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9 month old- trying to stop feeding to sleep, am I doing the right thing?(8 Posts)
DP and I decided to use his Xmas holidays to try and make some positive changes to sleep in the family.
We have a 9 month old DD who has been breastfeeding to sleep since birth. We were in a pattern of feed to sleep around 7pm, multiple wake ups and resettles until we went to bed, another feed then usually awake at 1-2am and into our bed, co sleeping and intermittently feeding for the rest of the night.
To be honest, apart from the evening wake ups, I didn’t feel too tired as I would side lie feed and co sleep.
However I’m going back to work next month, long hours (13 hour shifts) and night shifts 9pm-10am. Plus a commute that can easily take an hour (although potentially due to covid maybe won’t take as long as it used to).
I’m worried about being engorged at work, being in emergency situations where I can’t get a break to pump and also having DD feed all night when I’m home so I won’t get much sleep anyway.
We’ve started the “stay and support” method from the Lucy Wolfe book. I now feed downstairs around 630pm and then we go up, do a bedtime routine and one of us then sits by the cot until DD goes to sleep. Same for night wake ups except I feed once overnight.
Last night was night 6- the evening wake ups have completely stopped. However overnight DD still wakes frequently, managed to pat her back to sleep once but more often than not I’ll give a feed, but leave her awake after and then try and settle back in cot.
In some ways I feel we are making slow progress, in others I’m worried I’m just confusing her and I should just go cold turkey on night feeds?
Has anyone night weaned around 9 months and had success?
Hi! Just wanted to say we used the Lucy Wolfe book at around 9 months too to night wean and I truly believe it works.
I think there's a section in the book on how to reduce the milk overnight, although I stopped breastfeeding at about 7/8 months so it was a lot easier to do with formula. It got to the point though, where my daughter was waking twice a night for just 1oz of a bottle - so we knew it was definitely habit. I think it only took a few nights though and she stopped waking.
Would definitely recommend trying to stick to the plan as much as possible, I honestly recommend this book to anyone as it helped my daughter sleep through at the same age as yours. Good luck!!
Thanks, that’s good to know! Yes I think it says to reduce the time of the feed. I’ve sort of been doing that but more often that not she howls if I take her off before she is finished. Hoping it gets better soon!
I can imagine it's a lot harder to do that!! Good luck!
I went back to work a little later than you but never leaked/became engorged, so you might be ok.
I fed DD to sleep for much longer (was on 9-5 hours at the time, back to shifts now) but I went away for a weekend, and she just cracked on with it. Far better than I expected her too .
One thing we did do was introduce a dummy (at the nursery's encouragement). She only uses it for sleep now, but had it as a comfort when first away from me when I started work again. She's not become dependent on it and I now begrudgingly accept it was helpful.
@Sonicthehedgehogg thanks! Can I ask how you introduced the dummy? I’ve tried a few times but DD just won’t keep it in and if she’s sleepy or tired it enrages her. But a relative who is a childminder has suggested it a few times as she has found it helpful with her mindees.
It was nursery that did the introduction more than us. I was reluctant to use them to be honest, but it did help to comfort her with the transition to childcare. Once she was used to it there, she had it at home for sleep (we're pretty strict about that bit). Our efforts prior to that were similarly refused, so you may find she accepts it as a 'second best' like mine did.
Should say... strict in that she doesn't have it any other time at home, not that we insist on it!