Breastfeeding

Nighttime -- have I created a monster?

While I'm at work during the day, my son drinks three 5-oz bottles of pumped BM with three hours between feedings, around 9ish, 12ish, and 3ish.  He doesn't have any trouble with them, never seems hungry afterwards, etc.  Seems like all that is going well.

When I get home, I BF him around 6ish, then when we do our bedtime routine of bath-lotion-jammies-book-BF-bed, he will eat between 7:30-8:00 until he falls asleep or almost asleep, then I put him in his crib in his nursery.

Usually he will sleep until between 10:30-11:30, which is when I'm going to bed too, so I'll take him out of his crib into bed with me for him to eat, at which point we will both end up falling asleep.  He kinda half wakes up throughout the night maybe 2 or 3 times to eat, he usually just finds my boob in the dark and starts nursing.  I don't know if he is truly hungry or just being comforted or what.  He stays in the bed with me until I get up for work.

What have I done?!  Did I create a monster?  Could this be reverse cycling?  That he wants to comfort nurse all night?  That he prefers to be snuggled in bed with us to being all lonely in his big empty crib?

Is this a bad pattern that I'm allowing?  Or do some of y'all do something similar?

I know everyone always cringes when I tell them I let him nurse through the night in bed... it is definitely not an ideal situation, and I get it.  But I have to work 10 hour days, and I need my sleep too!  The alternative -- getting out of bed, going to the nursery, nursing him in the chair, getting him back to sleep, coming back to my room, getting myself back to sleep -- is just not appealing to me at all.  But should I just suck it up to fix this problem?

I really don't want a 3 year old refusing to sleep in his own room down the line because I am allowing this now... (I know I'm exaggerating a little here, but you know what I mean, right?)

Help!!  Any advice is appreciated, as always...!

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Nighttime -- have I created a monster?

  • Honestly, if it's working for you (meaning that you feel well enough rested at work), then just go with it.  Don't worry about what others say.  And there is a lot that will change as your baby gets older, so I don't think you need to worry about a 3 year old sleeping with you!
    Henry Atticus 6.29.09 | Samuel Oliver 10.10.11 | Amelia Harper due 7.9.14
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  • I didn't see how old your LO is but to answer your question, no I don't think you've created a monster - unless he's starting to turn green Wink.

    It's not for everyone, but IMO bedsharing isn't the evil thing it's made out to be by some people. If you intend to let him sleep with you, that's a-ok in my book. Just make sure you're being safe with bedding, i.e. no big pillows by his head, and if you're both getting better rest then roll with it.  I can certainly see why cuddling with Mom makes a happier baby than sleeping alone in his crib. In many parts of the world bed sharing with infants is the norm and the notion of a baby in a crib in a separate room is weird. 

    FWIW my sister bed shared with both her children (now ages 10 and 8) and they both started sleeping in their own beds between 2-3 yrs old. Just because you're sharing a bed now doesn't doom you for life. Kids are adaptable and can adjust to all sorts of new situations, including changing sleeping arrangements.



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  • Sorry I forgot to include that... My son is almost 6 months.

    Thanks for your responses.  I can't help but feel insecure about things and be influenced by "what other people think" and all the advice I get from other moms and all the babies I hear of that are sleeping through the night in their cribs without a peep... I know it's typical of new moms, but I just can't help it sometimes!! 

    It's nice to hear something supportive once in a while, which is why I always come to this board!!  Thanks!

    Any other comments or suggestions or "this is what we did" is still welcome, though!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Our LO does not come into our bed in the night b/c our dog sleeps with us and he is oblivious and would lay on her.  I find it annoying to get up in the night when she wakes up (she's been sick/teething/cold the last week or so, and waking up a lot at night).  My LO has been in her crib since she was 3 weeks old.
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  • image MichelleInNOLA:

    Sorry I forgot to include that... My son is almost 6 months.

    Thanks for your responses.  I can't help but feel insecure about things and be influenced by "what other people think" and all the advice I get from other moms and all the babies I hear of that are sleeping through the night in their cribs without a peep... I know it's typical of new moms, but I just can't help it sometimes!! 

    It's nice to hear something supportive once in a while, which is why I always come to this board!!  Thanks!

    Any other comments or suggestions or "this is what we did" is still welcome, though!

    I'll be honest and say I think a lot of those people are exaggerating.  I'm sure some babies do STTN at 6m, but it's outside the norm of my circle of family/friends. Just look at the boards and see how many posts are sleep related. Most babies don't sleep 12hrs straight every night.

    The first 3-6m everyone I met seemed to ask how LO was sleeping. I don't get the obsession with sleep. I just tell people he was sleeping great, because he was, even though he was (and still is) waking up to eat.

    I'm a FTM too, it's hard sometimes because there is so much unsolicited advice about what we should be doing, what LO should be doing, etc. If LO is happy and thriving, then we must be doing something right!



    imageimageimage"Lilypie">image"Lilypie">
  • As others have said, if it works for you and you feel rested and your baby is rested and happy then go with it.

    For me, personally, I wanted to co-sleep but never got the hang of lying down nursing. In that position, DS's latch was really poor and I would end up with clogged ducts and sore nipples.  

    My mom said she nursed both me and my brother that way, and we're both fine.  At least I think we are.  :)

     

  • i breastfeed my son at nights, and we usually go to bed together. but i'm on the same page as you, i'm scared he won't want to sleep in his own bed once he's older.

    my solution; put a pack 'n play in your room with you, or just bring his crib in if it's not too much (this only lasted a few days with me). take him to bed and try to get him to sleep without nursing. if this doesn't work, feed him.

    after he falls asleep (if you're still awake), gently lay him in his bed next to your bed. if he starts fussing, put a finger in his mouth. if this calms him, he may just need a pacifier. if you're against the pacifier like me, try taking off a shirt you've worn all day and putting it in his crib as a sheet. this worked like a charm for me. once you can get him to sleep for a few three-hour stretches in his own bed, he'll get used to it and be ready for his own room.

    an even better solution; recruit the help of dad. my husbsand's job is to get the baby in his bed every night once he's done feeding, while i can stay in bed and sleep easier. he may complain about it, but you have to remind him that breastfeeding takes alot out of you. literally.

    and if all this fails, don't feel bad about letting your baby sleep with you unless you or your husband are heavy sleepers. every mom loves to snuggle with her baby, but you have to get some sleep too! i can never get into full dream mode when the baby's in bed because i'm too scared to sleep soundly.

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  • image brookuhnina:

    try taking off a shirt you've worn all day and putting it in his crib as a sheet.

    This is an amazing idea!!  I will definitely try this tonight, just to see what happens.  Thanks for sharing!

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • i am in THE SAME boat as you! Thank you for your post. MY ds is only 12 weeks and we just started this habit. I didnt do this with DD so this is a new one for me. My DS does the same thing. Will nurse at night off and on. Going to try the shirt thing. see what happens. LOL
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