Feeding to sleep(24 Posts)
Sooo.. i have a 5 month old DS and i have always fed him to sleep. I love it tbh. I feel like we bond, i love him falling asleep on me then cuddling in, and it gives me time to relax. It is also the only way i can get him to sleep (apart from going out in sling or pram).
However, i have read from the start I shouldnt and it only creates negative sleep associations and they cant learn how to fall asleep on their own.
Maybe the case as my son wakes up every 2 hours (3 hours at best) on a night.
So what do i do?
Do i stop feeding him to sleep? And do something else.. How?
Is it too much faff and do i just keep on keeping on as we both like it and it kinda works..
I am still feeding my 10.5 month old to sleep but when I am not here she will sleep, also I did the same with ds and he just learnt how to sleep without it when he was ready so personally I wouldn't stress over it they ate only small for such a short time.
Wherever you read that, burn it or disregard it utterly. It’s bullshit.
It works, you’re both happy - and I bet that someone else could get him to sleep if needed (without boobs).
I fed my eldest to sleep whenever we were together, it was really convenient sometimes too, like a handy trick (transatlantic flight - feed to sleep; long train journey - feed to sleep). My youngest (also 5m) is actually more resistant to the idea, and it’s a bit annoying. He spends much more time in the sling.
Also, arthe night wake-ups quite short? Up, feed, sleep? If so, stick with it!
Get The No Cry Sheep Solution by Elisabeth Pantly.
It's a really positive book about breaking the feeding to sleep pattern , without causing distress to you or your lo.
Don't worry about it. It's lovely to have that time at the end of the day to really connect. ♥️
I did the pick up put down bollocks with DC1, it worked eventually but wasn't particularly nice for either of us. DCs 2&3 I fed to sleep then when stopped BF, cuddles to sleep (still do at 4 and 1.5). Much nicer
You can break the association but it doesn't sound like you want to so why bother?
I found it helpful to not just rely on feeding to sleep for naps, bedtime it's never bothered me. The bonus of having another way of getting this to nap is you don't have to always be the one putting then down. I never worked on it deliberately though, feeding to sleep just stopped working as reliably when teething started so we had to find other solutions!
Apologies for jumping on your thread, OP. MrsPandaBear, what did you find helped when the teething kicked in? I’m also finding feeding to sleep is not working as well now (rather, the baby would rather cosleep while still attached to the breast all night and I don’t really like doing this) and it is worse than the newborn phase now!
I'm still feeding my 16 month old to sleep, it can seem hard being the only one who can get Dd to sleep, but I love having that quiet cuddly time with her that's just for us. Do what works for you OP, at five months your DS is still a tiny baby, you both enjoy it so keep going if you want to, it won't be forever and they are only tiny for such a short time. We've tentatively tried having DP go in to settle her a few times but she gets so upset and I can't bear to hear her crying so we are continuing with breastfeeding for the time being. You can always try to add some extra sleep associations like a comfort toy or song or nightlight now so you have an easier transition when you do want to stop.
It's only a sleep problem if you or your baby has a problem with it.
If, worst case scenario, it becomes a problem later, you can always deal with it at that point with 2-4 tough weeks following Elisabeth Pantley (we did) or 1 tougher week following someone a bit stricter. Happy feeding!
Be glad feeding to sleep works - you'll miss it when it doesnt work anymore!
My 2yr 9m old still bf to sleep some nights (the quicker bedtimes) cuddles to sleep the others.
My 9 yr old bf to sleep until about 12 months bf until over 2 goes to sleep by herself now
My 6 yr old bf/bf to sleep until just before turning 3, goes to sleep by himself now
I never understand why people say ooh you have to stop this or you can never stop...surely if you can stop now you can stop later?!? If it works for your family keep on, if/when it doesnt change it
5 months is soooo wee still, barely past new born really
I fed to sleep until about 12 months, he gradually transitioned out of it. It was so handy though when he was little, meant to could take him anywhere and knew I’d be able to get him to sleep easily. It might be he wakes less if you stop feeding him to sleep but 5 months is a tricky time for sleep anyway and I would worry about stopping feeding to sleep and then finding he was still waking and you have no sure way to get him back to sleep 😬
I fed mine to sleep until he weaned himself at 11.5 months. He’s 20 months now and we cuddle to sleep, don’t change it if you don’t want to!
I fed to sleep until just over 13 months when I had to go away for a few days for work. DH cuddled him to sleep with a sippy cup of milk, he said day 1 was hard but it got easier. When I came back I continued with the cuddles and sippy cup.
