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Feeding to sleep stopped working!

(12 Posts)
CthulhuFhtagn Wed 05-Apr-17 21:59:48

DD is nearly 7 months and has always been fed to sleep at night. She slept through early and consistently. Not great with naps, but we manage with pushchair/bouncer and occasionally just feeding her off and cuddling her. My game plan was always to gradually break her off from last feed progressively earlier to get to point of settling independently. Fully expected this to take a while, but I'm happy to feed into toddlerhood. Go team! No problem!

It's stopped working. For the last three or so weeks I CANNOT unlatch her without her stirring and then, if not re-attached to boob, squawking. I can't do it. I've had 7 months of this working fine, but suddenly she wakes up. What on earth do I do? It may be a good time to try and find an alternative method of settling her, but I don't mind carrying on feeding to sleep in advance of a gradual weaning off that as she gets older. Am open to suggestions.

For info: She's never had a dummy, doesn't really have the dexterity for a snuggle toy (and we don't have one established yet anyway), and shushing/patting/rocking is too much stimulation for her - she just thinks it's playtime! I'd happily adopt another temporary solution to avoid current hour of repeatedly re-attaching till it finally works. Used to be 20 minutes absolute max. and I've no idea what's changed!

FATEdestiny Wed 05-Apr-17 22:22:54

When you unlatch, pushing baby's chin up and holding it there closes their mouth. It helps for baby to form a vaccume and suck within their own mouth. My understanding is that this can help.

What about cuddling or rocking to sleep? Or are you thinking about biting the bullet and tolerating some crying?

I would also start to introduce a comforter when you are breastfeeding her (so it is associated with the comfort of breastfeeding). You are right that she'll be too young to have the dexterity to use a comforter effectively, but that will come over the next 6 months or so. A comforter will then be in place ready for the future.

daffodil10 Wed 05-Apr-17 22:25:57

Not wanting to run the risk of being flamed but have you tried controlled crying. At seven months she should be able to settle herself to sleep without being fed to sleep. Bath, Feed , settle down in a dark room with black outs and leave - going back at timed intervals until they settle. It will be awful but unfortunately the only way forward.

teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 06-Apr-17 03:48:01

How are you sleeping? I coslept with DD and she went through a phase like this. I decided to just go with it, get into bed, early nights and eventually (a month or two later?) I could unlatch and leave her again. Stopped feeding to sleep by about 18 months in the end which was fine for us.

AndIAskMyself Thu 06-Apr-17 05:32:35

This happened with my son but he was about 4 months at the time. We had no choice but to just put him in the cot and see if he would self settle, and he did. It wasn't that easy every night, and we had a few weeks of sitting by the cot and comforting him, but maybe it's time to start getting baby to self settle?

CthulhuFhtagn Thu 06-Apr-17 07:46:08

Thanks all! I'm trying the pressure under chin thing but if she's stirring it has no effect. Cuddling or rocking currently just results in her singing away and playing about, but I will have a go at trying it for longer, see if she gets bored! Will have a go with a comforter too, to try and get that in place for later.

She's been in her own room maybe six weeks - first three were fine but it's gone downhill since. Unfortunately we had a rented Bednest which has gone back now so I can't revert.

Not up for controlled crying yet. May well get there if things get worse or don't improve after a while.

So some things to try, but probably a lot of MN in the dark for a few more weeks at least...!

CthulhuFhtagn Thu 06-Apr-17 10:06:28

Quick question re: comforter - would you start using it for all feeds or just for night feed? Not sure if I should be prioritising comfort/attachment or sleep association?

FATEdestiny Thu 06-Apr-17 13:18:13

we had a rented Bednest which has gone back now so I can't revert

You can take one side off most cots. Wedge it up to the side of your bed and you have a bigger cosleeper space. Its called a sidecar cot. Makes for a nice interim to get baby used to the cot. Also makes in-cot settling much easier for you, since you can do all the settling without even sitting up.

Regarding the comforter - I'd use it anytime you are feeding or trying to get her to sleep. It's normally around 9-12 months that babies start bonding with a comforter, so you have a while yet.

Abraiid2 Thu 06-Apr-17 13:21:18

I would just bite the bullet and continue with stroking and patting and gradual withdrawals from the room.

Bhar78 Thu 06-Apr-17 13:38:05

Maybe there a reason for her wanting to be attached while sleeping? Maybe she is teething and it's helping relieve the pain. If so, maybe try a dose of Calpol or some dentinox before you start the feed. It is hopefully a temporary thing as it sounds like she was doing great before.

CthulhuFhtagn Thu 06-Apr-17 14:32:20

In my infinite wisdom I got a massive cot bed as I thought that would be more economical in long run, since we were starting with Bednest. No amount of furniture rearrangement is going to get that in our room. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Am going to get onto the snuggle toy and persevere with rocking as a possible alternative. At present though this is likely to take even longer than an hour of feeding. Will keep an eye for teething signs but none obvious at present.

Thanks all!

HumpHumpWhale Thu 06-Apr-17 14:44:08

Maybe she's ready for a later bedtime or to drop a nap? If she's taking ages to settle I would try tweaking awake time in some way so she's a bit more tired at bedtime.

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