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How do you wean lo's off nursing to sleep at bedtime? PLEASE HELP!!!

(37 Posts)
cruisemum1 Tue 13-Feb-07 21:02:59

Ds 5 months is a bugger to settle at night. He went through a really awful unsettled period during the nights recently but that is getting better slowly but surely. He is bf but currently weaning to ff and is also being weaned onto solids which he loves . The bane of my life however is bedtime settling. He is bf to sleep (won't settle any other way at bedtime) but continuously wakes and needs me for rocking/nursing/comfort. My dd is 9 yo and it is so unfair on her as dh works long hrs and is hardly ever here to take care of her or ds so I have to do this alone. He is shattered by 7pm, falls asleep, wakes, falls asleep, wakes, falls asleep - get the picture. I put him in his cot and he sometimes stirs - sees where he is and nods off again but only ever for around 5 - 15 mins. This scenario lasts for around 2 hours and means I don't get to have a relaxing bedtime goodnight with dd. She is great about it most nights but 23 weeks on is getting rather fed up that Mummy cannot do stuff wth her in the evenings.
Any suggestions for getting dd to settle?
btw - am not ready for cc/cio..... yet .

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 08:00:42


nailpolish Wed 14-Feb-07 08:08:52

i was going to suggest that since you are weaning off bf to ff your dh could give ds his bedtime milk in a bottle, but that isnt possible, is that right?

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 09:46:53

nailpolish - dh never in!

kiera Wed 14-Feb-07 12:20:02

have you tried pick up/put down? it's hard as they do cry but you are there with them comforting them. took dh three hours the first night, I couldn't do it...but you desperately need your evenings back don't you...

Maddison Wed 14-Feb-07 12:48:27

My ds2 was like this to a t - in the end (when he was about 10-11 months and I couldn't take it anymore) I used to feed him until I knew he was getting tired, then unlatch him and put him down in his cot. Of course he cried a fair bit, but after a few nights, he got the message and settled off the breast. He even stopped waking up as much, but when he did, I just rubbed his back or stroked his hair to settle him back down.


cc21 Wed 14-Feb-07 13:46:15

Hi Cruise - thought I'd check out your 'new' thread. Are you just b/feeding ds at night and night feeds?

DD seemed to be more receptive to a bedtime bottle when she was on ff all except night-time iyswim. I think she was more used to having it. It did take her about a week to take more than about 3oz before bed but once she realised the boob was gone she gradually took more and more. I do know how hard it is and wapping the boob out is soo easy .

Night feds were the last to go but with one feed off a boob in 24 hours I think my milk just got weaker and dried up or something, which meant dd now has nothing to wake up for!!! I also just want to add that I don't think its the ff that makes her sleep better/longer, just that its crap compared to b/f so why wake. I also genuinely believe that she has reached an age where she knows she can sleep longer. PLus she does so much rolling about she's probably knackered enough to sleep for hours.

Prob not much help but just to give you a bit more info on my success than I gave on previous thread

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 14:07:06

maddison - funnily enough, i do 'unlatch' at nightfeeds and he sometimes registers this but settles himself back down. maybe i just need to be more persistent at first bedtime settling iyswim?! i also make sure i stroke his head/cheek during last feed so that that is an association too. the hope is that that alone will comfort him when bf is out of the equation . maybe i should try this during half term when dd can have later nights and not have tyo get up early.

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 14:09:28

cc - i am trying to wean ds from bf during the day but he is quite resistant to bottle and there is no one to offer it but me so he can smell booby on the menu!!

cc21 Wed 14-Feb-07 14:12:15

oh cruise - these baby's are so dammed clever aren't they!! DD still gives me looks of pure disgust when I offer her a bottle. Poor thing knows now that its as good as it gets...what a mean mummy I am!!!!

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 14:15:27

cc - wicked mummy i'm gonna have to be hard on ds too i think....

cruisemum1 Wed 14-Feb-07 19:34:59

oh shit. this is such a pain. ds fell asleep on boob as usual. Lovely peaceful sleep until I put him in his cot. he is screaming up there now. dd has been left alone as usual. i will hav eto go back to him but bedtimes are becoming so traumatic. I just don't know what to do to break this cycle. one this is for sure, i cannot keep spending all my evenigns stuck in the nursery getting ds off to sleep for hours on end.

mower Wed 14-Feb-07 20:12:15

Hi Cruisemum, think I spoke to you about this on another thread a few weeks ago when I was going through same prob with ds.

