because he was better rested.

SazzlesA Fri 12-Jun-09 20:32:36

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bohemianbint Fri 12-Jun-09 20:54:25

burning - thanks, this is really useful. He does go down in the co-sleeper at 7pm and then I don't feed him again until half 10pm when we go into bed. He goes down in the total dark and it's another thing that bugs me slightly that I can no longer read to wind down in bed now. I would be sad if he had his own room, in a way, but it's come down to self preservation now. Plus, it's not really an option, we're a room down unless we put him in with DS1, and the thought of that gives me the massive fear...Thank you for replying, and have a lovely trip away!

Rhian, that's reassuring that it worked, and that he seemed happier! Did you find he ate more in the day to compensate?

anchovies Fri 12-Jun-09 21:00:18

I have just had a similar thing with my 9 month old who woke every few hours from 11pm onwards. Stopped co-sleeping and made a rule no breastfeeding until after 4. Bad few nights (got dh to give her a bottle if she really wouldn't go back to sleep) but now she sometimes sleeps through and the earliest she wakes is 4 (she doesn't like bottles, I swear she hangs on until she knows I'll let her in our bed!) So much better!

Rhian82 Fri 12-Jun-09 22:08:04

Ah sounds like I've had pretty much the same experience as you anchovies (have never co-slept though).

Bohemianbint - I'm not sure about the eating more, I guess so, but because of the timing (he was about 6.5 months) he was eating more all the time anyway, going from one through to three solid meals a day, so I don't know how much was age and how much was compensating! I don't think he's drinking much more milk, but again, with the stepping up of solid foods I guess his milk intake would have been going down otherwise? It's really difficult to factor in all the variables when so much is changing at his age!

burningupinspeed Fri 12-Jun-09 22:29:25

I meant to say about the cot, it was a co-sleeper, so first it started off tethered to the bed with the side underneath, then when he got more mobile the side went halfway up, but still right next to the bed. He'd go in there at about 7 and then in with me at 10ish, I never did get the hang of moving him back after a feed (usually fell asleep!) But you could try to slowly transition him to staying in the cot all night, it might be easier with you close by for reassurance but enough distance to stop wanting to feed so much?

Have you tried stuff from the No Cry Sleep Solution? I don't remember it well as to be honest I was too lazy to persevere for that long blush but I am sure it talks of successful night-weaning without ending co-sleeping. I was in a sleep-deprived fog though so it could have said the complete opposite to be honest!

I do agree that my DS seemed a bit happier once he was sleeping alone and getting more sleep/better quality sleep, and of course I am too. BUT he is so used to it that now if he wakes early and I bring him in for a cuddle, he won't sleep near me in fact he will barely even cuddle, he just wants to get up and play... everything is such a mixed blessing, isn't it.

I think the thing that kept me going so long was that just when I'd be at the end of my tether with it all, he'd go and have a couple of really great nights which would spur me on and make me think it wasn't so bad. Then it would get shit... and the cycle would repeat.

Oh and sorry for you that he sleeps in the pitch black - same happened to me, eventually... I was v paranoid in the early days so had a proper lamp on all night shock god the idea fills me with horror now but there you go... I switched to a low nightlight but could still read a bit by that, but once I'd got rid of it, any crack of light would disrupt him.

What about an ipod, audio books maybe? I MN on mine even now that I can actually have lights on!

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