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Thread: my baby wont sleep without breast

  1. #1

    Default my baby wont sleep without breast

    Hi,

    I am new to this site, not sure if there is a post on this topic already, but I really need
    some help. My 4.5 month old baby boy is a high needs baby, ever since he was born he would only go to sleep with my breast and up until a month ago he was held for
    every nap. Now I lay with him in bed ( we bed share, because as a newborn I tried for 2 weeks with zero sleep to get him to sleep in our side car crib) for naps and breastfeed him to sleep, when he is in a deep sleep, I slip away, but he usually only last 20 min
    or so. He cries and I have to give him my breast again to get him to fall asleep. So for most of his naps I am laying beside him. Night time is tough too because I don't sleep well with him needing to comfort suck on my breast all night, it's just not comfortable for me, and I only get a few hours of sleep each night. I am so tired, and I feel hopeless not knowing how to change this situation so I am better rested to be there for my whole family during the day. Unfortunetly I can't sleep during the day, even if I had no sleep the night before. I would appreciate any advice on how to help Joshua not need to use me as a pacifier so often, but I will not let him CIO.

    Thanks , Amy
    Last edited by @llli*amyann; July 14th, 2013 at 12:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    hi mama, welcome!

    what you describe is all completely normal and is not a sign of a high needs baby. not saying you don't have a high needs baby, but lots of totally normal or even low-needs babies only go to sleep wtih the breast. they're hard-wired to this, and milk and sucking both have a sedative effect.

    so, given that you won't do CIO (cheers to you for that), let's strategize some ways of getting you more sleep at night. bedsharing is a good start. are you side-lying nursing so that you can doze off while he nurses? can you go to bed earlier and/or sleep in later? why can't you nap with him during the day? the more details you give the more helpful we can be at helping you brainstorm.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    My little guy has been similarly dependent on me for his sleep, though I have been able to get him to sleep in his side car at night. At least until his first night feeding, after which he is in bed with us. It requires nursing, then rocking, and then very carefully setting him down. And naps have always been a huge miss for us at home, though he naps great at daycare.

    At some point naps improved to 40 minutes (maybe around 5 months) at home. And then yesterday like magic after nursing him in our bed and slipping away he napped for over 2 hours.

    Do you swaddle or anything like that? Swaddling worked really well for helping with sleep for us. We just had to give it up recently because he learned to roll over while swaddled. We switched to a zipade zip, because transitioning out of the swaddle wasn't going so well.

    I also found that white noise helped a ton with his sleep.

  4. #4

    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    I don't have a problem with nursing him to sleep, the problem is he wants to suck while he is asleep too. If I try to take my breast out of his mouth, even when deeply asleep, he usually wakes up crying frantically until I give him my breast again. This goes on all day and night! I do side lay while nursing, but can't sleep that way because he's very squirmy. He hates swaddling, and I run a fan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    5,606

    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    Have you tried a pacifier? I am normally not a paci promoter, but at this age assuming weight gain is good, some pacifier use (not overuse) should be ok.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    I am so tired, and I feel hopeless not knowing how to change this situation so I am better rested to be there for my whole family during the day.
    I hear you. it is so hard to function on not enough sleep. Do you have other kids? Why can't you sleep during the day? Who else is around at night who can help with baby?

  7. #7

    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    Yes I have tried a pacifier, it doesn't work. I have a daughter also, thankfully she is pretty self sufficient at 13 yrs old, but I do feel I am neglecting her and my husband in some ways. Unfortunately I am a very light sleeper and my body knows the difference between night and day( even though I use ear plugs and blackout curtains) My husband can't help at night because he needs to sleep to get up for work at 6am.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    i don't have an older kid, so take this for what it's worth ... but the needs of a self-sufficient 13 yo and a 5 month old are VERY different. can you have her stay in her room/do something quiet for an hour or two during hte day so that you can at least lie down and rest with baby during baby's naps?

    or even have 13 yo stay with baby for naps? often babies don't expect to nurse when they're not with mom, and will sleep better for other people.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9

    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    Joshua won't even let my husband put him to sleep, we have tried putting him down every other way also. He will ONLY sleep with my breast.

    * edit*every other way that I thought of ( ie. rocking, pick up, put down method, music, patting/sushing, stroller rides) The only other thing that works is being carried, the moment you lay him down he is wide awake, crying. I have a baby carrier, but my back is to bad to wear for naps, plus he is almost 20 pounds.
    Last edited by @llli*amyann; July 14th, 2013 at 04:27 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: my baby wont sleep without breast

    ok, so are there any things that YOU think might work? any gut feelings or inklings? any other options you've heard of or thought about trying?
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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