This is a bit long, sorry, and I have posted some of this before, so thanks for reading.
So, DD is almot 5mo old. She normally has 3-4 catnaps during the day (last one finishing 430 - 5) but she doesn't 'self settle' for these. I try not to feed her to sleep during the day, but naps always involve cuddling/rocking before being put down asleep. Sometimes I can put her down when she is still awake but VERY drowsy and she will finish falling asleep on her own (and sometimes it makes her 'wake up' and I pick her back up to try again...).
Nigthtime however I always feed to sleep, and settling takes about an hour and a half. MOST nights she sleeps all the way through (the last month or so she has started waking earlier in the morning (6-630 instead of the 7-730 she used to do), and probably has a night waking 1-2 times a week. This has coincided with a 'wonder week' time, and she has also had some longer day naps... Plus I think she is just starting to teethe so I'm not *too* worried about this). Bed time looks something like this:
From 6-630 is bath, pjs etc followed by a quick book/story/song (about 5 mins tops). She then feeds until she falls asleep (sometimes in under 10 mins if really tired, normally closer to 7). I hold her upright for a bit (15 mins?) before putting her down. After 10-15 mins, she wakes up. Sometimes she is just 'awake', sometimes she wakes crying. I pick her up, pat (sometimes, esp if she wakes crying, there's a burp), and after a few mins I feed again until she falls back asleep. Repeat last 3 sentences anywhere from 0-3 times ('normally' only one more wake up). She is usually asleep for the night by 8ish...
So is 90 mins of settling/sleeping/settling fairly common in a 5mo old?
I know feeding to sleep creates sleep associations, and I know it has to stop at some stage. I am reluctant to stop at the moment because a) it works and she sleeps well (even if it takes a bit to get her to sleep) and b) I really struggle with her cries, especially in the evening and when I know I can stop it. To be honest, I also LIKE the feed and cuddles, and would be perfectly happy with the situation if she was asleep by say 715ish every night
Unless the sleep situation deteriorates drastically (I live in fear that the sleep association means one day she is just going to start waking every hour overnight.....
), I'm thinking I will continue the current routine at least for a few more months until I think she would be better able to handle a change.
So, if you fed to sleep - how, when and why did you stop? Was it because sleep deteriorated? Or did your baby get to a point where you thought they could fall asleep without it (signs?)? Or was it when you weaned?
Interested in people's experiences with feeding to sleep.
Thanks, and sorry this is so long/rambly (I have had a glass of wine....)