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Bad habit, will it break naturally

(9 Posts)
MoodyOne Sun 08-Oct-17 04:50:53

I can’t seem to find anything that helps me on the Internet, so I’m hoping FateDestany will be nice to me.

I have EBF my 9 month old to sleep since he was born, he can only go to sleep for day time naps in his pram (as I had to get out of the house when on maternity so I was constantly walking). His night time is fed to sleep and when he wakes 4-6 times he is fed to sleep also and normally jumps into bed with me around midnight as I’m too tired to deal with his wake ups.

I went through a period of not minding this as we all sleep it’s fine, but I’m so worried I’m creating bad habits.

I don’t mind him in bed with me and I don’t mind the wakeups , but is it bad for him and is it going to improve naturally? I won’t mind if someone said by 18 months he should naturally sleep through I can cope with that ...

I’m probably just waffling but me and DH are both back at work next week so we need to both sleep in bed (previously DH has been on the sofa to give me and LO the bed) , and we wanted to alternate the night wakings but DH tried last night and it just didn’t work 😞

FreakEmOut Sun 08-Oct-17 05:25:01

Breaking the feed to sleep association was really tough for us. Our 1St was 11mo when I was diagnosed with PNA. For my mental health, I had to stop him feeding to sleep. We were given a day assessment with a sleep nurse, who after trying a few techniques, established that cold turkey would be our best bet. It took 3-4mo before he was self-setling happliy and sleeping through. DH was a big support, and as he didn't have boobs, found it easier to handle the screaming. Whereas in the early days, it was triggering let-downs for me. confused

Best part of seeing a specialist was that DH and I had an agreed plan to follow. We didn't deviate from that plan and eventually, it did work.

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Oct-17 10:15:04

I don’t mind him in bed with me and I don’t mind the wakeups , but is it bad for him and is it going to improve naturally? I won’t mind if someone said by 18 months he should naturally sleep through I can cope with that

It all depends on how realistic your expectations are.

You are not going to go from where you are now to independant sleep in 9 months (so by the time he is 18 months) without some intervention from you. And probably some crying.

Is it bad? No. Not at all. It's not independant sleep though. You can't have hopes that you'll have an independant sleeper sleeping all night in the cot while parenting in a way that favours dependance not independence.

There is nothing bad about a parenting ethos based around dependence - parental soothing, parental comforting. Wanting, needing the parent for comfort whenever comfort is needed. This forms the backbone of the Attachment Parenting and Gentle Parenting movements. But you cannot expect to parent this way them then suddenly change your mind and want the outcomes of the Independant Sleep parenting ethos - baby sleeping on own, settling on own though the night and at bedtime and naptime.

Realistically speaking, your child is likely to need comforting to get to sleep for a few years. It might be until 3 years old. It might be until 6 years old. It's a sliding scale, they are all different. But "school age" would be a reasonable approximation.

If baby doesn't have the methods of independant sleep, then the options are completely denying all comfort (which is the stuff Sarah OS assumed all who don't gentle parent do) or being your childs source of comfort. That means embracing co sleeping in the longer term (not forever, but for several years).

we wanted to alternate the night wakings

I'm your situation, i would suggest either:

- fully embracing cosleeping. With baby going to sleep in the parental bed consistantly every night and staying there. This will help stop night wakes because of the consistency of place to go to sleep and staying asleep. It should help with sleeping through. Know it's likely to be for a fair long while though. Set your expectations as 5 or 6 years old, then you can be pleased with yourself if you get her in her own bed by aged 3.


- if you want independant sleep, you're not helping by being half-hearted about it. It possibly needs you to reach the "something must be done" stage and various aspects need to be done differently. In particular, if you want baby staying asleep in the cot then he needs to go to sleep in the cot. Consistantly every time. And with a consistant method.

There are gentler methods to get to independant sleep and harsher methods. But from the start point you are now at, it is unavoidable that all would be called sleep training and will involve crying (even the gentler methods), probably a lot from your start point. And may well be distressing and stressful.

