Breastfeeding at 14 months and still no sleep

Kathy - posted on 01/04/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am still breastfeeding but I want to start weaning my son has 2 bottles a day but wants to be breastfeed all night long in bed with me,so I am still getting no sleep,even if I put him back in his bed he gets up an hour later and wants more.Any ideas would be great

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Tiffany - posted on 01/05/2010

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All I can say is I put my son in his crib turn the baby monitor on but down & noticed that he starts to get restless but calms down after a while & returns to sleep. He only knows what he's used to. If it's there he's gonna take advantage of it. If you take it away he'll get used to it & forget about it like breaking a bad habit. for example the pacifier. Plus if you cut off the feedings then when he gets potty trained (which for some happens young) he wont want to drink in the middle of the night therefore will pee in the bed less!

Renae - posted on 01/04/2010

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Quoting Marisa:

Oh no! I have a 12 month old boy who still doesn't sleep through the night. He is not breastfed anymore and not even milk fills him up. When I asked the doctor why he didn't stay asleep for most of the night the answer I got was this: "It's not uncommon for boys to not sleep through the night until 18 months!" What the heck? I'm tired...he needs to sleep all night, already! You're not alone.



What your doctor said is true. However, the great majority of babies who are still feeding frequently during the night do not suddenly sleep through on their own, parents end up having to use sleep training with them. If the baby is waking once for a feed, then yes they will usually sleep through on their own when their body is physiologically ready. The difference depends on whether they are waking out of necessity or habit.

Renae - posted on 01/04/2010

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I am quite confident in saying that your baby is waking out of habit. This is the hardest of habits to break especially with an older baby. Basically you will need to use a sleep training method. There are gentle ways to do it, but they will take a lot of time and patience and a lot of hours spent up with him at night for about 2-3 weeks. Your other alternative is to use a crying method. Crying methods are most effective, have higher success rates and work faster.

If you use a crying method I recommend you use crying it out with cry interpretation. I am not an advocate of control crying or any method where you go in and check on them as each time you go into them, you must leave again, and when you leave they go through the initial distress of being left all over again and it makes the baby more and more distressed. If you do some research on cry interpretation and listen to his cries so that you know if he needs you, you can cry it out without distressing your baby. This method is very effective and is usually not nearly as bad as mum's expected.

The no-cry method most commonly used by behaviourists and sleep consultants is gradual withdrawal. This is where you gradually withdraw the baby from needing your help to go to sleep. This has an 80% success rate and takes 2-4 weeks. This method can be tough on you in the middle of the night as you have to be 100% consistent day and night. But if you have the determination and patience it can work.

Another no-cry method is that of UK baby whisperer Tracey Hogg, called Pick-up/Put-down. She has a website with a support forum for people using the method. I'll be completely honest here and say I don't know if this will work on an all-night-feeder. But this method is quite quick so might be worth trying anyway. Tracey's book is called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.

All of the above methods involve moving baby out of your bed for good. If you want to continue co-sleeping, you should read the book No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.

Also if you dont already have a bedtime routine, start one now, it will help your baby learn that bedtime is sleep time when he goes into his own cot. Routine does not have to be long and should be made up of things you normally do anyway such as bath, pyjamas, story, say good night to daddy etc., a routine just means these things are done at roughly the same time and always in the exact same order.

You are welcome to contact me for information about anything I have said or instructions on any of the above methods.

Amber - posted on 01/04/2010

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Now, I didn't have a boy, so I don't know if there is a difference, but when my daughter was giving me a hard time about going to sleep, I made her take a bottle and I thickened the breast milk with some of her rice cereal. I think it helped keep her full until the morning. He is on solids, right? Maybe give him a nice filling meal and a bottle before bed so that he's nice and satisfied.

If it's more of a he just wants to be held and cuddled all night long thing, then it might be time for a little tough love. Put him in bed and tell him it's time to sleep. If he comes in to breastfeed, tell him no and walk him back to bed. It might be hard the first couple of nights, but if you stick to your guns soon he'll realize that he has to start being a big boy and sleep in his own bed.

I know it seems harsh, but you're really doing him a huge favor in the long run.

Nicholle - posted on 01/04/2010

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Sorry to say there is no easy answer that I know of. my son co-slept and breast fed all night until he was about 12 months. We had to just grit our teeth and deal with any tantrums and displeasure with as much love and firmness as we could muster. First I started wearing cloathes to bed that prevented him from helping himself to the snack bar all night and gave feeds only sitting, then returned to sleep afterwards. Once set feed/sleeptimes were established o/n, feeds could then be spaced further apart or removed altogether. It meant lots of cuddles at times when he wanted to feed to sleep, but we got there in the end. It was definately hard and there were sleepless nights so you have to set aside a time when sleep can be missed and stick to your guns for several weeks or more to succeed.

Marisa - posted on 01/04/2010

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Oh no! I have a 12 month old boy who still doesn't sleep through the night. He is not breastfed anymore and not even milk fills him up. When I asked the doctor why he didn't stay asleep for most of the night the answer I got was this: "It's not uncommon for boys to not sleep through the night until 18 months!" What the heck? I'm tired...he needs to sleep all night, already! You're not alone.

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