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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.

LauraPalmer Tue 18-Feb-14 21:33:10

Now that I'm offering water before his many night feeds (baby steps) I've also noticed that DS is surprisingly thirsty.

Scrumpy - our nights sound sadly similar!

Hi, AC - how are you holding up? wine

I think I've decided to tackle self-soothing (ie. Sleep Training) and hope that DS night weans of his own accord...


TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 19-Feb-14 06:39:59

I can't remember much of Monday night scrumptious grin
But she woke up after 1 for her first feed, then once again and then slept until after six. So not too bad.
Last night she woke at 245. I fed her and put her in her cot. She woke again at 5. <searches for "shoot myself in the head" emoticom> and fed but didn't settle afterwards. I have to get up at 6 for work.
So ATM the pre1am feeds are not appearing. Which means I need to tackle the Pre 2am feed. I haven't yet had to try to get her to drop one IYSWIM.
theonlyway a small increase in sleep makes such a difference doesn't it?
Anyway. Let's see what tonight holds.
How was everyone else's night?

LauraPalmer Wed 19-Feb-14 11:14:25

Soooooo, last night went shockingly well. hmm

I put DS down a bit earlier than normal probably because he's so exhausted from not sleeping and recently dropping one of his naps and the single thing I did differently was to make certain he was still awake after the pre-bed BF. I put him into the cot and left the room. He cried for about a minute then fell asleep. He did have a brief wake up an hour later (6.45ish) but had resettled himself before I could get up to his room.

There was another short wake up around 9.00pm (which usually happens every nigh) that DH dealt with. Then DS slept until his normal 11.00 feed time. I was quite sleepy so I did the easy thing and let him BF-to-sleep. (Bad mummy!)

Next wake up was at 1.40 (normally 2.00); DH went down to settle him but I ended up going in at 2.00 to BF. Did the same thing as when I put him down at the beginning of the night (awake, not drowsy from feed) - he cried for about a minute then I picked him up and cuddled him with a dummy but NO BOOB. When he seemed more settled I placed him back in the cot awake and left him to it.

He then slept until 6.50am!!! (He normally rises around 6.00)

The two things I did differently were to take him off the breast before falling asleep and putting him to bed 15-30 minutes earlier (5.45pm instead of 6.00-6.30pm)

But...will it work again??? Always the question.

And usually the answer is No.


TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 19-Feb-14 17:54:34

That's great laura good luck For tonight.
I do want to stop feeding to sleep.
But I'm scared grin
So. No feeds before 2am.
Try the "pantley pull-off" to attempt stopping the feed to sleep thing
Really try hard to avoid bringing her into my bed

I think I might have a little wine tonight.

LauraPalmer Wed 19-Feb-14 18:32:35

Well, I put DS down a bit earlier again tonight. But only after I had to rouse him after he'd fallen asleep during his bed-time BF which I accidentally let happen because I wanted to finish my game of iPhone Scrabble. blush

we'll see how it goes later on...

yes, yes to opening a bottle of wine

may the force be with you, AC!

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 19-Feb-14 21:12:13

wine Hic!

Elizabeth pantley (of "the no cry sleep solution") is positively evangelical about early bedtime. So well done.
I let dd feed to sleep too.
Thing is, I bath both DCs, then DS sits on my bed with me while I feed dd and retread them both a story. So, not only is it convenient to let her fall asleep like that, it's also sometimes unavoidable.
Hey HO.
With DS I used to feed his to sleep whilst I was watching telly. blush

Ahh, I miss those early days.
I have a bottle of water and a dummy for if she wakes before 2 am. As I have had a drink I am extra motivated not to feed her too early.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 19-Feb-14 21:13:01

retread good grief. I've only had one glass.

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 20-Feb-14 07:35:50

<groan> so tired.
DD woke at midnight. So I rocked and held her and gave her some water. She went back to sleep in her cot.
Then she woke at 4 so I fed her. Eventually went back to sleep but in my arms. She woke again at 6.
I am shattered.
But pleased that she managed to sleep without a midnight feed.

MadameJ Thu 20-Feb-14 08:12:23

I think I'm going to have to join this thread as it's just not working for us anymore!! My first dd was a dreadful sleeper but it was made bearable by the fact that she was happy to co-sleep. Dd2 however is not interested in this at all. I do all the bad habits, feed to sleep, resettle with boob etc but I just don't know how to change things really. Dd2 is nearly 8 months so not gonna try anything drastic but I think 9 wakings between 8-6 is excessive in any one's book. One of the main issues I have is I have to go into dd2 at the first squeak as she wakes dd1 which is a nightmare!! I think from tonight I am not going to feed her within 4 hours of her last feed (does that sound fair??)

