January 2013 Moms

Nursing at night

As we all get closer to the 6 month mark, I'm curious... How often are you guys having to nurse at night? My DS slept through the night for several weeks before hitting the 4 month mark, and at this point he stopped STTN and hasn't looked back. His sleep situation has gotten worse more recently. Putting him down at night used to take about 20 minutes, and now he is waking multiple times early on and needing to be soothed back to sleep, all within the first 1.5 hours he's in his crib. He usually nurses to sleep.

If your LO is still waking up to nurse, have you given any thought to sleep training of any sort? I'm overwhelmed by all the info and advice out there.

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Re: Nursing at night

  • It varies very greatly from 0 times to 5 times depending on what's going on with him. I have always nursed him to sleep and he spontaneously started STTN without me doing anything different. He's about 50/50 STTN and up for one MOTN feeding at this point with the occasional rough night up every 1-2 hours.

    DS goes to sleep at bedtime pretty easily and falls asleep after nursing at night with no problems. I read on one of the boards here today (I think the 6-9 month) that sleep training is about teaching babies self soothing techniques so they can fall asleep easily, not about STAYING asleep all night every night. I agree with that... with so much growing and development it's silly to expect them to STTN every night so soon.

    I've never had trouble putting him to sleep. If I was I would probably read up on a sleep training method, but as it is I just do what works for us. A lot of people swear by the various methods, I just think some people unrealistically expect them to be some STTN magic cure.

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  • I've been thinking about this a lot! DS was STTN until month five. Now we are back to nursing 2-4 times a night. Between taking care of him and work obligations, I haven't been able to crack open a sleep training book. I've just been hoping that this is a temporary phase. I'm very interested in everyone's thoughts, as I do not agree with CIO. Luckily, DS goes to sleep (and back to sleep) very easily.

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  • I agree with trombgirl it's like 50 50 now with R waking once or sttn.

    She will wake anywhere from 1 to 4 in the morning. She always goes right back to sleep though after I feed her.

    I feed her on the couch now in the motn as I have been known to get her latched on and fall back asleep. An hour or 2 later I wake and find R passed out and my boob still out. Gotta do whatchu gotta do!

    ETA R was sleeping through the night at 3 mos. Then we hit 4 and it's been rough.
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  • We started sleep training. I only offer once at her 1230-130 wakeup, the timing is a little different every day but that's about the halfway point of the night. The rest of the times I give her a pacifier and let her cry a bit - we're sort of doing Ferber so I check in on her occasionally. 

    Nursing her woud be easier but I really can't keep waking up every 2 hours so we started training her to go back to bed on her own. 

  • I am still nursing to slep. Some nights it works and she STTN. However, it seems that her new thing is waking up less than and hour after fallin asleep. When she does this, I sit next to her crib and pat her tummy if she cries. I also have the white music on. If she screams, I pick her up until she calms down then I put her down again. 

     

    It is kinda of like the. Sleep Lady Shuffle idea but for now if she falls asleep while nursing I just put her in the crib because some nights she does stay asleep.

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  • DD doesn't wake up anymore
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  • I haven't started sleep training. I offer the paci, if she goes back to sleep she is not hungry. If she keeps crying then I feed her.
  • DD almost always sttn and has since about 6 weeks. However if she wakes up I offer paci first and if it continues then I will nurse her. Sometimes she will nurse and go to sleep but others I nurse her and lay her down and she will play in her crib for a bit.
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  • E was sleeping thru the night from 5 weeks until 4 months. Then two teeth came in and she was up 3 to 4 times a night. We are now down to once a night. I offer nuk and try to get her to back to sleep, but most nights that doesn't work. She falls back to sleep immediately after a bottle I EP and then will sleep until 5:30ish.

    I tried putting less in her bottles to try and wean her from this feeding. She just ended up getting up sooner to eat again.
  • I'm so glad you posted about this, I've been wondering the same thing!

     

    DS was sleeping through the night until about 4.5 or 5 months, and now he wakes up once a night to feed (sometimes twice, but usually just once around 3:00).  At his 6 month appointment, his pediatrician said that as we introduce solids we can start phasing out the nighttime feeding.

     

    He goes to bed really easily now (after about a week of some modified Ferber), so now I guess we'll just work on that nighttime feeding!  He usually goes to sleep around 8:00, so I try to feed him at 7:30, then jammies and diaper (I don't let him nurse to sleep, otherwise it's a challnege for us). Everything I've read seems to say that babies at this age can and should sleep 10-12 hours wihtout a feeding.

