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What works??? 5 mo addicted to BF to get to sleep. Do I do CC or PUPD

(26 Posts)
lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 10:44:17

Im hoping that people in the same situation as me can tell me what worked for them and give me some tips and advice. Im considering doing the pick up put down technique (I really dont think I could do the CC) although I realise pupd will be just as hard - i have the baby whisperer book.

This is my situation:
I have 5 month old (22 weeks) dd and due to various reasons (mainly hectic life) we have gotten into bad habits with no real routine - my fault. To sleep at night she BFs to sleep in our bed and also if she wakes in the night. She only 'catnaps' in the day again if she falls asleep for 10 minutes while feeding or if we're out and about. We have a massively hectic life - I have an older child and have just set up in business so I can be around for them etc.

Before I sort this out I want to make sure I know what to do and I have a few questions.

The way I understand it - I would get her ready for bed (bath etc and whatever else we decide to include in the bedtime routine) put her in the cot. Do I leave her after saying goodnight or do I stay with my hand on her till she falls asleep and is this in complete dark? however I know this wont happen for a while? Do I pick up as soon as she cries, stay in bedroom and put her down the split second she stops? She currently sleeps with us however she has a bedside cot - should I move it into her room and start it all from there? What do I do in the day? Put her in the cot when shes looking sleepy and tired and do pupd as well then? Any tips for coping with crying - occassionally she cries in the car when shes getting tired on the school run and it really breaks my heart. I have to admit I have no idea how many naps she might need or for how long she should nap although obviously i know its different for everyone.
I am willing to do what it takes as I know itll be best for her to have good naps and to get a good nights sleep. For me Im a night owl anyway so the sleep broken nights dont bother me so much and as my partner is a teacher I tend to do all the night wakings.

Tatties Mon 19-Feb-07 10:57:12

Why don't you want your dd to bf to sleep any more? The cat-napping and night-waking sounds normal at this age, and I found it more convenient in the end to continue bf to sleep. But then my ds resisted any attempts to put him down awake in a cot. By all means try other ways of settling her to sleep, but it sounds as though it would be easier for you to just feed, seeing as it is you doing all the night wakings, and you say you don't really mind.

mum12345 Mon 19-Feb-07 11:06:10

I used CC where i sat with my mobile phone using it as a stop watch 30 sec go in pi and pd once stop crying 1min pi and pd once stop crying almost always by 2 1/2 minutes he was asleep ... I ALWAYS put him to bed awake even if he fell asleep during breatfeeding i would nudge him awake and tell him he was going to go to sleep now. The book i used as my bible is Baby Secrets by Jo Tantum and Barbra Ward which gave good advice on routine which i felt the baby whisperer lacked . My son is now 14 months old and still has two good naps through the day and has slept through the night since 11 weeks. My biggest piece of advice would be to stick with it .. it is not nice to hear them cry but the way i looked at it was short term pain long term gain for all of us ... he was learning how to be independant and how to fall asleep himself. Your life does sound hectic and it could take a week to get any results but in my experience and those of friends it works every time.... my only warning would be that you and your partner / family / care giver must all be in agreement and must be willing to see it through.

PrettyCandles Mon 19-Feb-07 11:08:02

I'm with you here, lovefamily. My 4mo is in the same situation, though he will nap well in his pram if we walk it , so we can get some daytime naps which ae longer thna catnaps.

Unfortunately I don't know what to do about it. Feeding to sleep is such a strong association. I'm trying to get ds2 attached to a lovey, so whenever I feed him to sleep we have this little soft teddy tucked between us for him to clutch (which also, I hope, will save my flesh from his scratching as he's a terrible scratcher and clutcher while he feeds). I'm also trying to transfer his sucking to sleep association on to a dummy. Normally I wouldn't let a dummy go near a sleeping baby, having learnt my mistake the hard way with dd, but we've got to the stage where even a dummy seems better tahn feeding to sleep all night. At least with a dummy others can put him down as well as me.

When he's almost drifting off, not sucking any more, I gently break the latch, slip myself out and slip the dummy in. Then I let him soothe down again, holding him upright on my chest so that hopefully he will self-burp. Once he's very settled I transfer him to the cot, still with the dummy in his mouth, but not trying to keep him asleep. The idea being that he will rouse slightly and go back to sleep with the dummy in his mouth. Hopefully he will then make the association between dummy and going to sleep. I dont' wait for him to be so deeply asleep that the dummy drops out, as I find that if that appens he is more likely to wake within minutes. Instead, as soon as he has stopped sucking, but is settled, I slip the dummy out and hold his mouth closed by pressing my finger gently up under his chin. If he objects and hunts for the dummy I slip it back in, wait a minute and try again.

