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Breasfeeding to sleep has got too much...

(14 Posts)
shirleycat1 Wed 26-Aug-09 11:50:23

Apologies in advance for long question...

Up until about 2 weeks ago my 15 week old ds was sleeping for about 4-5 hours in his first sleep of the night,then waking about 2 hourly after that. He was also just beginning to get to sleep on his own. I was finding it pretty manangable. For most of his daytime naps I breastfed him to sleep but for the odd one or two he was getting himself off. For his naps he was often going for 2 hours.

We spent 4 days in France where his patterns were the same, but I had to feed him to sleep at EVERY nap. But he still had the initial decent sleep at night and had good lengths of sleep during the day.

When we got back I tried to stop feeding to sleep but he was very resistant and there have been very few occasions where he has got himself off. I have even had to feed him briefly stood on the high street in town to help him off and stop him crying. Worse than that though is that he has started to only go between 1 and 2 hours between feeds during the night. ALL NIGHT. I am so tired. I'm not sure if he's really feeding much, just sucking to get off because he's woken up. But when he wakes in the morning it's a while before he needs feeding, I assume because he's full from the night. Also his naps have got shorter. He now wakes after an hour, but is grumpy and seems to need more. I have tried to breastfeed him back off a few time which has seomtimes worked.

It seems that he is completely reliant on breastfeeding to get him to sleep. I'm tired, he's tired. But I'm not sure what to do. I can't let him cry, but just comforting without breast doesn't help. I can't carry on with nights like this though.

Any ideas, suggestions, thoughts???

dorisbonkers Wed 26-Aug-09 12:50:26

Can I just join the club. My daughter is 10 months and I'm resigned to it. She's teething and I had to breastfeed to sleep about 8 times last night.

I have had about 2 hours sleep in 48 hours (and before that wasn't that great) and if I'm honest, I feel depressed. I've been rowing with my husband and I almost crashed the car.

Everyone tells me to CC but although I've left her to cry for 3 mins as I composed myself last night, I can't do it.

I have read Pantley's NCSS but it hasn't really helped.

Oh, my daughter is EXTREMELY resistant as well. Every night is a wriggleathon lying on the bed trying to feed her to sleep.

Sorry, you wanted advice, but don't have any. Will watch carefully though.

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 13:04:17

am sorry this will be brief
but this is prime growth spurt time

we started cosleeping in order to remain sane

NCSS is a good start

mumcah Wed 26-Aug-09 13:57:18

Oh dear,you sound truly fed up.

I think you have do decide if you are happy to continue feeding your son to sleep for a long time to come.You sound like you would like to teach him another way though!

I always decided that I wouldn't rock my baby to sleep as a friend of mine had to do this for 2 years with her DD.I read the babywhisperer book and taught my DD to sleep using the Shh Pat method.It is another 'sleep prop' but will help with the skills your son will use to help him get back to sleep in the future.
If you want to stop feeding to sleep,then you can!You just need to have another way to help him,unless you want to go down the CC route which in my opinion he is far too young for.

In order for a baby to sleep 'through the night' they need to learn to settle themselves.All babies (and adults) wake up in the night,it's just a matter of how they can settle themselves back.

My DD is a thumb sucker so that helps.

At 15 weeks I wouldn't expect a baby to not need a feed once in the night (atlhough some don't need one).But if you can get hime to have a good bedtime feed,then perhaps a dreamfeed later on?

usedtobeme Wed 26-Aug-09 14:04:51

no great advise here either i'm afraid but as others have said its a common problem. I'm currently feeding my 11 mnth old thru the night,needs a nipple in her mouth to sleep and teething too so likes the odd bite.We co sleep and have done from day 1.

My other two were the same. I feel like i have had 5 years of broken sleep. Its torture.

Recently too i feel quite down, don't have the energy or inclination to tidy the house beyond the quick square up at the end of the day, i just can't be bothered as i feel so tired.

Think this is my last baby too so i'm reluctant to wean her for selfish reasons.

So sympathy a plenty but no answer to the problem i'm afraid.

shirleycat1 Wed 26-Aug-09 14:31:43

It's good to know ohers have the same problem, but I wish I could sort it. I've read NCNS and have tried some ideas for daytime napping. Do you know if the NCSS has any additional ideas?

I'm totally not expecting him to sleep through. But he was doing that big first stretch and I can't understand why he's stopped that and I don't know how to get it back.

weasle Wed 26-Aug-09 14:45:22

sympathy from me too, at this age my ds2 suddenly started waking every hour. very hard time, was going mad with fatigue. co-slept to survive, then went to my mum's for a couple of weeks and she did all the cooking and washing and playing with ds1 so i could zombie around all day! it did get easier after 2-3 weeks i think?!

but no other advice, sorry!

ds2 still bf to sleep, 20 months old, but usually sleeps 11 hours at night.

