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I am still breast feeding my little boy who is 2yrs 11 months.  He feeds a couple of times during the day as a rule and falls asleep in my bed at about 7:30 every night, on the breast.  He co-sleeps with me and usually wakes in the night for a quick feed.  The problem for me is that he just can’t sleep past 5am in the morning without being on the breast.  I, (being very small of breast!) absolutely cannot sleep while I am feeding him.  At 5am he just wants to suckle and stay dozing.  I can stand it for about 45 mins but then I can’t so he wakes fully - and is tired for the rest of the day.

I have two older boys (8 and 4) and am getting exhausted.  My little one has never slept through and won’t accept my husband shushing him in the night or at dawn so I can get a bit more sleep.  The only thing he wants is breast feeding.  On the one hand, I love that I can give my little boy the comfort of this extended breast feeding, but on the other hand I’m tired and have terrible brain fog.  I’d like him to sleep in his brothers big room (and he claims to want to too) but when I put him in a single bed in another bedroom, I spend most of the night in and out to him.  He even shouts for me as I am leaving to go back to my own bed after a feed.

My mum and my friends just say “wean him fully” as they’ve been completely unsupportive about breastfeeding right from the start, but I just wondered if anyone had any other ideas about how I can get some more sleep and end the co-sleeping?  I don’t really want to wean him fully as he does so love breastfeeding!

Hi Sally and welcome to the forum! 

Going to sleep at 7.30pm and waking at 5am would seem a reasonable amount of sleep for a nearly three year old.  I am not that surprised that he is waking and just dozing at that time.  My dd needed that amount of sleep at that age and was waking up really early so we moved her bedtime (slowly) back to around 9pm where it has stayed ever since, she is now 7, she wakes around 7am.  You don’t mention it in your thread but have you tried putting him down later?  I would shift it slowly ten minutes or so a night otherwise they get over tired and you know what happens then.  I know with older ones it can can difficult if the younger ones have a later bedtime but for your sanity I would be finding a way to make it work.  My dd (also my youngest) didn’t really sleep through until she was around 3.5 to 4 years, it just started to happen around that time so if you can find a way to get a bit more sleep yourself then I would be carrying on as you are because it sounds to me like that is really important to you and your family. 

I know this might sound odd but would it work if he bed shared with one of his brothers?  If he has always shared with you in your room not only is he in a different bed but on his own, perhaps that change is too much all at once.  I co slept with my parents as a baby/toddler until brother no 2 came along and then myself and brother no 1 were moved to a seperate room and bed which we shared for a few years.

Thanks Sustainablemum - I’m going to give bed sharing a try with one of his brothers - you might be right that sleeping on his own in his own room is a step too far!

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