Whether this will work, I do't know. My objective at the moment is to try and break the boob-sleep association so that I can get back to decent feeding intervals and that way hopefully he will start dropping feeds whe he is ready, as his brother and sister did. I'm not keen on doing any cc or pupd until I'm sure he doesn't need the feeds.

TesterPenelope Mon 19-Feb-07 11:13:39

Hi love family
I am a great believer in feeding on demand etc and haven't read the baby whisperer so can't comment on that. What I would say is start introducing changes slowly and one at a time, getting new things established before adding anything else. Take it gently for all of your sakes.
For the crying, I used to put them down, saying night night and that i would be listening and that I'll come back and check in a few minutes, leaving it a set amount of time before returning. They get to trust that you will come back and they do settle but it does take commitment on your part and it can be hard listening to them crying. But remember, it is their only way of communicating and they do know how to tug at our hearts!
So, maybe start with a bedtime routine - or whichever fits in easiest with your life now. Maybe, bath, feed (in a chair, in your darkened room)and then her cot when she's fed enough - as opposed to after that gorgeous sleepy chomping.
I wouldn't go from your bed to another room in one swoop - maybe in the cot next to you as a start? For the car, have you tried giving her something to comfort herself with? a favourite toy or a blanket, a favourite cd?
i know it's really hard when you have older children but it will get better. Good luck!

CheesyFeet Mon 19-Feb-07 11:35:32

My dd was exactly the same at that age. I just went with it - she grew out of it eventually. She would fall asleep by herself during the day by about 6 or 7 months but she was a few months older (iirc) before she did it at night.

We had a bed-time routine, bath, clean babygro, cuddle & feed. She would fall asleep on the boob and I would put her to bed. If she woke in the night, feed in a dimly lit room, cuddle and bed.

The catnaps during the day are a pain, I remember thinking "I just want long enough to get a shower!" and not getting it. When I went back to work and she was being woken at 7am she would sleep for a bit longer during the day, perhaps you could try a set wake-up time if you are looking to increase the nap time during the day?

DD is 2.7 now and for the last year and a half or so she has been fine at bed time (apart from the odd occasion, very rare) even though I fed her to sleep for so long. My experience is that it did her no harm.

lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 11:58:01

PrettyCandles - I know what you mean by the clutching when feeding. My dd often manages to nip/pinch the backs of my arms or 'kneeds' constantly opening and closing on my boob - the pinching hurts! I thought of trying to use a dummy and while im not against them im not particularly keen on them. She has spit them out at earlier attempts so I left that idea behind. I Like the idea of a lovey or something for comfort as anythingh that makes them feel better and comforted is a good idea i think. I bought a taggie blanket which she loves 'eat' it keeps her amused for ages and it goes everywhere when were out and about so I have just invested in a small taggie toy and might try that as a lovey or one of her liked teddies.

thanks so far for the advice everyone - i want to make certain i know what im doing when i start as i know it needs to be stuck to

CheesyFeet Mon 19-Feb-07 12:51:57

DD has a snuggly - it's a Cuski and at 2.7 she is still completely in love with it.

The idea is that you put it down your top so that it smells of you and therefore calms the baby when it cuddles it.

We buy them for everyone we know who has a baby!

lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 13:14:48

Oh thanks - I might get one to try - is it safe for babies to sleep with it?

CheesyFeet Mon 19-Feb-07 13:43:06

yes it is - they are made specifically to be safe for newborns. The best thing about them is they wash really well so you don't end up with some manky old comforter.

lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 16:14:33

Tatties - the main reason i want to get this sorted is cause its slowly getting worse to the point where she doesnt even fall asleep in the car anymore - she gets increasingly cranky and just cries unless she sucks. I dont mind feeding her to sleep but its no fun when she constantly wakes and i have to go back up and let her suck for half an hour and then try to sneak away - I have no evening or time to get things done ever. Also id like her to actually have proper day naps rather than just falling asleep on my lap for 10 minutes here and there - especially when she seems to always 'catnap' at dinner on my lap making a family dinner virtually impossible as she doesntr transfer well once shes asleep.

I think its about time i put right the bad habits ive developed with her as shes 5 months old now and unfortunately i KNOW she just wont go down on her own to sleep

lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 16:15:34

thanks cheesy feet - will buy later and let peeps know how its going

Tatties Mon 19-Feb-07 16:39:52

Lovefamily, I really understand the need to get your evenings back. I never really tried to alter ds's sleeping habits, but the frequent evening and night wakings situation has improved as he has got older and become more active.

cruisemum1 Mon 19-Feb-07 21:33:58

lovefamiy - hello again! Saw you on Sleep is for the Weak. I started a thread like this about a week ago! I will watch yours with enthusiasm as I am looking for a tear free answer myself. Good luck. btw - ds is 23 weeks....

cruisemum1 Mon 19-Feb-07 21:40:14

lovefamily - just read all posts and I am in exactly the same boat re: bedtimes. (ds will nap witout boob in the day but we have to be on the move . Bedtimes are madness though. he falls asleep, wakes, boob in, falls asleep, wakes, in cot, boob, gets uncomfy as he is overful blah blah blah blah. I am sure you are familiar with it all. I have a dd age 9 yo so I cannot dedicate my evenings to nursing a 5 month old to sleep. Also, I want some space!!!!!!

