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18 month old has 2-3 feeds in the night still

(6 Posts)
Tiredmumneedshelp Mon 20-Feb-17 22:10:32

Dd goes to bed around 8pm, and will wake at about 10 and have a breastfeed with me. Then between 10 and 5, she'll usually have 2 bottles of milk with dh, and then after 5am if she wants a feed she'll only want breastfeeding.

My hv has said today she doesn't need the milk, and we need to cut it out asap. So how do I do this? I really do not want to do cc/cio - so should dh start offering water in the bottles instead? Or water down the milk until she doesn't notice? I realise she's using having milk as her crutch to get to sleep so it has to stop as she can't fall asleep on her own, she's always fed to sleep.

My concern is that the walls are very very thin so neighbours can hear her crying at night, so if dh offers water and she starts screaming until she gets to bf with me, then the noise will cause huge problems with the neighbours.

I'd really appreciate any advise as I feel like a huge failure over this and I'm very embarrassed she's still waking so frequently.

tiredybear Mon 20-Feb-17 23:12:01

You are not a huge failure! Lots of babies that age still wake at night. My LO is 22 months and has just slept through 2 nights in a row! I'm in shock. Normally at least 1 wake up, always needing boobing back to sleep.

Having said that, if she is getting milk in bottles it will make it easier to cut out the nights feeds gently. Water the milk down slowly so she gradually stops getting used to feeling so hungry at that time. Can't guarantee it will stop the night waking, as it's often for more than just food, but it may help.

BTW, my LO still feeds to sleep!

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 08:57:13

Does she have anything else as a comfort? Dummy, teddy, special blanket, that kind of thing? Or a way she settles herself, like thumb suck or hair twiddle?

IsitJustFantasy Tue 21-Feb-17 08:59:40

If you want to stop I'm sure you'll get helpful advice but I'd like to reassure it is totally normal so if you are happy with how things are don't feel pressured to change. What I mean is, do what is best for you and ignore the health visitor. There are plenty of babies that age who still breastfeed at night and you certainly are not a failure.

Tiredmumneedshelp Tue 21-Feb-17 09:13:07

Sorry, I think I've worded my op wrong blush I absolutely don't want to stop bf until dd is ready, so I'm fine with her using me to fall asleep in the evenings etc.

The problem is that I'm exhausted at night (due to a medical condition), which is why dh has always done the night feeds. It's those feeds I realise we have to do something about because of the bottles/teeth situation.

If he comforts her back to sleep, she wakes up the second he stops as she wants milk. If he offers milk in a beaker or water in a bottle she screams and screams until she nearly sick as she then wants me to bf her. I know some people at that point would then let her cio/cc, but we don't feel happy with that as we doubt it'll work with her temperament, feel uneasy due to studies about it, and we have very thin walls and neighbours to consider.

So I just don't know what to do. This is why I wondered whether perhaps watering down the milk may help, as maybe she won't notice until it's eventually just water and she might be more accepting of it?

She gave up dummies herself at 13 months, which is a shame as I feel they'd be helpful now. She has a few cuddly toys and slowly she's starting to associate one with sleepy time, so I make sure that always comes up in her cot with her now. But she won't entertain the thought of cuddling it in the night she just throws it away if I give it to her. I do always place it next to her when she's asleep though.

I just feel lost and at my wits end with her sleep. Everyone comments on how bad her sleep is and I'm so embarrassed about it. I'm even more embarrassed that she's still having bottles now I know how bad it is for her. No wonder people comment when they know she has bottles at night sad

IsitJustFantasy Tue 21-Feb-17 11:56:07

Ah sorry I thought you meant you wanted to night wean her from the breast. But you want to night wean from the bottle?

I don't have experience of bottle feeding but the watering down method sounds like a good plan.

But please, do not think you're alone or unusual in having a DD that doesn't sleep through the night. You really aren't. Lots of us are or have been in the same boat, I think we just tend to stay quiet! My DD is 2.5 now and wakes at least once per night (usually for an hour between 3 and 4am! She plays quietly during that time!). She has slept in our bed since about 15 months which is another thing I don't tend to tell people because they judge, but it works for us and her sleeping improved as a result. I know another mum with a toddler the same age as my DD who is up every 2-3 hours. At 18 months my DD was waking maybe 3 or 4 times in the night or more. So please don't feel like a failure, they are all different with different sleeping patterns. I understand why you want to stop the bottle feeding due to her teeth and hopefully that will help with her sleeping but in the meantime, enough of this "failure" talk! smile

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