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Do you feed to sleep when baby wakes 5 times a night?

(24 Posts)
Coffeelover56 Thu 30-Jun-16 21:39:44

Just that really.

My EBF 4 month old DS wakes up between 3 and 5 times a night. At the moment I feed to sleep because he will usually drop back off to sleep within about 20 minutes this way. But I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing or not because I don't think he's actually hungry for the most part (I think he is soothed by the sucking action but unfortunately he won't take a dummy).

I'm worried that I'm getting him into a habit that I won't be able to get him out of, so I'd love to know everyone's experiences/tips/advice on what I should be doing!

FATEdestiny Thu 30-Jun-16 22:08:11

If he likes to suck for comfort then in your position I would be persevering with a dummy so that going to sleep becomes independent of you.

onceuponadream2016 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:30:01

Watching this as my daughter is the same age and does exactly the same! X

StealthPolarBear Thu 30-Jun-16 22:34:13

I did, with ds. With dd I Co slept so only ever needed to be half awake.

maryelizabeth71 Thu 30-Jun-16 22:41:41

I didnt do this with my first 2 children but have done (and still do) with my now 3 year old. We co sleep and its worked for us. She can go to sleep on her own but it has meant good quality sleep for both of us and she now only wakes once in the night, and thats really only to cuddle back in :-)

Do what works for you smile

Raaaaaah Thu 30-Jun-16 22:42:46

Personally I wouldn't worry about it too much. DS and DD1 both did this. I stopped feeding DS at night at about 10 months and we just had a couple of nights of protests then he was fine. I stopped night feeds for DD at 14months and again a few nights of taking longer to settle but then fine. Neither would take a dummy. DD2 is 4 1/2 months and does have a dummy. In the early days it was a godsend but now I actually think that it interferes with her sleep. I can't wait to ditch it at 6 months.

Raaaaaah Thu 30-Jun-16 22:46:28

Oh and I left DD1 and DS with babysitters a couple of times (neither took bottles) and they were fine with just a cuddle or a beaker of expressed after about 8 months. I remember worrying about it for ages but they genuinely seemed unfazed. Both are excellent sleepers now.

Coconut0il Thu 30-Jun-16 22:47:50

Yes I did, with DS1 and DS2. DS2 is 10 months now and sometimes wakes and I feed him back to sleep. Quick and easy. Do what works for you.

trilbydoll Thu 30-Jun-16 22:48:45

I did at that stage. Then when we got to 8m and she was still doing it I got a bit tougher, so didn't feed her before midnight I think. And once she got to 1y I went cold turkey on night feeds because I knew she was eating well so wouldn't starve.

The risk I wasn't prepared to take was that she would still wake up and I wouldn't have the quick fix to go back to sleep. I can cope with minimal disturbances 5 times a night, I can't cope with 2 hour stretches of wide awake baby at 3am. I didn't have the confidence that it would be "just a few bad nights" and tbh, given that she still wakes up for no reason, I don't think it would have been!

TwoDrifters Thu 30-Jun-16 22:57:14

Question for Raaaaaah (sorry to slightly hijack your thread, OP!) How are you planning to "ditch" the dummy at 6 months, please?! I'd quite like to do the same, but no idea how!

Suzietwo Thu 30-Jun-16 23:00:00

I try and avoid feeding my newborn to sleep.

orangebird69 Thu 30-Jun-16 23:02:48

Yes, ds is 9mo and I still feed him to sleep for naps/wake ups now. We still co sleep, it's quick and easy. I'd rather feed for 5 mins than battle for 30 mins or more. I keep thinking that I need to get out of the habit but I'm not sure why tbh.

waitingforsomething Thu 30-Jun-16 23:07:20

I tried to wake them a bit after a feed from about 3 months so they eventually learned to drop off from awake and then only wake if definitely hungry. Worked to reduce night wakings from around 4 months.
But, your baby is tiny and if it works for you and you're not bothered then I wouldn't worry till after 6-7 months

Raaaaaah Thu 30-Jun-16 23:13:42

Hey Two. I'm a virgin dummy user so no expert smile. I am only giving it at sleep times at the moment and then at 6 months I am just going to bite the bullet and try and fill the dummy void with tummy patting and the boob. That's the plan and I'm sticking with it wink. I'm predicting that she will be a bit angry about it. I know lots of people who keep it past 6 months just for sleep times so I think it just comes down to personal preference I'm the end.