My ds has got alot better to settle since giving him a bottle, wouldn't take it at first so had to bf him till he got really tired then swap over to the bottle and he didn't notice then he would take say 4 oz formula.

Then I knew he wasn't hungry as had good bf and ff so only put dummy back in or pick him up but no more milk after that last feed. Its working slowly but surely.

Good luck, really feel for you as going through this myself.

FrannyandZooey Wed 14-Feb-07 20:20:17

Apologies if you have tried this already but do you think a sling could help? My ds was like this in the evenings and I never used to put him to bed until we went up ourselves - he just dozed on my lap and would have milk whenever he wanted. If you used a side sling (ring sling where they lie in it like a hammock) you could just get on with your evening with him curled up against you.

I hope you also don't mind the suggestion that early solids could be causing evening restlessness for your ds. 5 months is quite young - I found I got carried away in my enthusiasm to wean and introduced too many foods too quickly - which gave ds wind and made him unsettled, especially in the evening and night time. When I cut back to mostly milk with very simple foods, things improved for us.

cruisemum1 Thu 15-Feb-07 13:04:56

F and Z - tbh - I don't want to use a sling now as he is quite a lump! I also found that you needed a degree in astrophysics to get the flipping thing on and baby in place . Agree that weaning at 5mths sounds young but I did it on advice from hv and he does love his grub! . I do take it easy with what I offer and he seems to take to solids very well. I did not start weaning as a sleep inducer though, more becaus he seemed so ready and interested - greedy little so and so

tibsy Thu 15-Feb-07 15:58:15

hi cruise, just wondered, are you bfing to sleep during day too, i know ds sleeps during school run? i usually get dd off to sleep on boob during day myself, but made concerted effort today not to, she cried a bit, but eventually went off....

FrannyandZooey Thu 15-Feb-07 17:55:08

I agree slings can be tricky to feel confident with at first, but definitely worth persevering with IMO. It would free up your whole evening to spend time with your dd and also relax yourself instead of tiptoeing in and out of the room the cot is in.

I carried ds in a ring sling until he weighed more than 2 stone, so you should have no problem with sitting down with a 5 month old in a sling.

cruisemum1 Fri 16-Feb-07 15:16:52

tibsy - no I don't bf to sleep in the day, he is always on the move though - buggy/car seat etc.....

Tatties Fri 16-Feb-07 15:31:15

I have always nursed my ds to sleep and found that as he got older and more active, he was more tired at bedtime and so it has gradually taken less and less 'feeding time' before bed to get him off to sleep. And consequently I have gained more time to myself in the evening. Not an instant solution, I know, but these situations do sometimes improve by themselves. In the meantime you just have to do whatever makes your evening easier - I think the sling idea is worth a try.

LucyJones Fri 16-Feb-07 15:37:13

I know it's a pain but atm for the sake of your sanity and to make dd happy i'd do the nursing/rocking downstairs until dd is in bed

tibsy Fri 16-Feb-07 16:10:34

hi cruise, dont know whether it was coincidence or you've tried this but had a good night last night (for us!)
during the day, i didnt bf to sleep but held her in my arms, quite securely as she started flailing arms/legs at one point. she did cry a little (15 mins) but i sang, rocked her a little, not too much movement, until she went to sleep. tried it again at bedtime until almost off to sleep then gently put her in cot, still holding her for a little while. went down at 6.45 and didnt wake til 12.30. A record for us a.t.m

cruisemum1 Fri 16-Feb-07 17:51:42

tibsy - wow!!!!! well done you

tibsy Fri 16-Feb-07 18:40:45

hhhmmm don't know what will happen tonight though, she fell asleep on boob. i'm a bloody failure and such a wimp
did rouse her before she went in the cot tho so think she knew where she was.
i hope that your ds starts to settle soon for you and you can enjoy your evenings with your dd.

cruisemum1 Fri 16-Feb-07 20:46:35

tibsy - he went down by 8pm this evenign which is record by recent standards . Like you I don't know what hte evening holds but - fingers crossed - I have only had one night waking per night recently so I am putting my trust in ds that he can do it night after night .It is hard to stop the bf to sleep thing isn't it. It is so easy when you know what wil comfort them. At least you know your lo can do it without your boob even if you just do it during the day at first

cruisemum1 Mon 19-Feb-07 15:33:50

tatties - so do you think it a developmental thing then? I am dubious but hopeful as I think he uses me as a dummy and I don't know of many lo's who voluntarily relinquish their dummies!

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