Advanced search

Stopping night feeds. Say something helpful.

(378 Posts)
TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:49

This is partly a request for tips and experiences and partly a pledge.

DD is 1 yo. She bf to sleep at night.
Then wakes anywhere between 1 and three times, again bf back to sleep. I get that the feeding is a comfort.
I, of course am nearly dead from sleep deprivation/ disruption.
I am, from tonight <optimistic> going to stop night feeding. I'm going to initially drop any feeding before 1am, then move on to dropping any later feeds IYSWIM.
I'll be cuddling her, no CIO or cc, but no milk before 1 am.
Any tips?
I know I should like a wuss for doing it so gradually but she's only a baby after all.

PrincessPotsie Wed 02-Apr-14 03:10:53

Hi everyone and how are all the DC sleeping? How are you doing livein? Hope you're feeling better now.

We seem to be back to one wake up in the night for a feed now. I have been feeding DD when she's woken as she's not been having a proper feed at bed time as she's been so tired after only having 40 mins sleep in the day for the last two days.

Things could be a lot worse but it's funny how you always want more! The clock change has meant the DC are still fast asleep in the mornings despite me getting them to bed at the usual time the night before. No doubt their body clocks will be fully reset by the weekend and they'll be wide awake early rather than lying in when they can. Soooo frustrating!

Liveinthepresent Wed 02-Apr-14 07:34:34

Hi Princess sorry to hear that.
I feel fine and thankfully got off lightly.
DS is still not quite right - how long did your DD take to recover?
I think he is on the mend though.
His naps were all over the place yesterday - and I am also back to night wakings - two last night.
Feel really low this morning - have meetings at work I haven't prepared for as was at home with DS and now feel convinced the amazing nights were illness related. sad

Now that I have tasted 'normality' I can't face the world of tiredness again - sorry to be insensitive to those who have it much much worse !

TheRealAC how is it for you ? Dare I ask about the coffin and shovel ? !

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 03-Apr-14 02:28:06

Yay, well done you two.
Dd awakening now. Shame as I've just fed her.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 04-Apr-14 07:19:03

I give up.
Two feeds in the night. She's definitely hungry. Eating very little in the day due to cold/ teething. I'm just going to wait until she's eating more. Trying to increase daytime foods.
Good luck everyone.

PrincessPotsie Fri 04-Apr-14 19:22:48

It's so up and down AC. We're on one wake up (and usually a feed) per night at the mo, and usually DD's waking at around 5am so I can just about handle it. After a taste of sleep thrus though I now have had the taste of 'normality' so want more!

Hope your DS is fully better now Livein. It took DD much longer to get over it than me. I was ill for one day and DD was off for 3-4.

Hope you all have good nights and get some uninterrupted sleep. wine

Liveinthepresent Sun 06-Apr-14 00:41:58

Not been back for ages posting now because DS has been awake twice already really unhappy and DH and I have just had the most ridiculous argument of our entire marriage. Can't stop crying.
Feel really desperate now as I thought we were making progress but I don't know what's wrong with DS and dH thinks I am blaming him somehow ... Aargh !
How is everyone else ? grin

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 06-Apr-14 03:19:53

Sorry liveinthepresent
The unhelpful DHs can just do one tbh.
There are so many ppl whose babies don't sleep through until 2 or 3 or whenever and I think they don't believe it tbh.
No one is to blame. The sleep deprivation is crippling. I could have divorced buried my DH several times over. He would say that the arguing is my fault. He is wrong.
It will pass though. Remember that. And you love him and he loves you.
And you are right and he is an arse grin. I'm trying to retain some sense of humour hmm

How is everyone else?
Well, as you asked. grin Last night was rubbish. Woken three times. Bit of bf.
To night, well, both dd and dh are vomiting almost constantly. I've run out of bed linen and had zero sleep. Poor DD. dreading DS being struck and a bit scared for me too if I'm honest.
Oh, and we have DN staying so she'll probably get it too, poor thing.
Not happy.

Can I just say: 48 hour rule. There for a reason.
That is all.

Liveinthepresent Sun 06-Apr-14 22:56:18

AC thank you so much for support and humour - especially when you are actually having a much much more awful time. Really hope the lurgy has spend no further it's awful when you know you are supposed to be busy feeling sorry for everyone else but self preservation keeps reminding you it could be your turn next!
dH apologised this morning and we are ok just accepting we are both finding the backward step really hard.
I know it could worse but gong backwards is torture.
I know I am part of the problem as I just want to get back to sleep ASAP.

