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If you breastfed to sleep...

(17 Posts)
Maisie55 Wed 20-Mar-13 22:50:58 did you ever manage to stop!!

I have a 5 mth gorgeous ds who is a boob addict, doesn't take a dummy and doesn't really take a bottle (has taken 2-3oz a few times but is not keen). ds feeds to sleep at night and wakes 3-4 times a night. I feel that he just needs to feed back to sleep and isn't really hungry every time he wakes. tonight I tried doing the pick up put down technique but it resulted in him crying so much he was sick and me then crying for putting him through it!

I feel a bit panicked about the fact that noone else can really settle or feed him and am desperate to reduce the night wakings. He also only naps for half an hr at a time in the day which again is after feeding to sleep.

if anyone has any tips, advice or success stories I'd be very grateful to hear them!


Maternityleaveisawesome Wed 20-Mar-13 23:42:46

I am a bit of a fraud offering advice, as my story is similar. Dd 5month old, never taken anything from a bottle, and only chews a dummy for 5 secs.

I can't help with feeding to sleep in the middle of the night, as I do this too, but I have managed to do the first bit, going to bed without feeding to sleep. We went really slowly, starting by feeding standing up by the side of the bed standing up, placing in the cot very sleepy and actually putting the arm of her sleep bunny into her mouth. Now I finish feeding her on the bed, walk to the cot and put her bunny on her chest, and she goes to sleep even if really awake.

Wish I could sort out the night wakes and naps, but for me, putting down awake is a huge step.

Good luck, I shall be watching this post.

Maternityleaveisawesome Wed 20-Mar-13 23:44:26

Oh, and I am hoping weaning will reduce night wakings. Always an optimist!

mildlyinsulting Wed 20-Mar-13 23:49:28

Dd fed to sleep until she stopped bf at 2. I had to wear sports bras and high neck jumpers to wean her, she still needs singing/stroking to sleep and still hasn't slept through though, I think some children just need a bit more comfort than others, enjoy it while it lasts!

cassell Wed 20-Mar-13 23:51:40

He's only 5mo I definitely wouldn't worry yet smile

Ds1 bf to sleep at night until he stopped bfing at 18mths but from about 9/10mths he started sleeping for naps etc without it and when he went to nursery at 11.5mo he would fall asleep fine without bf. Since he stopped bfing he's gone to sleep no problem at night, he's almost 4yo now and the bf to sleep stage feels like it was very short - although at the time my dm kept saying I was making a rod for my back etc etc.

Ds2 is 10mths and still bfs to sleep for naps & nighttime and wakes several times at night and bfs then. Unlike ds1 he won't take a bottle at all. I'm not concerned though, he's still little and he will go down still awake after a feed now and then fall asleep in his cot so that's fine by me.

Honestly I wouldn't stress about it, just enjoy the miracle of bf to send then to sleep grin

Snazzynewyear Wed 20-Mar-13 23:55:36

I also carried on with it for quite a while and then when I stopped bfing we put a new routine in place around stories instead. My DS is an excellent sleeper so it's not inevitably a rod for your own back etc. My advice would be do it while it works for you, then move child onto a different routine.

Startail Thu 21-Mar-13 00:38:42

I BF DD2 to sleep, some nights when she was at school.

Honestly it isn't a problem, if your not going to be there you can find an alternative.

Clearly a bottle of formula is the obvious one. DD2 (aged 12) still refuses to drink milk and never got the hang of bottles, but from about 7 months she'd happily settle for some dilute juice, a baby yoghurt and a daddy hug.

(as for naps she very rarely bothered having one, but that's because big sister had to be collected from nursery at her natural nap time and no way was she sleeping once DD1 was about to play with.)

blossombath Thu 21-Mar-13 18:24:39

I'm guessing that stories of feeding to sleep for years aren't going to calm your panic (though everyone is right that it doesn't really matter if you feed to sleep for ages - as long as you're happy with it).

So in the interests of another view: my DS is 1yo. He fed to sleep until about 6/7 months when he began to go to sleep with some rocking from my DH. This might have just been that he was ready , but we also encouraged it by changing his bed time routine so that he had bath boob story bed (not bath story boob bed).

THat way even if he fell asleep on boob he would wake up with the story and my DH would then rock to sleep. At about 8/9 months we reduced the rocking with a sort of PU/PD/gradual retreat combination. Now he goes into cot awake, chats to toys and goes to sleep in about 20 mins. But I still feed to sleep if he is poorly, teething, in a new place and struggling to settle etc.

Still wakes up at night and I still feed to sleep though he went through a phase of letting DH rock him at night. That seemed to end with some teeth a while ago and he is now a boobmonster at night again. I'm hoping we can find a gentle way to encourage him to end this when he's ready.

