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Thread: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

  1. #1
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    Default Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    My 7 m.o. is nursing well & gaining well. We've been doing a veery little bit of baby led solids. She has always nursed to sleep for every nap & bed time. She's nursed about every 2 hours for her whole life.

    Ok, so now the problem is that while she's still happily nursing to sleep for naps, at bedtime she's popping on and off, arching her back (not from forceful letdown), fussing, and generally not settling to sleep. I take her back and forth between breasts and do breast compressions. She seems most fussy after the let down is over. Is this just a new version of cluster feeding? It's super frustrating - for both of us. Last night she seemed to nurse alllllll night too. We don't have other sleep tools because nursing has always worked where nothing else has. Any insight or ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessicanewmom View Post
    My 7 m.o. is nursing well & gaining well. We've been doing a veery little bit of baby led solids. She has always nursed to sleep for every nap & bed time. She's nursed about every 2 hours for her whole life.

    Ok, so now the problem is that while she's still happily nursing to sleep for naps, at bedtime she's popping on and off, arching her back (not from forceful letdown), fussing, and generally not settling to sleep. I take her back and forth between breasts and do breast compressions. She seems most fussy after the let down is over. Is this just a new version of cluster feeding? It's super frustrating - for both of us. Last night she seemed to nurse alllllll night too. We don't have other sleep tools because nursing has always worked where nothing else has. Any insight or ideas?
    How long has this new behavior been going on?
    Growth spurt?
    New milestone/skill messing with sleep?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tclynx View Post
    How long has this new behavior been going on?
    Growth spurt?
    New milestone/skill messing with sleep?
    It's been a couple of weeks now. Once she falls asleep things are "normal" (except last night...).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Hum? Any new products that you might be using before bed?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    This sort of thing happened on and off for my daughter at bedtime starting at about the same age and persisting into the second year. Meaning, we'd have a week or so when bedtimes took a long time and involved a lot of popping on and off and squirming and resettling and all of that, and then go back to nursing to sleep with no problems. And yeah, those periods were pretty well peppered with all-night-nurse-a-thons, too. I would say...this sounds normal to me, though frustrating, and it will likely pass.

    What I used to try at that age if baby was having trouble settling was having dad get up and walk her around the room a little bit, then come back and nurse some more. Repeat as necessary. (Dad walking baby stopped being a useful tool at around the year point--she just wasn't interested in that at all, and just wanted to stay in bed and pop on and off as needed when in one of those phases.)
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Can you just put her to bed without feeding and then dreamfeed her when you go to bed? My baby is almost 8 months but at like 6.5 months he started not falling asleep at the bedtime feed. First I freaked out because how else will he fall asleep? Then he started doing what you described, moving around a ton, and that's when he started pre-crawling and sitting so I attributed it to that. I would stop the feed, put him to bed (the previous feed was about 2 hours before this), and he'd fall asleep on his own. I would stroke him a little, sometimes he cried for a minute or two, but then he'd settle himself to sleep. He'd usually wake up 2 hours later and that's when I'd feed him and he'd eat well because he was 80% asleep! This phase lasted like 2 weeks. After that time, he'd still not fall asleep during the bedtime feed, but he'd eat peacefully and then go to sleep. Best wishes to you!

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tclynx View Post
    Hum? Any new products that you might be using before bed?
    Hmmm...not that I can think of

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Ok...so probably normal. Ruchiccio, this baby has never once fallen asleep without a boob in her mouth. If I lay her down it just turns up the dial on her crying but I'm glad to know this is a typical pattern. Sonogirl, passing her to dad does happen about once a week when I get frustrated/grumpy about the pop-off-and-cry. And then when she comes back to me she does usually nurse right down. Maybe it gives my breasts a minute to store a bit so she gets another let down?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nursing to sleep no longer works (very well)

    Yeah, I don't know, very possible that it's giving just a little break before yielding another letdown! Who knows for sure? I honestly found months 7-11 kind of challenging where sleep was concerned. Every time I thought I knew what the pattern was, something changed. And then changed again. And then went back to baseline. Repeat. I definitely attributed the pass off to dad as kind of a "reset" button in those days, though. I used to do it whenever she was upset and I couldn't fix it with continued switching, because I personally just didn't feel comfortable with bedtime crying. I liked to do whatever I could to keep it happy, positive, and tear-free. But I definitely do not have a "lay-the-baby down and go to sleep" kind of kid, she was a "glued to a body at all times, with boob in mouth please" baby most of the time!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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