The uber gentle methods of Attachment Parenting advocates, like Pantly PullOff towards cuddling to sleep/cosleeping rather than feeding to sleep, these are more for preparing your child to comfort independantly when the child is ready (rather than when the parent wants it). So it's not for getting baby independant sleep before they are ready. Just on the earlier side of when they are ready. So maybe, for example, 3 years old rather than 6 years old. This isn't a method for getting baby sleeping independantly early (ie ready for when you go back to work). Although it certainly helps long term.

If you think you might want to slerp train to get independant sleep, I would very strongly recommend you do it before the child is standing. Getting baby to sleep in the cot who refuses to is intimately more difficult with a pulling to standing baby. It's most easily done before thr rocking on all-fours crawling precursor phase and becomes massively more fifficult once pulling to standing.

In fact if this was my child, if I had not established in-cot settling before child was pulling to standing then I would completely abandon the idea and embrace long term cosleeping instead. The level of distress created once leaving sleep training that late would be too much for me, personally, to cope putting my child through.

QueenJane Sun 08-Oct-17 10:18:19

DS still feeds to sleep, but I make sure he's awake when I put him down, I.e burp him, tickle, sing something exciting... I know that doesn't immediately solve your problem, but I have never worried about him falling asleep feeding. I think it's pretty normal/natural. Just rouse him before your try to settle him in his cot.

I used to feed him to sleep and then tiptoe to the cot and put him down, thinking 'oh well he's asleep', only for him to wake 20 minutes later. Since we started putting him down awake and stroking, patting, shhhhing him to sleep, it has improved a lot.

cumbrimum Sun 08-Oct-17 10:55:26

My DS is 11.5 months...still feed to sleep...not saying this is good, it's not...however he sleeps 11 hours straight most nights now and I have zero tolerance to any crying (such a wimp 🙄). I also feed to sleep for naps and he sleeps over an hour in his cot no's not the only cause for night wakings.
What sorted it for me was night weaning at 9months. 3 nights I just picked him up at every wake (mostly 2hourly)...put dummy in and cuddled/rocked him back to sleep. More or less no crying and by night 4 he slept through! He's not consistent and I have the odd dummy run but it's fine...7-6 in his own room now 😊
I'm sure I'll have to tackle this 'feeding to sleep demon' soon ...but I just figure the older he is getting the more his understanding is...and my tolerance to a bit of crying is getting better 😂
Good luck xxx

MoodyOne Sun 08-Oct-17 12:52:29

Thanks everyone , @cumbrimum he doesn’t take a dummy , he think it’s a fun toy to bang on the bars with ....
I have well and truly f’ed this up haven’t I 🤔 I can’t deal with crying at the moment, thank you @FATEdestiny I think I’ll have to embrace the cosleeping , maybe buy a king size bed 😂

FATEdestiny Sun 08-Oct-17 13:49:22

Buy a super kingsized bed - they're even better! We have a SKS bed and don't even cosleep very often. Also we do usually have at least 4 (and sometimes 6) in the bed for morning cuddles. Giant beds are great - ours is 6 foot both ways. Bloody expensive bedding though

And no, you have not f'ed anything up. You have spent 9 months learning to be a parent. That in itself is valuable. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so they say. But you are where you are. As long as you are trying to be the best parent you can be, then you are doing good and have most certainly not f'ed anything up.

teaandbiscuitsforme Sun 08-Oct-17 18:36:18

I feed to sleep and think it’s great, but I also have gone down the cosleeping route.

I started nightweaning DD at 16months, by about 18 months she was sleeping through and from 21months she has been put to bed by DH without feeding to sleep. So it can be done by 18 months and it doesn’t have to be forever!

However, I’m currently feeding 9 mo DS to sleep and having BF for 2.5 years now, the thought of another 9 month until I nightwean him doesn’t fill me with joy! grin But I think it’s the right thing for my children and the set up is the right thing for us as a family. I know it’s going to be a longer term thing. smile

MoodyOne Sun 08-Oct-17 19:49:24

Thanks everyone! I think I’ll just see where I end up then ... I’m happy as I am so I may just buy a bigger bed and do full co sleeping , then re asses later xx

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