1stMrsF Wed 26-Aug-09 14:59:53

Not sure how popular an idea this will be on here, but a dummy? My twins (16 wks) go to sleep and to nap with a dummy but don't have one at any other time. Now it's a sleep signal for them. I found Sleep Sense the best book on sleep.

shirleycat1 Wed 26-Aug-09 19:38:09

I've never heard of Sleep Sense. What's it all about?

logrrl Wed 26-Aug-09 19:52:41

Hi shirleycat1 we were talking about this at BF baby group today-EVERYONE with babies 18-21 weeks reported the waking in the night where previously babies had been great or at least better... Seems to be a developmental thing, so the good news that I am clinging to (up every three hours for about four weeks until last week, now every 1 1/2 hours) is that they will hopefully develop past it wink SOON, iyswim...

Other than the waking for feeds, DS goes off to sleep well at night, after we used the Baby Whisperer stuff for him when he was about 6 weeks. I feed until he's sleepy but then he goes in his cot still awake and sleeps. I would have used feed to sleep if the little monkey had ever let me! Naps have totally gone to pot this last wee while (also in keeping with all DS peers at the group) though, so no advice there I'm afraid.

DS will not entertain a dummy, much preferring the real thing, but it might be worth trying.

shirleycat1 Thu 27-Aug-09 11:20:27

He's totally not intersted in a dummy.

It was a bit better last night, but I set my expectations pretty low these days.

Every bloody week seems to be a growth spurt!

Ineedmorechocolatenow Fri 28-Aug-09 06:14:19

I'm going through the same thing at the moment and was about to post a thread on the same topic. My DD is 12 weeks and had been doing 6-8 hour block of unbroken sleep at night after cluster feeding in the evening from 7-9pm. She'd then wake every 1-2 hours after this, but I could cope with that.

She went through a growth spurt at 10 weeks and was back to feeding every 2 hrs day and night.

Now, at 12 weeks, she now does a four hour block, wakes at 1am and then is awake every 1-2 hours after that. I just seem to get to sleep and then she's awake again. She latches on for about 5 mins for a comfort suck, and then goes back to sleep.

In the day she'd scream for an hour before a nap, (not that I let her) until I latch her on so she can go to sleep. She's basically using me for a dummy as she isn't hungry. Unfortunately, she HATES the dummy.

I can't co-sleep as I tried for 6 weeks and I basically got no sleep as I'm such a light sleeper. Even though this current situation is torture, it isn't as torturous as that....

PLEASE could someone give me some advice as I'm so exhausted having to run around after a toddler all day and DH starts term again next week so I can't even go back to bed in the morning..... sad

flimflammum Fri 28-Aug-09 06:58:28

The Baby Whisperer books and especially website helped me with DS hugely, he was still bf to sleep and waking every couple of hours until I cracked when he was 8 months! You don't have to do cc. The BW technique for babies over 4 months (I think) is 'pick up, put down', which worked fantastically well for my son, his sleeping improved dramatically after just two nights of it and he was sleeping through to 5am reliably after two weeks. You don't leave your LO to cry alone, but stay with them and help them learn to self-settle. Check out their website for lots of info on the talk boards, if you want to try it. The key thing is to be consistent.

Yes, babies do go through growth spurts, but if they're bf to sleep then they don't know any other way to get to sleep themselves when they half-wake in the night. You need to teach them. I learnt the hard way that just because DS wanted to suck, it didn't mean he was hungry.


picc Fri 28-Aug-09 07:47:56

Very quick reply as DS "singing" to me!

But just to say that DS has never taken a dummy either. Just spits it out.

However, I had a similar experience to you a couple of months ago (he's now getting on for 7 months), and once or twice, if I caught him when he was murmering a bit, rather than crying, I could put a dummy in his mouth and he was half asleep, so he just automatically sucked and went back to sleep.

It DID only work, like, twice, but every little helps!!

Also, just to say that I had a similar experience when returning from holiday, where I'd been feeding him to sleep on all his naps. But it passed. Really! And I agree, around 4 months, all the previously "contented babies" around me started waking up more (DS has never slept through, these are the ones I have just been very jealous of!)

easy to say, but hang in there. And I, too, went and stayed with MIL, which gave me a week just to concentrate on feeding DS and sleeping. That was wonderful!!

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