Fellow feed to sleep, anti-CIO rod-makers - will I ever sleep more than an hour together again???(14 Posts)
So I know this is all my own fault, but I breasteed my 8 month old to sleep, I will not leave her to cry without picking her up, and she's awake every hour or so and has been since 5.5 months. Partner doesn't like bedsharing because he wants to do CIO. I won't.
Will she ever sleep 3 hours plus again, and if so, when please??? I've tried to stop feeding to sleep - she cries until I do!
Have you considered the gradual retreat method?
DS is 15 months old, and his separation anxiety recently reached its peak. We tried the gradual retreat method and, less than a month later, he falls asleep almost instantly and, most of the time, sleeps all the way through!
My baby is nearly nine months old now and has only just started sleeping a bit better again after a couple of months of waking up really frequently. It was very unpleasant going from her having always been a pretty good sleeper right from the beginning going 5-8 hours in one go most nights to feeling lucky if I got 2 hours in one go.
She still wakes a lot but I'm getting more and more blocks of 3-4 hours and more wakeups where she will go off to sleep again with just a quick cuddle rather than a feed.
So it might just get better naturally, it has for us. I did go back to cosleeping but that just made it easier for me rather than making any difference to how well she slept.
Is there anything you could do to help you get more rest despite the frequent wakings? Go to bed really early, or have your partner take the baby for a couple of hours in the morning so you can sleep, or sleep while your baby naps? I have created an even worse rod for my own back by letting my baby have most of her naps literally on the boob so the last one is no good for me!
I did all that with both my ebf babies. Dd1 I used to sit in her door way and read a book from the landing light. Sometimes (mostly) it took an hour but I got to read my book. She is s brilliant sleeper now and was from 2.5 when she got a big girl bed.
Dd2 was having none of it and gradual retreat didn't work at all. I tried cio though certainly not under 1. She did not cio she just cried! This progressed to tantrums between 2-3. At nearly 5 I still sit with her for 15 minutes until she falls asleep.
Yep, mine both sleep through now, both were fed to sleep - one bottle and one breast. After a while I stopped lifting them in the night and would sort of pat and "shoosh" them instead. They started sleeping longer and longer and eventually I was a new woman!
The youngest still doesn't go down easily (she is 18months) but we are getting there. I do a gradual withdrawal if she won't sleep, patting and shooshing at first then shooshing from further away and eventually from outside the door. I bought a Chicco pink plastic teddy from Mothercare which is noise activated and she likes it (looks terrible but was cheap and it really helps). She also likes Ewan the Sheep but I have to sneak in and press the button so we use it less.
Feeding to sleep is an amazing tool - exactly what nature intended - so you've definitely done nothing wrong! Please don't feel like that about it.
Personally I'd embrace co-sleeping and look at alternatives in a few months when she's a bit older and you've had a bit more sleep so are feeling less frazzled. Your first step would probably be night weaning but for experts like Dr Jay Gordon, that isn't recommended until at least 12 months for breastfed babies.
If you do want to sort it now, you need to think about how she goes to sleep. At the moment, feeding and your presence are her comfort. What are you going to do to replace that?
It will get better My 8 month old DS seems to be waking quite frequently at the moment. I think it's a combination of having learnt to crawl, trying to stand up, teeth and cold. But I cosleep so he never really wakes up and I get the most sleep that I can! We started night weaning my DD at 16 mo do think we'll probably look at a similar timescale for DS.
Mine now sleeps through. It took him 18m to get it though.
I fed to sleep until 18m. What finally got him to sleep longer was the following:
Feed to sleep. Tell them that when they wake up they will get dad. When they wake, they get cuddles from dad and a bottle of water. There will be crying (but since dh is ok with cio he won't mind that at all
You can't expect them to go all night at first - so do feed but set an interval , so after first sleep, they need to go x hours (whatever they do in the day is a good start.)
Worked for us to get 4-5 hours.
Then I kept feeding but not at night. Night weaning was key for us
she's awake every hour or so and has been since 5.5 months
That's really poor levels of sleep, regardless of parenting ethos. Also to infer that you either feed to sleep or you leave baby to cry it out is wholly misleading. The disregard for the huge middle ground, most of which is gentle and kind, only adds unnecessary guilt to motherhood.
For what it's worth I never, ever tolerated hearing my baby cry as a baby without immediately doing whatever was needed to stop the crying immediately. But I didn't feed to sleep. Neither did I cosleep. And she was a fairly needy baby. But was fully night weaned by 6 months.
I did use a dummy though - central to no crying but independant sleep. And I would immediately recognise that hourly wake ups all night every night in the long term (ie not due to teething or illness) was not good for the baby so seek to do something differently.
The most obvious causes for such light sleeping are:
- overall calorie intake on the low side compared to need
- overtiredness due to not enough sleep
- disruption between sleep cycles due to not staying asleep where baby goes to sleep. If you want to feed to sleep that is fine, but baby may need to stay close to you (ie cosleep) through sleep cycles too.
- only after all of these needs comes the going to sleep method (ie you are feeding to sleep).
If your baby is getting plenty of daytime calories, plenty of going to sleep and stays asleep where she goes to sleep, then feeding to sleep would not be a cause of frequent waking. So there is no warrent to use 'I feed to sleep' as a martyr badge for why baby wakes very frequently. Babies could be fed to sleep and still sleep well, in big chunks of uninterputed sleep, with a good understanding of sleep hygiene.
I feed my 8 month old to sleep too and she sleeps in 3-4 hour bursts at night time.
She's in a sidecar cot next to my bed, so I can sort of co-sleep with her and feed her in the night without having to wake all the way up to do it. Could that be something for your family?
It could be the 8 month sleep regression? As far as I can make out it's caused by reaching physical milestones and wanting to practice skills like crawling/standing up meanwhile needing one fewer nap during the day. Nap transitions are hard!
How is your daughter's naptime sleep?
Lots of normal stuff happening here - to say it isn't normal is misleading.
Really exhausting and I feel for you OP! I feed to sleep and cosleep and yes sometimes I'm utterly exhausted but I know that it is right for my baby in the long run and also plenty of time to sleep in a few years (or when I retire?! Haha)
My daughter is ten months. I feed to sleep (stopped BF last week but bottle still works) and I don’t let her cry. She goes 9-11 hours most nights since I night weaned (she still gets a cuddle back to sleep if she’s awake and crying or a shush-pat if she’s asleep and whinging in her dream!) and I bring her into bed with me if she won’t settle after 6am.
Ooh one thing that might work: pop her off the nip when she's stopped eating but hasn't quite fallen asleep. It's like safe cracking and you'll be too early/too late most of the time. If you're too early, just wait 10 secs and try again. If you're too late, oh well, better luck next time!
Then she's actually falling asleep by herself, you just fed her to drowsy.
FTM with 4 month DS and I'm finding he wakes very frequently in the night if he's not had enough daytime sleep. In other words, he's overtired. Even if you are against CIO, I think Marc Weissbluth's book is worth a read as it explains sleep patterns and gives a run down on expected day and night sleep. And despite advocating CIO, he also advocates feed to sleep and night nursing until about 9 months.
Richard Ferbers book is also good from a sleep science perspective.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-By-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0553394800/ref=cmsww_rcpp_api_Cm10zb5750YKS
Thanks all for the replies - sorry I vanished, forgot I'd started the thread (sleep deprived!!)
Really not 'using' anything as a 'martyr badge', fateDESTINY, Don't know why you'd say that...
Thanks for the helpful suggestions xx
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