     

    Good luck, hope you find some good advice that works for you -- I'm curious to read everyone else's answers too! :-) 



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  • jcar2jcar2
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    DS has never sttn. I still nurse to sleep and he'll wake at least 2 to 5 times.
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  • We are up 2-3 times at night at this point. She has been all over the boards. She is 6.5 months.

    She has always gone down rather easily, nursing to sleep. Around 5 months old she STTN for 2 weeks. Then she was getting up religiously at 2am and that's it.

    Starting last week she is now going down a little less easier, she's more awake after "nursing to sleep" and she is waking at least twice a night, sometimes three times. She is also having a harder time getting to sleep for naps.

    I am not planning to sleep train. I feel like she is waking for a reason and since she mostly eats and falls back asleep I am just going to let it play out. I am hoping for STTN of course but we will see.

    Hope you get some sleep soon! 

  • image jcar2:
    DS has never sttn. I still nurse to sleep and he'll wake at least 2 to 5 times.


    This was us until Thursday. My DD would usually get up 4 times to nurse but eat very little. We started Ferber Thursday just with the intention of getting her to self soothe. I figured she would still nurse twice. She has been going to sleep around 9:30 and not waking up until 4:30. I will gladly take one wake up as opposed to four or more.
  • We co sleep now because DD nurses so much at night and I have to get some sleep. Between 10:00 and 5:00, she nurses 3 or 4 times.

     

  • My guy has never sttn... He mostly nurses to sleep, but not always... and there is no pattern change on the nights he does or doesn't...  

    He is up 2-4 times, eats and goes right back to sleep... I have tried pacifier, walking, back patting, etc and none will do- he wants to eat !! I agree with pedi/others that he has the ABILITY to go longer without eating, however he does not have the DESIRE ... shockingly, he's a chunker  ... lol

  • We still are getting up at least once on a good night, usually 2-3 times. I will try a pacifier and letting him fuss a bit to see if he's actually hungry. If he is hungry I'll just nurse him right back asleep.

    We don't plan on sleep training. He goes down really well for his naps, they are no trouble at all. I don't know what it is about bed time but he fights it so hard, so I 9 times out of 10 just end up nursing him to sleep. 

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  • At one point she could go from 8:30-7 am without nursing but those days are long gone :( She typically falls asleep nursing or with a bottle of pumped milk and will stay asleep fro about 3-4 hours and then it's a crap shoot. We just started her with both arms out of the swaddle in her crib and she's been waking herself up quite a bit. Sometimes I don't know if she's really hungry or if she just needs to comfort nurse to get calmed back down after she turns herself around in the crib. Whatever it is I'm ready for it to be over. I miss my good little sleeper :(


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  • image teds1chic:

    We are up 2-3 times at night at this point. She has been all over the boards. She is 6.5 months.

    She has always gone down rather easily, nursing to sleep. Around 5 months old she STTN for 2 weeks. Then she was getting up religiously at 2am and that's it.

    Starting last week she is now going down a little less easier, she's more awake after "nursing to sleep" and she is waking at least twice a night, sometimes three times. She is also having a harder time getting to sleep for naps.

    I am not planning to sleep train. I feel like she is waking for a reason and since she mostly eats and falls back asleep I am just going to let it play out. I am hoping for STTN of course but we will see.

    Hope you get some sleep soon! 

     This sounds like us... If I could get our bedtime routine smoother and a little less lengthy, I'd be fine with waking up to nurse 1 time. But the 2 times (or more) is just really rough. I feel like a zombie at work. I don't know what the right answer is but it's really nice to hear others' experiences.

    Thanks everyone for all the responses.


     

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  • image ClaryPax:
    I haven't started sleep training. I offer the paci, if she goes back to sleep she is not hungry. If she keeps crying then I feed her.

    This is exactly what I do! I try to wait before I even offer the paci. If that doesn't work then I breastfeed. 

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  • We are sleep training but set "putting down drowsy but awake" and "not nursing to sleep at bed/naps" as our first goals.  Once we feel good about these goals, we will begin to eliminate one of DS's MOTN feedings if he doesn't do so on his own.  He has only STTN with no feedings once or twice and went through a nice long stretch of nursing only once but that came to a crashing halt with 3 MOTN feedings starting last week - he went down to two last night so maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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