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Thread: 5 month old refuses bedtime nursing

  1. #1

    Default 5 month old refuses bedtime nursing

    I have a 5 month old and for the last few months, he gets extremely upset if I try to nurse him at bedtime. I work full time, so he gets bottles of expressed milk throughout the day. When I get home at 4:30, I feed him. Bedtime is around 6:45-7pm -- I'm wondering if he's not hungry so he's refusing? He won't even comfort-nurse - he has to have the pacifier to fall asleep. He wakes 2-3 times a night to eat, so I was hoping that if I could feed him at bedtime, he would make it longer before waking. Any thoughts/suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Virginia (Temporarily!)
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: 5 month old refuses bedtime nursing

    Have you ever attempted to do bedtime without the pacifier? From what you describe, your babe does like the soothing of sucking to ease into sleep. Something to consider is if it's possible to retire the pacifier while you are at home, in hopes that all sucking needs will be met at the breast.

    That said-and our situations are a little different, but nevertheless, my seven month old doesn't always want to nurse to sleep. This is usually if she's nursed maybe within the last 45min, but not always. Sometimes she just wants to flail about, sometimes popping on and off. And she's not upset, and doesn't want me to leave the room, but just doesn't want to nurse and does want to take her time. So I don't think it's necessarily a problem that a baby has different ideas about how to fall asleep, but it might be a problem if it impacts your supply, right? (If this is a nursing that is just being dropped, rather than just happening at a different time).

    How much does your babe get while you are at work, and how long are you at work?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,613

    Default Re: 5 month old refuses bedtime nursing

    so I was hoping that if I could feed him at bedtime, he would make it longer before waking.
    Babies wake at night because a short sleep/wake cycle is their normal sleep pattern, and they nurse at night because they require comforting to sleep and nursing does this so well. IN other words, night waking has little if anything to do with hunger at this age. Yes a baby gets hungry (and thirsty) overnight too, of course. But even a not very hungry baby will wake.

    Is the bedtime set by baby? In other words, is this the time your baby is actually falling asleep? Or is this when you go to bed too? This is only 2 hours after you get home, so, yes, it certainly may be that baby is not hungry- but it may also be that baby does not wish to nurse because baby knows nursing will put baby to sleep, and baby does not want to go to sleep yet, especially if that means another separation from you (even if you are in the next room!)
    A baby who is separated from mom during the day may have later bedtimes and wake frequently overnight-it allows baby to get more of that precious mommy time in.
    You do not mention the sleeping arrangements so I don't know, but if you are not bedsharing at this point, this may be a good enough reason to consider trying it. Not that anyone really needs a specific reason!
    Another idea would be to use a sling or wrap at home to keep baby close while you go about your evening. Baby may fall asleep in the sling.

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