I will read with interest.

cruisemum1 Mon 19-Feb-07 21:42:46

sorry - me again . My last thread is called 'how do you wean lo's of bf to sleep'. Maybe you will find some info on there.

ruth2007 Mon 19-Feb-07 22:15:38

Hi Ladies

I just wanted to add a word of support - I have had the same problem but recently resorted to cc as a very last resort (I was starting to get v depressed) and it has worked for us. I did it v gently with lots of checking on her and was lucky enough that she has taken to it very well. I felt really bad (and still do as I shut the door) but she really is a different baby and I have a small amount of time to be me again.

I know it is not for everyone but if you have tried everything else as I had it may help.

I have posted a bit on the cc support thread and they are v helpful on there.

Good Luck!

Ruth x

lovefamily Mon 19-Feb-07 22:22:50

cruisemum1 - guess what... my older child is an eight year old - dont spose you live in staffordshire - we could get together lol. my email is if u wanna chat - it can be hard to find kiddies same age. how are you finding the older one is coping. my ds - josh is so used to having lots of time spent with him he's finding it hard and even his teacher has said he doesnt seem his usual self and described him as 'sad' - which upset me of course. Anyway think i know which thread you mean - will keep a check on it. Do you have any thoughts about what your gonna do yet? my dd seems to be getting worse this past few weeks.

cruisemum1 Tue 20-Feb-07 19:52:59

lovefamily - just got back from visiting mu parents in Worthing for the day - ugh! exhausting esp for lo's

I will email you seperately when I have a mo. Lovely to chat and compare notes re: age gap

More later!


lovefamily Wed 21-Feb-07 12:20:53

Need to get this sleep thing sorted soon - dd is getting increasingly cranky when tired now even in car - she would normally just fall asleep but now just cries and cries - car seems to have lost its 'magic' but didnt think that was possible! Also think perhaps she is growth spurting at the moment or just teething bothering her but she seems to be sleeping more often in day. She had an hour this morn at 9 only an hour after getting up n doin school run and also now at 12. shes normally awake most of the day with a few short cat naps.

lovefamily Wed 21-Feb-07 22:17:52

Have put dd to bed (with lots of suckling may I add ) but she had just woken and started 'grumbling' I didnt go up as she wasnt crying - kinda just moaning and I think shes fallen back asleep. Wahaaaaayyy! I know this is once but its gotten me thinking that maybe she would be best in her cot in her room. That way shes got more chance of falling asleep by herself rather than feeling and smelling me next to her and wanting to suck????? Worst thing is - when I put her to bed and she sleeps for a little while I spend all evening thinking about her wondering if shes alright and wanting to check on her - what am i like!!!! (apart from stupid!)

DetentionGrrrl Thu 22-Feb-07 08:19:04

CC isn't really for a baby under 6mths, i don't think.

you could try the NCSS way of removing the breast when they are very sleepy, but not asleep?

lovefamily Thu 22-Feb-07 09:35:36

detention girl - no i do realise this. CC would have been a last last last last resort if you know what i mean. Am thinking of the PUPD. I do also have the NCSS book and have seen you on 'that' thread as I have also posted there as dd never went down on her own from the start. At the time I just let things be due to her age but now need to get it sorted really. Rereading the NCSS is on my list of things to do as I need to read the part for babies over 4 months however its on my list with a billion and one other things too! Am definately investing in a cuski as cheesyfeet suggested(a lovey).

ruth2007 Thu 22-Feb-07 09:56:57

Hi Lovefamily
I would do the changes gradually unless the problem has got to breaking point. Putting her down awake is a great start, with all the techniques I have read this is the ultimate goal so if you manage that you have it cracked!
The lovey sounds a good idea as a next step. (am thinking of getting one of these they sound great!)
If you really want to move her I found that by placing the moses basket in the cot for a couple of weeks before putting her directly in the cot helped if you are currently co-sleeping perhaps put a (used) sheet from your bed under the cot sheet? Perhaps leave that for a week or so whilst she gets used to the other changes?


cruisemum1 Thu 22-Feb-07 14:16:22

ruth - i have been trying for months to get ds to go into cot awake. he doesn't go in awake YET but he often opens his eyes, sees where he is and then nods off again. I usually have to go up and nurse him off again as it takes a few goes before he will finally conk out but i am hoping to eliminate the bf to sleep association as it is so time consuming.
you having any luck lovefamily?

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