Anyway less self indulgent rambling - hope everyone else ok.

Liveinthepresent Thu 10-Apr-14 19:57:11

Hi all how's it going?
Everything has calmed down here after a few bad nights - so we are now back to hopefully one wake up -'usually about 2. I hope this will remain settled as actually it's quite bearable especially as it reduces the early wake ups I was getting when he slept right through.p
Fingers crossed I haven't jinxed anything by posting!

Hope everyone else is getting some decent sleep.

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 11-Apr-14 08:07:53

Hi. So pleased things have calmed down liveinthepresent
Here it's been shocking tbh.
Someone thoughtfully brought their "recovering from a tummy bug" family to a playdate and both dd and dh, plus a visiting child have been struck down. More laundry than I have ever seen in my life! A week of strict infection control methods to try to prevent it spreading further (fingers crossed as DS is ok ATM) and cancelling all the fun things we had planned for DH's niece. It's been a thoroughly unpleasant week. DD is still not quite right. But she is sleeping ok ish, wakes twice for a feed. I'm pleased that her appetite seems to be picking up because I think that she just needs to eat much better in the day before there's any significant change to the night.

PrincessPotsie Fri 11-Apr-14 21:03:37

Hi everyone! I lost you all again for a while as I haven't posted a d have missed you! How is everyone getting along? Really sorry about the bug AC and hope everyone's recovering now and you didn't catch it.

DD has slept through once since my last post but she was really sick that day and had an extra nap and a late night. She's waking once a night but usually at around 5am and I am feeding her mainly so she'll go back to sleep and then I can too. It's bearable at the moment but I'm sure 'I'll toughen up at some point and try to stop that feed too.

Hope you're all having a nice Friday night and enjoying the hols if your LOs are off school. I'm supposed to be doing The Couch to 5k runs but couldn't be bothered tonight so we've all been out for pizza and I've had a couple of glasses of wine! Much more satisfying than running!

DD has started with a cough today so I'm hoping we're not in for a bad night. Hope we all get lots of sleep.

ArtemisTheHunter Fri 11-Apr-14 21:26:42

Hi all

Just checking in. I haven't been around much lately, a combination of sleep deprivation and going back to work means I'm still working out which way is up at the moment. Anyway.

RealAC that tummy bug scenario sounds horrendous. I can't believe the family who passed the bug on, surely people should have more consideration. Hope your DD is properly better soon and your DS remains uninfected! I guess sleep has not been the main thing on your mind at the moment, hopefully your DD will get her daytime appetite back and you might get back to one nightly feed.

Liveinthepresent glad things have evened out for you. Are you still working to your plan that you and DH agreed? It's awful when things have been improving then you get a setback. We are going through similar at the moment. I've also had some ludicrous arguments with DP, generally down to resentment fuelled by exhaustion. It's amazing how easy it is to end up competing with each other for sleep and resenting small things that ordinarily I wouldn't even notice.

We're 3 weeks in with the sleep consultant, so roughly half way. We have had some progress but it's not always easy to see when we are still in the thick of change. One thing we have managed to do is break the feed to sleep association, particularly at the beginning of the night. That wasn't actually as painful as I imagined it would be; I am now not feeding to sleep at all, but it has made bugger all difference to night waking. I was disappointed to discover that as I really thought feed to sleep was our main problem and that once we'd solved that, everything else would drop into place. Not so!

We had a period of relative stability for a week or so, where DD was waking twice for feeds at about 11 and 3 and going straight back to sleep - not ideal but a long way from the two-hour-long night wakings we were grappling with before. However we have now moved on to trying to get her to self-settle in the cot and that is proving a lot harder. It feels traumatic at times. She has done a lot of crying and no matter what I'm told about it being frustration/emotional release and it's not CC because we're there with her I still feel awful seeing her upset. It also seems to have prompted increased night waking - for the last three nights she's woken every 90 minutes. I feed her each time and she mostly goes straight back to sleep (being careful to end the feed before she's actually asleep) but I'm now worried I'm going to recreate that expectation again. I am constantly questioning whether we're doing the right thing or whether we should just have stuck it out. If I go back to the sleep diaries I did three weeks ago i can see it has to be the right course, none of us were getting any sleep and I was reaching the point of desperation. I know it should improve from here, but there are no guarantees and right now it feels very hard.

