Disagreement with DP on CIO(9 Posts)
Our 6 month old DD used to sleep through the night at 3 months, but since then has started waking more and more at night. She is very active and seems to think the daytime is for playing and night time is for eating. I work FT, baby is EBF and at home with DP all day long. At night, when she cries, I lift her from her cot (she is in her own room), bring her into bed with me and feed her. I usually fall asleep, then wake at some point and put her back in her cot. We do this 3-4 times a night. This is cuasing a problem with DP, who thinks I am being a bad parent by preventing her from teaching herself to fall back asleep. At her last check up, the doctor told me not to feed her at night, and to mix feed with formula if she continues to fall off her growth curve. I thought this was bad advice, but DP was there with us and he now keeps bringing this up.
It is causing a problem between us...anyone else have a similar problem? As her mother, I feel that I get the final say (after all, it is me who has to get up through the night, and I'm not there during the day) but he maintains that he would like to get her into a nap schedule and CIO during the day. What to do...
What is CIO?
Several issues here, one of which is that you allude to your DD's weight/height. Is she tiny? Was she prem? If yes - disregard what I say below and speak to your Health Visitor/GP/paediatrician etc.
If she's not, and she's a full-term baby who is not small for her age, then your GP is correct and she shouldn't need feeding at night at 6 months old, as long as she is getting enough milk during the day. Why did he suggest mixing formula and breastmilk? - is it because your DD is not getting enough milk from breastmilk alone?
A baby who is having 5-6 full feeds during the day definitely does not need a feed at night (by which I mean between the hours of 11pm and 7am-ish)!! It's a habit/comfort thing. For both of you. I'd be willing to bet that, if you were formula feeding her at night, you wouldn't be putting up with the extra feeding as you'd have to get up, get the bottle, sit propped up in bed, hold it, etc etc - much more of a palaver than popping her on the boob and nodding off!! (This is not a criticism of you, or of breastfeeding in general, it's just an observation).
It's up to you what you do at this point. However, of course your DP should have a say in it too; she is his daughter too. You can carry on as you are, but your DD won't start sleeping through the night unless you help her. Or you can start to get her into some sort of routine. Gina Ford (can I say that on here?), Baby Whisperer, etc etc. There are plenty of books etc out there that are very helpful.
When are you planning to start your DD on solids? Because she certainly shouldn't be needing a night feed by then. And if she's still only on milk, it does sound as though she's not getting enough during the day. Hence the GP's comment about formula, I'd imagine.
How many feeds a day, and how much expressed milk, is she having? And is she draining your boobs at night too?
Your doctor is misinformed. BF babies gain quickly and slow down tremendously in their weight gain (= drop percentiles on FF-based charts) from 4-6 months onwards.
I really don't think that being the mother gives you a bigger say in parenting. You need to be united, which means no CIO if you say no, but also that you address the problem of broken nights in a way that is a compromise. There are tons of books on alternatives to bf every night waking. (Though during 6 month growth spurt I would say she does indeed need those feeds.)
I really truly fail to see what CIO has to do with a nap schedule. Schedules are not really a good idea, but routines are. (Some babies run like clockwork, others wake at different times each day and putting them down because the big hand is on top and the little hand is at 10 isn't going to work.) The 2-3-4 routine (nap 2 hours after waking, nap 3 hours after waking, bed 4 hours after waking) works well for a lot of babies. If there's a lot of crying at nap time with your DH he's possibly putting her down too late and she's over-tired.
I would buy your DH a book or borrow one from the library with no-cry sleep strategies and maybe something about SAHDs with infants. It's not easy (DH was a SAHD until our DS was 5.5 mth), but there's a huge gulf between a boob-in-the-mouth and CIO.
Crying It Out - IE leave them to cry until they go to sleep.
If you work FT how do you BF during the day? Express? Maybe she is not getting enough in the day.
I'd do the same as you, fwiw. Or actually, I'd bring her in and keep her in, rather than getting up 4 times a night.
She's very little, you all need some sleep, and I always found co-sleeping a lovely way to get some quality parenting in, in a very easy and connected way, that's comforting for lo's.
How you convince your dp I don't know, though. 6 months is widely believed to be far too young for cio even among people who believe in it, I think.
Sure there will be someone more informed than me along, though.
Hi Shanster - my DD (7 and a half months) was still feeding 2/3 times between 6.30 and 6 at this age. It's only in the last week she has suddenly dropped the 3/4am feed and now just has a feed about 11.30. She's also dropped a feed in the day - so I think she must be getting more food down her neck than I thought (we're BLW). I was like you - I felt that she needed the feeds - and as she's now dropped them - it seems she did at the time - and now doesn't. We really didn't do anything. She just went 11 until 5 one night and so the next night - when she woke at 3 ish - I just shhed her back to sleep (it took a while). But she was never distressed and it has fallen into place (for now!). For the time being I'm happy with one feed a night - and figure as she gets more food down her neck that feed will eventually go as well.
I think my point is that they change so rapidly and if you're not comfortable doing CIO (I certainly am not) then don't do it. But also - roll with it for a couple of weeks and reassess - it could all be very different then.
She's only 6 months. I think it's entirely normal for her to still be waking and needing a feed at night. If you're happy to continue doing this and it is you that has to do the night feeds then you should carry on as you are. I think if you need to be 100% committed if you go down the cio route and it sounds like you're not.
For what it's worth, my daughter was an awful sleeper but we didn't want to leave her to cry but eventually she did just learn by herself to sleep through the night so I have to disagree with Mummydragon on that point.
If she's falling off the growth curve I'm a bit confused as to why you've been advised to firstly give formula and secondly quit the night feeds - surely if she needed more food then she should be breastfed more often not less. 6 months is also a time of a growth spurt. First time round it took me by suprise as I thought we were past all that. I didn't last that long though.
You should do what you feel comfortable with.
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