Stop breastfeeding at nightAdvice to mum to “stop breastfeeding at night”

Sometimes parents just need a little bit of advice and guidance. You don’t know… what you don’t know. Not all mum’s breast feed, therefore please also consider this when bottle feeding your little one.

“My 13-month-old falls asleep on her own when I first put her to bed but then wakes during the night and screams unless I get her and breastfeed her back to sleep. How do I get her to put herself back to sleep during the night?”

This is a fairly common problem that children have. The good news is that you have tackled the main issue, which is getting her to fall asleep on her own.

Baby is MORE than capable

It sounds to me like she is capable of using her own skills to put herself to sleep at bedtime but through the night, she has a different association in place. This can be fairly common when babies put themselves to sleep at bedtime but then are breast feed back to sleep in the middle of the night. Therefore, they will wake up through the night expecting you to breast feed them back to sleep.

Congratulations on getting her to fall asleep!

Now, you are going to have to work on what happens through the night. I would either do the stay in the room method (outlined in the Sleep Sense Program) or a variation of leaving and checking on her. Definitely pull the night feeds, but the only way to do that is cold turkey. If you try to wean her or just breast feed once during the night, you will find that she wakes up all over the place. It’s then likely she’ll be crying for long periods of time, waiting for that time where you are going to breast feed her.

Disassociate the breast feeding and sleeping

If you are not totally comfortable pulling the feeds cold turkey, you could just go down to one but you have to keep her awake through the breast feed. Go in, get her up, feed her quickly and business-like. Keep her awake (poke her, tickle her, talk to her) through the feed and then put her back into the cot awake. That way, she will probably start disassociating the breast feeding with the getting back to sleep part and she might stop waking up for the breast feeing because it is not really getting her back to sleep anyway. You should still be expecting her to do that part on her own. So the two choices there are to pull the feeds cold turkey, (which would be my best advice) or cut down to just one, keeping her awake then back to the crib and that will probably solve your problem.

Is this information useful to you and your family? I would love to hear your feedback regarding your sleep routine. 

Look forward to conversing with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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