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13month old gentle night weaning and stopping bed sharing where do I start?(9 Posts)
Hi, my 13 month old has never slept longer than 3 hours. I breastfeed her to sleep and she wakes every 2 hours to feed, I bed share to make this easier but I'm absolutely knackered and ready to night wean. I'm guessing it is a sleep association with the bf and sleep. Where do I start? I don't want to take away both comforts of bed sharing and bf so which do I start with? I'm thinking of trying to just rock her back to sleep and get rid of the bf association first, then try yo tackle the bed sharing. Has anyone got any gentle tried and tested methods that may help? I'm so knackered now and my physical health is starting to go downhill so really need to do something. Any advice much appreciated x
I agree tackle night weaning first (although DS was a bit older when I did)
I started by a countdown to end BF and gradually got less back to sleep then cuddled. Then as this became ok, I tried a cuddle first but if DS got upset, BF straight away, no waiting it out for a certain time etc as I got even less sleep that way. Then after talking about it with him (he was by then 21 mo), we tried to go without, explaining mummy and milky were tired but we could cuddle. He didn't cry, and stopped asking within 3 nights.
Sending DH in was not conducive to more sleep for any of us either.
Cosleeping continued for a while after that, especially after more than one wake up.
PS, if you have any questions, please ask. I seem to be the antithesis of most people on MN regarding BF and sleep
I have found the no cry sleep solution book to be good. There is a section in there specifically about bed sharing.and weaning.
Tbh, I'd stop cosleeping first.
A) baby is likely to struggle to night wean if the boobs are right there all night
B) you might find that if she's in her own room, she wakes less and self settles better.
We broke the feeding to sleep habit at 5 or 6 months (only for bedtime, still fed to sleep for naps til 7m and overnight til 9m) by stopping DD falling asleep on the boob and shhh patting her to sleep from snoozy, then eventually rolling that back to feed before bath and into the cot awake. There was some crying, but it wasn't too bad. Took about a week.
Once she was going to sleep by herself she settled better in the night, but eventually we did CC overnight. Took an hour and ten minutes and the next night she did 7-7.
What would make the most difference to your health and wellbeing (physical, mental, and emotional)? Start with that. For me, it was being able to put her down in her cot for a couple of hours at bedtime so I could have something of an evening. We set up her cot sidecar style to our bed so I could easily nurse and settle her in there, and then go downstairs. I was okay with bringing her back into bed with me at some point during the night, and there were some tricky nights when I went to bed a bit early because she kept waking up. It did also mean she knew (and knows) that my bed was still an option.
With her, that seemed to be okay – she still quickly learnt to settle in her cot for the first part of the night, and it does mean that we've never worried about setting up 'bad habits' when she's ill/teething/etc. the way some people (and sleep training approaches) seem to. If a cold is waking her up lots of times a night, she comes in with me, the cold passes, and she seems to accept the return to normal routine with no fuss. I'd like to think it's because she knows the option is there if she needs it, but who knows what she's actually thinking. Of course, a different child might decide that if the option is there, they want it all night, every night, and you might not be able to be so flexible.
Putting her in her own room may well help if you have that option. We couldn't, and I'm certain some of the wake-ups around my bedtime were very much about knowing I was there (or should be) and since I was, she wanted cuddles! If it isn't an option for you, or you don't want to, it certainly isn't essential to see progress – we managed.
Thanks for your replies, so I decided to try to stop her sleep dependency on bf to sleep so fed her virtually to sleep then placed her in cot and shussed and patted her to sleep, then in the night rocked her to sleep or if needed gave her boob but put her down next to me asleep, well it seemed yo work a charm, we had 2 nights where she slept from 11 until 5, the longest we've slept in 14 months, I've cracked it I thought. Well I should have known better, the last 2 nights I have resorted back to feeding yo sleep as she was up for over an hour and I was knackered! Mummy fail. Im now keeping a sleep diary to try and figure out what is working and not, so she is having 2 naps today as thinking she may not be getting enough sleep in the day, only 30mins on one of the bad day/nights. So today she has managed 1 HR 30 albeit with the help of my boobs. Acrually thinking of trying a sleep consultant as I feel we have so many bad habits and routine that it may be too much to resolve in my own Xxx
To be honest, I think that’s really good progress, even with the rough nights that followed. Some of our sleep improvements have been sudden, but I think more have been up and down but with a general move in the right direction. I figured there would be times when she could manage the new, more independent way and times when she had a wobble, just like we might be up and down with our confidence in a new skill. If I’m going to give in, though, I try to do it quickly. I don’t mind her learning that if she really objects, I might change what I do (actually, I’d quite like her to know this, as it shows her feelings matter). What I don’t want her to learn is that if she really objects 50 times, I might change my mind the 51st.
That said, if your little girl’s naps aren’t working for her, that definitely won’t be helping anyone, and even my not very sleepy girl was best with 1.5-2 hours nap at that age. I kept a sleep diary a couple of times when my wee one was younger and I was trying to figure out what naps and wake windows she needed (definitely not the ones from the books/websites in her case!), and it was definitely helpful, so I hope it helps you as well.