Nighttime Feedings

Sandra - posted on 09/23/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hello! I have a 14 month old son, exclusivelu breastfed, and we are having night time feeding issues. Up until 2 months ago, he used to wake up once, rarely twice, at night to nurse, usually around 4-5 am, after which he would go back to sleep rightaway. Then, a few weeks later, he started waking up 2, 3, sometimes even 4 times per night to nurse. That made me so tired, that I decided to just keep him in my bed, next to me, so that I don't have to jump up every couple of hours. Now, he doesn't want to sleep in his crib; he doesn't want to sleep next to me; he wakes up every hour or so...sometimes he'll nurse, and sometimes he just wants me to walk with him around the room until he falls asleep. I am so exhausted, since this has been going on for the last 7-10 days. How do I stop this? Should I just move out of the room for about a week or so, and let him try to fall asleep on his own? My husband is suggesting I should quit breastfeeding, even though I planned on doing it until the baby turns 2 years old.

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Stephanie - posted on 09/24/2011

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Don't discontinue breastfeeding if you don't want to. Nutritionally, if he's being fed enough during the day, he doesn't need those night nursings. It's helpful if daddy can go in and help him get back to sleep at night so he doesn't demand the comfort of nursing if you go in for him.

My son wasn't in my bed after 5 months because it woke us so frequently, and my daughter was in our bed until 9 months. She, luckily, decreased the night feedings on her own. We implemented the CIO method in 10, 15, 20- minute increments until they fell back asleep; however, we didn't do this if we suspected they were sick or teething.
We also gave our children a 'lovey.' A small, very soft and special blanket that they have only at bedtime/naptime. Of course, this object doesn't replace you in any way, but offers a self-comforting method for when you aren't available. Hope this helps!

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Sandra - posted on 09/24/2011

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I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough, but my son does eat solids. What I meant by exclusively breastfed was, he doesn't drink cow's milk, only breastmilk. I do give him a meal before he goes to bed, and I know for sure that he is not hungry. For some reason he does not like his crib lately, and I think that is one of the reasons why he cries at night. That is why i let him sleep next to me, but even that ddidn't help in the past 3 weeks. He cries even when he co-sleeps with me.

Tashina - posted on 09/24/2011

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if he is still exclusively bf he may be hungry. most babys start solid food somewhere between 6-12m try some cereal at night oatmeal cheerios something you think he can handle he may not be getting enough at night to satisfy him to sleep through the night

[deleted account]

Oh, those husbands :). You don't need to quit breastfeeding. That doesn't sound like the issue anyway. You say he's waking and sometimes doesn't want to nurse, right? He's exclusively breastfeeding, as in not eating any solids? My daughter started solids around 8 months, but wasn't eating much until about 14 months. I did not feel comfortable night weaning until I knew she was getting enough food during the day. So that's up to you because only you your child. We night weaned at 18 months when I knew she was ready and it was a very easy transition. I used some suggestions from Dr. Jay Gordon that Celeste posted. Could there be an underlying cause for the waking? Ear infection or other illness? Is he teething? Those one year molars are really hard on them. Is he hitting any new developmental milestones? Maybe hubby could try putting him to sleep to help you out or give you a break.

Alison - posted on 09/23/2011

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No need to quit bfing altogether. It is high time however that you cut out those night feedings. He does NOT need them and they are wearing you out for no good reason.

If you go cold turkey, you'll probably have to endure about 3 nights of on and off screaming, but not likely more than that.

All the best!

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