to bfeed dd to sleep

(37 Posts)
fuglychicken Wed 07-Aug-13 21:36:36

Actually I am fully aware that its unresonable of me. I have created the giant rod for my own back and I feel I have actually done dd (21mnths) a massive disservice.

My dd will not/ cannot go to sleep at night without me cuddleing and bfeeding her to sleep. We have coslept from the beggining purely for convieniance as dd seemed happier and more settled resulting in a better night sleep for us all (me, dh and dd)

Now dd is coming upto 2, we want to give her indepedence and just to be able to self settle abit. I hate the thought that if something was to happen to me, dd wouldnt be able to cope with a normal situation of just going to sleep and would be so upset

I am not explaining myself verry well but I hope you get the general gist of what I mean....

Aibu to ask for help from you all? X blush

The Sleep topic on here is full of people who give great advice.

I'm no expert, but have done a bit of sleep training in the past with DD1 (now 3yo). I'd imagine at 21mo you can explain things to her, which helps. Could you try gradually adjusting her routine; maybe switch to giving her a cup of milk and a cuddle for a week or so, then the cup of milk while you sit by the bed, then the cup while you sit by the door, and so on (gradual retreat) until she's settling by herself?

CocacolaMum Wed 07-Aug-13 21:41:38

YANBU and you have just reminded me of how much I used to love BFing mine to sleep when they were little. Oh bloody hell I am broody now. Bugger.

I think she is a lot more resilient than you are giving her credit for and you shouldn't feel at all guilty. Just pick the new routine and go for it - best to stick at 1 thing and put up with the initial reluctance than to stop out of guilt x Good luck!!

AnneUulmelmahay Wed 07-Aug-13 21:41:49

Have you asked on the bf/ff, sleep, parenting, or behaviour/development boards?

Heaps of wonderfully knowledgeable posters have AIBU hidden.

(P.S. Don't feel bad about the co-sleeping and feeding to sleep up till now. I'm a firm believer in "whatever works" where sleep is concerned when they're little, and fix it later.)

Vijac Wed 07-Aug-13 21:42:38

Have you ever tried to let her self settle? I switched at an earlier age, maybe around 14 months but the way I did it was first to feed but take off early and put down awake. A few mins of crying then reassuring for two night, then totally fine. Then to drop the night breastfeed entirely I moved from the feeding chair to the floor and brought in a routine of teeth, water sip, two stories and then a song in the dark whilst rocking in my arms. Then to bed awake and leave the room. It's my favourite time of the day (I dreaded the extended feeds in the dark). For us it has only take a couple of nights of maybe 5mind crying in total to change a routine, it comes very fast. Good luck.

javotte Wed 07-Aug-13 21:44:14

I did the same for DS. I breastfed him to sleep every night. He weaned himself at 2.8 when his sister was born, and I had to cuddle him to sleep (not the easiest thing with a newborn baby).
Then, one night, just after his 3rd birthday, he told me "tonight, I will go to sleep on my own" and has done so ever since.
DD1 learnt to settle herself a bit earlier.

hardboiledpossum Wed 07-Aug-13 21:45:59

If you want to change her sleeping pattern then you can. I would start with small steps, fist dropping the bed time feed and then slowly transitioning her to a bed. Don't feel bad though, you haven't done anything wrong

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 07-Aug-13 21:48:36

I bf or rocked ds to sleep until recently. Hes 17 months. I tried at vsrious times to get him to self settle in the past and it just seemed too hard for him. But he was not falling asleeo feeding any more so i fed him and put him in cot. He did cry and reached out for me. I just climbed in beside him snd cuddled him. He now falls asleep like that eith just a cuddle. It didnt tske long for him to get used to it. Surprised me really.
I think you will find a way to wean her off bf to sleep when you are both ready.

FlatsInDagenham Wed 07-Aug-13 21:48:47

No YANBU.

I'm bfing my 16 mo to sleep right now.

I also fed my older DD to sleep until she was 3 and a half years old. Then something did happen to me - I went into hospital for a week.

She was fine. She missed me but she was perfectly able to go to sleep on her own.

I really don't think you are doing her a disservice. You are doing a wonderful thing that makes her feel safe, secure and loved. That will stay with her for life.

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Wed 07-Aug-13 21:50:05

Hi. I've just broken this habit with my dd aged 9 months. So she is much younger but it can be done.

In the end I used a sleep consultant who was excellent. I needed someone objective who could make a plan and tell me to stick to if. It costs money but it was money very very well spent.

PM me if you want the details.

ScornedWoman Wed 07-Aug-13 21:56:26

My 3yr old bf's to sleep and whenever he wakes during the night. It's not a problem for either of us; he'll self settle when he's ready. He doesn't need to be independent yet.
However, on the odd occasion I'm not around, he goes to bed with his older brother and copes just fine. He knows things are just different when I'm not there.
I wouldn't be in a hurry to change your set up if is working for you all for now.

Apileofballyhoo Wed 07-Aug-13 21:58:04

Well said, flats. I fed DS to sleep till he was over 3. Stopping was not in anyway dramatic and I can't even really remember what I said to him, but we just cuddled to sleep instead. No problem at all. DH or I still lie or sit on the bed with him most nights till he's asleep, but he can go to sleep by himself too.

fuglychicken Wed 07-Aug-13 21:58:07

Thankyou so much for advice so far. I have posted on the other topics before but usually only get 1 or 2 replys if any at all. I realise its abit naughty but thought id chance it over here for the traffic.

