Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Night waking and nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    29

    Default Night waking and nursing

    My son is 9 months old and I currently nurse him to sleep at night and for naps. He also still wakes up 3-4 times a night to eat. I don't mind nursing him to sleep, i actually enjoy it. My worry is that I'm encouraging a bad habit of relying on me for sleep. At daycare he puts himself to sleep so I know he can do it. I have a few questions. Should I be putting him down awake at night and for nap so he learns to put himself to sleep? While I don't mind nursing and rocking him to sleep, he's only getting bigger and I don't want to have to rock him to sleep when he's 2. Also, when he wakes up and cries I nurse him back to sleep. Usually I will move him to our bed between 12-4 and co-sleep until he wakes up. I don't mind this but I worry he's never going to give up the night feeds. Should I be trying other methods of getting him back to sleep instead of immediately nursing? For example should I be sending my husband in first then feeding as a last resort? I've heard that night feeding helps maintain supply and I don't mind it so I don't want to stop but it would be nice if he did it less. He's always been a bad sleeper and I am just worried that if I don't do something different I'll regret it in 1 year. People keep telling me he'll grow out of the night feeding and waking when he's ready but I guess I'm skeptical. The other aspect is that the older he gets the more people give me the old "He STILL wakes up at night?! You need to sleep train him!" And I'm so tired of it. Not getting sleep is hard enough, without adding in that people give you a hard time about what you are or aren't doing. I've always been fine with what I'm doing but I'm starting to doubt myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Sleep training is generally snonymous with letting baby cry. I don't know about you, but that is not an acceotable path for me. Hopefully that's not the approach your day care is using! At 9 months you are still his entire world and by responding with what comforts him, and works for sleep at home, you are meeting his needs and being a wonderful mommy. You are not helping him formulate a bad, lifelong habit. I can't tell you he'll suddenly self wean or STTN at 12 months, but once the walking and running start, there are a lot of distractions in that fun world out there. And lots of ways for little guy to tire out.

    Never give up night feeds? I think you can have confidence that he will not be night feeding at age 9.
    You don't want to have to rock him to sleep when he's 2. You are worrying way ahead, there's no need. I bet if he is suddenly too busy for mom at 2 you will wish he wanted to be rocked to sleep!

    In our world:
    15 months, still nursing when I'm not at work
    Still nurse down for naps and night sleeps if I'm on nap/bed duty, which I generally am by choice
    Sleeping through the night? No way. Many overnight wake ups and gropes for the boob, 3 would be a luxury some nights.
    Co-sleeping saves me and actually permits me to get rest for my workday.
    My little girl is super healthy, happy, energetic. I know she feels safe and secure. I also know all this won't last forever. I figure the best approach is to cherish it while you can.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    I'm another to chime in, he will grow out of it, and we are in the same boat.

    Mine is 10 months, does the same thing, nurses to sleep always and then wakes up wanting me back no matter what time of day or night. We physically don't have a room to put her in by herself or a crib, so sleep training is out, and there is no way I have the heart for that. I pull the car over to nurse her all the time because she screams in the car. I can't imagine more than 2 min of screaming, ever! I don't care what people say to me, she's my last baby, and my first nursing experience and we both enjoy nursing to sleep. Also, I think she is just one of those babies who needs a lot of parenting to sleep. I tried a pacifier and she never took it, and I'm way too tired to walk around with her at night. Nursing works, and that's what we're sticking with!

    My baby is also not an easy sleeper, and I think it has NOTHING to do with nursing or nursing to sleep. I have friends with babies who never slept well and only got formula their whole life, one friend right now has an infant like this. My brother-in-law was a horrible sleeper as a baby, all formula. I know it's tempting to think it's your fault your son doesn't sleep easily, but it's not!! You are doing what you like to do to comfort him and it sounds like he really needs it. Even my super easy baby, my oldest, had to have her paci at night until one day she just chucked it out of her crib. She just out grew it.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*petersmommyjessi View Post
    Should I be trying other methods of getting him back to sleep instead of immediately nursing? For example should I be sending my husband in first then feeding as a last resort?
    Only if you want to. It sounds like you don't mind doing what you are doing, I am the same way. Always wondering if I should be trying to make her more independent but then I remember all the times with my oldest, I just let her do her own thing (sleep, potty, eating, anything) and she did things when she was ready in her own way that worked for her. Really there are no shoulds. Who cares what other people are doing? It only matters what you do with your son, and what works for both of you. We are biologically wired to cosleep, in my opinion, and it makes sense for babies to want to nurse all night, why wouldn't they?

