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Stopping night feeds. Say something helpful.

(378 Posts)
TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:49

This is partly a request for tips and experiences and partly a pledge.

DD is 1 yo. She bf to sleep at night.
Then wakes anywhere between 1 and three times, again bf back to sleep. I get that the feeding is a comfort.
I, of course am nearly dead from sleep deprivation/ disruption.
I am, from tonight <optimistic> going to stop night feeding. I'm going to initially drop any feeding before 1am, then move on to dropping any later feeds IYSWIM.
I'll be cuddling her, no CIO or cc, but no milk before 1 am.
Any tips?
I know I should like a wuss for doing it so gradually but she's only a baby after all.

Woodifer Sun 16-Feb-14 20:07:08

Are you co sleeping.?

Wear an "inaccesible" bra like a sports bra?

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 16-Feb-14 20:13:02

Partly co sleeping. If that makes sense?
Thank you.
That'll help with dh too grin

Selenium Sun 16-Feb-14 20:13:31

I managed to night wean my ds a couple of months ago after being in a similar situation to you and I'd had enough! My ds was 12 months when we gently trained him to sleep through the night. I decided to feed just at 1am, like you have. My dh and I split the night duties so that one of us went into ds if he woke before 1am and comfort back to sleep without feeding!) and the other did the same for the second half. We would sit by his cot and tell him it was sleepytime and ask him to lie down. Sometimes we would have go lie him down until he got the idea! If he got really upset, we'd pick him up for a cuddle.

The 1am feed I did as a dreamfeed and then gradually shifted it earlier over about a month before stopping it completely.

It took about 3 nights and at first he actually woke up more often than normal and we started to despair but then he miraculously started sleeping through! I think sending dh in some of the time was key, to be honest. Do you have a dp who could help?

I still feed to sleep but now only at bedtime, not in the night. A few months ago I wouldn't have believed it! Good luck.

laughingeyes2013 Sun 16-Feb-14 20:13:45

Once we realised night feeds were just for comfort we offered a different type of comfort (dummy), and within just a few nights things had changed dramatically. By about 2 weeks he was sleeping through and we haven't looked back!

TheRealAmandaClarke Sun 16-Feb-14 20:39:15

Ah thank you.
Dh would go in but she won't settle for him angry envy
I am considering a dummy. But a bit worried about swapping one comfort or another that she woud still need help with. hmm

Parliamo Sun 16-Feb-14 20:46:04

I sent my DH in with a cup of cows milk. She got the idea after a few nights and stopped waking (for milk anyway) she still doesn't reliably sleep through, but I definitely felt better for not feeding.

You really should make your DH do more. I spent the best part of three years doing all the night wakings and early mornings because kicking him out of bed was harder work than doing it myself. I was wrong, after a major crisis and our third non sleeper, he does much, much more. He doesn't seem to suffer with the disturbed sleep and everyone is much happier now I'm not quite such a grumpy witch.

Selenium Sun 16-Feb-14 20:46:55

I tried feeding with a comfort blanket tucked in with me whilst bf ds and then popping it with him in the cot, in the hope he might adopt that as a comforter but he wasn't interested! But might be worth a try. I wouldn't have thought that a 1 year old would accept a dummy if not already used to it, but you never know.

Seriously, my ds wouldn't settle for my dh either but now does after a lot of persistence! I LOVE the fact that the pressure isn't all on me now and dh could handle it if ds wakes up. At first, ds cried a lot and looked for me, but eventually found his own way of settling for dh (my dh would cuddle him and ds would snuggle into his shoulder and go to sleep). Eventually dh could just pop him in his cot and stand next to the cot and ds would just roll over and go to sleep.

I do think that you have to go through some difficult nights to get to a better place - i.e. there will be some crying, but I found it much easier knowing that we were there with ds to reassure/cuddle whilst he was learning to go to sleep in a new way.

mellojello Sun 16-Feb-14 20:48:05

Ive bought a sippy cup with water in it tonight, in the hope of putting DD of BF!

TwirlyCat Sun 16-Feb-14 21:54:33

I very gradually night weaned my DD from BF at night with no major upset. At 12mth old she was feeding several times a night, obviously for comfort rather than hunger. First night feed was at 10pm but occasionally she would go longer, so I made a note of the time then only fed at the later time eg after 12. She then occasionally went longer than 12 so moved the feed to 2am, then 3am then 5am. Now at 14months she has no night feed. Unfortunately she still often wakes a lot (but better than it was) we settle her with a back rub/ssshhhing if we are lucky or if not a sip of water and a cuddle. At least I can share the wake ups with DH now.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 06:34:35

Thanks again.
Last night was a bit of a fog. I think the first wake up was after 1 so I fed her. DS was already in with us by then hmm but at least he was asleep.
Instead of bringing her into bed though I persisted and sat in the rocking chair in her room, then put her back in her cot.
She woke (and fed) again at 5:20 but she slept in her cot again until just now. So, not awful, but I haven't had to refuse a bf yet.
I think I am going to be a bit firmer about insisting on a lie in, maybe on a Saturday. Usually we all get up pretty early.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 06:35:34

Ahh, she's so cute toddling about.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 06:38:25

twirlycat I hope things improve soon.
My DS was a shocking sleeper. After DD was born (when he was just over 2 and I had recently stopped bf him at) he slept through the night.
Since nursery though he's been unsettled and comes in to us most nights. But he just cuddles and falls asleep. Good luck.

laughingeyes2013 Mon 17-Feb-14 09:14:35

I don't know if this helps but I was told by my health visitor that a baby doesn't know which feed is ok at night if you only drop one.

