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One year old... gasp... STILL FEEDING IN THE NIGHT!!

(45 Posts)
Katiekatiekatekate Mon 12-Sep-11 15:52:30

Am I bonkers?? Everyone I know firmly believes I am but I just cannot bring myself to do anything about it.

My one year old has usually 2 BFs between 7pm and 6am, sometimes as many as 3, very occasionally none at all and just sleeps through. More often than not he ends up in our bed because he hasn't gone back to sleep after the feed and cries when I put him back down. I hate to hear him upset when he will be happy sleeping with us and I sort of think.. meh, what harm? We don't mind, I don't have to sleep all on my own so why should he?

Everyone I know thinks I'm crackers, that I'm spoiling him, not teaching him to sleep properly etc etc. A lot of us had babies around the same time and everyone else's have been sleeping 16 hours a night since they were 20 minutes old or something. They all think I'm a right plonker for letting him in our bed.

Normally I would be happy to stand up for what I think and, to an extent I still am because I can't help but feel it's hideous to ignore them (how do you know they're not thirsty/hot/got tummy ache etc??) - however I am utterly knackered! Any advice? Btw, my next door neighbour left her baby to cry for one hour and 45 minutes the other week. That is the kind of advice I am getting.... because apparently they just play you up if you let them. Is that really true or are they just little babies who might be scared and lonely so are perfectly entitled to have a cuddle??

God I've ranted on now, sorry....

mousymouse Mon 12-Sep-11 15:53:59

for us the night feeds only ended when I fully weaned baby at 18m...
I feel for you.
but it is not forever.

saoirse86 Mon 12-Sep-11 16:26:27

I was about to start a similar thread because my dd is nearly 12 months and waking lots in the night still. So many people keep telling me that basically she's going to be a horrible spoilt brat because I feed her to sleep.

I can't personally understand why so many people are so quick to leave their child crying. I have done it for a maximum of 15 minutes but it's just so heart breaking.

I've got no advice really but I don't think you should feel anything but a caring mum who doesn't want her child to experience any unnecessary distress.

I'm sure someone will be along soon with some actual useful advice! smile

mousymouse Mon 12-Sep-11 16:30:26

I forgot to mention: as soon as she was fully weaned she slept right through the night. took us about a week.
I'm a different person, I can actually see the person in the mirror in the mornings grin

HorseHairKnickers Mon 12-Sep-11 16:34:44

Ignore other people and do what you think is right for your baby. He'll night ween when he's ready IMO/E and co sleeping is fine too if you are Ok with it and not been drinking or smoking.

napa Mon 12-Sep-11 21:41:14

mine's 16 months and still feeds at least once in the night, on the 2 days i work he often feeds lots more than that, but i am planning to let him self wean and don't expect him to sleep through until he is ready. On the down side i am tired, more tired than i thought possible, but i have learnt that it is possible to function on very little sleep, and an ocassional lie in on a sunday for 2 hrs while DH takes charge works wonders for making me feel human again!

iskra Tue 13-Sep-11 07:58:51

DD was still feeding every 2 hours in the night at 15 months. I have to confess we were not coping, and did controlled crying. She then fed once a night until 20 months, when we stayed with my mum for 3 weeks, & my mum dealt with every night waking & DD decided it wasn't worth it! So that was when she totally nightweaned.

iskra Tue 13-Sep-11 07:59:44

Actually it was 22 months, thinking about it.

Grumpla Tue 13-Sep-11 08:02:04

If you're happy, what's the problem?

If people are volunteering unwanted advice, tell them to fuck off. Your family, your boobs, your bed, your decision.

AnyoneButLulu Tue 13-Sep-11 08:12:45

If you're happy, fine. But you're clearly exhausted so in your place I'd attempt to do something about it - there are options other than crying it out. Some people swear by No Cry Sleep Solution. I like Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, which is still very useful and informative even if you discard the chapter on controlled crying. Some will come on to recommend just adopting co-sleeping, which might make life easier.

A normal 1 year old child is quite capable of sleeping for 12 hours or so without needing a feed, and will not be miserable if they are asleep, it's just the question of how you get there.

bigkidsdidit Wed 14-Sep-11 10:02:17

yes, there are a lot of crying-free solutions if you are exhausted. Ignore people who tell you to leave them to cry. Carry on as you are if it's ok for you and if not some gentle nudging towards night weaning could help.

kerrymumbles Wed 14-Sep-11 10:05:43

i went to 28 and 24 months with my two. when it was time (for me) they were old enough to let go without too much of a fight. it was a sad time but i did feel better after sleep-wise

Dialsmavis Wed 14-Sep-11 10:15:22

If you don't mind which it sounds like you don't then carry on. If you want to night wean then do it. I think it is a bit much for some posters to think that a baby that sleeps well=a parent that left them to cry though!

saoirse86 Wed 14-Sep-11 10:45:14

Dialsmavis, I don't think anyone has implied that a baby sleeping well is due to a parent leaving them to cry. Any comments you may have interpreted like that are in response to the last part of the OP. If you re-read that you'll understand why many have commented on that sort of sleep training. smile

ragged Wed 14-Sep-11 10:52:17

For me, night-weaning was always the start of fully weaning from breastfeeding, so I regret weaning first 2 DC around 12months. 18-19 months was my ideal stop date for night weaning with last 2 DC, though had to be much earlier with DC4 due to illness.

