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Feeding to sleep

(20 Posts)
Zed126 Tue 01-Apr-14 10:34:41

My nine week old is a good sleeper at night but only if we get off to a good start and the only way to achieve that is by breastfeeding her to sleep.

All the advice out there warns you against feeding to sleep, stresses how important the gap between feeding and sleeping is and how vital it is that you put your baby down drowsy but not asleep. I completely understand the reasoning behind this and I'd love to be able to achieve it but right now it isn't possible.

Unless I feed her until she's either asleep or very nearly, all hell breaks loose and the night time turns very sour - for everyone, with very little sleep and lots of tears all round. She gets whipped up into a frenzy and I can't handle it.

Part of me thinks it's too early to try to break this habit - she's still so small and I want her to feel comforted and loved all the time - but part of me agrees with the general consensus that it's only going to get harder. I feel so guilty either way - whether she's screaming or whether I'm "cheating".

I can't be the only one with this issue. Please help!!

KikiShack Tue 01-Apr-14 11:16:20

I could have written your post 16 weeks ago, and at 25 weeks it's still true! I think you'll actually get loads of responses telling you not to worry as loads/most bf mums do this. it is easy and cuddly.
I've begun trying to break the association in the last few weeks using a lightshow. I now feed DD until asleep or sleepy, if she's asleep I put her in her cot which wakes her, then I basically spoon her with her face watching the lightshow until she falls asleep. she sometimes cries a bit but not much.
This is a little bit better than bf to sleep because it means I'm less likely to overfeed her and make her vomit, DP can do it too, and in theory one day she might go down just by watching the lights. I'm not able to do that yet though, maybe next month!

ShoeWhore Tue 01-Apr-14 11:23:11

Please please don't worry about feeding her to sleep at this age. There are hormones in bm designed to make both of you feel drowsy. What does that tell you about feeding to sleep?

She will learn to fall asleep without it when she's bigger.

knittingirl Tue 01-Apr-14 11:29:25

My son is 7 months old and I still feed him to sleep, it's a lovely time together.

Breastfeeding releases hormones that help both you and baby sleep, this says to me that we are designs to feed our babies to sleep, regardless of what so called sleep experts (who are not spending hours every day trying to get your child to sleep!) may say.

Starballbunny Tue 01-Apr-14 11:42:38

TV, subtitles, feed baby, toddler or small school child until asleep.

No stress, no problem and I'd probably watch TV in an evening anyway.

From 7 months DD2 was perfectly happy to have squash and a yoghurt if I was out (totally refused bottles and hates milk).

Most DCs don't keep it up anything like as long as DD2, but they all learn to accept DM won't be at their beck and call every evening and sometimes she'll have things to do and chase them up to bed.

An hour watching a good TV program beats an hour of hush patting a restless toddler, only to end up BFing at 2am because of the adrenaline in their system from being over tired and grumpy.

Happydaze247 Tue 01-Apr-14 14:08:00

Your baby is still so young. Don't spend these precious first weeks worrying about bad habits or doing things wrong. like I did. Enjoy this time, it's over too quickly.

You're doing everything right and it sounds like it's working perfectly. Feeding to sleep is normal, natural and the perfect thing to do at this age. Ok, there will come a time when it no longer works and you have to rethink things. But not now.

NickyEds Tue 01-Apr-14 15:30:30

I feed my 14 week old DS to sleep but I don't see what else to do-he just falls asleep!!! Am I really supposed to wake him so that he can self settle-I don't think so!!!!!

NickyEds Tue 01-Apr-14 15:30:48

I feed my 14 week old DS to sleep but I don't see what else to do-he just falls asleep!!! Am I really supposed to wake him so that he can self settle-I don't think so!!!!!

NickyEds Tue 01-Apr-14 15:30:56

I feed my 14 week old DS to sleep but I don't see what else to do-he just falls asleep!!! Am I really supposed to wake him so that he can self settle-I don't think so!!!!!

Emmasmummy2013 Tue 01-Apr-14 16:02:19

Hi, DD is now 27 weeks and we are in the same boat!

I agree enjoy the time and try not to worry about it, why spoil what should be a lovely thing for you both because the books tell you its wrong!

That said, I am trying to introduce other ways to get dd to sleep, but only because I want her to go to sleep for her grandma when I go back to work. Same as Kikishack I am trying to introduce a lightshow. Also on the odd occasion she now allows me to pat or rock her to sleep. She also fell asleep in grandmas arms the other day to my amazement!! But I'm sure these things are only beginning to work now that shes getting bigger. I worried like you and on occasion tried in vain to settle dd in her cot without feeding. She just wasn't ready, it got us both stressed out and tired for no reason!

I do long for the day I can just pop her in her cot and walk away, but I know when it does happen it will be bittersweet as I will be sad this time is over.

