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How can I stop feeding 12 month old DD to sleep? Attempts failing!

(14 Posts)
SallyMischievo Sat 19-Dec-15 20:01:46

So for my sins, (DM and DMIL never tire of telling me I have made a rod for my own back!), I have always fed 12 month old DD to sleep at bedtime, (daytime naps are in the pushchair the majority of the time as she has taken to refusing to sleep at home during the day, resulting in me doing endless circuits of the park or unnecessary trips to the supermarket just so she will sleep).

I have started in the last couple of weeks to break the feeding to sleep habit and embark upon an amended routine at night as follows:

6.30pm bath time
6.50pm breastfeed in dimly lit room
7.15pm into sleeping bag, stories with Ewan the Dream Sheep on harp music setting in the background
7.30pm into cot with starlight on. I lie on the bed beside her and reassure her I am there but whisper that it is 'night night time'. Cue much wailing which after a few minutes becomes distressed crying. I try picking her up as soon as she starts crying and putting her down when she stops and soothing her with my voice but she gets increasingly upset. I'm ashamed to say that after half an hour or so, I have ended up putting her back on the boob where she feeds for five minutes and promptly goes off to sleep! I feel so guilty that I am seemingly unable to teach her how to go to sleep by herself and am feeling at a loss to know what to do! I really want to crack this so that at some stage soon, I can replace the bedtime feed with a cup of milk and put her down for the night. I have phased out daytime feeds now and am just feeding first thing, bedtime and if she wakes up in the night. However, I don't see how I can stop feeding her whilst she is still dependent on this as a means of falling asleep! Any advice would be very gratefully received.

LaceyLee Sat 19-Dec-15 20:03:50

No idea but currently doing the exact same as you so interested in any responses and also, you're not the only one!

Believeitornot Sat 19-Dec-15 20:04:23

You could try removing the boob just before she falls asleep? Then cuddle her to sleep. Then work back from that.

But in all honesty why does it matter? I fed ds to sleep but he's 6 now and I don't anymore 😉 we stopped around 2. Partly by him not falling asleep, switching to a bed and introducing a beaker of milk before a feed we gradually stopped it. Dh also did more bedtimes which helped.

SallyMischievo Sun 20-Dec-15 19:56:14

Thank you, both. Glad I'm not the only one still feeding to sleep! I would like to stop BFing soon though so need to figure out a plan of action! Thanks again.

MrsHenryCrawford Sun 20-Dec-15 21:28:16

Could your dp do bedtime? She's probably confused when you are doing bedtime but refuse to feed her to sleep.

ftmsoon Sun 20-Dec-15 21:36:38

I switched DD to a bottle, so she technically still feeds to sleep but not on the boob. How we are gonna get her off the bottle is another question!

ftmsoon Sun 20-Dec-15 21:37:06

NB only at bedtime, she naps without the bottle.

SleepForTheWeak Mon 21-Dec-15 20:08:29

Hi we worked with a Sleep Consultant to help with issue and the five breastfeeds during the night when DD was about 11months old. She's now 14months and goes to sleep without a feed, settles herself to sleep in the cot and is as happy with DH doing bedtime as me.

We changed the bedtime feed to before the bath. My SC explained that when feeding before bed, even if they've not fallen asleep, the can have a wee cat nap and get quite stressed when taken off, or get a second wind. We got DH to do bath and bed for three nights, DD cried A LOT but we never left her and she was comforted during this. We then did night about - it took just 3 or 4 nights for her to understand, then another couple weeks to night wean. It was hard but SO worth it.

Just in the last week we have dropped the night feed altogether and she now gets a cup of milk and some dry cereal for supper while watching the Twirlywoos - she hasn't batted an eye at the missing feed and still settles well.

Good luck!

Bertieboo1 Mon 21-Dec-15 20:12:43

We did exactly the same as the poster above - switched bath and final feed for two weeks, DS cried (with us comforting him/going in every few minutes) for 3 nights then started settling himself within 10 minutes. First night was very hard but totally worth it. Appreciate not everyone wants to go down this route though.

SallyMischievo Tue 22-Dec-15 19:31:53

Wow! Thank you so much, this is just the sort of advice I was after! Will give this a try! Thank you again.

SleepForTheWeak Tue 22-Dec-15 22:58:50

Let us know how you get on smile

KittenOfWoe Wed 23-Dec-15 01:40:52

Following with interest as my 8 month old is very much boob dependant sad
I was happy to carry on but a. I'm so tiiiired, and b. I have De Quervain's from lifting the little chunk and need steroid injections in my wrists and thumbs; physiotherapist has told me I shouldn't be breastfeeding whilst having the jabs. Kind of trapped between being at his beck and call but needing to get him self settling so I can have the injections asap....

SallyMischievo Wed 23-Dec-15 19:28:11

Gosh Kitten, that sounds tough. Have you tried your DS with formula yet? I must admit, my DD wasn't at all keen so I started phasing out daytime feeds and giving her cow's milk at 11 months and luckily she was happier with that. It's the bedtime feed I worry most about dropping as she feeds for at least an hour before bed and has not reacted well to me nipping it in the bud! Good luck! Do keep me posted!

Qferrymum1 Fri 25-Dec-15 20:32:14

Just to say I was in the same situation and wondering if it was ever going to stop, it did when we introduced a bottle at bedtime instead. That meant DH could do the put down for a change and although she didn't like it at first she soon got used to it and just got mor chilled out at bedtime generally. Now we give her a bottle in a lit room, then put her in th cot awake, usually no problem for her to send herself off. Good luck whatever you do!

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