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BFing to sleep - is there a stress-free way to stop so DH can put her to bed?

(10 Posts)
greenblanket Mon 26-Oct-09 13:18:35

DD is 10 months and every night I lie beside her on our bed and breastfed her to sleep. We've been co-sleeping since week one so she has never actually been in her cot.

I've been reading some threads about this and I'm reassured that I'm not creating bad sleep habits by doing this.

HOWEVER - DH would like to be able to put her to bed occasionally and I'm very keen for this to happen myself. DH can comfort her during the night without me, unless she wants milk, in which case she wails until she gets it.

Should I break this habit by introducing a cot now (at least until our bedtime) or is that silly?

Or perhaps persevere with DH cuddling her to sleep instead? We've tried it but DD just cries until I relent, we would need to be resolute it seems.

We plan night weaning when DD is one using Jay Gordon's advice as we want to TTC. Should we just wait until then to do everything at once?

Please advise! Thank you.

greenblanket Mon 26-Oct-09 21:16:40


giddykipper Mon 26-Oct-09 21:20:22

I did it, you need to read 'No Cry Sleep Solution', it gives a really gentle way of gradually reducing the reliance on breastmilk to fall asleep.

The basic principle is that, over a period of time to suit the baby, you gradually move to removing breast just before baby falls asleep, to cuddling to sleep, to baby lying on bed being cuddled, to falling asleep with a hand on back, eventually to you just being in the same room. You get the picture!

greenblanket Mon 26-Oct-09 22:16:39

Aw thanks for that, good to know you were able to sort it out, I presume it took a while? I'll get the book. Cheers!

giddykipper Tue 27-Oct-09 18:18:04

I can't really remember how long it took, I certainly didn't push it quickly because, to be honest, once I started I realised that I was as attached to it as he was! He's 2.6 now and he's wonderful at bedtime, goes to bed really easily, story kiss and cuddles then settles by himself. I am now a firm believer that feeding-to-sleep isn't at all a bad thing, I think it helps their sense of security so that they are confident later on that you are there if they need you. Does that make sense?

Hulla Tue 27-Oct-09 18:30:26

My dh can get my 9 month old co-sleeping bf baby to sleep! He discovered it when holding her while dancing to Black Eyed Peas. She fell asleep in no time.

Worth a try? Although a word of warning, my dh finds it quite a labour-intensive way to get dd to sleep and it can take a few songs before she drifts off. On the bright side, its great exercise for him (BEPs optional grin).

Penny70 Thu 29-Oct-09 10:37:08

I tried the gradual withdrawal method and it worked really well. I had been bf'ing DS to sleep until he was about 8 mths old. And he was still waking several times a night. He had not learnt how to put himself to sleep. I followed the Mill Pond Sleep Clinic approach (I had tried the NCSS previously but not been able to follow through and DS is pretty determined in his demands so needed something a bit more structured but still not as harsh as CC). Basically you start out by putting them awake (but tired)in their cot and sit with them, maybe even have physical contact like a hand on their chest. You do that for three nights then you move away a little, stay there for three more nights and so on until you are out the door. It takes quite a while, took me a good three weeks but that was with an interruption when he was sick, and I occassionally stayed in one position an extra night if I felt he needed it. There was a couple of nights where he really cried but only for 10-15 mins and I was right there with him so he was not abandoned as with cry it out or CC can feel. I was amazed it worked and now he mostly sleeps through the night (though is waking at 5-5.30 am but thats another story!). If you are interested in this approach check out the Mill Pond website, they have a lot of success and are well respected and offer a range of appraoches to suit. I borrowed the book from the local library. Good luck.

littleweed10 Thu 29-Oct-09 13:06:35

just wanted to add, if you are able to give a bottle of expressed milk, it might help baby settle off in different way.

ie, when DS gives bedtime feed, baby goes very chilled and quiet towards end in same way that BFing does however he seems to quite accept when he gets to end of bottle. (whereas with me, sucks to infinity and beyond!)
but I don't co-sleep (sadly would love it, but I develop instant insomnia when tried, including BF at night - sob!) so might not work for you

ches Sat 31-Oct-09 00:06:16

I would not bother with a cot at 10 months. A mattress on the floor in a baby-proofed room is fine. Bonus is you can lie next to her to settle her and do gradual withdrawal.

Do not worry about YOU nursing to sleep and your DH needing to mirror your bedtime regimen. She and her dad will find their own routine. One thing with one person, another with someone else. DS settles himself at nursery, but never at home. It's the same principle. There may be some upset as she and her dad find what works for them, but as long as she's got a full tummy (e.g. bf or dinner before she's sleepy, then books/songs with DH) she'll be fine. If she's going through separation anxiety at the mo you may actually need to be out of the house initially for her to settle with her dad.

My experience with nightweaning is that you should do it before they can ask with a word. DS made up his own word for nursing around 13 months. It's one thing to withhold the boob, quite another when they're actually yelling what it is they want and then crying an awful "Why are you not giving me what I ask? Is it that you don't understand me?" cry. It's not nice at all. So if night weaning or even weaning is your goal, I would start soon.

Greenblanket Sat 31-Oct-09 22:52:04

Thanks very much for all the responses.

Ches good to know DD should adapt to a different routine with DH. I love BFing, I just want to start ovulating again so thought night weaning was the answer. I'll take your advice and do it sooner rather than later even though the thought of it makes my toes curl! Thanks again.

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