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Breaking the Habit

(9 Posts)
MamaDuckling Thu 20-Feb-14 19:37:22

I want to stop feeding my 13 week old to sleep.

Any tips on how to start?

I've just put him down drowsy but he's wide awake and fussing in his cot.

He is fed,bathed, etc...

Mamasinstinct Fri 21-Feb-14 09:23:52

Hi there
I found the only alternative to feeding to sleep at that age was walking/singing/cuddling in tandem. Then transferring to bed/cot. You could try letting him cry but I was never comfortable with that.
We tried a few times to stop feeding to sleep as we were told we would make child dependent on it etc but kept slipping back into feeding to sleep as it was always the easiest option!! If this is also why you want to stop then I can reassure you that you are not 'spoiling' your child in any way and even though we always fed or comforted our baby to sleep it didn't ruin her - in fact she (at 2 yrs old) is a delight to put down - one story one song then she puts herself to sleep for 12 hours without fail! I just don't think they're ready for that at 13 weeks.

MamaDuckling Fri 21-Feb-14 15:54:48


Thank you for responding grin

I tried for 2 hours last night before resorting to the boob! Nice to know it's not habit forming at this age though, which is what I was worried about.

How did you make the transition?

Mamasinstinct Fri 21-Feb-14 19:49:31

When she was three months I had a big family event where I was planning to drink so expressed and feeding to sleep wasn't an option. I discovered walking her and patting her as an alternative and we used this or feeding her to sleep for the next year or so.
After that I tried the 'no cry sleep solution' convinced I had to do something to break the bad habits with some success but still slipping back to 'bad habits' when I was tired and wanted a quick solution! Then a couple of months later we moved her from a cot to a bed and that was it! Overnight she needed no more than story and song (we have no other pre-bed routine) and she'll put herself to sleep. We can be anywhere- family's or friend's and there's no fuss! Friends can't believe it - some still have to do controlled crying at two years old and have night wakings. So it was restrictive in the short-term - always having to help her drift off - and it was risky due to the warnings from others but she obviously needed it and now doesn't. And it's paying off and we are all content and very well-rested :-)

llamallama Fri 21-Feb-14 19:51:04

Feeding to sleep is the most natural thing in the world for babies, why do you want to stop it?

Brackla Fri 21-Feb-14 20:30:44

Feeding to sleep is a lovely thing to do but one thing to bear in mind is that once they stop feeding, one thing you can try is not letting them keep sucking, if indeed you normally do. My DS is 8 months and I'm trying to get him out of the sucking to sleep habit which is in our case entirely from my feeding him to sleep for bedtime and naps (for which we bedshare when he's not in the carrier). This was great and worked for both of us until about a month ago when he started waking every hour and couldn't go back to sleep without a nipple to suck. Exhaustion has driven me to make a change so I'm 11 nights in to the Pantley Pull Off and it's having some effect but I think it'll take another couple of weeks to work, if it's going to. I do wish I'd taken the advice in the book when I first read it when DS was newborn and not got us into this habit!

MamaDuckling Fri 21-Feb-14 22:43:54

Llama, I don't really want to stop, but I keep hearing that it's a bad habit and to try to stop soon. Books, friends etc all say the same.

I agree it's a lovely, natural thing to do so am interested to hear others experiences.

I also try to make DS pull off before I put him down, he then goes fully to sleep in my arms before I transfer to the cot...

Mama, sounds like it's done no harm at all for your DD, so I'll keep at it for now!

Also, we swaddle DS very snug as his startle reflex is so strong and wakes him. Any idea when this will settle down?

llamallama Fri 21-Feb-14 22:49:57

I fed my daughter to sleep until it stopped working. She just stopped falling asleep so I changed to rocking/singing. Gradually she needed that less and less. By about 15 months I could pop her in her cot awake and she would roll over and go to sleep. Entirely baby led and never had any problems. She is now 2.5 and in a bed, goes to bed on her own every night, sleeps through no problem.

I know I'm just one person, but I think these things are only a problem if they are a problem for you, if that makes sense.

While it's working, why change it?

I'm now feeding my 9 month old to sleep and intend to carry on until it stops working or she needs something different.

Do what feels right for you, don't worry about other people opinions.

Mamasinstinct Fri 21-Feb-14 22:52:14

His startle reflex might be strong as he is naturally a front sleeper but you are putting him on his back as it's a safer option? So maybe once he can roll onto his front that will settle down. My DD was like this so I compromised by putting her to sleep on her side which helped a lot.

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