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Think its time to stop DS2 feeding but dont think hes going to like it and feel really sad that it may all end badly :-(

(11 Posts)
Herecomesthesciencebint Tue 16-Jun-09 21:55:19

Ds2 is 2.3 and has always been a rubbish sleeper and keen night feeder. We co sleep from about midnight onwards.

He gave up day feeding at about 16months of his own accord.

He had settled to a bedtime feed and then once or twice at night plus on and off for a lazy hour in the morning before work/get up. I could manage this and bedtimes had got to be happy in that he would go into his cot ok and settle alone.
But lately things are back to screamathons after his night fed and up several times in the evening plus now feeding hourly from about midnight. I just feel so tired again and am starting to get resentful of the feeding.

I fed DS until over 2 and it backed up with DS2 so have been present for every single bedtime for 4.5 years (neither have ever had a bottle of even expressed milk, for one reason or another) and I really would like to be able to manage a theatre trip or something that involves me being out the house before 8pm when Ds2 has fed.

I was hoping it would just fizzle out like it did with DS1 who basically just chose an extra story over his feed with no prompting, but Ds2 looks set for the long haul.

I just dont know how to stop him. refusal is met with absolute heartbreak on his part (and therefore mine) and the whole dont offer business is a joke as he demands!

Any ideas? anyone been thru similar and can help me out? many thanks

GoodWitchGlinda Tue 16-Jun-09 22:01:37

My DD had a fad of feeding only at night around 8-9 mths (she was BF). Eventually, I decided it was about time she was sleeping through and feeding more in the day (like a normal person - lol!) and so I pushed her through by not offering anything but water in the night. She started feeding better in the day and after about 3 or 4 nights, she was sleeping through.

It wasn't easy because she wasn't happy at being offered water! But after the first night she fed better in the day so wasn't truely hungry, so I didn't feel too guilty after that. The next couple of nights were just habit, and soon she just stopped waking and asking for feeds altogether. (Phew!)

I think you just have to shift the body clock a bit and get some good feeds in during the day instead of dribs and drabs through the night - that's no good for either of you.

idontbelieveit Tue 16-Jun-09 22:21:00

My dd1 is 3 and i think has just stopped feeding (it's been 10 days).

I think if you want a night out you should just have one. It's not like he needs the milk to survive, dd1 will always ask if I put her to bed but more often than not dh puts her down as i'm feeding dd2. She doesn't ask for "mummy milk" if dh is doing bedtime and he offers her warm cows milk if she wants a drink.

If you're not there I bet he won't miss it. I don't think you need to stop brestfeeding to have a night out, just tell him you're going out and that dh/babysitter/whoever you choose is putting him to bed and I bet he'll be ok.
Hope this helps a bitsmile

Herecomesthesciencebint Wed 17-Jun-09 13:03:22

GWG, he doesnt feed at all in the day, he is 2 years and 3m, eating well and it isnt an isue about upping the day intake I dont think altho i know that can help when they are babies.

idbi, the evenings are one thing, the nights another altogether. he refuses to let his daddy put him down, screamed until he was sick demanding milk the one time I was late home, and i dont want to force the issue in that way unless I can help it. i wouldnt relax going out anyway knowing that I had left a distraught child behind and i know that makes me a soft idiot but I have agreed to be there for him for a bedtime feed so its not his fault he now wants it evey night. its mine.

Oh, i dont know what to do or how to handle it. Its causing so much tension at home bacuse i am tired and snappy and geting nothing done in the evenings.

mawbroon Wed 17-Jun-09 13:16:56

I have been through similar Herecomesthesciencebint. My ds is 3.8yo and we only stopped night feeding in April, kickstarted because I was ill.

Any tinkering I have done with ds's feeding over the last 18months or so, has, up until recently, resulted in him becoming very unsettled and behaving dreadfully through the day. Interestingly enough it would occur three weeks after the cutting out day/night feeds or whichever one I was working on at the time.

Even now, he will go to sleep ok without me here, but if he wakes in the night, he is distraught. I hate the idea of him being really upset if I am out too.

We did never offer, never refuse as well. I don't remember when, maybe a year ago or so? DS thought his luck was in, and started feeding all the time which was the opposite to what I wanted to happen! It went on for a week or so, and I think he began to feel the lack of boundary and became really badly behaved and tantrummy. I went back to saying no sometimes and we were hunky dory again.

