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How do you not feed to sleep when breastfeeding in middle of night?

(40 Posts)
Lilipot15 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:01:20

Just that really!
My six month old wakes frequently. Settles with a feed. I can only assume she needs night feeds still because of age, minimal solids and very distractible daytime feeds.

I feed in dark, she usually falls asleep on the breast! I have read to avoid feeding to sleep but how??

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 08-Dec-15 07:05:25

Tough one. DD1 just stopped BF-ing to sleep of her own accord at about 8 months but that just meant I cuddled her to sleep instead so basically swapped one prop for another. DD2 is 5 months and still BF's to sleep (every single hour of the night!).

Ughnotagain Tue 08-Dec-15 07:07:17

Not a clue. I feed my 6mo DD to sleep too.

Night before last she woke at 4, dozed off when I fed her, then woke when I put her down. I passed her to DH for a bit and she just grizzled until he took her downstairs. I think if she knows I'm there only the boob will do!

Lilipot15 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:07:26

Hello again grin
We had the same situation!

Artandco Tue 08-Dec-15 07:09:15

I stopped feeding overnight by that age. I fed on demand all day and evening so they had plenty. Only offered water if they woke between 11pm-6am. Like I said they could
Feed every hour in the day/ evening of they wanted

HappyAsASandboy Tue 08-Dec-15 07:18:24

I feed to sleep. It's one of the magical benefits of breastfeeding smile

I'm on baby number three, and cherishing the feeding to sleep days. At some point they stop feeding to sleep and start feeding then looking at you for the next piece of action - then you'll really wonder what to do!

Feed to sleep for as long as you can is my advice!

YouBastardSockBalls Tue 08-Dec-15 07:20:29

Just feed to sleep. I did with both of mine, it meets their needs and certainly hasn't caused any problems, they both fall asleep just fine now.

Please don't stop feeding iver

YouBastardSockBalls Tue 08-Dec-15 07:20:50

Overnight, they still need milk at that age.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 08-Dec-15 07:21:13

Artandco what do you do if your baby just won't feed any more in the day? I offer and offer all day but she'll only feed approx every 3-4 hours in the day.

GiraffesAndButterflies Tue 08-Dec-15 07:21:38

Yeah my solution was to stop reading the "don't feed to sleep" advice. <helpful>

Fugghetaboutit Tue 08-Dec-15 07:23:08

What's wrong with feeding a 6 month old to sleep? It works and some still need it!

Lilipot15 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:27:03

The thing I've read which is why I'm asking is that there is a lot of thought that it creates a habit of everytime they wake (and I think I have a baby who wakes every sleep cycle) they want the boob.
Her feeds aren't always big so I think some of them are comfort feeds. Feeding is the easiest way, I agree, and of course feels like the right thing to do, but the 1-2 hourly wakings are getting challenging in a baby who despite ongoing efforts won't take a dummy.

Poppyclock Tue 08-Dec-15 07:27:46

I second all the posters saying keep doing it if it works. And who cares if baby is just sucking for comfort, the boob is the original pacifier. Babies generally know what they need and will stop feeding to sleep when the time is right.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 08-Dec-15 07:28:25

Exactly the same situation here. Wakes every sleep cycle, only settled with a feed (some just 2 mins sucking), won't take a dummy... Exhausting!

Cumberlover76 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:29:31

I fed DD to sleep until she was 14mo then one day she just pushed me away and cuddled to sleep. She's nearly 4 now and falls asleep by herself no problem. I agree that feeding to sleep is a bf benefit and works well. My views on babies was always do whatever was easy and worked. I don't think feeding to sleep ever caused any problems. Enjoy they won't do it dpfor long in the grand scheme of things.

CharmingChampignon Tue 08-Dec-15 07:31:28

At that age I'd carry on feeding to sleep - it works and you all get back to sleep quicker. I co slept so they just latched themselves on and drifted off with minimal disturbance to me.

At about 10 months with both of mine I night weaned by leaving DH on sort and absenting myself - no issues caused. I bf both of mine for a long time in the end.

Artandco Tue 08-Dec-15 07:33:49

Well you can't force them to feed so won't work for everyone. But if they currently feed every 3-4 hrs in the day then they will need feeding during the night. If you can increase to every 2 hrs in the day then they would be getting double the feeds in the day so it's reasonable to not feed in the night. Btw night for me is 11pm-6am, not 7pm-7am

Fugghetaboutit Tue 08-Dec-15 07:39:02

At 10-11 months Ds lessened the feeds on his own, don't worry too much now about habits. Babies need milk at night still

PotteringAlong Tue 08-Dec-15 07:48:12

I'm with everyone else; just feed them to sleep!

Purpleboa Tue 08-Dec-15 08:14:19

Sorry artandco, but what you said about feeding them more in the day so they won't need more at night isn't necessarily true. I've read quite a bit that disproves this. At six months they still need milk at night.

Artandco Tue 08-Dec-15 08:30:17

Well many don't as the sleep through

Fugghetaboutit Tue 08-Dec-15 08:43:10

This is why it's important to do your own thing and not stress, because all babies are different, as are mothers smile

I didn't mind feeding to sleep but my friend paid someone £500 to help her stop and to wean her child off it.

Lilipot15 Tue 08-Dec-15 08:56:20

I have been cosleeping but she has developed a habit of using me as a dummy and not coming off which I find uncomfortable and I can't just drift off to sleep as I used to.
When she wakes she can get very agitated unless she is fed, as Grotbag said, even sometimes just very briefly and she'll go off to sleep. So it is working, but there is SO much stuff about not feeding to sleep I was wondering how on earth others managed not to! I agree that presently it works so I guess I shall carry on.
When my first woke at night at this age, somehow I was able to tell if a dummy replacement would be enough (often it would) or if she needed a feed.

FreeButtonBee Tue 08-Dec-15 13:34:13

I take a middle ground and feed if it's been more than 3 hrs since last feed. I figure if they can go 3 hrs (or more!!!) during the day, then I'm buggered if I'm going to feed more regularly than that at night. So I settle by rocking/cuddling/ any way I can. If they wake again before the 3 hr mark, then j feed. I practiced the rocking for day time naps ( can now get him down in less than 5 mins for naps and now working on putting him into cot awake and rocking his body in the cot til he goes over).

Obviously if baby is rooting like crazy and wailing hysterically then I feed but it's useful if you suspect it's a bit of a comfort suck and they don't want to let your nipple go!

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 08-Dec-15 13:45:06

Well my two were bottle fed from a few weeks so I couldn't feed to sleep.

From my experience this resulted in thumb sucking/dummy use. From my experience if they're not feeding to sleep then that comfort needs to be replaced with something else.

Then there's the issue of whether baby still needs milk at night. 'They' say that 6 months olds don't need night feeds but my ds2 still needs one.

You could try gently waking her after a feed, the old drowsy but awake.

My advice would be to just do whatever you need to do to get some sleep.

I was cosleeping with ds2 until a couple of weeks ago. I happened to mention it to a nurse and she gave me a big lecture and said that I know I shouldn't be doing it.

Seen as the alternative would have been staying awake the whole night I did want to tell her to go and fuck herself.

However if feeding to sleep isn't working for you there are other things you can try.

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