10 month old. Is it bad habits? Help!(3 Posts)
So...I've never left my 10 month old DD to cry. She's has always fallen asleep on me/been fed to sleep (breast fed till 8 months) I am now struggling to settle her for naps or bedtime without a 2 hour nightmare of walking around with her, offering bottles, tantrums and the whole house having to be in silence. It's getting worse and worse and I feel I have caused these bad habits. Once in her cot asleep she wakes at least every hour, if I leave her she will scream the house down. I have tried putting her in her cot awake but very drowsy and she has a full on meltdown everytime. What do I do? Do I leave her to cry it out? It breaks my heart and she gets into such a state if even left for a short time...I also made the mistake of bringing her into our bed, when I was just so tierd one night at about 8 months that I wasn't doing either of us any good...2 months later she still comes into our bed half way through the night just so we can get a tiny bit of sleep. We need her back in her cot and sleeping!
I am going through the same thing with my 10 month old! Though just for naps, he's not too bad through the night.
For naps, I have always offered milk (Im still bfing) but he is always put in his cot awake. He used to just go to sleep, after maybe talking to himself or a tiny cry...but now he usually screams especially before his afternoon nap. One day it took him 1 hour to go to sleep! Hoping this is just a phase........
Breast feeding to sleep is a difficult habit to break because it's not just the milk that forms the comfort mechanism, it is also being cuddled physically close to you that forms part of the same comforting mechanism.
Feeding to sleep in itself is not a problem. But it is a problem if you want to stop feeding to sleep before baby does because baby will know of no other way to feel comforted enough to go to sleep.
The most obvious alternate settling method that isn't feeding to sleep is cosleeping. This keeps the physical closeness baby was used to when breastfeeding, but without feeding. As you have found, that is likely to be the 'easiest' alternate you have now not breastfeeding. It will be far more successful than the bottle because the comfort of bfing to sleep wasnt milk, it was the close cuddles.
The next result being that the most common outcome for families who stop feeding to sleep is to start embracing co sleeping as a more perminant and long term thing (by long term I don't mean forever, but accepting it might be a few years rather than thinking it as an arrangement only for few weeks/months).
Of course, cosleeping is not your only option. You havent cornered yourself to have no other options. But any other options are likely to involve some crying. This does not mean leaving your baby to cry, you being there to comfort. But crying nonetheless.
If you do want baby sleeping independantly instead of cosleeping, then a more consistant approach would be needed than you are currently using. Your methods read quite dis-jointed and lacking in a real plan.
I would suggest starting with the premise that baby will go to sleep in the cot (instead of being rocked) and you do all of your comforting if baby whilst in the cot. Yes, there will be crying in doing this. It is an unavoidable fact.
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