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Thread: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    458

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    My typical night with my 21 mo ds looks very similar. He did sporadically start sleeping in his toddler bed for the first part of the night a few months ago. This was entirely his choice. He was nursing next to me in bed when he up and moved to his bed and asked me to nurse him there. He's done it maybe a dozen times since. It's a very small step but it gives me confidence in my decision not to ever consider sleep training. He'll get there when he's ready. I get plenty of rest and I love the cuddles at night (only time he's peaceful).

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    My son is now 17mo and still wakes 3-4 times each night between 10pm and 8am. We bed share. He nurses solidly on both sides at each waking, so I respect his nighttime nursing needs as both desire for nutrition and nurturing. My personal view is that these times with our babies are so short, so I'm enjoying the intense nurturing while it's needed.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    I agree with everyone here, that your son sounds like a happy, normal EBF baby. Indeed, he needs those night feedings. It's likely contributing greatly to his healthy weight gain, a healthier immune system, and his emotional stability in being able to depend on you An EBF baby makes good use of those extra feedings since the milk goes through his system so efficiently that frequent feedings help keep his tummy pleasantly full as it empties so quickly. My DS is 18 months and still waking many times a night, and I expect this could go on for a few years yet without being abnormal or unhealthy. I've heard some moms say that their kids still woke up at least once a night through to age 5 or 6.

    I have two related experiences I can share that may or may not help. First was my husband's involvement in our son's night waking. We found that if our son woke up within 2 hours of going to sleep, my husband had decent success in holding and patting him back to sleep. If our DS had slept more than 2 hours, he was ready for food and would absolutely not entertain the idea of being coaxed back to sleep by papa. This was found out by some tough trial and error, let me tell you! My husband's a patient guy... In any case, we go by the rule that we respond to anything more than stirring in his sleep or momentary fussiness. I find that my gut positively writhes when I can't respond to his cries right away, and this satisfies me that if it's not in my nature to let him cry then it's probably a healthy response to just do so. Most moms can attest to the same feeling when hearing a baby cry in a store and feeling very uncomfortable or even a desperate desire to soothe the baby, even when it's a stranger's baby.

    My second experience is with our son's food intolerance. He's intolerant to something called salicylates, a normally healthy, natural food chemical found in tons of fruits, vegetables and legumes. It's also found in aspirin, so people who react to aspirin often find a lot of relief in their varied symptoms by avoiding salicylate-containing food as well. A salicylate intolerance affects our DS's sleep . . . and behaviour, it turns out. So much so that when he started solids, his sleep worsened to the point of waking up every 45 to 90 minutes and he was fussy aaaaaall day long! This is what tipped me off that there was something up with his food, and some Google research brought me to the possibility of salicylates. After being off the offending foods for just 4 or 5 days, he was back to sleeping 3.5hrs at a time. When I started the diet myself a few months later, he started sleeping longer and longer until he was at 9.5hrs at night! Now-days, because we're adding new foods in and taking them out, he's on and off for sleeping very long. Before he started solids, he was at 3.5hrs at a time, so I do often wonder if we'd known before whether he'd have slept longer when he was EBF. However, no regrets because there was absolutely no way of knowing until he started solids and reacted accordingly. I suspect this could be the case for many kids with intolerances and allergies, that mom might be eating something that mildly bothers the nursling but it's impossible to really recognize it until baby ingests the food directly and reacts. Intolerances are difficult because they slowly build up, rather than being a short-term reaction.

    I'm assuming if you're saying he's EBF he hasn't really started solids yet? Depending on your approach to solids, 8 months is a great time to be watching for cues that he's ready to start solids - reaching for your food, putting everything in his mouth, making chewing motions with those ready-to-use teeth of his. Some babies sleep longer when they start packing in the harder-to-digest foods, and some babies find the changing digestion somewhat upsetting. There's no guarantee that the change will be comfortable in the short-term, but it does sound like you're ready to start trying age-appropriate things to help him keep growing and maturing.

    All this to say, your son sounds wonderfully normal And lucky to be loved by a mom who's doing amazingly well with multiple night wakings - well done!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    DD3 is 13 months now. She falls asleep around 10pm. Sometimes she nurses and falls asleep, sometimes she nurses and plays a bit more before falling asleep on her own. She'll typically be up again around 1am to nurse, then around 5-6, then again at 7. Then we'll nurse before we get up. There are nights where she's at me 4 - 5 times, even more. Teething is the culprit. It wakes her, since she's up, she wants to nurse for comfort, for the counter pressure. Considering the pain she's in, it's the least I can do for her.

    DD1 and DD2 are great sleepers now (4 & 2). They fall into their own routine, they begin to sleep longer on their own. Since we have always answered to their fussing (I won't say cries because I don't let it escalate that far), they settle easily. They're confident and reassured. It's a lot of work in the first year. The second is still a lot of work, but easier. It gets easier as you go and often works out to having a better sleeper long term.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    79

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    I love these forums! Every time I have a similar question, someone has already gotten the ball rolling and there is good discussion. I was feeling a little frustrated and sleep-deprived: this is my first week back to work and my almost 4 month old has gotten me up every two hours on the dot. I feed him at 9, 11, 1, 3 and 5. He's sleeping right next to me in a co-sleeper, so all I have to do is reach over and get him, but the lack of uninterrupted sleep and the return to my full time job was making me question if the schedule was "normal". Glad to see that other moms are in the same boat, and with older babies. I guess we get through what we have to get through and enjoy the snuggles in spite of the exhaustion!! I do worry about falling asleep behind the wheel or at my desk, but God-willing, that won't happen!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maryland
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    66

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*connectikate View Post
    I love these forums! Every time I have a similar question, someone has already gotten the ball rolling and there is good discussion. I was feeling a little frustrated and sleep-deprived: this is my first week back to work and my almost 4 month old has gotten me up every two hours on the dot. I feed him at 9, 11, 1, 3 and 5. He's sleeping right next to me in a co-sleeper, so all I have to do is reach over and get him, but the lack of uninterrupted sleep and the return to my full time job was making me question if the schedule was "normal". Glad to see that other moms are in the same boat, and with older babies. I guess we get through what we have to get through and enjoy the snuggles in spite of the exhaustion!! I do worry about falling asleep behind the wheel or at my desk, but God-willing, that won't happen!
    I love these forums too! I ALWAYS get great insight and feel so supported about my decisions as I'm navigating being a new mom!

    Thanks for all the responses and I am trusting my gut--no need to change a thing. My babe is starting to sleep slightly longer stretches even in the midst of cutting 2 more teeth (6 total now!) and I feel good about the fact that he knows Mama will attend to him when he needs me!

    As always, thanks ladies!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Is Sleep Training possible (or necessary) with EBF baby?

    ***UPDATE***

    Just a little update--Little Babe is 9mo old as of 4/17, crawling, standing and has 6 teeth! Can't believe how fast it's all happening...

    Any way, I don't want to jinx it BUT this entire last week my babe has been sleeping like a champ! Going to bed at 7:30pm, waking once between 1:30-2:30am to nurse and then awake for the day around 7:30a, sometimes later! Much better than the 3-4 times per night he was waking when I last posted!

    Now, this may just be a growth spurt, but fingers crossed that this is his new sleep pattern!

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