A Cry for Help

September 25th, 2007

So, Charming and I are trying to “eliminate” Bubbers’ last remaining feeding at night. According to Dr. Ferber on page 141, he says:

…basically no normal, healthy full-term babies still require a nighttime feeding when they are five months old, and you can certainly insist on stopping them altogether if you want to.

Bubbers is 5 1/2 months old (and normal and healthy and all that), so we decided to “insist on stopping them altogether”.

Now, I have loved Dr. Ferber’s book through and through. He didn’t make me want to bang my head against a wall or chuck him out the window to feed the squirrels in my backyard like another book which shall remain nameless. But the thing is, he didn’t really explain how to “insist on stopping them altogether”. Usually he’s really good about that, but not so much for this issue.

So, I was visiting teaching last week and I asked my partner (a mother of three) and the woman we were visiting (a mother of one) how they stopped. They both said, “Cry it out.”

We have tried, but we just don’t get Bubbers. He’s completely unpredictable. On Sunday morning, he slept 11 hours and had to be woken up for church. We patted ourselves on the back, thinking we had this thing down pat. Then he slept only 7 hours, but only cried for 20 minutes. Then last night he slept only 6 hours and then cried for 2 1/2 hours (on and off), before I decided, “That’s enough.” (Poor Charming couldn’t sleep (I should have given him a pair of earplugs), so he got up and watched a Cosby episode on DVD and ate some cereal).

To help us, I’ve been diligently charting his sleep habits on Dr. Ferber’s little chart, but can’t see any pattern of why he’s unpredictable (hence the use of the word: unpredictable). Then I get to wondering about possible teething or growth spurts or alien invasions. Should I just give up? No, I think we can do it…

So, now I’d like to ask more moms out there what did you do to get your babies to give up their last nighttime feeding??

I’ve heard many moms swear that rice cereal does the trick. Currently, Bubbers is breastfed full-time and we prefer to wait until 6 months to start solids, but I’m willing to try it, if that’s what he needs (heck, it’s only a couple weeks off anyways). I only ask that if that is your recommendation, please give me specifics, because I am clueless as to how to do that. (For example, How much do you give exactly? When do you give it–the absolute last thing before bed? Or do you do rice cereal and then nurse? Or nurse and then rice cereal?)

Poor little Bubbers has always been such a good sleeper for us, I feel badly that I’m messing him all up now. But hopefully I’ll get an answer to my prayers soon… Thank you!!

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7 Comments

jigs | 9/25/2007 1:25 pm

I’ll back up this cry for help. As much as I enjoy the Cosby show, I’d rather sleep than watch Theo at 4:00am.

 
tearese | 9/25/2007 1:36 pm

Don’t believe the rice cereal thing, everything I’ve read says that is a myth. But then, I followed the Sears method of nursing, so I hope thats not the book you threw out. Elora had one night feeding (around 4:30 AM) until she was almost weaned…I think up into 11 or 12 months.
When I stopped nursing her, she still woke up at that time, so at first I would go in and sing her to sleep. Pretty soon I stopped going in and let her cry, and she would go back to sleep on her own.

 
tearese | 9/25/2007 1:39 pm

Oh, and teething does mess everything up, so that may be your problem, as you said.

 
Anonymous | 9/25/2007 3:32 pm

heidi, as you know i only breastfeed until she was 4 months old because i had no more to give. but i never had the problem of night feedings because i usually feed her before bed time and then she would sleep 11 hours until morning time. i’m sure it will be different the next time.:) i wish you luck with everything and hope you find something that will work for you guys!
andrea

 
Jesse | 9/25/2007 7:43 pm

I don’t know how y’all feel about binki’s, but that was our key to sleeping bliss. When I weaned Grace from her night time feeding, I spent about a week holding her like I was nursing her, but with her binki in. Then the next week, I would hold her for just a minute and then lay her back down in her crib and pat her tummy. After that she was sleeping through the night. We never had to let her cry it out. Like Tearese, I’ve heard that the rice cereal thing is a myth, and/or a possible contributor to childhood obesity.

 
Heidi | 9/27/2007 8:28 pm

Charming–Ha, ha, you make me laugh!

Tearese–I’ve read the same thing about rice cereal, but I’ve sure heard a lot of moms I respect recommend it. No, it wasn’t Sears that I threw out. :) What’s that one called? Ah, so you waited until you weaned her altogether, huh? That’s a great idea about singing to her.

Andrea–Wow, that’s fantastic! I always feed Bubbers right before we put him down, too, but that hasn’t done the trick for him. I’m so glad that worked well for your daughter! Thanks for your well wishing!

Jesse–How old was Grace when you weaned the night feeding? We’re definitely a fan of pacifiers. But we found that if we used them to help him sleep, then he started crying more in his sleep (since he couldn’t put it back in), so we had to nip that one in the bud a while back. I like the idea of gradually helping her get “weaned” of you and I’m very impressed you did it without any crying!

Thanks everyone!

 
tearese | 10/1/2007 2:49 pm

well, no, she was weaned about two or so months after that. It was just really close.

 

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