Just brush their teeth well, OP, and grow a thick skin.

bonkers20 Wed 14-Sep-11 10:53:14

This is why, if your still BF beyond a year you pick and choose who you tell.
There are supportive people out there, but they look just like normal people so you don't know we're out there!

Why are you knackered? Does he not just nurse and then roll over back to sleep? If you're co-sleeping you should barely be rousing from your sleep.
I'm just trying to get a fuller picture of what's going on at night.

I am in the process of night weaning my 2.5 year old. He is just able to understand that he gets milk when he first wakes and from then on it's cuddles until morning. He protested verbally and physically for 2 nights but he's got the hang of it now. I knew he would protest and I'm not strong enough (certainly not at sodding 3am anyway) to persist, so I waited until he was old enough to understand.

Katiekatiekatekate Wed 14-Sep-11 10:56:46

Thanks for the posts.

I'm not sure what sort of advice I'm hoping for to be honest and I'm finding it hard to explain exactly the problem. To say that I am happy with what I'm doing is not really the full story - I am happy that DS is not miserable or left hungry/lonely/tired etc. However I have had about 2 hours unbroken sleep a night for 12 months now, I don't have any family nearby to help so I can get any rest during the day and DH and I are on the brink of splitting up. We had yet another middle of the night argument last night because we can never agree on the best way to handle it and we are both exhausted, culminating in me telling him to Fuck Off because he refused to bring DS out of his bedroom and into ours for me to feed him after he'd been crying for nearly an hour because we decided we would vaguely attempt to at least cut back on the night feeds (not on his own, DH was with him the whole time) so I had to get out of bed yet again and sit in his room for another hour feeding him before we finally just ended up back in our bed anyway.

I just don't know what to do, I feel like I must be a bit of an idiot to let it get this far.

Katiekatiekatekate Wed 14-Sep-11 10:58:43

bonkers, I'm knackered because he does not sleep well in our bed either, he rolls around and cries about every 20 minutes. If we manage to get him to fall asleep in his cot then he does pretty well, but after the first time he wakes (usually around midnight) the whole night's pretty much a write off.

mousymouse Wed 14-Sep-11 11:20:16

oh dear, I know how you feel.
can you take a day off at the weekend, send dh and ds away for the day so you can get some rest? trust me, you will feel much much better after 4 hours of sleep...
we weaned cold turkey at 18m because I couldn't cope with the tiredness anymore. I just told baby that this is the last feed and from now on there will only be water in the night. dh did the night comforting the first few days. it was fine and after a week she slept through the night (ohh what a feeling).

Katiekatiekatekate Wed 14-Sep-11 11:25:42

Thanks mousy.... I used to sleep a bit at weekends but now I'm back at work 3 days a week so I hate to not be with him on the other days. DH works the other 3 days as we are tag teaming to avoid childcare for a bit longer, so Sunday is the only day that all 3 of us are together and it feels mean to pack them off for the day so I can sleep.

I sound like a bit of a martyr don't I?!? Show me a solution and I'll show you a problem confused

mousymouse Wed 14-Sep-11 11:29:11

don't worry, he will have fun alone with dh. it doesn't need to be for long, just half a day. you can enjoy you ds so much more when you are a little bit more awake wink

Katiekatiekatekate Wed 14-Sep-11 11:30:01

mousy, how long did your DC cry for when you started weaning? Last night we tried with just DH and water but after an hour he was still crying. He kept falling asleep and then waking himself up a second later and screaming bloody murder until I just gave up and fed him (after an argument blush)

amyboo Wed 14-Sep-11 11:34:46

What about trying a dream feed type solution? It worked for me... OK, so DS was bottlefed milk by this point (I gave up bf when I went back to work at 5 months), but I don't see why it couldn't work for bf. I basically used to pick DS up at about 10.30pm (when I was heading for bed) and give him a feed. The first couple of time he woke up a bit, but mostly he'd just open his eyes when I lifted him out and then kind of sleepily drink the milk. I did that for around 3 months which is when he dropped it by himself. OK, I'm not saying he slept through miraculously straight away, but it at least usually gave me a sleep until around 5, when I would give him another feed and he'd (usually) drift back to sleep a bit. Since about 12 months he's managed to do 7pm-6.30am most nights.
I guess it might not work for you, but might be worth trying. You have to stick with it for a few nights though - he might still wake up at the normal times to begin with. FWIW, I never really left DS to cry either. We managed to get him sleeping through without having to resort to that thank god.

mousymouse Wed 14-Sep-11 11:36:15

about 20 min the first night, not full on crying, dh was stroking her back the whole time. about 2 wakenings the first night.
then a little less the next night and a little less the next... full sleep 8:00 to 7:00 after a week.
have to admit to trying to sleep with a pillow over my ears.

SunnilyEnough Wed 14-Sep-11 11:36:37

I kept feeding ds1 till he slept through of his own accord - he was nearly 10 months. My plan was to do the same with ds2, but at 15 months he was still waking once or twice for a feed and I was getting really tired.

So eventually, when he woke, I offered him water instead of bf'ing him. He cried, and I cuddled him, he drank water and cried more, and I cuddled and carried him around until he fell asleep again. Took about an hour and a half. After the second night of this, he slept through and has ever since (he's 2.5 now).

I know it's hard when they're crying but if you're cuddling and comforting them, I think it's more bearable. That was my compromise, anyway, and I was glad when the two nights were over and he was sleeping through.

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