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Thread: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

  1. #1

    Default feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    Hi all
    My 6 month old dd previously slept right through the night from 1 week old and progressed to sleeping 12hours straight by 3 months. But when she turned 4 months everything changed. she started waking at 5am for a feed, then it changed to twice a night, then 3 times and now she can wake every 1 1/2 to 2 hours at night. now this isnt every night - she has good and bad nights, so a good night will just be once or twice but a bad night will be every 2hours or less. I've tried everything from trying to give her a soother, comforter, night light on, night light off, extra blanket, and white noise. nothing seems to help, all she wants when she wakes is a comfort feed (I'm breastfeeding). She'll normally be straight back asleep again within 5mins. I've started her on solids 2weeks ago but havent really noticed much difference with that yet. Now I really cant do the "cry it out method" even though I know that it can work, but it just isn't for me.

    I do think that the nights that she wakes up frequently is when she hasn't got 3 good naps during the day but it's really hard to get her to sleep during the day and she'll normally just sleep for approx 50mins each nap. the morning and lunch time naps are easy but she'll always fight the evening nap as much as she can.

    I know its my fault really, as I've always fed her to sleep so now am trying to put her into cot drowsy, but its very hard as alot of the time she'll start crying and I have to repeat this process so many times, so during the night I usually just put her down when she falls asleep as I'll get back to bed quicker! Just wondering if there is anyone out there experiencing this same problem or is there light at the end of the tunnel??

    Also because I'm feeding her to sleep, it means I have to constantly be with her for her naps as well as in the evenings for when she wakes for a comfort feed- which could be as soon as 1hr after going down to bed for the night. While this is fine for now, I'm going back to work in less than 3 months so I cant be with her for her daytime naps and I dont want the creche to let her CIO.

    Sorry for such a long email / rant!!

    Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, or just to know that i'm not alone in this!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    http://evolutionaryparenting.com/nor...-sleep-part-i/

    You are absolutely not alone! Your baby is normal and needs those extra feeds. Sleep patterns change constantly in the first few years. He might not need that evening nap so much anymore. My seven mo just transitioned to two naps (usually). The site I linked has an article on helping baby learn to nap alone at the same age that may help you. Some dc providers will wear baby for naps or use a walk in a stroller but that could be difficult depending on how many children they watch.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    You might look up the sweet sleep book to at least help you with night times. Co sleeping often helps working moms keep up with their milk supply without loosing too much extra sleep in the process.

    I'm not sure what to tell you for naps. My LO has to have a protective adult holding or in contact with him to fall to sleep.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    I have been going through the exact same thing with my 5 month old for the last 5 weeks. EVERYTHING you said.. Ditto. I could have written this post myself.

    I waffle back and forth constantly on whether I should be doing something differently, I have several friends who have done sleep training with their children, to great success, but I personally know that this is not for me. I believe that if my baby is waking, it is because she needs something - maybe even just comfort - and it would not be right to deny that to her just because I have arbitrarily decided she 'should' be sleeping more. If she was ready to self-soothe and sleep for longer stretches, she would do so. Still, after the sixth night waking or realizing that the only way I have gotten her to sleep all day is by nursing.. I feel frustrated and insecure about my choices. You are not alone in this at all!

    I try to put my daughter down drowsy but awake at least once every day but do not have any success. She goes from calm and sleepy to hysterical within a couple minutes... And then is only calmed by nursing. Does anyone have any tips for making this a little easier?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    We are primates and we are genetically programed to want to be held as infants. Don't think it is because you are doing anything wrong, nature has made your LO this way.

    I don't believe in CIO or that infants can self sooth. Now some might be down on their own and stay asleep and occasionally wake a little bit make a noise and go right back to sleep, but that isn't really self soothing, they just made noise in their sleep really.
    CIO and "self soothing" is really just teaching baby to "give up" no one is coming so you might as well quit crying and do for yourself.

    If you really must sleep train then look up the No Cry Sleep Solution but that is not going to be a quick fix, it takes lots of time to do. I'm lucky in that I'm willing to co-sleep and be pretty much attached to my LO so I often just hold or wear him for naps and co-sleep at night so we both get more sleep at night. (Last night he nursed several times but really didn't wake up from about 8 pm till 5 am, to nurse when co sleeping he just fusses a bit till I pull him into position or switch sides and he latches on without waking up.)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    My almost 4 year old son was a terrible sleeper. We didnt want to sleep train, so I did a variation of cosleeping. He didnt sleep thru the night until the month before he turned 3 years old.

    My 7 month old daughter is now following the same path. I have trouble getting her to stay in her crib at night, so she ends up in my bed.

    I've decided that she's only this little once, and it can't be worse than my son. And even in retrospect, 3 years wasn't that long and i wouldn't have changed things with my son.

    I think you should just do what works for you. Kids will eventually learn to sleep. Good luck!
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    Maybe do a modified CIO? Like allow crying for max 5 minutes, then go in and reassure for 30 seconds. Repeat if necessary.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    I am in a similiar boat, my lo is 10mnths next week and seriously driven demented by her night waking. She was ebf till 6 months and solids started very slowly. Now she is eating very well and sipping water during the day. She gets about 3feeds during the day and going to bed at 8. She will wake any time from 12-3 and it can take up to 4 hours to get her settled again, usually after I feed her. I had dropped the 2am feed and after 2nd night she slept till 4.30, this was at 8mnths. Now she is waking up and I am going in every 5 mins soothing her and back out. This can go on for 2/3hrs until I give in and feed her. She won't co sleep as hates being in our bed,even after a feed she looks to go to her cot. Nap times are no problem so I havent a clue what to do. I have a 5 & 3 yr old as well am I'm totally wrecked. Any advise is very welcome.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    Novbaby, 3 feeds a day isn't very much at 10 months, milk is supposed to be the primary source of nutrition for at least the first 12. It's quite normal for feeds to be 8+ still at this age. If baby wakes then baby is probably hungry/in need of the milk and the least disruptive thing to do is simply feed them back to sleep.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: feeding to sleep plus frequent night wakings

    I agree, if baby will nurse then that is what I would do (I take the easy way out in this case.)

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