View Full Version : 15mth old breastfeeding to sleep
hi there i was just wondering if anyone out there had any advice that might help me with my 15mth old daughter. she is breastfed to sleep for day and night sleeps. she is put into her cot at night once breastfed to sleep and then when she wakes up (usually around midnight) i bring her into my bed and she breastfeeds back to sleep there until morning. she has slept with me pretty much from day one. anyway the problem lately is that once she comes into my bed she goes back to sleep breastfeeding but has now been waking up again very frequently and having to be breastfed back to sleep again , its got to the point where she is almost constantly attached to the breast all night. this is getting very uncomfortable for me as you can probably imagine, not to mention the fact that her constant awakenings are leaving me extremely tired throughout the day. another problem with all this breastfeeding is that she now eats very little food during the day (she's only about 8.6kgs so this has got me a bit worried).
so basically what i am asking for is some advice on helping her sleep through the night, or at least be able to return to sleep without being breastfed. i dont want to do c.c because i couldnt stand to upset her so much but i am getting quite desperate and really need some help.
I've not had the same situation to you, but I think the gentle way to do it would be to only change one thing at a time.
Can you just tell her no more BF at night and offer her water instead? I have heard that mother's who have babies waking for a milk bottle will do this and once baby knows that only water is on offer, they don't bother to wake for it. Of course they can be sneaky about gradually watering the milk down so its not such a big change:o .
I would continue co-sleeping, as it seems to me that moving her to her own cot as well as stopping BF would be too much IYKWIM?
I guess the other option would be to stop cosleeping, but then go in at 12 to give her a feed but put her back in her cot.
My situation with dropping night feeds was when DDs were about 6 and 8 months old (so not the same as you, but I thought I'd share because we didn't need to resort to CC). Because I was weaning them to formula at the time and they were also on sollids, I just stopped offering them a feed once they were at half BF half FF. I just went in to settle them in their cot, w/o food and they rolled over and went back to sleep. No crying at all, I guess they were ready :D .
Sounds like you are doing nothing wrong! As for her wieght, my friends two year old is only ten kilos, so I wouldn't be concerned about that at all. Have you heard of Elizabeth Pantleys 'No Cry Sleep Solution"? It may be what you are looking for. I have PMed you..
Has this been going on long? It could be a growth spurt, teething or slight illness so she's stocking up well on booby juice :) Weight isn't an issue with a healthy baby, and my son was almost exclusively bf at her age too. I trust my baby to know what he needs, yk? At nearly 2.5 he now has a lot less booby and more food but at her age it almost completely boob. The NCSS that Natalie suggested may be great for you as it encourages babies to be gently soothed with cuddles, not always the breast. Her behaviour is perfectly normal though and it's just lovely that she's getting the emotional security that she obviously needs! Great work, mama! :)
This thread makes me think of the book I'm reading right now, Geisha of Gion. The girl in that book was breasfed to sleep till the age of 6 years old.
When she moved out of home at 4 or 5, she suckeled on the breast of whoever she co-selpt with...lol This was 50 years ago in Japan, so times have changed..lol
I think Janet is right about the growth spirt, or could she be getting some molars?
Hi:) My 19 month old is still BF to sleep. He went throught the exact same thing as your daughter (probably around 12 months though..) I decided it was too much and decided to night wean. I would still BF him to sleep at bed time and bring him in at midnight (or whenever) but I wouldn't feed him...He got a little upset for about 2 nights but I would just cuddle him and stroke his head and talk to him in a comforting voice and he would eventually go back to sleep - I would never leave a baby to cry in his cot. After about 2 nights he started sleeping all night in his own bed..it was amazing. He now Bf to sleep at bedtime and then wakes at about 5am and come in for another bf:)
I dont think there is a problem with what she is doing (she will grow out of it either way!!)but if you feel you need to do something about it then that's what worked for us.
I was in the exact same position. Angelo was breastfed to sleep for every nap and sleep and began waking numerous times during the night for a feed. I went to tresillian to help wean him and he now falls asleep by himself in the cot and sleeps a full 12hour night! It's a miracle!
It did involve a form of controlled crying but he quickly learnt its not worth the energy to cry!
i had the exact same problem!
he never even made it in his cot though he woul wake up straight awy!
he was really draining me i could feel my boobs feeling drained out and empty and then he just stopped he didnt whinge for it so now his on bottles its working now!
i cant offer you much advice but i now how that feels!
I HOPE IT GETS BETTER FOR YOU
At 15 months they do not need bf at night. I would continue with the cosleeping but offer no breast, only strokes and pats for comfort, and also offer water to drink. You'll possibly have a few tough nights but it can't be any worse than it is now right?
