Help! Should I go back to night feeding? At the end of my tether!(11 Posts)
Hello. DD is nearly 9 months old now. She's never been a great sleeper. She currently sleeps in her own room in her cot. Up until about a month ago she was having a night feed (about 7.30-8ish), a dream feed (about 10ish) and then waking another 2-3 times a night for more feeds. We decided at 8 months old this was excessive, we were tired, and it was also impacting on her weaning (she was hardly eating anything as she was filling up on milk all night). After a chat with the HV we decided to start gradually diluting her night milk. So we went through a phase whereby when we made her a 6oz bottle we made it 5oz milk to 1oz water for 3 nights, then 4oz milk to 2oz water for 3 nights etc until a couple of nights ago when we moved over to only offering her water after her dreamfeed. The theory according to the HV is that she would gradually learn there was not much to wake up for and wake less and less. The reality is that she's waking just as much but getting her back to sleep is a nightmare now. Prior to doing this we had reached the point whereby as long as her tummy was full with milk she would normally self-settle in her cot after a feed, but now with no tummy full of milk it's regularly taking an hour or two after each wake-up to get her back to sleep with lots of crying and requiring lots of rocking etc. Then she's awake again an hour or two later and we repeat the whole process again! I don't know what to do. I'm exhausted. I hate to admit it but last night I snapped and ended up shouting at her to shut up and then bursting into tears (bad mummy).
Should I go back to giving her milk? The thing is I don't even really think she's that hungry as when we get up in the morning I usually leave it an hour or two before offering her breakfast as she's not normally hungry first thing, even without the night feeds. I think it's just a habit for her to use milk to get back to sleep. Also her eating has gotten so much better since we've dropped the night feeds (she's now having 3 proper meals a day whereas previously we would struggle to even get a few mouthfuls a day into her). However I don't think I can go on like this much longer. Should I persist given that it's only been a couple of days of only offering water? There's also the issue that she's more mobile now and she keeps getting herself 'stuck' in the cot (usually rolling onto her tummy and not being able to roll back onto her back again) so she's waking up a lot because of that too.
So as not to dip-feed I would say she naps for about 2 hours a day in the daytime usually over 2-3 naps so I don't thinks she's napping excessively.
Desperate for any advice / help. Thank you!
I would persist, it could take a few weeks. But I guess you need to be comfortable that she is getting enough to eat and drink in the day (which sounds like it is now becoming the case) - seems like you have already broken the cycle. You might also try giving her eg Weetabix / ready brek after tea and bath / milk feed, just before bed. It is hard when you are knackered but worth it to get them sleeping well!
It's hard and every dc is different. I stopped night feeding dd1 at 6 months. She then started teething, which was horrible!
But l found with dd1 l just had to hold her for a little while (half an hour sometimes) and then l could put her back. It's like she needed to know l was still there.
I wouldn't go back but that's me.
My advice would be don't go back. I say this because we first night weaned DD at about that age, it was tough for a few weeks but we got there. Since then we've gone back to milk in the night in periods of illness and teething, and now at 18 months after a particularly nasty virus I am night weaning again. Just think short term pain for long term gain, you don't want to be in my situation in a years time (and DC2 due next month!)
Okay thank you. That's kind of what I was thinking too. [Takes deep breath and prepares for a couple of rough weeks]. Thank you all for replying so quickly. x
There's every chance she could still need feeding at night. My ten month old does.
Try to up the daytime milk so she's taking it then instead, but in all honesty if you can feed her and put her back to sleep full and happy, why would you instead stay up listening to her screaming and hungry?
Babies this age don't have a temper, and they're not manipulative. If she's taking the milk then she must need it. Also health visitors often talk a lot of crap with their one size fits all policies.
She WONT wake to feed forever, but whilst she is why not just feed her? What does it matter?
My dd at 8 months was getting up about 4 times a night and it is awful. I tried cutting out night feeds, but the upshot was that we were all up for longer and dd was very distressed.
I accepted she just wanted the feeds and we were back to short wakings and a happy baby.
Now, at ten months, she wakes up once, or sometimes not at all.
It won't last forever but I would just feed her.
Replace milk with a new sleep association? DS has Bear and was never attached to the bedtime feed, but would wake up if he pushed Bear out of bed (still does at 3.10! ).
WellErr that was pretty much my view too but we're still up 2-3 times a night at 18 months... Add a newborn into the mix in a few months time and it make me want to cry!
Thank you. Maybe I should try bringing Ewan the sheep out of retirement (we used him a lot when trying to teach DD how to self-settle). I went to that page nottheop and did the quiz and it gave me a score of 11 which apparently means that she might be ready to night wean. I think on balance I'm going to try to persist for a bit longer.
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