I still do 90% of the getting him to sleep but DH and my mum can also use the same method. I’m about to start being out for bedtime once or twice a week to exercise and I’m relieved I can finally do that again. On the other hand the cuddling to sleep is lovely snuggly time. I spent a while really resenting it and mentally running through my to do list while I was stuck with him. Recently though I got a heart rate monitoring watch thingy and discovered that during this time my heart rate is lower than in my deepest sleep so it clearly relaxes my body! I’ve decided since then to embrace and enjoy it, it’s my calm half hour in a hectic day and I shh him or sing and try to do relaxation techniques.
For naptimes at home I still have to walk him in a buggy or put him in the car, Nursery put him in a cot and ask him to lie down!!
One day I will have to figure out getting him to sleep by himself because he’ll be too big to lift into the cot without waking him - no idea how to do that but I’ll worry about it in a few months!
Oh and I’m afraid that he still wakes at least once a night, sometimes more but we occasionally get stretches of 6 hours these days!
If you're happy doing this then carry on. 5 months is so tiny, babies still have the instinct where they need to know they're safe from predators so cuddles/ bf helps them. As PP said, it's only a problem if it's a problem for you, which it doesn't sound like it is.
I bf DD (now 2) to sleep for a long time and she still has milk before bed (though she's starting to have less, her choice). One night, around 10 months I think, she wouldn't fall asleep on boob and just whinged and was difficult. I didn't know what to do so put her in her cot so I could leave the room a minute and she settled down and got herself to sleep, and has done ever since. It may not become a problem for you either, so why cause stress and upset by dealing with a problem that hasn't arisen yet?
I worried about this but i didn’t really do much apart from try and give him the opportunity to self settle. It worked first at bedtime when they have the highest sleep drive. Then started napping himself around. 7 months. I always fed to sleep. But when he woke at night, I tried not to feed him straight away, gave him my finger and sometimes he went back off. So I think it just comes with age.
Thanks for the replies! Yea i think i will just keep going as we are!! It is a really lovely time!
Kinda feel like its a super power sometimes when he is none stop crying with DP then i pop him on the boob and he falls straight asleep haha
DS we moved to buggy naps, and for bedtime found Elizabeth Panthley very helpful for how to tweak bedtime routine over months until he'd cuddle to sleep on the spare bed (which then generally also worked in the middle of the night). We also used loads of painkillers, he was an awful teether.
Dd has always been a bit more hit and miss with feeding to sleep. DH can walk her to sleep bit she's too heavy for me unless she's in the sling, which is obviously not practical in the middle of the night. I started feeding her in the rocking chair and after initially not liking it she seems to have got used to it. I now feed her as far towards sleep as she'll go, take it away once she's no longer feeding and finish settling her off with rocking. My mum and MIL can get her down just rocking but she won't accept that from me.
If you are happy to do it, you should continue.. I fed my dd till 13 months and gradually weaned her..
Agree it’s a bit of a superpower!!
It doesn't sound like you want/need to stop. I feed my DD to sleep (nearly 16 mo), and when I went back to work I worried about how she would sleep at nap times. Babies are more flexible than I'd realised, she naps just fine for my mum in the pram. It took a couple of weeks for her to do more than one sleep cycle that way, so I'd put her to bed a bit early those evenings, but she's totally got it now and has a nice hour and a hAlf nap parked in the pram on my working days.
I enjoy connecting with her during her evening feeds, and I think she does too. But now she's olde I know she can go to sleep other ways if necessary, although not her preference and not if I'm around. They learn when they're ready, you don't have to stop until it doesn't work for you any more.
There's no such thing as a negative sleep association. That's not even a thing.
Do what works! DS1 fed to sleep until he was 30 months, DS2 feeding to sleep still at 19 months.
(rather, the baby would rather cosleep while still attached to the breast all night and I don’t really like doing this)
Wearing a t-shirt (previously a naked sleeper)... I fed them to sleep, then did the slow retreat while gently pushing their chin up to keep their mouth closed, then pulled down the t-shirt so they weren't as tempted.
DS1 I stopped feeding to sleep at about 18months, but he didn't go to bed easily until he was 3 (sigh, so it was a bit pointless weaning). DS2 gave up on his own about 5 months (by 8 months he gently pulled my t-shirt down himself, gave me a pitying look, and rolled over... the child has always had an attitude!)
DS2 gave up on his own about 5 months (by 8 months he gently pulled my t-shirt down himself, gave me a pitying look, and rolled over... the child has always had an attitude!)
This made me laugh!
This thread makes me feel so much better. Even if the random and seemingly endless breastfeeding drives me mad sometimes (most of the time). And I’m reassured that some babies will eventually wean themselves off it. I hope mine does!
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