TheRealAmandaClarke Thu 20-Feb-14 09:14:18

madamej you must be shattered!
One of the good things about hearing other ppl's stories is that I can tell dh it's not just me our DCs.

I think your plan sounds fair.
If it seems too arduous then it might be worth trying three hours as a limit at first. Slowly but surely.

I must make sure DD feeds well today and has her naps. My HV is evangelical about naps grin

Scrumptiousboy Thu 20-Feb-14 20:25:42

Great progress AC, hang in there.

I'm shattered as we've now had 3 bad, bad nights (and days). Hoping the worst of it is over and have gently been guiding him towards old - good - habits. We still fall into old bad habits when poorly :-(

laura look at you go. How was last night?

LauraPalmer Fri 21-Feb-14 08:40:34

Hmmm. Well, we've had a few mixed nights (I was too depressed to post about it yesterday!)

Night before last was a mess.

Last night went fairly okayish...we moved DS bedtime back by an hour (so 7.00pm) and he slept through without a peep until 10.30pm, which is a bit earlier than his normal first feed, but I thought that I'd feed him then and go to bed myself. All was well...for half an hour. Then he had this strange fussy hour and a half before crashing out finally. Lots of BF to calm, but did a variation on the Pantley Pull Off each time. Of course, I did substitute my boob with a dummy, so who knows what sort of new bad habits I'm creating! Then he slept through from 1.00-5.00am, when I fed him again praying hoping that he'd then sleep to 7.00am. No luck, he woke at 6.00am bang-on, ready to start his day.

We're going to try to push his in-bed hours from 6.00pm-6.00am to 7.00-7.00. According to most sleep experts this will probably take a few days and include several disruptive nights. But if it means he changes to a consistent 7.00am wake up then it's worth it. Meanwhile, lots of [tea] (with extra shots of espresso)

How's everyone else doing?

This thread is good for keeping me sane, thank you!

TheRealAmandaClarke Fri 21-Feb-14 08:43:08

Morning scrumptious. Sorry about the bad nights. How was last night?
I feel grim tbh. I feel like we're making progress because although DD woke up at 12 ish and 1 ish I managed to settle her in the rocking chair by giving her water and cuddles. She drank a full 5oz around 1 am! I was surprised. So pleased I didn't leave her with nothing.
Then she slept in her cot until almost 5am when I d her.dH got up with her about 6ish. But the timings are a bit blurred tbh.

How's it going theonlyway, madame, laura?

Scrumptiousboy Fri 21-Feb-14 20:11:40

Better, but not good. I was doing hard line though as he is clearly now over his cold and worst of the teething. I can see the new teeth poking out. He was quick to settle though and was happy not to feed to sleep today at any point. Just quietly went to sleep in my arms. I'll do that again tomorrow and then will see if I can put him into his cot without it becoming WW3. We slept till 8.45 this morning shock

That IS great progress AC.

laura an hours change is a biggie. I personally would have opted for a more gradual change, maybe 15min later every 2-3 nights. That way they dont get so overtired.

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 22-Feb-14 06:50:27

Yy to gradual changes.

I failed big-time last night blush
The plan was no bf until 2 am.
DD woke around midnight. I had forgotten to get her water ready so I settled her with a dummy. That worked and I put he back in her cot.
She slept until around 130. I fed her and she went to sleep. Back in cot and woke around 530. DS wa already in our bed by then. DH is asleep and I am up with the DCs.
If I hadn't slept from 730 (fell asleep while putting them to bed) until 1130 when I woke up and put them in their beds/ cots I would be derranged by now.
If DH hasn't cleared up properly from yesterday's dinner I think I might kill him because I can't face that mess when I get downstairs.

Actually I am at a loss. I have no idea what to do for the best. Does weaning off night feeds even make any difference?
She looks uncomfortable when she wakes in the night. As though she's got a tummy ache. I know she's teething.
It's all so grim. I am fed up. No rest or respite whatsoever. sad

LauraPalmer Sat 22-Feb-14 06:59:09

AC - you're doing really well! That's fantastic that you've transitioned DD to water and cuddles during the earlier part of the night. It's so hard in those hours from 2.00am to 6.00am, isn't it? I always want to do what will work the most quickly so we can all get back to sleep. blush

Scrumpy - I am amazed at the 8.45 lie-in. And completely jealous. I also agree re. Shifting Sleep Hours. Our plan is to change his hours incrementally by 15-20 mins. every few nights - the only reason we had such a dramatic leap on Thursday was because he'd had an hour long nap from 4.30-5.30! Last night he went down at 6.20pm (bedtime routine starting at 6.00), which I think will make for a better, slower, hopefully successful transition.

