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Advice needed on how to break comfort feeding habit

(10 Posts)
Dolly456 Mon 02-Nov-15 07:13:26

My 10 month old DS co sleeps and comfort feeds all night and we are trying to break this habit but can't. DH settles him to sleep in his cot at night & while he will cry for about 20 mins he will go off to sleep initially but the longest he has ever slept in his cot is 1 hour 40 mins.
At that stage if I don't appear & feed him he will cry hysterically. The other night we decided I would stay away & DH would comfort him back to sleep but he screamed for nearly 3 hours till we caved & I fed him.
He's on 3 solid meals a day now so doesn't need fed during night he only does it for comfort. We've tried introducing comforters but he ignores them.
I've also got 3 year old so all this crying is disturbing his sleep.
Naps are another problem as he won't settle unless I feed him to sleep & then only sleeps for about 20 mins before he wakes, realises I'm not there & screams.
Any tips on how to stop him comfort feeding would be great.

chloechloe Mon 02-Nov-15 13:47:46

Will he take a dummy at all? I got into a bad habit of feeding my DD to sleep for her naps when we were moving house, simply because it got her off to sleep quicker and meant I could get on with packing and unpacking! To break the habit, I used to wait until she had finished drinking and started comfort suckling and would then unlatch her and give her a dummy instead so that she wasn't falling asleep on me. When she got used to that, I slowly cut down the length of the feed until eventually she would go to sleep with a dummy instead.

Dolly456 Mon 02-Nov-15 19:54:42

I've tried him with dummy on & off but he normally chews on it a bit then throws it away however I've not tried it when he's falling asleep after feed. Willing to try anything so will give that a shot. Thanks.

FATEdestiny Mon 02-Nov-15 21:16:37

10 months old is a bit late for successfully introducing a dummy so you may need to preserver and work hard to get it accepted, if it will be accepted at all. Dummies are worth 10-times their weight in gold IMO.

You mention co-sleeping and I assume you are breastfeeding?. Are you planning on continuing to co-sleep just not to feed? That might actually be much harder to do and very difficult (impossible) for a 10 month old to understand that the milk-bar is right there, but they are not allowed access.

If you want to make the change from co-sleeping and breastfeeding to sleep to independent sleeping in own cot all night - you first need to be certain that this is a change you definitely want to make. It is a complete about-turn in parenting style away from attachment parenting. Do you really want to do this? If you do, make sure you are certain of your reasons and reaffirm them to yourself often so that you can stay strong and consistent.

Baby will find it hard. There will be crying. Probably a lot of crying, a very lot. Making changes to sleep habits at this age is hard anyway, making such a significant change harder still. So if you want to make this change then you would be best being consistent and strong.

Or alternatively, just embrace attachment parenting co-sleeping and night feeds as part of the baby years (it's likely to be years, set realistic expectations). But it won't last forever and when ready, your child will sleep independently when older.

bunique Mon 02-Nov-15 21:19:11

Have a google for Jay Gordon's night weaning method. The Leaky Boob wrote up her experience of using it as well which was insightful

maymow Mon 02-Nov-15 23:03:37

I'm not sure there has to be a choice between attachment parenting and going down the route of lots of crying. I managed to get my co-sleeping, sling napping boob addict DD aged 10 months into her cot and sleeping through the night with very few tears and only a bit of protest. Combination of night weaning and gradual retreat. It took six weeks in all, so not a quick solution, but so glad we didn't attempt any other method as DD is very wilful
. I worked with a sleep consultant and it was so worth it.

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Nov-15 08:07:30

Gradual withdrawal from cosleeping and bf to sleep at 10 months old is likely to involve baby crying. I certainly was not suggesting leaving baby to cry though and would advocate GW.

I've done no crying no stress GW with my DD. But I started from birth and took things very gradually up to 12 months old. I wouldn't be so fair to suggest to op that this would be a no-tears method in her situation, it is unlikely to be and unrealistic expectations are not supportive to other mums.

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Nov-15 08:09:28

I should have stressed in 6 weeks too. The pantry pull off method will work no tears. Likely to take (much) longer than 6 weeks for most tho.

mummalumma Tue 03-Nov-15 22:35:46

Somebody else mentioned Dr Jay Gordon's technique -- it worked for us and we had a terrible sleeper who also wouldn't sleep in her cot, woke frequently, fed loooaaaadsss, was heavily relaint on the breast to settle back to sleep. I actually carried on BFing until she was 2 1/2 yrs old just because it was a way of soothing her off to sleep and then back to sleep after her frequent wakings. Within 3 weeks of using the Dr Jay Gordon technique our DD was sleeping in 6 hour chunks, which felt amazing. However, his technique is aimed at babies over the age of 1 year. If you are willing to continue a little longer then his is a gentle night-weaning technique that may help. Elizabeth Pantley also has some gentle techniques re BF and co-sleeping: www.babywhispererforums.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=8feabdc5c3cd5c03cfcdee5306f63cfd&topic=52857.msg1845488#msg1845488

mummalumma Tue 03-Nov-15 22:37:50

Also, important to stress that change likely to be gradual with gentle, no-cry techniques. GL!

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