15month old inconsolable in night unless breastfed. Advise please for exhausted mummy!

(8 Posts)
Sophie4231 Sat 02-Jan-21 11:59:50


I’m hoping someone might be able to help. My 15month old daughter is still waking around 3 times a night. And with a toddler waking up at 6 too and returning to work I’m exhausted. We are trying to break to feed to sleep cycle and generally have managed to get her to fall asleep on us for evenings and naps. If we try and put her in her cot even when drowsy she cries and stars hurting herself - hitting her head on the side or pulling her hair out.

When she wakes in the night as soon as we pick her up she goes MENTAL! Screaming, head butting, biting, pulling her hair out and absolutely nothing can stop her other than boob. If she comes off the boob before she’s asleep we’re back to square one. I have once tried to persevere with walking/rocking/singing and after 40mins she eventually exhausted herself to sleep but I think I’m too traumatised to try this again - she was so distressed and hurting herself throughout.

I’m not sure if anyone else had this problem with a breastfed baby? I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding but need a bit more sleep! I’m not sure what else to try!

Thank you from a very exhausted mummy

OP’s posts: |
olderthanyouthink Sat 02-Jan-21 12:39:38

Mines 25 months and wakes every 1-4 hours, bed sharing is the easiest solution for us but it kinda sucks with 3 of us in the bed. Trying to put her in her bed more (still feeding her to sleep when she wakes) just so I can have some space but it means I have to get up so she ends up back in our bed at some point (usually DP just puts her there 🙄)

Sophie4231 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:30:29

Thank you! We did cosleep until about 7 months but she’s too much of a fidget and she rolls so much she fell out of bed twice so that’s not an option anymore unfortunately! I think I’ll just have to put up with the wake ups and hope she grows out of it eventually!

OP’s posts: |
babblingbrooks Sun 03-Jan-21 19:39:27

When we stopped feeding at night, the first night didn't feed past 5am, he cried until morning. Next night none after 2am, made a fuss but did go back to sleep (much to my shock!). Then went cold turkey. Took another week to sleep through. When he woke up in the night nothing would settle him except getting him downstairs to play for half an hour then redoing the bedtime routine (minus bath!). Now he's generally pretty good at sleeping through, but fairly quick to resettle in his cot if he wakes. Good Luck!

Sophie4231 Sun 03-Jan-21 21:58:29

Thank you very much! That sounds like a good plan to try. Didn’t think about bringing her downstairs and restarting. Will try that next week! Thank you

OP’s posts: |
SpikySara Sun 03-Jan-21 22:05:39

Cosleeping is the only thing that worked for us. Unfortunately as you said there isn’t room in bed for two adults and a 15mo. So my DH went to sleep in the spare room and I shuffled right over so DS had the majority of the bed and wouldn’t fall out. Not ideal but we were desperate for sleep.

LaTomatina Sun 03-Jan-21 22:18:46

It's a very tough stage. For mine, I coped by seeing it as 2 separate issues - issue 1 was being breastfed when they woke up at night, issue 2 was getting them to sleep in the cot. So first I worked on one issue and just lived with the other. Then, after 2 or 3 weeks, when we were getting to a 'new normal' on one issue, I started addressing the other one.

So, for example with DS1, I kept him co-sleeping with me but I didn't breastfeed between 10pm and 6am (held a pillow over my chest and kept a sippy cup of water handy). When he woke up, I patted his back and offered water. Took a few very difficult nights but we got there in the end.

With DS4, I worked on getting him used to the cot first (he was too wriggly and violent for co-sleeping). So when he woke up he would get a breastfeed, but I would put him back in the cot after. To begin with it took up to an hour and half of feeding and back patting and humming to settle him in the cot, but after 2 or 3 nights it took 20 minutes, and after 10 days I could put him back in the cot after a feed and he would go straight back to sleep. Once I was sure he was OK with that I started only offering water, back patting and gentle singing (never picked him up) when he woke up. After another week or so he got used to that, and then eventually started sleeping through from 7.30pm to 6am.

It took a lot of patience, persistence and determination on my part, and it felt like forever while I was doing it... But it was only a month or two, and definitely worth the effort. Could probably be done in less time if you used controlled crying - which I personally couldn't handle, but I wouldn't judge anyone else for.


LaTomatina Sun 03-Jan-21 22:28:41

Ps, I used a mesh sided travel cot with a proper matress, not a 'proper' cot with wooden bars... Put it a few inches away from the wall/hard furniture and then you don't have any head banging issues. For hair pulling, you just gently keep catching their hand and quietly saying "don't do that, lovely" or "don't hurt yourself" "it's ok, mummy loves you" or whatever, in a calm sing song voice. It is a nightmare, but if you stay calm and stick with it, it really does work. Good luck!!!

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