Author Topic: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF  (Read 1698 times)

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Offline mulvia

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9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« on: March 24, 2016, 17:01:23 pm »
Hello! My LO is 9 mo and is settled into a fairly good routine - first nap is still kinda short (30/40 min) but it seems to be enough for him, and started to get a regular 1,5-2 hrs nap in the afternoon. Also he recently accomplished good self-settling skills (we're still in the room but often don't need to touch him or shush him) and transitioning between sleep cicles without help. He STTN a handful of times, but mostly will take one BF with no regular time so I think he's actually hungry or thirsty. Will generally go back off to sleep peacefully after that.
In the last 2-3 weeks it happened that, if he wakes and cannot resettle by himself, when I go in to comfort him he starts crying louder and WILL NOT STOP unless I BF him. Even if I pick him up, rock him, cuddle him, shush him, sing to him...nothing works. He arches back and shrieks loudly like he's in pain, but as soon as he gets the breast he stops and generally goes back to sleep. Last night I sat with him for over 90 minutes trying to calm him down without feeding (it had only been 3.5 hrs since dinner so not hungry), with no success. I am not against night feedings, but I would like to not use BF as a method to calm him and put him back to sleep. This happened without a specific pattern (one night he'd be up an hour like that, the next night he will not even wake once). Sometimes my husband takes over and he calms right down. My LO usually accepts a pacifier to go off to sleep or resettle, but in these circumstances he will grab it and throw it back at us or out of the crib, seems very angry. Any advice? Thank you!

Offline trimbler

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2016, 19:39:38 pm »
Hi there, sounds like he's making great progress during the day :) I just can't help thinking that he's just hungry at night, like you said,  previously he'd take a feed at different times each night go straight back to sleep. So is it that you're wanting to wean night feeds now? I don't think it's impossible that he might have been hungry/thirsty 3.5h after dinner. It's quite common really for a 9mo BF LO to still have a night feed, so personally I'd try going back to just offering a feed when he wakes for now, see if he goes back to sleep as before. What do you think? If you like, you could post a recent day in EAS format, including milk and solid feeds, then we can have a look and perhaps see some other clues, or have some ideas of how to increase his daytime calories?



Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2016, 20:32:09 pm »
Thank you for your reply first of all! I'm not trying to night wean yet, I just don't want him to be dependent on BF for relaxing again..we used to feed to sleep, stopped since we started solids and it's gone well so far. Last night I intended to calm him down first, and feed him when he was quiet...it just doesn't happen until he gets the breast. I also thought it may be hunger (he's a big baby and he loves to eat) but sometimes he keeps it up after the feed - at this point he would be kind of asleep but still somewhat aware that I am putting him down, and will start up again as if all he wants is to fall asleep while feeding. A few times my husband took over and my LO just literally went quiet as he picked him up and gave him a paci, whereas with me he kept bobbing his head side to side, pushed the paci away and got really loud when I tried to give it to him.
Our routine looks like this:

WU 7ish
E BF + snack around 9 (fruit and/or yogurt)
A until 10.30ish
S 30 or 40 minutes, sometimes more
E solids (cereal, veggies and meat) 11.30 or 12
A until 14/14.30
S generally 1,5 hrs, sometimes more (if he wakes up too early from this nap I try to squeeze in a CN before dinner)
E 16ish, BF - sometimes he will also have a little fruit after
A
E 18.45 solids (cereal, veggies, cheese)
A bedtime routine with some cartoon or play, bath and song to sleep
S 20/20.30
then usually 1 BF during the night, a few times he slept through

Let me know what you think...thanks again!

Offline lily_layne

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 02:07:12 am »
A few times my husband took over and my LO just literally went quiet as he picked him up and gave him a paci, whereas with me he kept bobbing his head side to side, pushed the paci away and got really loud when I tried to give it to him.
My DS is much the same. He doesn't feed to sleep but he likes to nurse a bit for naps and BT if I'm around. He goes down no problem for DH or at daycare and doesn't fuss at all for anything to suck on but if I'm doing it he kicks up a huge fuss for the breast. Since he does go to sleep easily without the feed, I don't worry about it and just give him a little snack if I'm the one tucking him in.
DD - August 2012
DS - November 2014

Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 13:26:18 pm »
Thanks for sharing! In fact last night he kicked up a bit at BT and I did give him a little something, trying to get him off it before he was totally asleep. He ended up sleeping through (and so did mummy!) which doesn't happen very often  :)

Offline trimbler

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 13:40:47 pm »
Yay for the sttn :D I agree with Lily, really, but would add that I only see two daytime BFs, is that correct? At 9mo I'd expect most LOs to need a bit more than this, even if they're getting three solid meals, the milk is still important, so it may be that she makes up for not getting quite enough milk during the day, by insisting on feeding at night? Do you think she'd take a feed if you offered one mid morning, perhaps, say, when she gets up from her nap, and then do lunch (solids) a bit later? And/or do dinner a bit earlier and offer a BF during the BT routine - you can do this without her falling asleep on the breast. Wdyt?



Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 20:38:21 pm »
That's correct - before solids we were BF every 4 hrs, then he dropped to one night feed and lunch and dinner got gradually replaced by solid meals so I kept the 3 remaining BF (breakfast, afternoon tea and night feed). He has actually been reaching for my shirt after bathing the last few nights so as of yesterday I did include a brief BF before putting him down, about 1,5 hrs after the solid dinner. I only kept him on for maybe 5 minutes, then got him off gently and as he was still rooting I gave him his paci as I put him down in his crib, singing. Last night it worked a treat so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for tonight. ;) I was just wondering if this is not going to re-create the sleep association with BF and end up being needed in order for him to be 'ready' to go to bed? I don't have anything against BF at night (and if an extra feeding is needed it would be this one as I'm back to work in the mornings) but I'd like him to be able to go to sleep regardless. Should the BF fit in the BT routine as the last step just before the crib or should I try and separate it briefly?

Offline lily_layne

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 01:47:29 am »
Should the BF fit in the BT routine as the last step just before the crib or should I try and separate it briefly?
I would say that it's really up to you. I did solids, bath, BF and bed for both of mine. Both went into their cribs awake and self-settled (unless sick or very OT). DD dropped the bt feed around 14 months and DS is still doing it at 16 months but will go to sleep without it if DH puts him down.
DD - August 2012
DS - November 2014

Offline trimbler

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2016, 20:13:34 pm »
Tbh I think he's told you he'd like a BT feed, and you never know, if you let him take a full feed then, he may get through the night more easily ;) Certainly at his age, a BT milk feed is pretty normal, both mine would usually take a long one then which I felt helped them to get through the night. By now at 21mo, I don't think it's so important for DD - some nights she won't want it at all, other nights she'll linger a little longer than usual, sometimes she'll just want water, but I digress... I still keep a little stash in the freezer and DH will offer that to her in a sippy when I'm not home for BT, so we maintain that part of the BT routine in a way, and sometimes she wants it, other times not so much - at 9mo she was pretty keen though! So anyway, just saying I agree with Lily, it doesn't have to mean he won't be able to settle without it :)



Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 05:36:38 am »
My last concern on this is, if he takes a full feed he WILL fall asleep while feeding unless I try really hard to 'bother' him while he eats. He's done so last night after unsuccessful attemp of DH to put him down...do you think this could be reinstating the habit that we have already worked to break off of?

Offline trimbler

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 17:46:08 pm »
Ooh it's hard to know sometimes, isn't it? Sorry I'm not sure if you were talking about DH trying to put him down at BT and you then having to feed to get him to settle? Or were you talking about a NW? My gut feeling is still that he probably needs a feed in there somewhere, whether during the night or at BT or both - many 9mo BF LOs will take four daytime feeds and some will still have another (eg dream feed). Tbh I didn't worry too much about mine falling asleep on the breast at night, since they went to sleep for naps without it and at BT too, although for both, if they were very tired, they'd take a very long and drowsy feed at BT and sometimes fall asleep, although they'd rouse when I sat them up afterwards, we'd do a short book and then I'd put them down awake. So I really wouldn't worry too much if he takes one full feed in the night and falls asleep during it - if he were having multiple feeds in the night and needing that in order to fall asleep again every time, it would be different.



Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 20:18:33 pm »
Thank you - yes sorry it was a bit confusing: I did post in the first place because my LO was waking up at night and being extremely difficult for me to resettle without a feed, whereas my DH could go in and he would be quiet in minutes (hence my thought that he wasn't waking because of hunger). Nothing against an extra feed, but he's been going down without one at nap time and BT for about 2 months now, taking a nighttime feed most nights. I am mainly resistent to the idea of reinstating the BT feed as part of the routine (even though I would of course like it if it helped with STTN!!) because it seems like 'going back' on his habit to fall asleep at the breast that we managed to kick so that DH could put him to sleep as well. After 3 nights of little snacks before bed last night DH couldn't settle him for BT so that's why I think my LO will be quick to pick up the habit again. However he's also learned to stand up recently so he's very excited about practising in the crib which doesn't help with wind down either... He usually goes down ok for naps so I guess we'll see what happens when DH puts him to bed next time and we'll take it from there..  ;)

Offline trimbler

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2016, 16:13:24 pm »
Ah I see, go with your mummy instincts then :) I wonder whether you could fit in another milk feed during the day, perhaps express or use formula for those days when you're working?



Offline mulvia

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2016, 13:34:55 pm »
I could try an extra afternoon snack - maybe before dinner, or maybe as you suggested move dinner earlier and maybe have a top up between dinner and bath..but would this overload his stomach for BT? Mind you, he has NEVER refused food  ;D

Offline lily_layne

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Re: 9 mo night waking will only settle with mum if BF
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2016, 21:39:52 pm »
Mind you, he has NEVER refused food 
Mine never did either! I think an extra snack is a good idea.

Will he still fall asleep even if you feed him in another room with the lights on?
DD - August 2012
DS - November 2014