Raaaaaah Thu 30-Jun-16 23:14:20

IN the end.

Mrsw28 Fri 01-Jul-16 07:15:32

We do, DD is 9 months now, this last week she's been up every couple of hours (more some nights) and I've mostly fed her to sleep. She's teething too which has made her a bit sensitive. I think I stopped night feeds with DS after he was a year old, though I can't remember exactly.

dinodiva Fri 01-Jul-16 07:36:08

I do, DD is also 9 months. She's usually up 1-2 times at the moment - developmentally there's a lot going on and she's teething. One of her reactions to teething is to not want to eat so I think she needs to up her calories at night to compensate and wakes as a result.

Like a PP, I can't be bothered to battle with her (and it would be a battle, she's a stubborn little monkey) when I can usually plug her in and out her straight back down. I go back to work in September so won't do it forever and we are slowly moving her from breast to bottle.

I like this article on kellymom - basically if it works for you, why worry?

Coffeelover56 Fri 01-Jul-16 08:45:10

Wow thanks for the replies, it's good to know I'm not doing the wrong thing.

Thanks for the article dinodiva - very reassuring!

catlike1979 Fri 01-Jul-16 19:32:05

I do this so watching thread with interest!

BeenThereTooSEL Fri 01-Jul-16 19:37:06

My DD 11 months and is EBF & still wakes for one feed in the night. She isn't reliant upon it to get her to sleep tho. She's never taken to a dummy unless she's teething and even then she only chews it

Tumtitum Fri 01-Jul-16 23:18:37

I do this although if it's only been a short while since her last feed I'll try a dummy first but she only takes it sometimes

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 17-Jul-16 06:03:50

Hello, I'd like to resurrect this thread with a question, hopefully for FATEdestiny if you're still reading.

When you say 'persevere with the dummy' - what do you suggest to do?
I am also trying to break the feed to sleep cycle (4.5mo, just moved into cot in spare room, I sleep in spare bed after first wake up)

Last nights experience tells me that he is definitely just suckling for comfort, and I'd like to replace my nipple with a dummy but I simply cannot get him to take one!
Does anyone have any tips?
DS1 found his thumb very early, and would even suck our fingers to go to sleep, but that just makes this one cross!

FATEdestiny Sun 17-Jul-16 10:10:09

My youngest was the only of my DC who didn't take to a dummy easily. But she was much younger when going through this preserving phase of helping her 'get' that sucking the dummy will give comfort. We worked from 3 weeks old and she was 7 weeks then she took the dummy, so it might be different at 4 months.

Some expectations first^
-^ dummies are used for getting to sleep. Once asleep dummy will drop out. So may only be in the mouth for 10 mins while they drop to sleep, not all night
- dummy reinsertion is a thing. It puts many off the dummy at this age. You will need to be on hand to reinsert dummy quickly upon stirring awake for several months yet.
- the dexterity needed to pick up, turn around and put in own dummy comes at around 8 months old (depending on child's skull development). So your baby will still need you for night wake ups. But longer term they will have their own source of independent comfort, which is the whole reason for dummies.

In terms of perseverance, I did things like:
- whip nipple out and dummy in at the end of every feed
- gently hold dummy in babies mouth. At first mine didn't get that she needed to suck. So the dummy just sat there limply in her mouth. One day by fluke she sucked and this helped her 'get it'
- hold in the breastfeeding position, but give dummy instead
- try giving dummy when happy/awake rather than tired or hungry
- try other people giving dummy
- try consistently, all the time, every day, day after day
- try different dummies. Mine favour cherry types, others swear by MAM dummies

In my view the longer term comforting nature of the dummy are invaluable for a no crying sleep solution. Good luck!

ThursdayLastWeek Sun 17-Jul-16 12:14:18

All great tips, thanks so much for replying smile

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