But really, try not to worry, he will get there in his own time and as a pp said, feeding to sleep is a really handy tool!

TrinityRhino Thu 21-Mar-13 18:25:57

she grew out of it eventually

about 2 ish but she was still sleeping with me till she was 3 ish

sorry grin

pansyflimflam Thu 21-Mar-13 18:29:07

I have done this with all 5 of mine and they stopped and I am not sure when. It just seems to happen, I think just around weaning time with the odd one here and there or if ill/over tired.

They are aged 11 years to 11 months and non of them still do it if that's any comfort [scientific]

Maisie55 Thu 21-Mar-13 22:08:45

Thanks for all your replies, to be honest its not the feeding to sleep I mind so much its the fact he can't self settle back when he stirs and is therefore waking numerous times and having short naps. It is good to know I'm not the only one and that they will grow out of it.

Can I ask those that said changing the bedtime routine round helped, what did you actually do after putting them in cot though after new routine as presumably they cried expecting to be fed to sleep?

I think I may end up going with something like a pp (sorry can't see name as on phone) suggested by changing to rocking and gradual retreat although had hoped for a quicker solution!!

Thanks all!

paperclips Fri 22-Mar-13 00:24:36

Watching this post as I'm in the same position. I need to mend DS's dreadful feed-to-sleep habits before I go back to work because I work shifts and DH will have to put him to bed some of the time. We have the same issue with naps.

blossombath Sun 24-Mar-13 21:52:46

Maisie we did the rocking/gradual retreat, it didn't take too long to be honest, DS got used to rocking fairly quickly and then I did the gradual retreat one week when DH was away and I couldn't physcially manage all the rocking. I would put him down wake after a short rock and his bedtime song, walk out, and go back in if his noises became cries. Took a few nights of popping in and out, sometimes just shhing, sometimes cuddling. Then he got it and is usually ok now to settle except if ill etc.

Sadly, he still needs feeding or settling at night and is useless at naps (except at nursery where I assume the lack of boobs as an option means he just gets on with it).

We're planning to night wean him over easter and hopefully then we'll be able to encourage him to self settle at night, too.

I guess my point is, don't pin all your hopes on him being able to settle at any time once he can settle without you at bedtime. But, it makes evenings much nicer if they settle at bedtime easily so was definitely worth making the shift.

dekari Mon 25-Mar-13 09:55:51

I definitely think it's a gradual process, but if you're worried, best to start addressing it now.

My dd f2s til around 5 months. I kept hearing/reading that it was a terrible habit so felt pretty stressed about it. In hindsight, the issue really was that she couldn't self-soothe - wouldn't take a dummy or suck her thumb etc. so needed help to learn how to settle herself.

A good tip is to gradually start putting him down drowsy but not asleep whenever you can, after feeding or rocking, keep the room dark and use a comforter (soft toy or muslin) - keep this consistent for every nap and bed time.

I would concentrate on bedtime and naps. My dd f2s after night feeds until she only woke up once a night and then i night weaned her at 8 months, so i'd be inclined to keep it easy at night for now if i was you.

blossombath Mon 25-Mar-13 22:24:40

Oh yes I forgot about comforters - we also introduced a 'sleepy bear' which we would put beside DS as we put him in the cot to help him settle; later he preferred a different soft toy but basically it's something he can cuddle into when he's wriggling in bed. Definitely worth getting, in our experience. I slept with the bear for a few days before putting it in his crib, so it smelt familiar.

KD0706 Mon 25-Mar-13 22:56:18

My dd1 gradually did if herself. So, she was fed to sleep. Then somewhere between 12-18 months old she would come off the boob awake and be cuddled to sleep. And then at around age 2 she didn't want cuddled to sleep, so she has a story and takes herself off to sleep.

She could be settled to bed by somebody else with a sippy cup of cows milk from maybe around ten months old.

I know it sounds so trite, but it really won't last forever.

Re the waking in the night and needing fed back off to sleep, try googling pantley pull off - basically where you take them off the boob when drowsy but not fast asleep.

blushingmare Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:38

I still feed to sleep at bedtime. Naps stopped feeding to sleep quite a long time ago when she started napping in her pram and being rocked to sleep instead. She was up until about 8mo still waking every 2-3 hours and being fed back to sleep each time. I then just decided to try and stretch it out a bit by going in and patting/stroking her if she woke before 3 hours, then a few nights later stretched it to 4 hours and so on. This quite rapidly reduced her night wakings and a normal night for her now is just one waking (when I do feed to sleep) between 7&7. She's 9mo. Thanks for the post - when I'm feeling brave enough I'll try some of the suggestions to stop feeding to sleep for bedtime!

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