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Breaking the bf to sleep habit

(12 Posts)
weanagemum Fri 29-Aug-14 09:03:46

My son is 11 m.o. and I'm still breastfeeding morning, evening and sometimes once (or twice on a v hungry day) during the day. He's eating three fairly solid meals a day too. His evening routine is tea at 6pm, then bath, story, song and bf until he goes to sleep (usually around 7.30). In a month's time I'm going to a close friend's wedding, no babies allowed, so my husband will be looking after the baby and I'll be away from him for a day and a half. Does anyone have experience of breaking the bf to sleep routine and how to go about it? I'd really like to have the flexibility of my husband being able to put him down from time to time in general.

hollie84 Fri 29-Aug-14 09:06:05

Do the bf before bath time, and have your husband rock him to sleep.

fishfingerSarnies Fri 29-Aug-14 09:10:43

Start by waking him up before you put him to bed. Then once he's going off to sleep on his own move the bf before the song then before the story etc.

whatdoesitallmean Fri 29-Aug-14 09:23:45

How good is his understanding? I remember trying at around 11mo and my dd wasn't quite ready, so had to wait for a few more months.

If it's just for one night, I wouldn't worry about it. Just give him a feed before you leave, explain you're going out and he's going to play and go to bed with daddy and let them get on with it. He'll sleep eventually. If he's used to being asleep by 7.30, he might cry and whinge a bit but by 7.30 or a little bit later will be down.

In general to stop bf to sleep was surprisingly easy, we did it around 14mo. A lot of talking during the day about the breast going to sleep when the sun goes down and a big deal in the morning when the sun comes up that the breast is awake and there's milky. Then stick to one consistent line at night, give lots of cuddles when crying or whinging. I did it for two nights, it took an hour each time and there was a lot of tossing and turning then dh did it and since then we've been taking it in turns!
Sorry that was long, good luck.

BedPig2013 Fri 29-Aug-14 11:45:49

I'd do your routine as normal but before he falls asleep take him off his feed and read a story together before putting him to bed. Once you lie him down you could try stroking his hair or patting his tummy to help him drop off. He should pick the new routine up pretty quickly. Good luck.

partyskirt Fri 29-Aug-14 15:05:03

It will be ok. You could always express some milk and leave it? My DH used to give our baby lots of yoghurt when I wasn't there. To be honest it never went perfectly but they always figured something out in the end (even pram walk/drive round the block to sleep then tip-toe him upstairs into his cot is an option!).

partyskirt Fri 29-Aug-14 15:06:45

Also at 11 months you might find it's easier to let them have one tough night of improvising and then try to night-wean baby when he can have cow's milk after 1 year. We have a wonderful cup my DD likes to drink her evening milk from herself. But we didn't get to that before 1 and a half.

weanagemum Fri 29-Aug-14 16:39:08

Thanks - some v helpful ideas here. When he was smaller his dad used to do bedtime routine fairly often (sometimes I would bf earlier, sometimes I expressed (though that took FOREVER)) but then he went through a terrible sleep phase and we did whatever it took to get him to go off!
When they move on to cow's milk do people find it works best in the evening in a bottle or cup? Warm or cold?
I think at this stage verbal explanation is a bit beyond him but perhaps in a couple of months.

partyskirt Fri 29-Aug-14 18:04:37

To be honest it wasn't the milk switch that was the problem for us but drinking out of a cup (for real, without just thinking it was a spilling game).

We first started DD off with water in her sippy cup while she was still BF.

Then gradually introduced the odd cup of cow's milk (sometimes heated but sometimes not - didn't mind as long as it wasn't stone cold but better to heat [well, take the edge off] for bedtime milk and in winter).

However, the night-time feed was the last to change to cow's milk and she still needed to be BF to sleep until about 1 year 7 months. Eventually I explained that mummy milk was all gone now and she was having big girl's milk. But she needed to be old enough to understand to try and go to sleep on her own. But then it was easy, and she was weaned and sleeping through calmly and consistently (as she had been before) within a few days.

I hate to say but I felt there was a magic weaning window at about 9 months and then next stop was about one and a half towards 2.

Mine has the quirk of still being peeved if DH puts her to bed though, boobs aside.

Good luck! It sounds like you're thinking of all the right things.

feeona123 Sat 30-Aug-14 03:44:31

Mine is a little younger - 5 months. I've left her overnight for a wedding and one evening for a meal out.

Both times an hour or so of being upset and she was asleep! Hubby used a dummy for the meal, not sure if granny used the dummy for the night away for the wedding x

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 30-Aug-14 05:00:31

DS still bf to sleep half the time at 2.4yo. I have however left him with DH and his grandparents for overnights many times, and they've all got him to go to sleep without it.

So don't worry too much about what he needs when he knows you are there, they'll find a way.

WhatsMyAgeAgain Sat 30-Aug-14 19:02:53

I'm doing this at the moment. LO is 10 months (want to wean completely off the breast).

I give him breast just for milk now, 4am, 7am, 5pm and 7pm approx. My husband is cosleeping now and cuddles baby back to sleep. I go in once to feed, then leave. My husband is being amazing, and full time childcare means I'm just not there in the day.

Only a few days in, but LO hasn't been upset, just a quick cry when I leave him (stops within seconds) and lots of love and comfort from his daddy.

It's a lot less traumatic than I anticipated, LO is ALWAYS being cuddled when he needs comfort, and has no need to cry.

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