The best way to help my baby who LOVES to nurse......

Tracy - posted on 10/21/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My son is my third baby in 3.5 years and I have had such a tough time with weaning/sleeping. He has been waking 2-3 times per night since birth and with three kids at home during the day, I can't go much longer with the sleep deprivation. I have been exclusively BF, but started to add formula to one bottle per day and have recently decided to do the night feedings with bottles only since I think he wakes because he likes to nurse. The first night we tried this, he would not take the bottle from me, so my husband did it. We have done this for 3 nights in a row since he still will not take the bottle from me. When my husband feeds him, he only takes 2-3 ozs, confirming to me that he really isn't hungry when he wakes. Has anyone else had this same issue where baby seems to be in a habit of waking to nurse or be comforted, opposed to being hungry? Both of my girls were great sleepers and slept through the night at 8 weeks. Just like my daughters, I have my son on a good schedule. He has three meals of oatmeal and veggies per day and takes 3-4 bottles per day. He also takes 2 good naps and his bed time is a consistent 730pm. I would love to hear what anyone else has done to break this habit (water at night, CIO, rubbing back, etc) and if it worked how long did it take? I need to be a better rested Momma to mother these toddlers at home. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Ruth - posted on 11/24/2011

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Please see my reply to Megan about her 7 month old not sleeping through - I was in exactly the same boat as you!

Tracy - posted on 11/01/2011

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Hi Jennifer-

I just came back from the Dr. again to have his weight checked. My son has been doing pretty well. The first night, he cried for an hour and I knew he wasn't hungry because it had only been 4 hours since he ate. It was very hard to stay strong, but I did go in every 5, 10 and then 15 minutes to comfort, rub back, sing, etc without picking up. The second night he woke again 4 hours after eating and only cried for 15 mins and then for 4 nights straight, he slept from 730-530am. I feel like a new Momma. He has woken up the last two nights at 330am and I could tell it was his hungry cry, so I gave him 4 ozs of formula bottles each time and he would have taken more if I would have given it to him. I think he is in a growth spurt because the last few days he is constantly hungry so I didn't want to deprive him. He has still gained .5 lb in 2 weeks without the 2-3 night feedings, so we know he doesn't need these feedings. The Dr. said that we will re-evaluate at 7 months, but that if he wakes and it's been at least 6 hours since his last feed then feed him. It's easy to tell by the type of crying what he needs, so this shouldn't be a problem. I am just happy to have broken the 12, 3 and 6 am cycle after he goes to bed. Good luck to you, Jennifer. I hope you little man breaks his habit too so that you can also get some more rest. Cheers!

Jennifer - posted on 11/01/2011

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My DS is the same way. I too started giving formula bottles at night and saw very little improvement. I gave it up when he was under the weather because I wanted to comfort him. I am now at the point where i am only feeding him every four hours after I have put him to bed. He still wakes up, but I comfort him back to sleep with patting and singing. I don't pick him unless my mommy senses pick up on that tone in his cry. So far it has been going fairly well. Last night the longest period of crying was just under ten minutes. I do leave him and return a few minutes later to reassure him and remind him that it is time for sleepy. I plan to extend the length of time between night feedings gradually. I'm not sure how long it will take, but he is a smart cookie and I'm confident that he will learn through my consistent actions that frequent night waking is not rewarded with nursing. I was not ready for this approach now. But I feel as though at six and a half months he can start to understand without an erosion of trust. The hardest part is for me to stay strong. Oh and his Dr. Did say that offering some water in a bottle would be fine. I plan to do that when he is really having a fit. And of course he I only going four hours between BFs, so really he will be just fine despite his adamant protests.



Good luck, let me know how you end up tackling your situation and how it goes.

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