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calling all breastfeeders!!!how to stop my nipple being a dummy substitute?

(9 Posts)
gaggyboots Wed 24-Jun-09 13:39:07

please help me!dd is 8 weeks,bf,and will not settle to sleep unless sucking on my nipple.i take it away and automatically she wakes and will not settle for anything(ive tried heaps!rocking,singing,the sling,putting her down tired but awake,different types of dummies) but my nipple seems to be the only thing to settle her. I am pretty sure that most of the time she is not taking anything(but with bf babies i guess u can never be 100% sure!)
Am slightly at my wits end with this as have a ds 17months and cannot sleep properly with her fussing. He also was a terrible sleeper in a different way(classic high need baby) and am finding dd is too(i thought the second baby was meant to be easier?!?!an urban myth in my household i think)
Should i resort to formula?I don't have enough time to express with both of them and being on my own most of the time!
So!any suggestions would be appreciated!thank you

cheezcurl Wed 24-Jun-09 14:04:58

Mine is/was exactly the same. I tried everything and have found that over time as she develops she is more tolerant of being rocked to sleep (especially by DH) - but she set the pace and nothing I did made much difference. Yours is still very young (mine just turned 1) and I suppose the only advice I can give from my experience is that it is a very short period of time in the big scheme of things (although it feels like forever at the the time!).

I would think twice about resorting to formula. Do you have reason t othink she will go to sleep with a bottle but not a dummy? You may lose your one 'easy-fix' calming solution. My high needs baby has always been very keen on the boob and I have thanked my lucky stars for it a few times over the past few months - for example when she got a vomiting bug and was vomiting hourly for 36 hours it was the only way to get fluids into her without have=ing to put her on a drip.

Have you got a partner, have they tried rocking her to sleep when she is very tired? I find that DH has better luck getting DD to sleep 'sans boob' than I do as I smell of milk and she just burrows down instinctively.

Don't think I have been much help but you have my commiserations...DD still will not go to sleep without someone being with her (if you try to get up once she is asleep she wakes up) but at least now 'someone' doesn't always have to be me - Dad or Gran will do in a pinch!

Renwein Wed 24-Jun-09 14:05:39

Just to say I feel your pain but not sure I have any helpful suggestions.

DS1 (now nearly four) was keen on me being a human dummy and DS2 (ten days) looks like being the same way. Not sure formula would help because then you would lose the chance to soothe her. We used a dummy for DS1 and are doing the same for DS2, though I know it's not what you are supposed to do but I didn't want to go down the attachment parenting route, which looked like the only other way. Perhaps your DD would take a dummy if someone else, who didn't smell of breastmilk offered it. Or I guess you could try letting her cry for a bit whilst staying with her and stroking her to reassure her you are still there.

It's a nightmare, I know and I often just wish I could have children who would sleep by themselves when they need to.

jumpjockey Wed 24-Jun-09 14:20:21

"pantley pull off" sounds ridiculous but it has worked for us - basically once your baby has stopped feeding and is asleep but just 'nibbling', you gently take the nipple out (breaking the seal first!) and press lightly under their chin to close the mouth, they will carry on making the sucking motion with their tongue but in their mouth without the need for a nipple. It's much the same as babies do with a dummy, just the sucking movement that is comforting.

It takes a while to get used to, and 8 weeks may be a bit young, but for us it meant that gradually I could wean dd off having to be attached to me all night to sleep. We co-slept which meant she could feed when she wanted - would that be an option for you?

snowgum Wed 24-Jun-09 15:08:15

I second the pantley pull off, it did take a while to work but it helped me.

Also I started to feel much better when I remembered that a dummy is a nipple substitute and not the other way around. You're never a dummy! some babies won't accept second best

gaggyboots Wed 24-Jun-09 21:00:37

lol!!!snowgum that comment made me laugh and is sure to get me through tonight!!!

thank you all for ur advice...and the pantley pull off sounds like a good idea...fingers crossed it works-my partner has crazy working patterns and doesn't come home until the wee hours most nights so the rocking idea is a bit of a no-no really,and hes tried giving her a dummy with no success.
thanks again...was ready to pull my hair out earlier.

jumpjockey Thu 25-Jun-09 08:58:34

snowgum am definitely going to keep that in mind!

good luck gaggyboots, do bear in mind it can take a little while to wiork to don't be disheartened if you have to try 5 or 6 times in a row before your dd 2is happy to let go.

Currently sat at the table with dd asleep o nmy lap, was looking knackered (already?!) so 2 mins of boob, gentle removal of nip and she's away - so I'll just have to sit here on MN for half an hour til she wakes up grin

dorisbonkers Thu 25-Jun-09 12:33:12

I feel your pain. I am still the human dummy 8 months in and have to breastfeed her to sleep for every nap and bedtime and throughout the night.

That said, I don't think of it in terms of a bad habit. It is what it is, and I've accepted that this is part of our breastfeeding contract.

I do wear her in a wrap sling, which helps, and I have an emergency dummy she will sometimes (sometimes) take when she's nodding off.

The Pantley thing didn't work for us first time, but I'm going to try again as this is tough, I admit it!

Good luck x

snowgum Thu 25-Jun-09 19:43:42

I don't think it's a bad habit either .... it's the most lovely natural way to fall asleep. That said, I spent months and
months worrying about it being a bad habit before I reached this current zen state

My dd will quite often not go to sleep bfing now but I wish she would as it's a lot easier
than carrying her around and I don't want to leave her to cry. If I have another baby I will
determinedly bf it to sleep as long as I can and I will enjoy it thoroughly and leave out all the worrying
I did this time!

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