Sorry that was a bit of a splurge! Might be of interest though - if only to say the sleep consultants are not a panacea. Ours is lovely but it's still damn hard work and she can't be there to deal with it for you when you have a screaming baby for the umpteenth time at 2am. We are hanging in there and i hope that in another week or so I can come back and say things have improved again.

How is everyone else?

missclairep Fri 11-Apr-14 21:46:48

it took us 2 weeks to get lb off night feeds he's 17 months and was bf , weaning him from milk for naps one feed a month then doing the night feeds last, he resisted greatly especially at night, screaming a lot. but we got through it, now on cows milk, again took two weeks of expressing and giving him bottles before he would even drink cows milk! hope you can see light at the end of the tunnel now, good luck thanks thanks

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 12-Apr-14 07:04:24

Hi. You're doing so well princess, that's really good news and the last feed will go in time.

Artemis good to see you. Thank you for the post and I hope it's been ok returning to work.

liveinthepresent I hope you're still on. Maximum of one wake up, any change there?

Thank you missclairep it's always useful to know what works for ppl.

A healthier household here (fingers crossed). DD waking up twice for a feed. I'm working on her daytime food. A few nights she's not fed to sleep so I'm counting that as a positive.

couch to 5k sounds interesting. I used to love running but my pelvic floor is less keen these days. grin

Liveinthepresent Wed 16-Apr-14 22:51:30

hello all - it was really good to hear all the updates and sorry mine is so late.
we continue to have the odd upset but in general things are quite stable with the one night waking being the norm.
I am actually happier with this than the longer stretch and then early waking - but am sure this is probably the wrong way to look at things. I just like anything that gives me more sleep currently!
DS is ill again/still but i am encouraged that there has been no sign of hideous regression back to the hourly waking (please god don't let me tempt fate!) so that reassures me we have come a long way.
Actually i have to say he has changed so much in the last few months and is loving eating and gaining mobility i wonder how much would have changed naturally anyway.
Artemis sorry you are finding it tough but I can assure you there was a time when I couldn't see past some of the challenges - and now I can barely remember them, hang in here! Now i put DS down at bedtime and almost every night he just rolls on his side with his comforter and drops off without a murmur. Yes DH and I are still on a sort of 'plan' but it gets delayed whenever there is a good or bad spell. i guess we wouldn't do that if we were paying for a certain amount / time of support. but actually it works ok because when we have a set back we just refocus on the plan and i am confident we will get there. I have stopped comparing him to my wonder sleeper DD - though she is a nightmare sometimes now so I reckon DS will be a fab toddler sleeper to balance it out!

sorry am waffling as am at home alone with a glass of wine!
hope everyone else is ok and gets some sleep over Easter - look forward to more updates.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 17-Apr-14 07:23:33

Hi. Thanks liveinthepresent
Will post later.

NiMhurchu Sun 20-Apr-14 00:54:10

Hi all! I just thought I'd update, last time I posted DS (now 9m) was down to 2 feeds - 3am and 6ish but still plenty of wake-ups, and lots of bouncing sessions to get him back to sleep.

For the past 5 nights he has slept 7pm-7/8am. With no wake-ups or feeds. He naps twice a day in his cot, both well over an hour if not two. He goes to sleep on his own, no bouncing/patting/feeding. although our bed is now ruined from the bouncing

For a couple of months now I was certain he was not waking from hunger at night, he just didn't know how to go to sleep by himself. I was always 'putting' him to sleep. I knew he to learn to let himself drift off, but didn't know how to help him learn.

It's all because of a thread I put on my watch list at the start. You probably seen it 'what worked for us...' It was saved for 2months before I even considered trying it. I started it one night on a whim out of desperation. We're on day 9 and only 2 non-naps (try for an hour and get them up if not sleeping) and one bad bedtime (DH probably fcked up and confused him).

