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1 year old wakes every 1.5 - 2 hours every night to breastfeed...

(7 Posts)
coveredinsnot Wed 25-Mar-09 21:35:31

My 1 year old wakes up frequently in the night to breastfeed. We co-sleep although I have tried moving him to his own cot but, after several back-to-back bouts of illness, we're co-sleeping again. This not really a problem as I quite like it, but it's the constant boob fest that's getting tiring. He's never slept through the night, EVER, which I don't actually think is a massive problem or particularly abnormal. I'm not seeking perfection. I just would love to sleep for about 4 hours in a row, then I would feel amazing (I imagine!).

This has always been his sleeping pattern, so I imagine it will be hard to change. I don't want to do anything like controlled crying. But I'm just not sure how to stop breastfeeding him at night when we're in the same bed. Will it involve a lot of tears etc? I'm so tired from more than a year of not sleeping for longer than 2 hours at a time, I'm constantly ill, and I'm working, so when he's crying in the night I find it really hard to resist breastfeeding, as I know it will make him go back to sleep the quickest... I can hear you saying now: rod for own back etc... I know I know! Bah. But how do I fix this situation now?! All I've ever wanted to do was what's right for my son, what with the breastfeeding, co-sleeping, no CCing etc, but I'm knackered now and I figure if I'm knackered, it's not really working any more...

Sorry for the lack of coherent structure to this message... hope it's made sense!

OP’s posts: |
ches Thu 26-Mar-09 03:44:45

My 25 month old has never slept through the night. He's on around 3 wakings now, two nights had only 1, a handful of times just 2. Like you, I see it as normal, his personality (since he started talking, it's quite obvious that his brain is churning over and over) and that it will come to a natural end. (Hopefully when the teathing is over.) He's in his own bed in his own room now, and I end up falling asleep in there with him between waking #2 and #3. hmm I also work full-time, and there's no way I'm doing anything but the quickest route to get him settled in the night.

I have found that if your child is ready to make a change, the transition is easy. If not, it is sheer bloody hell and you know in a day or two to pack it in. Transitioning to his bed/room was effortless. Stopping nursing to sleep over Christmas was sheer bloody hell. The nurse/sleep link breaking was fine, it was the weeks it took him to learn how to wind down without it.

Ah there he is now, full bladder, needs a wee... "Waah waah waah."

LuJay Thu 26-Mar-09 04:07:14

You need to get him into his own bed in hiw own room. I have been through this so i am speaking from experience. He's addicted to the breast - understandable really, so cosy, soft and warm. He doesn't know how to go to sleep without it so when he wakes through the night, he needs it to get back to sleep. Here's what you do..
1. Get him into his own cot in his own room. i know this will be emotionally hard for you because you have become attached to the closeness also, but if you want to re-claim your sleep, it must be done. Don't worry, you will still be plenty close, just during the daylight hours though.
2. he will scream bloody murder the first few nights. You will respond, but only enough to reassure him that you are not far away. Ie, go in every 5 minutes (or whatever you can bare) but only give him a pat and a shush and tell him it's ok to go to sleep and you are still there. Don't pick him up though, he will use it against you.
3. this will probably go on for a few nights until he gets the message that you are sticking to your guns. Don't give up, it will be worth it in a few weeks when you are 'sleeping like a baby'.

LuJay Thu 26-Mar-09 04:07:17

You need to get him into his own bed in hiw own room. I have been through this so i am speaking from experience. He's addicted to the breast - understandable really, so cosy, soft and warm. He doesn't know how to go to sleep without it so when he wakes through the night, he needs it to get back to sleep. Here's what you do..
1. Get him into his own cot in his own room. i know this will be emotionally hard for you because you have become attached to the closeness also, but if you want to re-claim your sleep, it must be done. Don't worry, you will still be plenty close, just during the daylight hours though.
2. he will scream bloody murder the first few nights. You will respond, but only enough to reassure him that you are not far away. Ie, go in every 5 minutes (or whatever you can bare) but only give him a pat and a shush and tell him it's ok to go to sleep and you are still there. Don't pick him up though, he will use it against you.
3. this will probably go on for a few nights until he gets the message that you are sticking to your guns. Don't give up, it will be worth it in a few weeks when you are 'sleeping like a baby'.

foxytocin Thu 26-Mar-09 04:23:20

you can try dr jay gordon's technique. search him om google and MN. i modified it. i woul feed her at 11 but if she woke at one i shushed back to sleep. if it didn't seem like sushing would work (i'd prob do it for all of 30 secs) i'd just feed back to sleep and try at the next waking. i also work ft so i took the path of least resistance.

i found her arousal worse a night or two before a snotty nose started so knowing this made me feel better about dealing with frequent wakings to feed - plus she has eczema and woke more because of it.

ches Fri 27-Mar-09 01:21:22

LuJay own bed/own room doesn't work for all children. "Addicted to the boob" is just ONE of many reasons babies and toddlers wake in the night. I would say it's probably the least common. What you describe is controlled crying and it works for all reasons for waking because the babies/toddlers develop "learned helplessness". This means it also "works" when the reason for waking is pain (e.g. teething).

coveredinsnot Sat 28-Mar-09 14:38:47

Not remotely inclined to get him into his own bedroom yet, I'm sure there is a middle ground, and it looks very much like Dr Jay Gordon's technique is the one for us - very much like what we were thinking of doing anyway. Thanks for that suggestion foxytocin

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