Feeding to sleep

For discussion of issues related to breastfeeding an older baby/child
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Feeding to sleep

Post by AGS_4314 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 pm

Hi there,

My dd is 2 years 4 months and I've recently night weaned which has been great. BUT she still feeds to nap and to sleep as she has always done and I would like to stop doing this now. I'd like to wean gently soon and I think this needs to be the first step. Looking for any advice or personal experiences, tips etc. I really want to do this gently as it's all she's known for such a long time.


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Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:30 pm

Re: Feeding to sleep

Post by Kerrimum » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:07 pm

Hi there, I rarely stop by the forum these days, but this question is right in my experience :-)
I night weaned my first at a similar age to you, and likewise stopped feeding to sleep at bedtime but did keep up the feed to sleep for naps - mainly because it worked fairly easily!
When we eventually stopped for naps too, I would cuddle him sitting on my lap until he was really sleepy or even asleep then lay him down. So at first we would have a little BF sitting on the bed then I would do a gentle countdown and remind him "we'll finish milk and then you can just put your head on my shoulder". But then, he was never one to easily lie down and relax for sleep. Sitting on the bed holding him with gentle rocking to sleep was kinda progress for us!
The other thing we did at bedtime was implemented an alternating routine between me and DP. Usually DS would want me, but we stuck with alternating at bedtime and DP was able to hold him and help him sleep too.
I will add, we've had plenty of bedtime tears between 2.5 and now 4.5. But nap time was not a massive issue until he didn't really need them closer to 4y.

In terms of general weaning, I found shortening feeds rather than flat out refusing to be the best approach for us. Literally 30sec sometimes. Sometimes when he was not coping with something but I was really saying 'no' I would even compromise on a count of 10. "If you would like milk for just 10sec we can do that, then I will go and start making dinner."

Finally, either despite or because of all the time spent feeding or rocking or cuddling DS to sleep - at the ripe old age of 4.5yr he is capable of lying down in his own bed by himself (one of us usually sitting on the floor) to go to sleep.

Well done on your lovely BF journey so far! If you can use night weaning and "great" in the same sentence, then you have done a fabulous job and your daughter must be pretty fabulous too!!

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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:53 pm

Re: Feeding to sleep

Post by emmakate » Sun Jun 26, 2016 10:18 pm

Well done on night weaning. I was absolutely dreading it and hung out until just after DS turned 3. It went surprisingly well. We talked a lot for several weeks about having boos on the couch and then just cuddles to go to sleep. I really had no expectation that it would work, but when he fell asleep in 15 minutes and resettled ok for the first part of the night, we decided to just fully night wean. I was initially just trying to stop feeding to sleep in the hope that he would not wake so frequently. I use relaxation techniques and the power of suggestion, found it more by accident, I would tell him a story and every time I yawned he would too. Then all of a sudden we were telling the story of Peter rabbit, sneaking into Grandpa's garden, eating so many strawberries that he just couldn't stay awake, heavy eyes, tired, feeling very relaxed and comfortable so on and so forth, until he would fall asleep. He was motivated to do it as he new if he went all night, a new toy car awaited in the morning.
We are now down to feeding half an hour before bed and at wake up time. We are also only need feeding from one breast. Peter informed me last week that "that one"(my left breast) was dodgy and there was no milk. He has always preferred the right breast"this one" from birth so it really doesn't surprise me. Supply wise, our days are numbered I think.
Books are a really good way to relate to toddlers I think.
Good luck

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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 7:36 pm

Re: Feeding to sleep

Post by shep0871 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:33 am

Hi there
I'm sarah, our daughter is 21 months and I still feed her at night and day time when she's not at daycare. I'd love to know how you got on weaning from night sleeps. Maybe we can help each other out, I'm certainly looking for some support as its such a special thing bf but draining. Love to chat.

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