I have never considered any methods of sleep teaching that involve crying. But when I thought about it as him learning to do something that he doesn't know, some crying is reasonable. I keep comparing it to learning to walk. Which he will learn to do at some stage but if I carry him around forever he will never get the chance to. He will fall over and may cry but won't be a reason to stop letting him try. I've been thinking of it as 'letting him learn' as opposed to 'teaching him'.

Apologies for my rambling and wise slurred words. There are a few benefits of a baby that doesn't need fed at night gringrinwine

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 20-Apr-14 07:05:50

Wow NiM that's great.
Thanks for updating.
I have become desperate now. We're off on holiday in about a month and I just don't want to be getting upl every night there tbh.
Dd is 14 mo now. And I think if I stop the night feeds (usually one now) she'll be ok and eat more in the day too.
Sha has a cough at,. S I'm not convinced its the best time but in the next week I'm going back to using the rocking chair and cuddling/ offering water rather than co sleeping and bf.
<off to find your other thread>

ArtemisTheHunter Mon 21-Apr-14 17:51:04

NiM that's terrific. I'd saved that thread too and not had the bottle to try it. However we are now doing something similar as part of our work with the sleep consultant. I'd hoped that DD's sleep would just miraculously sort itself out once we dealt with what I thought were the main issues, but in the last few weeks I've stopped feeding to sleep, stopped co sleeping (mostly grin), got down to one night feed and moved her into her own room but self settling hasn't automatically followed and DD (8 months) still wakes roughly every 90 minutes during the night. I'm struggling though to be honest. Some nights she'll go to sleep with hardly any crying but night wakes are another matter, she can wail for half a hour at a time and although I know the crying is part of the learning process and that trying to fix it is like teaching her to walk by carrying her around (I like that analogy!) it still goes against my instincts to sit in the room and not pick her up or cuddle her when she cries. Especially at 2am.

We are persevering though, and are still in a much better place than we were a month ago. AC there was no magic solution to dropping night feeds! we just had to do it. We only started after the move to her own room though, I don't think I could have managed if we were still co sleeping as I would have caved in too easily. I stayed away for a few nights, DP settled her, she goes from the dream feed at roughly 11 to the morning feed at 7 and isn't ravenous in the morning so I'm confident the crying during the night is not to do with hunger. It is just so bloody hard. I have friends whose babies have slept all night every night since being tiny with no effort required on their part, I am so envious of people who have been spared this misery!

Hope everyone has enjoyed the bank holiday weekend. It's been lovely and sunny here and only just started raining this evening in time for going back to work smile

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 21-Apr-14 19:55:20

Hi artemis
You're doing so well.
I am forever in a pickle. I want o stop night feeds because I think it's a step towards stopping night wakings (I know she'll still wake sometimes, but I'd like a few nights a week whe I don't have to get up.)
I'd also like to have a wine after puttin the DCs to bed. I do sometimes but I worry about feedin her afterwards. And that makes me feel very guilty.
Now she has a cough.
But in a few days I think I'm just going to bite the bullet. She only usually wakes once. I'm so exhausted I know it's affecting every aspect of my life. I could cry with tiredness most days.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 23-Apr-14 20:25:28

Poor dd has a cough.
But the last three nights she's slept through until 4 or 5.
Just saying.
I expect I've jinxed it now by saying anything. grin
Thinking of you all.

ArtemisTheHunter Wed 23-Apr-14 21:53:23

Ooh AC grin hope it continues. Have you been doing anything different?

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 04:54:11

No. Nothing different. I've been rocking and singing as well as bf as she goes to sleep. I doubt hats it.
But last night she was up for a feed at 2 ish and 4ish.
See? Spoke too soon.
<off to lie down on motorway>

ArtemisTheHunter Thu 24-Apr-14 09:26:12

I'll join you in the fast lane. Last night DD screamed her head off for over an hour after the dream feed. I did nothing different either - fed, put down sleepy but awake as normal in the same cot where she had happily settled without any crying 3 hours earlier. Honestly if the devil had showed up at midnight and offered to swap her for a cat I would have gone for it grin

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 24-Apr-14 10:29:41

Oh sorry Artemis

I am shredded. I actually feel physically and mentally unwell.

I think I need to be really tough and just go cold turkey with stopping night feeds. Ill cuddle her and rock her and offer water but no booby before 5am. I have no faith in all the sleep association stuff.
I know there are times when she will still need something at night but I can't carry on with feeding every single night.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now