Last night:
6.20am-10.30pm not a peep; BF at 10.30 but he didn't take as much as usual

10.45pm-11.30am asleep

11.30- 12.30 DS was very restless and wiggly and unsettled; cuddled and BF (forgot about giving water!) then tried to put him back down in the cot several times and he continued to fuss, so DP took over

1.00am-6.00am slept soundly - first time ever to go that long without a feed in those evil soul destroying early morning hours (!!!)

So, although he didn't fall in line re. a 7.00am wake up, I'm really pleased that he skipped his usual early-hours feed. Now the ideal situation would be for him to drop down to one feed around midnight. I'd be happy with that.

How was everyone else's Friday night?

LauraPalmer Sat 22-Feb-14 07:00:08

Epic xpost!

LauraPalmer Sat 22-Feb-14 07:03:04

10.45-11.30 AM (obviously!)

LauraPalmer Sat 22-Feb-14 07:05:01

O ffs. I did it AGAIN. <brain dead>

11.30 PM. Because if he'd slept until 11.30am I'd still be asleep right now...envy

LauraPalmer Sat 22-Feb-14 07:16:03

Sorry to hear it was a bad night AC - it does feel like any time there's some success then it all goes tits-up the next night. Why is that? It's so frustrating.

DP and I had a long talk yesterday and actually we've decided not to focus on night weaning. Because it's not the feeding that's our issue - it's the sleep between the feeding that we want to conquer. And no matter what the books/experts/HVs say, our DS does need to eat in the 12 hour period that he's in bed. Perhaps your DD is the same, AC, and the older they get they will need less in that long stretch.

I just don't have it in me to let him go hungry if he wants to eat. (Not comfort-suckle, but full-on, milk-drop-down feeding, on both sides.)

TheRealAmandaClarke Sat 22-Feb-14 09:51:55

One of her feeds is a decent full-on feed.
I would be happy with a feed between midnight and 2. Then a sleep until 6. Is that too much to ask?
Maybe I should try for that as a pattern???

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 23-Feb-14 08:17:27

Funny night.
DD BF to sleep at 7:30 ish.
Woke at almost 2:00. Bf to sleep in the rocking chair.
By the time I put her back in her cot and got into my own bed it was 3:00am.
Then she slept until 7:20 shock
Sadly, I didn't sleep well in between and DS wa in our bed for a while. But he slept pretty well and I'm quite pleased with DD's stretch of sleep after that 2:00am feed.

How are things going for the rest of you?
I hope you had reasonable nights.

Liveinthepresent Sun 23-Feb-14 14:00:18

Hello all please may I join you ? Am on the same mission - am determined to stop giving in to the 'easy' option of BF every time my 8 month old wakes in the night - but somehow my steely determination during the day time ebbs away to nothing at night..
RealAmanda I think you were on the NCSS thread too ? It's gone quiet - dont think its worked for anyone!!

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 23-Feb-14 15:35:12

Hi liveinthepresent
Yes. I was on the NCSS thread. That's still my approach tbh but I think I might find it easier to tackle one thing at a time IYSWIM.

I'm interested in what LP was saying about accepting that baby still Nestor feed though. So I am going to feed, just not at every waking, like you say.
If she really seems to want to feed I am feeding her.but sometimes I think she just needs a cuddle.
It's not easy.

How many times is babypresent feeding?

Gingersnap88 Sun 23-Feb-14 16:14:48

Can I join in too please? My DD is 2 next month, we've just moved house and she is feeding like a newborn at night hmm I'm so tired!

Last night when she woke at 1am, I said no to milk and she screamed and screamed at the top of her lungs for nearly 3 hours.
She was so so upset and I was upset for her and cross in equal measures. In the end, I did the wrong thing and caved just so we could get some sleep. She woke up at 6 still..

I've been trying the NCSS and the Dr Jay Gordon method but neither seem to be working.

My husband gets cross with me and blames it all on the breastfeeding. He pretends he can't hear her until I get upset and demand he helps me (even if only to hold my hand).

It was really horrible though, she had such a melt down, she obviously just couldn't understand why she couldn't have milk. I feel awful!

Any advise? I'm hoping someone will crack it!

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