Sleep training breast feeding

(18 Posts)
GuruLuru Fri 11-Jun-21 13:48:08

Ladies I am at my WITS END.
Littley used to be alright sleeper. 4 hours sleep, feed, then another 3 hours. Breastfeeding.

Four months came along with teething and she needed extra soothing and frequent night feeds.

Fast forward to 5 months 1 week. She will NOT nap alone - pram, yes. Boob, yes. Car seat, yes. Putting her down in a chance. She'll scream for an hour before I give up. Tried on and off for two weeks now.

She doesn't sleep in night well. Doesn't self soothe. Tried giving formula before bed but she won't drink it.

Just mentally struggling now. What worked for you? I dunno what to do.

OP’s posts: |
Harrysmummy246 Fri 11-Jun-21 15:17:52

Congratulations, you have a normal baby.
Do what works for now to get baby to sleep.
Self soothing is largely a myth/ developmental

Hufflepuffsunite Fri 11-Jun-21 15:21:21

5 months is the worst time for sleep imo . Obviously newborns are hard but you're braced for it, whereas by 5 months you feel like it should be improving and it often isn't! I think do what you need to do to get some sleep. I've always cuddled my babies to sleep and there has been no lasting damage. I found my first ever so gradually improved from 6mo while my second had another blip around 12mo. Hang on in there and you will get through!

Ozanj Fri 11-Jun-21 15:22:57

Sleep training is designed for bottlefed babies older than 12 months. It’s not meant for breastfed infants. Everything you’ve described is 100% normal. Babies go through a huge developmental leap around 4-5 months and their sleep gets massively affected until they’re weaned. As she’s 5 months you could test to see if she’s ready for weaning - just give her something soft like an avocado and see what she does with it.

Harrysmummy246 Fri 11-Jun-21 17:47:38

If anything, weaning early will just cause more disrupted sleep with wind etc.

sylbunny Fri 11-Jun-21 17:59:16

I think 5 months is too young really but I did some gentle night training with my first at about 8/9 months. I breastfed her until drowsy then put her in the cot. If she cried I left her for a few mins while I stood outside the door (literally only 2 at first) then came back in breastfed until drowsy then back in the cot. I increased the time by 1 minute up to 8 mins but never went longer than 8.

I never trained her to nap in a cot. She just never would. My 8 week old won't either and I'm sure it's my fault as I hold them when they nap often but I enjoy it and they aren't babies forever so it's fine for me.

Ozanj Fri 11-Jun-21 20:07:20


If anything, weaning early will just cause more disrupted sleep with wind etc.

Not for breastfed babies and not if she’s ready. The advice for weaning bf babies is very different to bottlefed including allergens. But like everything in the UK you need to speak to someone who knows what they’re talking about. A health visitor who is also a lactation consultant is usually the best option.


GuruLuru Fri 11-Jun-21 21:38:06

She wakes up every 45mins to 2hrs through the night. Sometimes for cuddles. Sometimes for food. Napping she does beautifully on me or in car etc but second I put down she's wide awake and seems impossible to get back to sleep.
This is the only reason I started looking into sleep training in the hope she may sleep for longer through the night.

She used to sleep five hours, feed for 30 mins..then sleep another four!!!! Those were the nights I dream for once again haha

OP’s posts: |
SJMACC Fri 11-Jun-21 22:06:04

Hi OP, I could’ve written your post.. Ds is 4 and a half months and like your Dd been waking every 45 mins to 2 hours, and absolutely won’t be put down in crib. I tried The pick up put down method- meant to be no cry sleep training, it can be done from 4 months so it may work for you but I don’t think DS was ready and it just escalated to more screaming. I’ve resigned myself to co sleeping as it’s the only way any one is getting any sleep in our house at the moment! He’s ebf too and won’t take a bottle of formula either… so solidarity here, it’s so so hard x

FATEdestiny Sat 12-Jun-21 09:08:58

There is no problem in your baby daytime napping in something that moves - pram or bouncer for example.

Why don't you want to do this? It is independent sleep, so will help your baby learn to sleep without breastfeeding in the long run.

oliveroses Sat 12-Jun-21 23:13:29

OP, am having similar issues though I can get my baby down for one nap in the morning but no more than that. Am going to talk him for more walks in the pram as pp have said ...

Nights are awful now. Not sure if heat is making it worse. He's waking up all the time (twice tonight already, since 8.30) and it's taking me 30-60 mins to get him down again as he goes crazy when I put him in the cot. We are moving him to his big cot soon and I hope that makes a difference. I'm no fun in the day for him because I'm so tired! Most of my nct group seem to have done some form of sleep training but I am breastfeeding and room sharing and just don't know how this will work.

