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Night nursing?

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  • I know lots of people talk about what a "bad habit" nursing babies to sleep is, but I'm not one of those. I nurse on cue, and I'm very happy with the results. The past couple of weeks though, babyjama has been waking up a lot. She has slept in our bed from day one, and was sleeping through the night by two months old, and then started waking up to nurse a couple weeks ago. It doesn't really bother me since I don't even have to fully wake up in order to feed her, but I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced anything similar. I've noticed that she doesn't nurse as well during the day because she gets distracted (she's 5 1/2 months old). Also, she seems to be getting her first teeth, and that may have something to do with it to. Anybody else experience anything similar? What do you all do at night?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 20th November 2007
  • HI! Well, I can say that we just went through the same thing only with the bottle.

    We had our son Korbyn in the bed with us for awhile...then moved him to the crib. We fed him everytime he fussed because of the growing spurts...I felt that he needed it. But I found out we were teaching him bad sleeping habits. A 4 month old should be able to sleep 6 hours a night without eating and a 6 month old 9 hours. We were getting up some nights every 45 mins to 1-1/2. Now I don't believe in letting them cry it out. So what we did was the first time he would start fussing..we would wait 3-4 minutes...because some babies get into the lighter sleep where they will fuss but are still asleep. To many times we rush in and they are fine. So then I waited 4 minutes and went over to him to rub his back and shhhhh. Then, he continued to cry...at 15 min...I gave him a water bottle. It is not as soothing and it makes them learn that it is not worth it to wake up for plain ole' water. I couldn't just cut him off cold turkey. I had trianed him to be hungry at night...so we slowing weaned him. Then the next time he woke up, the same thing. Only I waited a loittle longer rubbing his back and shhh. then he put himself back to sleep. After 3 nights of this and up 3-4 times each night, he finally sleep for 8 hours straight and has been doing 6-8 hours since then. We are so happy and he is happier during the day. If you do feed her in the night...try to keep her awake during the feeding or they learn to depend on the feeding or a sleep aid like a paci to fall asleep. Always try to put her down between 7-8 pm so she does not get over tired. If she starts rubbing her eyes, she is already too tired. Put her to bed awake and have a repeated ritual every night. Like Bathtime, massage and then a book...so she can relax. I hope this helps. I am not trying to preach..just offer what worked for us. We followed the Sleep Sense program by Dana O. Good luck! Shanda
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Shanda Bauman on 20th November 2007
  • Hey Shanda, Thanks for the input! I have read a lot of similar things. One of the Dr. Sears books in particular talks about babies equating food with sleep. It is frustrating. I'm pretty sure that's what has happened. She seems to have stretched out here feedings during the day and gets most (or at least many) of her calories at night. Just like you said we're going to have to slowly get it turned around. I'm wondering if a water bottle would even work for us. It's hard to even get her to take a bottle of breastmilk...I exclusively breastfeed, and she has a preference for only one kind of nipple...mine haha (makes it a pain whenever we get a babysitter). I've read that Dads can also help by being a substitute for Mom during the night. Either way, we've gotta get this turned around somehow. Glad to hear that someone has had some success!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 21st November 2007
  • i also breastfeed and cosleep. my son is 3 1/2 months old and has been sleeping about 6 hours a night since about 6 weeks. but he usually wakes to nurse at 2am and again at 4am. since we cosleep, i do the same as you, just roll over and feed him while i'm half a sleep, so it's no big deal. if your daughter is eating noticably less during the day, this could explain the night time feedings she has now developed. she may be just plain hungry. also, if she is teething, this could also explain it. she may wake up hurting and nursing is the best thing to comfort her and get her back to sleep. even though i've read you "shouldn't" i usually nurse my son to sleep. so i don't know how much good advice i've given you, but at least you know you're not alone.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Emily D. on 20th March 2008

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