She seems to think they're confused as to why you'd offer a feed at one wake-up overnight (say 1am) and not the other (say 3am). If they're calling for comfort in the dark they won't get which round they're on; the feed or the non-feed round.

So we made sure that up until 6am there would be just a dummy, but we were lucky it worked (and that he can put it back in himself if he wants to now) and I'm not sure what we would have done if it didn't work.

Oh Andre other thing is that my husband went in and popped the dummy in. Milky mummy stayed away as that seemed to irritate him. Trey do say they can smell the milk, don't they? Maybe that was why it worked so well too.

Booboostoo Mon 17-Feb-14 09:53:09

I night weaned DD at 2yo but we were co-sleeping at the time and I continued that.

At 2yo she had some understanding so I explained to her the rules (milk for sleep then no milk till 5am when it was 'morning'), then repeated the rules everytime she asked for bf during the night and still slept with her, picked her up, rocked her, etc. The first 2-3 night were pretty awful but eventually she accepted it. In time I extended the no bf rule to 7am and as she started to sleep through I also stopped co-sleeping.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 11:47:50

i don't expect her to know the difference between the times. I just think it made sense to remove one feed at a time rather than go from 3 feeds a night to none.
I think i might pop if i went all night without a feed.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 11:49:08

and i will still comfort her. Just not with milk.
anyway, we will see.

TheGreatHunt Mon 17-Feb-14 11:54:12

Have you ruled out any issues like tongue tie, intolerances etc which might be waking her?

My dd woke up loads as did DS and I fed to sleep a lot. Then I would just try and cuddle to sleep for every feed I could get away with until she really wanted one. Gradually we got down to no feeds.

But I also have to watch her diet - she fed for comfort because she was uncomfortable eg tummy wind if she had too much brocolli/dairy (for example). Or if teething etc etc!

LauraPalmer Mon 17-Feb-14 12:18:19

Watching with great interest. DS is one and also feeds several times a night...

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 19:10:06

Yes greathunt she's definitely teething.

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 19:12:52

Just doing bedtime feed now.
I should probably stop bf to sleep tbh but I saw some posts recently saying that it hadn't helped and i am desperate for them to go to sleep. DS here too drifting off next to us.
OMG I am so tired.

Scrumptiousboy Mon 17-Feb-14 19:42:23

Good luck. I recently night weaned DS, but used the gradual method whereby I reduced the time allowed feeding each night - night 1 5min, night 2 4,5min and so on. Sadly I still have to feed DS at 3am as we just can't seem to be able to get him back to sleep at that time - feeding him for 5min instead of staying up for 2 hrs is just purely for survival. I will try and tackle that later. If he now wakes at other times, he happily settles for DH, where before he would scream the house down.
Interestingly, Millpond Sleep Clinic say that you can either reduce the time, like I did or extend the time between feeds. I think you're ok doing what you're doing. Your LO will let you know if it's not working grin

TheRealAmandaClarke Mon 17-Feb-14 19:52:27

Thanks scrumptious. If she really won't settle I will feed her and use your technique of reducing the time (using the "pantley pull- off").
I just need to try to make some change. It's so exhausting. Especially with them both getting up at 6. Mornings have me stumbling about. I'm ok by 730 am but then by 6 pm I'm flagging.

Ahhh bla bla bla.

Scrumptiousboy Tue 18-Feb-14 19:50:26

How did your night go? My DS is ill and teething, so he was crying through the night :-( I think I got all of 2 hrs of sleep...zzzz

theyoniwayisnorthwards Tue 18-Feb-14 20:02:00

I've been struggling to night wean my 15 month old in the hope of more sleep and we do seem to be making (slow) progress. We had DP do three nights of all the night wakings over a weekend, he offered water and cuddles and slept on a blow up bed in DS's room. I took over again then in the hope that the habit of boob at night had been interrupted and again I offer water at night. He usually downs it so I think he's thirsty and was in the habit of taking in most fluids at night time, I have been more diligent than before about making sure he had plenty of water during the day and think it's helping, also make sure he has a nice big dinner even if that means offering yogurt if he won't eat whatever else offered.
Last night he slept from 9-ish through to 4.30am, I feel better already.

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