He is 5 months next week. I thought it was supposed to be getting better confused

ShinyGreenElephant Sat 12-Jun-21 23:21:38

Have you tried cosleeping? Not for everyone I know but it worked for us when the 4 month sleep regression just never went away. Dd2 is 2.5 now and goes asleep in her own bed (disclaimer - she wakes up in our bed around 50% of the time but rarely wakes us sneaking in so doesnt bother me) but from 6-18m cosleeping was an absolute life saver. Got loads of sleep and barely woke to breastfeed, then night weaned at 18m and she stopped waking soon after. Magic!

Muststopeating Sat 12-Jun-21 23:24:49

Sorry, haven't read whole thread cos don't have the energy for the sleep training debate.

My first was like this. She slept all night with one wake up from 3 weeks. Nothing we did, total fluke. Then the 4 month sleep regression hit and it was hell! Total hell! Like you, every 45 mins to 2 hours. Every night. And DH was returbing our house so I was on my own.

I waited til 6 months on the nose and did controlled crying. It worked like a dream. 2 nights and we had a happier, more content baby and the difference in her development was staggering. Best thing we could have done for her and us.

As for naps, she was never a good napper until I tried 2 things:

Maximum awake times (literally the most game changing thing I learned as a new parent and has been others I've shared it with). Google it and you'll get the right awake times for your bubs, but basically I'd completely underestimated how much sleep a small baby needs.

Second was a dummy. I was always a bit anti dummy, had tried it in the early days when my nipples were bleeding but she had no interest. Tried it again one day when I was on an aeroplane and they wouldn't let me breastfeed (seatbelts on but held on runway for an hour) still not interested. Tried it one naptime a month later... again game changer. It was like a magic sleep button. I gave her the dummy and walked out the room and she went to sleep. We then weaned her off the dummy when we did sleep training later. But we were very strict wirh the dummy before that, she had it in bed as a sleep aide, never sny other time.

Neither of those things helped with the night time sleeping but at least stopped me rocking her for 45 mins for a 20 min nap in the day and gave me some quiet time.

Only thing I regret is taking away the dummy so early. A few months later she started sucking her fingers and she is now 3.5 and I have only just managed to stop that (with that yucky tasting nail polish... though once I tried that it worked overnight).

She is the best sleeper ever. 12 hours every night and regularly still has a 2-3 hour nap when not at nursery.

In the meantime, you have my absolute sympathy it is a hard hard time. I am currently 35 weeks pregnant wirh number 3 and this gives me the fear. Good luck with it.

GuruLuru Sun 13-Jun-21 12:23:51

Ah all. This makes me feel less alone. All my friends have babies that slept - although none of them breastfed!! Felt at quite a loss.

In answer to pram sleeping - this is what we're doing now. However I was hoping she'd learn to sleep without being prompted; ie not rocked to sleep. But after days of putting her down after a feed and she winding herself up and not sleeping at all, I figured it's healthier to let her nap rather than not...!!

Dummy - have absolutely no luck with this. It's impressive how far she spits it. How we I'm planning on trying to wean her only breast milk from a bottle (which she does now take at least) and gradually off boob directly. But we'll see.

Thanks everyone for comments!!!

OP’s posts: |
Muststopeating Mon 14-Jun-21 08:13:21

If you want to stop breastfeeding for you or because its the right time then definitely definitely do it. But I would say my second was a dreadful sleeper (no sleep regression, and napped beautifully during the day but just woke up 3-4 times a night every night for nearly a year).

I was told by thr HV to start supplementing with formula at 4 months because his weight gain dropped off a cliff. I did. I didn't resist because I thought ooooo he might sleep now, maybe he was hungry.

It did not make the slightest bit of difference. And for me, just made everything through the day harder (but I also had a 20 month old so I found bottle making and the battle to get him to take them very inconvenient).

Luckily he would still breastfeed when be woke up at night so I wasn't having to get up to make bottles in the middle of the night, I think that would have been the straw that broke the camel!

Of course this is just my experience and there may or may not be a direct correlation between ff and sleep but I think a lot of it is luck.

Either way, I really hope you get a break soon. Good luck.

TulipVictory Wed 16-Jun-21 20:52:56

I'm in exactly the same boat op, little one is just under six months and I am absolutely shattered 😫

shouldistop Wed 16-Jun-21 23:26:07

They tend to sleep badly between 4&7 months. It will get better. Stopping breastfeeding won't make your baby sleep any better.
Ds2 is 6 months so I'm in the thick of it too although he's starting to come through the other side now with a few nights of sleeping through sporadically.

oliveroses Sun 20-Jun-21 04:52:44


They tend to sleep badly between 4&7 months. It will get better. Stopping breastfeeding won't make your baby sleep any better.
Ds2 is 6 months so I'm in the thick of it too although he's starting to come through the other side now with a few nights of sleeping through sporadically.

This is what I needed to hear!x

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