Ooooh, great to hear you using your intuition here! You can feel that feeding to sleep is no longer working so well for your baby or your sleep needs and that she will sleep better falling asleep without it.
That’s a great starting place for sleep training. You have a sense inside that they’re going to sleep longer stretches and be better rested if they learned to self-settle.
I see this all the time, especially when a baby reaches around 8, 9 or 10 months. It’s like they’ve evolved, grown out of feeding to sleep but don’t know how to fall asleep without the boob and they’re waiting for you to show them!
My advice is to seize this window of opportunity and go for it!
But, yeah, what happens when they get sick or go through endless periods of teething because as sure as night follows day, your baby is gonna get sick.
The good news is my tired friend, you don’t have to fall off the sleep wagon when a shiny new tooth pops through.
However, you’ve got to consider what your little one’s POV.
They suddenly start getting all the extra attention and support because they’re running a temperature.
They like it. Yep, Mummy stroking me whilst I fall asleep is soooo nice.
Fast forward 3 days, they’re back on form and you want to leave them to it at bedtime.
NO WAY JOSE!
They will scream the house down if you even take a step towards that door before they’re asleep!
Every bedtime you’re in that room for an hour, waiting and waiting for them to drift off and just as you think they’ve gone, they lift their head to check you’re still there. ARGHHHHHH!
My top tips to avoid this situation are:
- Don’t automatically throw your sleep routine out of the window just because your child is poorly or teething. They may be sick as dog in the day and easily settle at night and resettle themselves at night if given a chance (a few minutes without you diving in there!)
- Understand that they’ll love all the extra support/cuddles/stroking/bed sharing and will not want it to stop. Give support, but keep it minimal if possible, that way it’s easier to remove and get back on track when they’re well again
- Unless they’re old enough to understand some ‘rules’ don’t bring them into your bed unless you want that to be a permanent fixture going forward. Camp out in their room instead.
If you are wanting to stop feeding to sleep or your baby is ready to learn to self-settle them I am your go to woman.
Helping children learn to sleep happily and healthily without needing any support is my gift.
Do me a favour and share this with a frazzled friend,
As always, you are doing your best and that is enough!