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i've stopped bf-ing my 16m old at night and 4 nights on she is still NOT HAPPY, please tell me it will get better

(8 Posts)
MrsPickles Sun 17-Aug-08 13:34:25

As title says, I've just stopped breastfeeding my 16m baby at night and boy oh boy is she CROSS about it.

She has always co-slept and fed to sleep - have had various efforts at getting her to sleep in the cot & not to feed to sleep - tried all the no cry sleep solution (I always want to call that the no cry NO sleep solution) techniques as well as controlled crying, dummies, blankies etc etc. Basically nothing other than my nipple has ever worked. Until recently she has fed to sleep (but managed to drop that about 1 month ago but only if DH is here and if he is at work then she is not happy with me putting her down) and then always always a feed about 11pm/12am and then 5/6am.

So, I've just tried to drop the 11pm/12am feed (keeping the morning feed) and it is not working well!

1st night - went down for DH quite well at 8pm but then in the night screamed for three hours 11pm to 2am, eventually put the light on, let her play on the floor to stop the screaming and eventually she crawled into bed with me and fell asleep curled up at the bottom of the duvet like a cat.

2nd night - DH was here so she slept with him, I slept in the spare room and amazingly she didn't scream but kicked him like mad and clawed at his face all night long

3rd night - DH on night shift, took a long time to get her to sleep and then she screamed for 2 hours or so in the middle of the night

last night (4th night ) - about 2 hours to get to sleep and 3 hours awake in the night - mainly screaming.

HELP please please tell me she's going to crack soon. I've got a full week of work ahead on Monday and she's got to start sleeping soon! I'm wondering whether co-sleeping is hindering or helping. I didn't really want to give up co-sleeping, she hates the cot with a passion and I feel it will all be much worse in the cot and I won't be able to lie with her and cuddle her there. But maybe I should try it. Arrgh.

MegBusset Sun 17-Aug-08 13:45:10

Have great sympathy for you, it sounds tough. We got DS out of co-sleeping and night feeding by doing very strict controlled crying. In the cot, night night, lights out, that's it. Return at increasing intervals to give a very quick pat to. No cuddling, no dummy and certainly no lights on and playing. It took three nights and completely changed our lives. But if you go this route you will have to be absolutely consistent. In retrospect, all the various things we tried to soothe DS just made it worse for him as he never knew what to expect.

MrsPickles Sun 17-Aug-08 13:53:23

Meg - how old was your DS when you did that?

Romy7 Sun 17-Aug-08 13:57:11

unfortunately, consistency is the only key.

i did laugh about the lights on and let her play, sorry. grin

no wonder she is crying - she has no idea what the routine is supposed to be!!

i think probably what's not helping is you don't seem sure (and neither does dh) whether she sleeps with you or in the cot - much easier for her to understand there is no feeding if she is in the cot imo!

i know i sound like an unsympathetic old bag, but i'm not, honestly. ds1 fed every two hours day and night and was a screamer when we stopped - however, it was all over in a few days, as we were absolutely iron with our decision, and we all became much happier!

decide what your routine is, and stick to it. unlike mb, we did lift him when we went in, but just a quick pat, and straight back down, then out.

it also sounds like your evening routine is a bit variable - when we plucked up enough courage to do bath, bed (even if not asleep), that helped enormously too. much easier to do that in a cot. and letting the lo know that the day is over and the night time rules (ie no play, no drink) are in force.

MegBusset Sun 17-Aug-08 18:37:25

He was 9mo. I certainly think 16mo is old enough to understand, as long as you are totally consistent.

MrsPickles Mon 18-Aug-08 14:15:14

Hurrah hurrah! Last night my baby (yes MY baby) slept an unprecedented 9.5 hours in her cot uninterrupted, she might have slept longer except I had to wake her up to take her to the child minder! I would be dancing and singing if I had the energy – I didn’t sleep a wink from about 3am wondering what on earth she was doing and if she wasn’t awake, she must be dead! Romy – I have been fairly consistent except often DH works shifts and I work often have to work late (work full time) so sometimes it was me who put her down and sometimes DH and DH was not as married to the bedtime routine as me. The lights on and playing the other night was in desperation to stop 3 hours of relentless, throat gurgling screaming – honestly, I’ve been good with sticking to it – and it’s paid off!

It still took 1.5 hours of crying to actually get her to go to sleep at 8pm but this is halved from the previous 3 hours…. And then a miraculous 9.5 hours! The most she has ever slept in her 16 months is a 5 hour stretch and that I could count on the fingers of one hand. I feel very sad that the breastfeeding co-sleeping days seem to be at an end but I think DD was not happy with not being able to get herself to sleep – she was always waking up crying. I probably shouldn’t be posting this as no doubt it will all go downhill tonight but all fingers and toes crossed.

Romy7 Mon 18-Aug-08 15:40:54

crossing everything for you here - well done! i bet you're knackered today! when they start sleeping my body relaxes and it takes me weeks to adjust lol! we have the same thing with the dh/ me thing and work. it just made me laugh as i remembered the only time i resorted to giving up and putting the light on and letting her play (we flew longhaul to canada just before dd1's first birthday). she just couldn't grasp the time difference and had no idea why we kept turning the damn light off and telling her to be quiet. dh and i were at our wits end, but so tired that, actually, we couldn't care if we weren't being consistent as long as she just shut up! so, understand it all, and not meaning to criticise - it's so hard whilst you're doing it, but quite funny to look back on fondly (after about 3 years hmm)

MegBusset Mon 18-Aug-08 17:05:27

Oh well done

Hope this is the shape of things to come...

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