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DS won't sleep without a nipple in his mouth and I'm ready to break all the plates in the kitchen cupboard in frustration

(20 Posts)
mybamboocanoe Sun 12-May-13 21:21:45

So he is 14 weeks, and I used to feed him to sleep each night thinking 'rod for my own back and all that, but I'm sure we'll work things out in the long run'. Only now I can't feed him to sleep, because he won't GO to sleep. He just sucks and sucks and dozes but if I try to gently take him off, or even if he comes off himself, he'll wake up a few minutes later and we have to start the whole cycle again. The last couple of nights we have tried cuddling/rocking him to sleep instead, but he screams and screams for an hour and a half or more before finally going down. There's no way we can leave him to self settle in his Moses basket, he would go absolutely mental.

DH is currently pacing with him and I can hear him screaming through two closed doors and two floors up from me. It's awful, and I feel terrible for him but don't know what to do - it's not good for either of us to just doze on and off all night, we both need some proper sleep. He used to do a 3-4 hour stretch then wake every 1.5-2 hours after that and be fed back to sleep, but if I wean him off being fed to sleep on first going to bed, do I need to do it at every night waking too? It seems logical that I would, otherwise he could quite reasonably expect to be fed to sleep all the time. But that would mean pacing around with a screaming baby every hour and a half in the night. So should I just bite the bullet and try to do that too? Sorry for so many questions, I just feel all over the place at the moment and so clueless. He's not even my first child - DC1 (DD) is 4 now and she was an appalling sleeper till well past the age of 3, and I can't believe we seem to be going down the same road again...

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sun 12-May-13 21:24:26

1. Dummy or
2. Let him suckle to sleep.

It won't last forever, he's still very little and wants his mummy. Your nipple is comforting.

My ds is nearly 5 months and falls asleep on the boob. If he's not settling I play a little white noise while he sucks and he usually drops off eventually.

I know it's hard but it's not for too long.

mybamboocanoe Sun 12-May-13 21:30:17

Dummy doesn't work. It does quite often for naps in the daytime, but at night time - no dice.

I'd love to let him suckle to sleep, that's what I've been doing till now. The problem is that he doesn't GO to sleep, just perpetually dozes, wakes up; dozes, wakes up.

RandomMess Sun 12-May-13 21:32:39

Could it be that he is actually nodding off part way through a feed?

StitchAteMySleep Sun 12-May-13 21:37:34

Could be a sleep regression, I remember dd1 being like this around that age.

I survived by co-sleeping and feeding lying down so she could stay suckling while I slept.

mybamboocanoe Sun 12-May-13 21:38:42

Nope, because he cluster feeds in the early evening and usually has a good old go at bedtime too before he starts the dozing/waking cycle. I think it's just that old chestnut 'sleep association', except that instead of waking after a few hours thinking, hang on, I want a nice boob to help me back to sleep again, he's waking after a few minutes with the same thought.

jkklpu Sun 12-May-13 21:38:47

Co-sleeping can be the only way through; it was for me with ds2.

Slavetominidictator Sun 12-May-13 21:39:01

My dd did this at just about this age. She is now 11 months and although I still feed her to sleep (I know, I know...) she does sleep and self settles during the night and has since about 6 months. It really was just a phase and she out grew it without any input from me.
I remember it drove my bonkers at the time and pushed me to co sleep and bf lying down, as was the only way either of us could get any sleep.

Slavetominidictator Sun 12-May-13 21:40:29

Forgot to say, obv this doesn't necessarily mean yours will do the same but I feel your pain and fingers crossed it will be just a phase too. Four month sleep regression?

nilbyname Sun 12-May-13 21:41:25

White noise
Co sleep

If you have had a bad experience with poor sleep before I would give serious consideration to a sleep consultant/ night nanny?

nilbyname Sun 12-May-13 21:43:38

I would also say that I had a terrible sleeper 1st time round so second time round I used a dummy, co-slept, and did t bother putting baby to "bed" until she was 6m ish.

mybamboocanoe Sun 12-May-13 21:44:58

Sorry, my last comment was meant for RandomMess.

Stitch, is it the fabled 4-month regression starting early, do you think? The thing is he's not waking any more often (he's never done very long stints anyway), it's just the beginning of the night that's become really problematic. And we co-sleep from midway through the night anyway, but he goes to bed before me at the moment (in theory) so he needs to be in his Moses basked at the beginning of the night.

mybamboocanoe Sun 12-May-13 21:49:19

Yes, sadly dummy doesn't help and we do co-sleep but how to do this from the beginning of the night without me going to bed when he does. I really, really need an hour of evening to myself (more than I need the sleep) as I also have a 4YO DD and I desperately need a tiny bit of me time, however selfish that sounds.

nilbyname we did use a sleep clinic for DD but to be honest while it gave us some weapons for our armoury which were sometimes useful, the only thing that really helped in her case was getting older.

dilemmamomenna Sun 12-May-13 21:49:38

white nose? I'm listening to it on the monitor right now while I mumsnet instead of lying in bed as a human dummy!

nilbyname Sun 12-May-13 21:59:52

Well i will don me tin hat for this but..,.i think if you got a night nanny for a couple of weeks to get baby into a good routine that suits you and your family it would pay dividends and is addressing a very different need that your prior one with dd.

Nanny could bring baby in every 3 hours to feed then gradually lengthen those night feeds to 4/5 hours....?

I actually have no experience of this...just musing

HelloBear Sun 12-May-13 22:03:21

Sympathies, been there got the t-shirt. My DS (6mo) is a boob monster and went through this phase. I have to say in the end I just rode it out and like someone said up thread gave up on 'bedtime' fir him. Instead I made a nest fir us both on sofa and was waited on by DH. This was pants because I also have a 2yr old and felt like I never had time to myself but I much preferred this to sitting by myself in a darkened room.

He now goes down at 6.30ish, it was a combination of time and us settling into a routine. still feeds every frickin 2- --hours through the night thou

Sorry no helpful tips!

HelloBear Sun 12-May-13 22:04:56

Seemed to have lost some o's there!

GirlWiththeLionHeart Mon 13-May-13 07:03:29

Do you feed him lying down? I have to at night with ds or he would keep me up for hours feelings on and off. Breast feeding lying down is the best thing ever.

Just remember this is a phase and it will pass x

minipie Mon 13-May-13 12:33:31

Sounds like you have a combination of sleep association with either 1. overtiredness or 2. the 4 month sleep regression. either 1 or 2 would explain the more frequent wakings.

to solve the sleep association, you could try the No Cry Sleep Solution
(and google "pantley pull off" for specific tips on getting the baby to come off the boob without waking up) or wait till he is old enough for controlled crying...

if you have an overtiredness issue then lots and lots of naps in the day using buggy/car/feeding or whatever works to get the sleep in.

if it's the regression... give it time!!

happydaze77 Mon 13-May-13 20:51:46

My dd used to be exactly the same - I nicknamed her boozy-snoozy.
Joking aside though it was a real pita.
The following things might help:
1) keep your ds awake so he properly finishes feeding - I used to rub her hair gently, or stroke her cheek, or just move the nipple away and she'd quickly latch back on and carry on the feed
2) when you're happy he's fed well, and he's falling asleep, pull away again and then quickly put a finger underneath his chin - it's supposed to suppress the urge to suckle
3) when she was a little older I would just pull away and let her fuss for a few mins, holding her still and she'd fall asleep (not always though!)
4) feed ds lying down in bed, so you can sneek off when he's asleep.

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