    My baby would not sleep a wink at night if my husband or I weren't curled up next to her for the first 3 months. We were able to quickly switch positions and take turns snuggling her back then, now it has to be me. Anyway, you are not alone in this and when people give you crap you can feel confident knowing that you are giving your son exactly what he needs right now.
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; October 17th, 2013 at 04:59 PM. Reason: added info
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Don't borrow trouble from the future. If night nursing or rocking to sleep becomes problematic for you at some point, you'll change it at that point. And contrary to popular belief, it gets easier to change behaviors as time goes on, not harder. Most likely your child will grow out of the behaviors in question before you really need him to. So don't let the busybodies make you doubt your instincts or give up on what it is working.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*petersmommyjessi View Post
    I've always been fine with what I'm doing but I'm starting to doubt myself.
    Don't! Not sleeping through the night is perfectly normal at this age. There is this big misconception that babies should sleep through the night and that if they don't something is wrong with them. This isn't really the case. Sleeping through the night is more about the parents wants/needs than the babies. And even the people I know who have done sleep training end up with night wakings.

    Cherish the baby snuggles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Is your baby well rested? Are you well rested? These are the questions that should be asked when considering sleep training, not "What will the neighbors/friends think?" From your OP it sounds like everything is going fine, so don't worry about it. Don't make a problem where there isn't one.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Thank you ladies for the support and encouragement! You nearly made me cry. It's so easy to get caught up in what people say or your own worries, and forget to put things in perspective. You're right, I keep forgetting that he'll grow out of all this when he's ready. You're also right, that I'm worrying about this way ahead of time, and I shouldn't be "borrowing trouble from the future". He won't be this little forever, so I need to enjoy these cuddles now while I can. My husband and I both hate the idea of crying it out, and would never do it. And I am well rested (most nights), and doing things this way has worked for me up until now so I see no reason to change it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    I would keep doing what you're doing.

    My son is 10 months old in a couple of days and i breatfeed him to sleep (or sometimes my hubby will give him a bottle if he won't settle for me). He wakes up every night anywhere between 12-4 as well, and I take him straight to bed with me. I do this because I went back to work after 6 months and my hubby is now taking the other 6 (i'm the major breadwinner so it made sense to go back to work after my company top-up pay ran out). I can't be up at all hours of the night roaming the house with him because I'm up for work every morning at 5. I did this with my other 2 children as well and they both grew out of the bed after a while.
    My husband and I are both against letting him 'cry himself to sleep' and I LOVE feeding him and laying in bed with him. We both fall back asleep very quickly and i wake up rested every morning. Let people say what they will but there are LOTS of us who do this. Ppl tried telling me I was going to regret doing this but I never have. This bonding moment will be over sooner that you know and you will be soooo happy that you've shared this special time with him. You'll know when the time is right to start weening him from your bed, and if you have some trouble doing it then SO WHAT! it's worth it as far as i'm concerned. Eventually he'll start waking up less and less and sleeping longer and longer until before you know it he's staying all night in his crib or play pen or whaterver you use.

    Good luck and don't fret it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    i read Dr. Sear's nighttime parenting article on their website, and one thing stuck out for me....something along the lines of - if it works for you, then don't fix it! Many people would be happy if they could nurse their baby to sleep and often it takes bouncing, swaddling, etc and a lot of time spent 'working' them to sleep.

    I am in a similar situation and have been getting the 2-3 wakes per night for the last 2 months. We are currently experimenting to see if daddy can soothe him to sleep, but I end up still lying awake in bed, hearing my little one whine for mama - not b/c he doesn't love his daddy but b/c he wants the comfort of mamma. I WISH we could co-sleep but it's not safe for us (dogs in the bed, dad's a heavy sleeper and i'm a light sleeper. everyone is happiest in their own sleeping space) so instead i just push through and try to stay positive in that tomorrow is a new day.

    You are doing everything right! good job

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Night waking and nursing

    Thank you all for this thread! My daughter is 10mo and wakes up several times a night to nurse/fuss at me. My husband can/will rock her to sleep, but she really just wants to nurse. She used to sleep through the night and didn't co-sleep until she started teething, so the current state of affairs feels "wrong" to me sometimes, even though I am usually sure that we are doing what we need to do. Thanks for the reassurance! (Although, I could use some advice, she is growing out of the bassinet she naps in - it is curved and cozy, and she won't sleep on a flat surface eg: crib, pack and play. Anybody else have this problem? I just don't know what to do for her daytime naps, because it is not really the safest situation anymore...)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •