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Feeding to sleep

(17 Posts)
ClemFandango Wed 03-Feb-16 19:19:48

Hi not sure what to do, DS seems to want to spend all of his sleeps with my boob in his mouth. I had a massive struggle to establish bf so want to protect what we have achieved. DS2 has been gaining weight slowly and is now on 2nd centile where he was previously following the 25th. This week at 13 weeks is the first time his weight has continued up on the same centile curve since we dropped all formula top ups around wk7. DS feeds around 2hrly in the night and 2 hrly or less in the day. We co-sleep and although I don't really enjoy it I can't see me getting any sleep any other way. My question is over whether I should be trying to move away from feeding to sleep at this age? Every time he wakes he wants to suckle back to sleep, he naps very briefly in my arms and longer in the sling after some protest. I worry that we will never be able to get to a stage where he sleeps independently. I am stuck between wanting to allow him to suckle to maintain bf and improve weght gain and improving sleep. Is it ok to just go with it and hope we can sort sleep out when he is older? I realise many people are happy to let this go on until it naturally ends, however I know people still doing this at 3.5yrs and still going to bed at 7pm with the DC and I can't bear the thought. I will also be going back to work after a year and will need some decent sleep to manage my commute. Anyone been in a similar situation with any advice? Thanks for reading my rambling post!

Cric Wed 03-Feb-16 19:31:30

I feed my LO to sleep until about 6 months and then she wanted to go straight in her cot. we did also give her a dummy at about 8 weeks to help with the moments that she wanted comfort and not food. Have you thought about a dummy?

Cric Wed 03-Feb-16 19:31:58

Fed my LO... Should read before post!

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 03-Feb-16 19:37:02

We just went with it and really sorted itself out once weaning was established, with a bit of prodding and a good routine at about 9 months. I seem to think it coincided with them beginning to crawl and wear themselves out a bit. It's a personal choice and depends on your circumstances, but my two turned into good sleepers as kids.

techgirl Wed 03-Feb-16 19:41:48

From my experience I would say go with it for now - mine both adjusted very quickly to my stopping feeding to sleep at year old despite health visitor telling me that if I didn't leave very insomniac DS to self settle at 6 months 'he never will' and DS in particular was so nipple obsessed I was bracing myself for trauma but he just seemed to be OK by that point.

Snooksbury Wed 03-Feb-16 19:46:03

I agree with the others, just go with it, it'll be fine, it will sort itself out.

ClemFandango Wed 03-Feb-16 20:11:45

Ah, thanks for the reassurance guys! Cric - he won't take a dummy, I have tried.

FATEdestiny Wed 03-Feb-16 21:03:03

If your baby is on the 2nd centile, you realistically need to be feeding at every possible opportunity at this age. I wouldn't use a dummy when working so hard to establish breastfeeding.

I will pull no punches here and be brutally honest with you - you may well end up with some sleep issues later on. But you have clearly worked very, very hard with regards to breastfeeding and that hard work will continue, so it is a matter or prioritising for the moment.

Snooksbury Thu 04-Feb-16 08:23:30

The reason I think it will be fine is because my boy was fed to sleep for months, until he was just over 1. Because it was easier, it worked, and I got more sleep that way too. When they get to around 1 it's a lot easier to gently nudge them towards sleeping on their own. From my experience doing what you are doing doesn't cause sleep issues later at all. I used to worry same as you and when I look back now I wish I hadn't worried at all and just gone with the flow.

CityDweller Thu 04-Feb-16 17:06:35

Just go with the flow for now - 13 weeks is still tiny, really. DD only napped on me until she was that age and I fed her to sleep at bedtime until 5.5 mo and she had frequent night feeds after that. Then, suddenly, at 8.5 mo she slept through one night (night before she'd woken up 4 times to feed) and continued to do so (for the most part).

ClemFandango Thu 04-Feb-16 18:40:30

Thanks for the replies. I think going with the flow is the way forward. I will try to get him to have some naps in Moses basket next week while DS1 is in nursery. He hasn't been in it for weeks!

Fox28 Fri 05-Feb-16 20:06:57

Snooksbury do you mind me asking how you nudged your DS to sleeping on his own? DD is almost 18 months and still feeds to sleep (bad habit I know). I just don't know how to stop. I never planned to feed to sleep, but she just literally keeps feeding until she falls asleep! It seems mean to stop her mid feed. If I put her into her cot before she's asleep she just screams and screams and won't settle. She gets herself so worked up sad

Snooksbury Wed 10-Feb-16 20:12:03

Sorry only just seen your post Fox, I used to feed to sleep, then just fed until he was mostly stopped feeding and sleepy, then I'd cuddle to sleep, then after that stage I'd put him in his cot and sing and rub/pat his back.

Then I stopped singing to him and just shhhhed and pat him, then just shhhhhed. Then gradually moved further away from his cot each night. Some nights I'd have to go back to the stage before but slowly it worked over 2-3 weeks. Then I'd tell him to lie down and if he stood up I'd tell him I was going out of the room and would only come back if he lay down. I'd only need to stand outside the door for a few seconds and when I came back in he would lie down easier.

I'm not saying there was no crying, because for a couple of nights there was when he went from feeding to sleep to cuddling but I was there the whole time and singing and cuddling did calm him. He cried about 5-10 the first night then grumbled for another 20 I'd say, then next night a lot less, maybe just 5 mins overall.
That said, if feeding to sleep is working for you and you don't have the energy for stopping it then no harm in carrying on for a while then review the situation in a couple of months. I think at some point I got to the 'enough is enough' attitude and had the wilpower to have a couple of weeks of long bedtimes. If it doesn't work the first time you try this technique just leave it a few weeks then try again I'd say. Good luck though, and just be reassured you aren't setting yourself up for getting into bad habits, 18 months is still so small x

MoreSnowPlease Wed 10-Feb-16 20:22:15

My advice is to not worry about changing anything until you are ready to change it. When you are ready, it will change. Whatever stage you decide to change things there will likely be a bit of protest.

From my experience, ds1 was like yours except he feed every half hour for 9 months and then up to 1 hour for the next 9 months. I kept going because he also wasn't gaining well (I later found out it was because I had low iron so milk want giving him what he needed) I decided to stop night feeds all together when ds2 was born and ds1 was 2. At that point I could only go cold turkey. It took 4 nights of solid crying/comforting for hours on end, but then he slept through, he sleeps through all the time now, he's now my good sleeper!!!!

Fox28 Wed 17-Feb-16 15:20:18

Thanks snooksbury - just seen your reply. It's nice to hear someone say to just carry on if I want to and it won't matter. I feel like I'm doing it all wrong most of the time. When I feel strong enough I will definitely try your method. She's in the process of dropping her nap I think (although I've been in denial about it) and also woken for a 3 hour period during the night for 2 out of the last 3 nights. I feel like a zombie!

WilLiAmHerschel Wed 17-Feb-16 15:27:49

Fox my 18 month old dd feeds to sleep and she sleeps in our bed (so you're one up on me there!). She has never been a good sleeper and we fought to get her sleeping in her cot but she was up so often I was like a zombie. I'm happy with her in the bed but would like to stop feeding to sleep but tbh am reluctant to change things. I think it's best to stick to what works for you and your child and try not to worry about it. I know my worries came from what outsiders thought, but what the hell do they know!

Fox28 Wed 17-Feb-16 16:02:03

Thanks so much flowers I never seem to trust my instincts. I think I'm too worried about doing what's best that I get caught up with it. I used to be so laid back before having DD.

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