Jo9999, all babies are different, and co sleeping, breastfed babies quite often still need that night feed for whatever reason, hunger or comfort. Breast is just not for food. At 15 months, a baby probably does not have the comprehension to understand that it has stopped for a reason, so it would more than likely be a traumatic way to night wean. Elizabeth Pantleys NCSS goes into this in more detail and gives more age appropriate and gentle ways to tackle the issue.:D
maybe try www.naturalparenting.com.au for some more support
Go to the www.saveoursleep.com.au site and download the routine for that age. you will find that if you follow the routine - which will be difficult at first - that you should be able to change your baby's habit of only sleeping after a breast feed. unfortunately it would be very difficult for both of you to continue it so perhaps this may help.
I too had a similar problem with my DS who didn't sleep through the night until he was 2 and I decided I'd had enough and needed a full nights sleep !!! He was a bit grizzly for a few nights but soon settled into the new routine and stopped waking, and I was a much happier, well rested mum!!
oh my gosh, i have the exact same situation as you!! My sons 15 months and he still wakes up at night for boobies. The cot is in our room and around 2am he wakes up and goes back to sleep on the boob. Lately hes been waking up like 5 or more times so hes constantly attached as i fall asleep too. My boyfreind is also finding it hard cause our son takes up the bed and wakes us! my cousin had the same problem she introduced a water bottle at night instead of boobies. I know bottle sucking is bad for teeth, but they also say not to night feed cause its bad for teeth. Im going to try the water and i will tell you how it goes. Hope ive been a bit helpful i so understand good luck.
:D bubba 15 months
Hi :)You could try a dreamfeed. If she usually has her first wake at the same time each night this might help break her routine. Just lift her out of the cot and feed her while she is still asleep when you are going to bed. I agree with the others that it is probably just a stage. Hope it gets better and you get some sleep!xx
Also, it is the sugar in the formula bottles that causes decay when they suck on them overnight. Therefore water bottles are fine overnight and wont cause decay. Neither will breastmilk, as breastmilk contains its own anti-cariogenic.
Our DS is 13 months, and he does this from time to time. For the first little bit I stick with it, but when it starts to drain me physically and emotionally, I make some changes. We are big believers in this house of the saying "If mum's not happy, nobody's happy!"
What has worked for us is replacing the source of comfort, so lots of cuddles from mum and dad (we do shifts) and also some water. We may also use a teething gel or panadol. He got his first tooth at 4 months, so we learnt very quickly what teething pain is! He got a feed at around 4ish, depending on how he had been and also how we felt at the time. Sometimes you need sleep.
We triend comfort settling when he was about 2 months, and it was a disaster. Since then, we have never (deliberatly) left him to cry, and as a result he responds very quickly to this alternative comfort. I think it also helped that his carers (a mix of friends, nana and day care) all worked with us, using gentler techniques to go to sleep, so he got used to alternative means without any distress.
I know people who have had lots of success with Dr Jay Gordons night weaning for co-sleepers. We don't co-sleep as a rule (DS is too wakeful, he sleeps better in his cot) so I haven't used it pesonally. The Sears also have some good tips.
Implementing a night time routine has also helped: Bath, massage, dark cot play, breastfeed to music, then nigh-nights. Works very well.
Best of luck, you certainly have a mix of advise to choose from on this thread. Don't do anything you don;t feel right about. No one knows your baby better than you.
:fingerscrossed: Good luck!
Just wanted to say my (almost) 17mth old is still doing this. She starts in the cot and if we are having a good night will sleep for 2-3hrs and then cry and will only settle with bf - we have tried water. Then she might sleep another 2 hrs and cry again and same thing - by this time I'm usually walking zombie and will hop in the single bed in her room and put her in with me and we will co-sleep (we had been doing this in our bedroom since she was about 3wks old and only stopped at 13 mths and have been trying for a full night in the cot since). As much as this tires me out and is uncomfortable I kinda like it too. She doesn't BF much during the day and appears to me to have a good appetite although not as much as some others her age. She does the constant feed thing sometimes all early morning and other times she frequently wakes and wants to play - not good at 3am. But on the rare occassion she bf's and then goes to sleep and gives me a good few hrs sleep before wanting comfort feed again.
So you are not alone - as you probably gathered from the replies. And everyone I've told about this always says wean but I don't want to - I want her to make that decision. Maybe one day they'll surprise us all and just not want it anymore but for now I value this time with my DD (although sleep does suffer) as there will be a time where she may not even want to hug me anymore. :)
my youngest(14mths) was never interested in co-sleeping but still strongly breastfeeds and also only weighs 8.5 kgs. somenights she still has several(5 or 6) middle of the night feeds, yet on the odd occasion, she sleeps a full ten hrs. I am a big believer that she will wean herself from feeds as she is ready and try to remember that these preciouss times dont last forever (although they are exhausting). Have you tried taking the side off the cot and joining it to your bed? that way bubs is still in bed with you but not quite as close to the boob. maybe with that tiny gap between you and her, she may not associate your bed with the all night buffet!!!!!!! either way i hope you find a solution that works for you, being sleep deprived is not a huge help when trying to be a patient, loving parent/wife!
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