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Bfed baby using me as soother ?

(16 Posts)
Bubblesmum Wed 18-May-05 20:02:56

Hope someone can give me some advice here.

My DS is almost 6 months and a big boy (about 17lbs). He has never slept thru the night but used to do quite well until he hit the 4 month mark and became sociable and started to enjoy his night time wake ups. Also that co-incided with my return to work so I felt bad witholding boob at night time when he was on bottles (ebm) by day. Since 4 months he wakes every 3 hours on the dot, feeds well and goes back to sleep for another 3 hours. However in the last couple of weeks he's been sick and waking more often, last night he work every 2 -2.5 hours and wouldn't settle without a quick feed. He gets quite irate if I try to deny him, pulling at my top etc..and SCREAMS if I put him back in the cot without feeding him.

I'm pretty sure its a habit now but not sure how to get him off it. Also he is only just starting on solids so i thought he may be hungry (hence putting up with 3 hourly feeds) but this 2 hour business is a nightmare !! I should add he has an older sister (4) so I can't let him cry it out too much overnight or she wakes up too. He does go to sleep himself for naps and at night so I know he can do this.

HELP PLEASE. What should I do to get him to sleep longer ? I do want to continue b-feeding and I'm hoping once he's on 3 meals a day he SHOULD go much longer at night.

Thanks !!

Bubblesmum Wed 18-May-05 20:17:23

I should also say, I tried to get him to take a dummy several times - tried 4 different types but he has no interest, he spits them out and gets annoyed.

ionesmum Wed 18-May-05 20:49:27

I'm is a similar situation except my dd2 is now 14 mo!!!!! She went through the night at 3 mo but started waking as she got ready for solids, and is now using me for comfort. I'm about to do pu/pd as recommended by the Baby Whisperer (Tracy Hogg) and will be getting dh to do the first couple of nights, whilst I hide downstairs and sob. I think you are wise to try and nip it in the bud - good luck!

NotQuiteCockney Wed 18-May-05 20:52:19

Are your two kids in the same room? Can you face CC?

I gather older kids adjust quickly to crying and tune it out ... and anyway, however you manage to sort this, a few very bad nights, followed by months of good sleeping, would be better for your older DD, I'm sure.

Of course, there's no rush to make him sleep through - my DS2 still comes in our bed when he wakes in the night, and he's 7.5 months. I'd be inclined to either cosleep or do CC in your position, but then I'm too impatient for gentler methods.

Bubblesmum Wed 18-May-05 20:57:21

Thanks for the feedback -gosh Ionesmum you are a saint to do it for 14 mo !

No, kids are not in the same room, but walls are paper thin. I would co-sleep if it would work but he is too wriggly (almost crawling) and now thinks its playtime when he gets in our bed... ends up wriggling OVER ME, I'd be afraid he'll fall out. I did co-sleep with him when he was a newborn until 10 wks (that was a lot more restful !!).

We did do CC with our first and it took about 10 nights but she never had learned to go to sleep on her own ... DS can go to sleep but its the nightfeeds are the problem. If I do CC... would I just do that for some of the night wakings - i.e. feed him at certain times and then CC others ??

So I am not anti CC, but do want to have a proper plan. THANKS !!

ionesmum Wed 18-May-05 20:57:37

I am co-sleeping and dd2 just pops herself on and means we do get sleep, but I now have a harder nut to crack, IYSWIM.

If yo do decide to do a sleep plan, there is a half term soon which would be a good time from the POV of your four year old (assuming she will be off that week). If not maybe the Bank Holiday weekend? Our dd1 can sleep through anything, but at least you won't have to worry so much.

PrettyCandles Wed 18-May-05 20:57:43

Whether you try CC or BW, it will work best if you can get your dp to go to him at night. You are very strongly associated with boob and withholding it will make him angrier than he is likely to be if your dp goes to him. If you have to do it, try offering him a bottle of water, or, at worst, a bottle of half-and-half ebm and water, gradually watering it down every night.

If he's very regular with his wakings, you could try eliminating one waking at a time - but personally I think it might be better to be consistent and behave the same at all of the wakings.

