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Not feeding to sleep - how do you know when to stop feeding?

(8 Posts)
blushingmare Tue 27-Nov-12 21:22:42

DD is 5 1/2 months and has always been fed to sleep. Interestingly, in the past 2 weeks she's had several evenings when she clearly doesn't want to feed anymore but is still awake! Although this alarmed me the first few times, amazingly she actually more or less has taken herself off to sleep when I've put her down awake. When she's done this she's also then gone on to have a much more settled early part of the night, so I'm thinking she might be ready for stopping feeding to sleep. But if you have to stop feeding before they fall asleep, how do you know when to stop iyswim? So this evening, I hoped to put her down still awake, but she stayed latched on and feeding and drifted off (cue an unsettled evening - coincidence or not?!) - its not going to be helpful to stop her before she's had her fill, but it's how to make sure she's had enough and is still awake.

Would be interested to know what others do.

fififrog Tue 27-Nov-12 21:50:43

For one sleep-deprived reason or another we hired a sleep consultant. Now, feeding to sleep was not one of our problems, but they recommended a change in bedtime routine to signal the start of the new regime. They recommended in babies >6 months to do the last feed before bath. Our DD was 5.5montgs at the time so they said keep it after bath in our case - not sure what diff 2 weeks made but there you go. Anyway, all went fine until we had a phase when she'd started crawling at 7 months where she suddenly started feeding to sleep for the first time. We were away at the time and I didn't want to rock the boat but as soon as we got home I moved feed to before bath and she started self-settling again immediately.

teacher123 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:29:03

DS (7mo) stopped feeding to sleep at about the same age. Now what he does is sit bolt upright when he's had enough milk and sticks his thumb in his mouth, so I put him in bed and leave him to it! He's now eating three big meals a day and having a cup of formula before his bath so his bedtime feed has dropped to about 10 mins max. He also sleeps much worse of he's fed to sleep at bedtime. I have introduced the sippy cup of formula downstairs before his bath, as he won't take a bottle but I want to stop breastfeeding by the new year, so am doing as a PP suggested which is separating feeding and sleeping.

blushingmare Wed 28-Nov-12 09:39:39

Thanks yes I wondered if that was the solution. Just can't imagine not cozying up with her after bath for that last feed.... But maybe that's my issue not her's! Also I can't get away from the thought of needing to fill her tummy as late as possible as she rarely goes more than 3 hours between feeds so if she goes down on a full tummy at 7 I know I've got the evening to myself!

beyoglu Wed 28-Nov-12 09:43:47

We swapped around bath and last feed at just under 6m, so we could let our twins self settle. When we take them up to bed we let them play with soft toys for a little while and sort of have the soft toys kiss them goodnight smile We keep the lights low and try to be quiet and calm.

teacher123 Wed 28-Nov-12 10:08:46

When DS used to feed to sleep I always used to try and keep him asleep before I put him down, as in put him down terribly gently and quietly and tiptoe away. Now I feed him with the nightlight on, not in pitch black, and if he drifts off I say goodnight to him and put him in his cot firmly and then draw curtains and turn light off etc. that makes him stir so he's not fast asleep when he goes in the cot, and then puts himself to sleep iykwim?

blushingmare Wed 28-Nov-12 16:45:31

That's a good idea teacher and would be a good intermediate step between feeding to sleep and moving feed time.

easytiger12 Thu 29-Nov-12 22:19:25

We used to do bath, stories then feed to sleep and when he stopped being asleep by end of feed thus going down awake around 6mo (as you describe is happening with yours) decided it was him showing us he was ready to move on so just switched stories and feed around so feed first then stories then bed.

We found that by doing the feed with the light and radio on he didn't fall asleep on it so we could do stories afterwards then put him down awake.

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