Basically, we have just felt our way along. I don't have any suggestions of sure fire ways of making things work for you, but reading How Weaning Happens might help.

I have decided that in our case, my ds still really needs it, and I am going to let him self wean. Perhaps you don't have to wean your ds completely to reach a point where things are manageable.

Good luck

LupusinaLlamasuit Wed 17-Jun-09 13:29:02

We cut out night feeds by the use of earplugs (for me) and DH with a cup of warm milk. It was hell for three days, but it worked rapidly. After some similar histrionics to those you describe, he now sleeps through, is much happier and less grumpy for it, as are we. DH goes to him most times in the night if he wakes up (rarely when he isn't ill). That's a result in my book afte years of broken nights.

I'd love to cut out some more now (such as the 2-3 feeds every morning and evening before work and all bloody day at the weekends when he is even slightly under the weather) but not quite sure how to evade/distract. No signs of stopping of his own accord at 22 months. Am happy for now but will soon be pushing the issue further.

I think the biting the bullet and making sure DH was behind the plan was the only thing that worked.

idontbelieveit Wed 17-Jun-09 19:38:04

HCTSB - no i agree you shouldn't leave him if he is likely to become distraught. I don't think that makes you a soft idiot at all smile
I'll be back with some more ideas when i've got my two to bed.

thedolly Wed 17-Jun-09 20:26:41

My DS2 is exactly the same age as yours and I've only just stopped feeding him this w/e.

We were in your situation a few months ago - I can identify with the resentment.

My advice would be to not try to do too much at once. Could you try to get on top of him having a last feed at bedtime and then staying in his own bed for the night. I know it's hard - there is nothing nicer that a little bundle coming in for a snuggle. DH just had to keep putting him back in bed ( after a quick kiss and cuddle from Mummy) and eventually it worked.

Once you've sorted that out you could set about phasing feeding out all together. We have 'daddy's milk' in our house now and we made a big deal of saying 'bye bye' to Mummy's milk.

We have lots of cuddles and spend time in bed during the day while he drifts off for a nap - I just have to make sure I have a t-shirt on smile.


Herecomesthesciencebint Wed 17-Jun-09 21:58:25

thedolly, I think thats the crux, not trying to tackle it all at once. I just hadnt realsied it til you wrote it grin.

Tonight I gave him a bit of milk whilst sitting on DS1s bed then he went into his room for a story with daddy and had cuddles then cot. he played DH up with lots of tears and refusing to go in cot but did sleep eventually. I went out for a run!!

Funny thing is, i know from Ds1 that phases of bed refusal and bad night sleep come and go and its always when it gets particularly bad that I get driven to change things and yet its the time least likely to suceed, usually because the bad phase is due to new teeth/illness etc. I did realise today that DS2 is full of a cold so may be sleeping worse due to that altho things have been going downhill for some weeks.
I also moved him back from having a bedside cot to spare bed situation ( I would join him about midnight! but think he felt less closed in) to being in his cot in own room and everytime we have done this in the past he has hated it.
Am now toying with getting him a proper bed to see if that flats his boat!

idbi, hope your bedtime was less arduous than the one here! thanks for your comments.

thedolly Thu 18-Jun-09 09:43:06

I bet he'll love the idea of a proper bed, just make sure he can get in and out of it easily(or maybe not smile)

Keep up with the running - I'm sure that's a great way to clear your head.

idontbelieveit Thu 18-Jun-09 16:43:19

Maybe a big boy bed would help. Dd got hers just after Christmas and she loves it.
Being late home from work with no warning is a bit different as you didn't get chance to talk with him about who would be doing bedtime etc.
Someone suggested to me making a weaning book, using photos of your child when they're a baby and breastfeeding and talking about all the things babies can and can't do and showing them growing up and eating solid food etc etc then talking about growing out of breastfeeding now they're bigger. I didn't try this as dd1 has weaned at a pace i'm happy with but it seemed like a good idea.

I think tackling bedtime first is a good idea and then maybe as suggested by Dr Sears having no milk between 11pm and 6am or whatever night time rule you can start with and extending the time from there.

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