I have tried to put her in her own room in a cot before with horrible results

We did usual bath, book the song then then put her in the cot.. left her to cio for 5 minutes, went back into the room and dd was histerical, she had blood all over her teethe, chin and mouth. It was absolutly sould destroying knowing id left my baby in such a state alone in the dark. So we went back to current arrangement...

Rootatoot Wed 07-Aug-13 22:01:06

I believe in each to their own. Lots of people swear by sleep training but it wasn't for me and ds. I do think we're made to feel we've done it wrong if they don't self settle etc but I know I felt much happier when I accepted the do whatever it takes to get as much sleep as poss attitude.

A kind person on mn told me I should realise I made a choice to parent the way I have and that's fine.

Ds is now 2 and has recently stopped wanting to cosleep. He still wakes up but I can resettle him though sometimes this is still with bfeeding. We'll get there. I am quite sure tho that if I had to leave him in someone else's care overnight now it'd be ok.

Good luck but do it how u feel happy.

Debs75 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:01:31

This was me a couple of years ago. I bfed dd2 to sleep from birth until she was 3 and a half. The other 3 were not a problem but she would still be bfed to sleep at 5 years, in fact she is a struggle to settle now but I think that is just her, she is very clingy and easily unsettled.

If you enjoy it then do it. It might be an idea though to try and get her to settle with someone else so you can have a break. That is what got to me.

spots Wed 07-Aug-13 22:01:57

It might not work for everyone but I found singing to them helped bridge the gap between feeding to sleep and, um, not feeding to sleep. I'd sing lullabye type stuff while feeding and then unlatch while still singing, initially after they'd dropped off but gradually allowing them a little more awareness until I was essentially b/feeding first, then singing them to sleep. It was gradual, it was easy and it was nice. I say it might not work for everyone but actually I could get quite evangelical about it.

Tailtwister Wed 07-Aug-13 22:02:25

YANBU and you haven't done her a disservice at all. Both mine have bf to sleep until just over 3 and have gradually reduced their dependence on me from then.

When I went into hospital to have DS2, DS1 was just over 2 and he coped fine with cuddles from Granny. He continued to bf for over a year after that and it worked for us. It was easy because it was natural and not forced.

You are talking about a child who isn't even 2 yet. If you want to change things because it's no longer working then that's fine, but don't force things simply because you think you should.

SteepApproach Wed 07-Aug-13 22:06:34

I just fed my 3 year old to sleep again after a nightmare. Lovely sleepy bf hormones. :-)

So, YANBU. You've been doing whatever gets the best night's sleep for all of you. That's great! She can and will develop the independence to self-settle. You can train it if you need to I guess and that is of course your choice, but you seem to feel that you ought to, rather than need to.

I also wondered what mine would do without me for a night. Turns out that at 2, she went to sleep later with her dad cuddling her. Now she's older, she will go to sleep by herself if she's tired enough, but bf is still the magic 'off' switch.

We recently stopped co-sleeping because she announced she wanted her own bed the moment she turned 3. Oh, and everyone remarks on how independent she is. :-)

MikeOxard Wed 07-Aug-13 23:00:19

Yanbu. I bf my dd to sleep until roughly that age. It worked for everyone. When i had a hospital stay for a night she was fine without it, i was surprised. About that age i changed the routine to bf in my bed (after bath and getting pjs on), then teeth then cuddle reading a story, then in cot. After that she dropped the feed altogether after not too long.

To ease the change we did an iterim routine of reading story towards the end of the bf, to get her used to the fact that the end of the story was when she would go in the cot.

I don't think you have made a rod at all, sounds like everyone is and has been very happy with bedtime in your house, well done!

picklechops Wed 07-Aug-13 23:08:00

I'm breast feeding my 27 month old now. We both love it. If it works for you, do it. There's not many 17 year olds out there who struggle to sleep without being latched on. It'll all sort out in time

Caboodle Wed 07-Aug-13 23:14:34

YANBU - did it with all 3 of mine for first 11 months, then when I stopped bf still cuddled them to sleep; could never understand how not to as they always fell asleep whilst I was feeding. With DS1 and DS2 I decided at about 2 years to get them to sleep alone - easy as pie - but with DD I left it later (2 1/2) (my baby, I wanted the cuddles). Used controlled crying for 2 nights...bloody awful....but then started to get results. As she was older I could talk to her and (try to) negotiate.
Be clear in your reasons for doing it and, once you have decided, stick to your guns.

OneLaundryBaskettoRuleThemAll Wed 07-Aug-13 23:17:52

Bfing my just turned 2 year old while reading this. I figure she'll tell me when she's had enough of it.

NoComet Wed 07-Aug-13 23:33:43

Find something to do one night a week and leave her and DH/DP to it. She'll be fine.

My total bottle and milk refusing DD2, would let me go swimming by making supper yoghurt and a feeding cup of dilute squash from about 8 months. Basically as soon as we found a valved cup she could use.

Rest of the week she BF to sleep quite often for many years after she stared school.

midori1999 Thu 08-Aug-13 00:16:06

Feed her to sleep if you're happy to. Before you know it she'll outgrow it.

My DD is 26 months and until recently I almost always fed her to sleep. She coped fine for a week while I was in hospital and nursed as soon as I got home and then a month or so ago we tried putting her in her cot awake and she was fine. Tonight she woke crying and I asked DZh to bring her to me so I could nurse her back to sleep (I'm 30 weeks pregnant with pelvic pain so it's difficult to pick her up) and he came back without her as when he asked if she wanted to go back to sleep she said yes and he put her light show on and off she went. After months of wishing she'd go to sleep by herself, I can't help but feel a little sad that she is growing up so fast.

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