Feeding to sleep, need to break the habbit!!!!

My lo is nearly four months and breastfed.
I know it's a really bad habbit but it worked really well while she was young, I feed her to sleep every night and now she wont even settle in the day without a feed!!! It can take several hours to get her off to sleep in the evening so I'm upstairs most of the time and oh is sat downstairs lol. She still wakes about twice every night for a feed and I am knackered as have to take my lil girl to school too.

We have tried rocking her, leaving her to settle herself, staying in the room with her, singing to her but none of it works. It's as if she can't get herself to sleep without sucking! She also refuses a dummy so thats out of the question too!!

Has anyone done this and baby has grown out of it and slept fine or am I creating a long term sleep problem?? Really need advice please ladies.



  • Have you thought about trying pick up/put down? It takes ages in the beginning but it has really helped us and Neve goes down on her own (she would never take a dummy either) with no problems. I got it from the baby whisperer book and I think it says you can use this method from 4 months.
  • Do you want the good news or the bad news?

    The good news is that Millie used to be the same untill she was 7 months when she started sleeping through and napping in the day.

    The bad news is it only changed because I got tough and used a combination of pick up put down and controlled crying to teach her to fall asleep.

    It's definitely possible to do something about it but you might have to put up with some serious complaining in the process.
    Good luck hun
  • Ok, so looks like I'm gonna have to get tough too, but to be honest I will try anything!!!!! How do I go about these? I never had to do it first time as my eldest slept through from 8 weeks and was bottle fed! How long did it take your babies to learn to sleep by them selves? Sorr about all the questions, thankyou for the advice!!xxx
  • You can normally get really good results in about 7-10 days. The Tracey Hogg book is supposed to be really good but I used another book, Baby Sleep System, which has an online support forum as well. If you want to have a look the addy is www.babysleepanswers.co.uk I've used it with both my two and I think it's brill!
  • I like pick up put down because you don't have to let them cry (although my sister in law found that controlled crying worked well for her - I am a right wimp). I would go to the bookshop or the library and get a copy of the baby whisperer, have a really good read and then pick a date for it. I think pick up put down took about two weeks for us.

    The idea is that you put baby down awake and then remain in the room while they get themselves off to sleep - a teddy or comforter in the cot helps, if they cry then you lift them out of the cot until they stop crying (if they are under 8 months then you pat them on the back and shhh to soothe them but if older you just hold lo and talk gently about it being bedtime etc) when they stop crying put them back in the cot (if then start crying on the way down they still have to go all the way back into the cot before they come out). Eventually they will wear themself out and go to sleep and you repeat this every night until they get the message. the first night is always the hardest but it does work and watching Neve throw her toy pony onto the mattress, grab a hoof and flatten the rest of him with her body before nodding off on her own makes me smile everytime.
  • Thanks ladies, I'm going to start asap, maybe tomorrow although Summer has been in bed asleep since 8pm lol but was fed to sleep so we need to put a stop to that! Also, with this method is it still ok to feed her at night when she wakes and just use pick up put down to get her off in the evening or will that confuse her? She only feeds for 10 mins and goes straight back to sleep.xxx
  • If its a regular night feed then its fine, if she is waking out of habit and you feed her to get her back to sleep then its not. That said I think you should tweak pick up/put down to suit you rather than feel like a slave to it - I found changing one thing at a time was easiest, now that we have got bedtime down, we are going to work on naps.
  • Hi Faith
    I had the same problem with my little girl who was breastfed.
    I too used the baby whisperor book - I found it to be the most gentle method.
    My first was bottle fed but he always needed a bottle of milk to fall asleep.We used controlled crying with him and it worked for him but my daughter was so different that I decided to use the baby whisperor method.
    Good luck its hard at first but you will reap the benifits in the long run.
  • I'm pretty sure she is waking because she is hungry, not just out of habit so I will carry on feeding. Saying that, if she learns to get herself back off to sleep and she isn't hungry the maybe she will sleep through yay! Lets just wait and see lol. Thanks for all of your advice I feel a lot better about it now and am determined to see it through! Good luck with the naps.xxx
  • Good luck, I hope it goes well and if it really gets to you remember you are just teaching her to get to sleep.
  • Hey, my lo is also 4 months and bf.

    To get to to fall asleep on her own in her cot, I would feed her in her nappy with a blanket round her if cold, she would then stir when I got her dressed and put her in her sleeping bag and into her cot. So, she was very very sleepy but would settle. To begin with i'd stay in the room till I knew she was asleep. Now, after her bedtime feed she sometimes she looks really sleepy, sometimes awake but she always settles herself to sleep within 5 minutes and I leave the room after saying goodnight and putting her in her cot.

    We also established a good bedtime routine of bath, dressed (now she is dressed before bedtime feed), feed and cot. We also say the same thing to her each night. "Goodnight, your going in your cot now for bedtime, Mummy and Daddy will be here if you need us, love you" and kisses.

    She has also been waking in the night, we always try dummy before feeding - have you tried different dummies? She has started though to now settle herself on me during the day and in her cot during the night. Dare I say that last night she had her dummy a coupe of times but did not need feeding for the first time......my breasts felt sore and swollen (sorry if tmi)....fingers crossed it last! i have started weaning her though.....

    I would concentrate on getting her to setle the first time at night and then tackle the night feeds!
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