BTW, you might be surprised what your dd will learn to sleep through! I don't think dd's crying ever woke ds, and they share a room. He's even fallen asleep for daytime naps while she's been screaming her head off and fighting sleep.

ionesmum Wed 18-May-05 21:01:41

Sorry Bubblesmum - crossed posts! No, I'm not a saint, I just settled for the easy option! And I have to admit to being very emotional about bf, as I didn't manage it with dd1. If you wanted to co-sleep, you could put your matress on the floor. I'd seriously look at the latest Baby Whisperer book, there is loads of info in there about this sort of thing.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 18-May-05 21:03:15

The official "Ferber" way to crack night feeds is a bit weird. You time your feeds, and reduce how long you feed for, each night (e.g. 10 minutes each feed the first night, then 9 the next, etc etc. Around 2 or 3 minutes you stop bothering, as it will just anger the baby.). This way, the baby adjusts their daytime feeds to compensate. This worked really well for us when we did it to DS1 (at 6 months).

You could decide to give an unlimited feed at some point in the night, and reduce the others. Or you could cut them all down, or replace one or more with water.

Bubblesmum Wed 18-May-05 21:18:16

I did read the Ferber book again recently - thanks for reminding me NQC.. the one problem I find is once he's latched on I kind of doze, then I wake up and can't remember exactly if its been 10 mins or 15 mins. I did try reducing the times when he started this around the 4 month mark but I found he woke every 1,5 hours so it took about 2 weeks to get him back to 3 hour feeds again. With DD1, she was bottlefed much earlier so we used Ferber method to put less and less in bottle. That worked a treat but reducing the 'feeding time' on the boob seems much harder.

Do you think it is less cruel to let him have a quick feed and then put back to sleep or deny it totally ? I am letting him have a quick feed now (10 mins) ... he gets cross when I pull him off.

Regarding waking up DD1, thanks for that advice, I'm probably worrying un-necessarily.

In my heart I know that if we go the bottle route, it will work, its just so much hassle (I pump as it is at work breaks to make the daily quota for bottles while I'm at work and its bloody hard work !!). Also like you Ionesmum, this time around the breastfeeding is going great (not like my first) so I'm not adverse to night feeds - just not every hour or two

hermykne Wed 18-May-05 21:20:48

my ds was the same, now nearly 10mths
he was a wriggler too, couldnt have him inthe bed at all.
i am still feeding him but i was a mean mum at the stage oyur ds is now, and refused to feed him, even thou i got no sleep because he would nt settle,
my ds sister was a worry too in the night but surprisingly she didnt wake.
i shut the door on him and let him after 20mins i would go in and sooth and then after another 20 if he persisted. i didnt totally ignore.
cc did not work,(tried it over 10days consistently) nor pupd, he just seemed to be determined not to succumb to those methods so it was the hard way, and in all honesty its only now at the 8 1/2 to 9 mth stage he has slept thru from 7.30 til 6 or 7 depending.
all i can offer is cold turkey, stop the feeds, i did this with ds, and as a result he isnt looking for anything (water) when he wakes just resettling, and he learnt early on that there was nothing, my dh is away for nights occasionanlly so ds had to adjust to me not feeding in the night - the smell thing.
it was defo habit with my ds. and i was distraught over lack of sleep.

i think i stopped the one night feed at around 7 mths, so he got fed at 7pm , then 11 if he woke then not til 4/5, because i knew he could go without, and if he woke, which he did, at 2 it was let him cry. and then after a while i took away the 4 am suckle and then it was 6 am for breakfast. and a good feed too.
vvvvv tough, ds was hard but now he is v good, not vvvv yet!
hope that helps

ionesmum Wed 18-May-05 21:23:49

A friend of mine has just gone cold turkey with her ds's night feeding - he's eight months. She said he cried for an hour the first night but now is going through. She did it herself as her dh works long hours.

PrettyCandles Wed 18-May-05 21:28:08

There's no reason to stop the night feeds if you're happy to continue. I totally sympathis wrt to breastfeeding, having been in a similar situation myself, not succeeding with ds and then managing to fully bf dd. What happens if you take him into bed with you just to feed him, does he still wriggle scarily then?

PrettyCandles Wed 18-May-05 21:29:45

Oops, didn't mean to post.

If he was in bed with you, then the feeds might not disturb you so much, and he might not demand so often. OR maybe not.

Bubblesmum Wed 18-May-05 21:32:26

The other morning when he woke at 5am (after being 'fed' at 4am) I took him into the bed and he had a quick suck and then started to smile and kick/play.. with the result that he never went back to sleep (nor did I)... so last night when he woke at 5, I let him feed for 10 mins and then popped him back into his cot and we all got 2 more hours sleep. I think he associates our bed with playtime and was quite bemused to be brought into it in the middle of the night.

PrettyCandles Thu 19-May-05 13:15:45

That makes it sound like the Ferber reducing time method might work with him.

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