Starballbunny Tue 01-Apr-14 23:51:31

I should add DD2 napped perfectly well at nursery, so even total Breast Milk addicts can be reasonable for other people.

She never napped for me, except dozing and feeding, but that was because DD1's preschool ended just as she would have had a nap. Once DD1 was home the world was too interesting for sleep.

It honestly never bothered her and I've always wondered if other people have non napping DC2,3 etc

fuzzywigsmum Thu 03-Apr-14 13:06:25

I'm going through exactly the same dilemma OP with DD2. DD1 self-soothed almost from birth with very little stress. DD2 (10 wks) doesn't seem ready - have tried the old sssh-pat on her but she stayed awake after 15 mins of crying and I felt distraught. Thing is, I really don't want her reliant on me to be settled and I'd like her to be able to sleep well at night and have nagging feeling she's only going to get more attached to boob not less. Anyway, for now I'm trying to put her down when she's only just asleep and hopefully over time I'll be able to put her down sleepy but awake. Have you read about the Pantley Pull-Off method? It might be worth a try?

fuzzywigsmum Thu 03-Apr-14 13:11:08

Also OP, if you can currently put DC down when he's v sleepy but not asleep you're half way there. Just keep doing that and DC will learn to self soothe. There's definitely nothing wrong with using BFing as a sleep cue and helping DC to feel relaxed.

Zed126 Sun 06-Apr-14 13:04:11

All this is really helpful and really reassuring. Its a minefield and it helps to hear other people are going through similar things and to hear how you're handling it.

Since that post, I've been trying to do one sleep a day without feeding her to sleep. It always the pram sleep, where the rhythm helps her and it does involve some crying before she goes but I think this is her releasing excess energy - its not manic and it's short lived, unlike at home without the pram when it's not doable.

Anyway, thank you all for your advice, reassurance etc. fuzzywigsmum, I haven't heard of the Pantley Pull-off method but I'm going to look into that now.

13Stitches Sun 06-Apr-14 13:22:39

I BFd DS till just before he was 2. He fed to sleep until sometime after he was 1, and just stopped falling asleep and went down happily countering to himself. It was the only thing he was cooperative with!

I had tried to put him down awake before he was ready, but it never worked, and in the dead of night I just took the easy route.

Go with your gut - if this is the easiest option now, go with it.

littleowl14 Sun 06-Apr-14 19:10:19

believe me at 16 months I'm HEARTILY glad of feed to sleep!

When it's not worked he's either not tired enough or he just realises it's time to go to sleep (at his age now he understands). We do cosleep but he'll now go in cot happily at nursery (they used the pram from 10 to 13 months)

Now he's a toddler I find it really handy as naps can shift depending on how he feels / recovering from illness etc. I can tell from a feed if he's tired and often let him have an early nap if he needs it. however, he has always set his nap routine to the clock which I've worked out through allowing him to feed to sleep or in the pram.

I did start doing the pantley pull off at around 5 months at night though which is handy at times so they get used to it. But sometimes he needs to suck more in his sleep - especially when he's teething, putting weight on after illness or going through some development stuff.

callamia Sun 06-Apr-14 19:21:39

I don't undertand the reasoning behind not doing it. At five months, i still mainly do it. My ds gets so distracted, and doesn't feed well during the day, especially if we're out. The evening is about the only time that he will relax enough to get his fill. He can sleep without feeding; but it usually takes my huband to do it.

Nine weeks is still so tiny. Does she clusterfeed at night? She might eeally need all that millk to get her through the night.

littleowl14 Sun 06-Apr-14 19:45:07

meant to add I think using the pram and sling as alternatives also helped/ helps

3boys3dogshelp Sun 06-Apr-14 19:54:49

I've fed all 3 of mine to sleep at night and they never went in their cots during the day preferring to sleep in the pram then pushchair. As babies one ok sleeper , 1 fantastic sleeper , 1 awful sleeper so my conclusion is it makes no difference. The oldest 2 soon developed a new routine within a week or so of being weaaned and are great now.
Please try not to worry too much what books say -read them but then do what feels right for you and your lo.

littleowl14 Tue 08-Apr-14 07:44:37

couldn't agree more with 3boys.

even ff friends have fed back to sleep at over one. Amongst all of them, any attempt to 'sleep train' has gone tits up as soon as the next cold / tooth / developmental stuff comes along (and seriously, I don't feel we've been free of any of that since he was 5 months old!!!)confused

from what I can tell, my method of stuffing boob in is the quickest and quietest method. my ds is and has been a gawd awful sleeper from the start, I'm sort of glad as he's helped me realise the fallacy of the baby sleep book industry. as said, reading them can help but remember they're not gospel and really, every child needs their own book individual to them. but that is what their mums are for!

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