Originally Posted by McCartney
Do/did you sleep train your baby while co-sleeping and night nursing?...I feel like my son is not learning to fall asleep on his own because every time he wakes up at night I just nurse him right back down.
I don't mind this so much now because he is only 5 months old,but what happens when he is a year old and doesn't need to nurse all night-how will be know how to go back to sleep on his own if I don't teach him somehow?...I am starting to get a little exhausted from nursing 5-6 times a night just because I'm not getting any more than 2 hours straight at night...Suggestions?
With regards not not getting more than 2 hours of straight sleep... well, welcome to the world of the mother to an infant! I haven't gotten 4 hrs of straight sleep in 4 yrs - but that's MY choice to have children. I'm not going to force my own desires on my kids because I want them to grow & mature faster than they should just to help me out.
You may be feeling worried about "getting him to go back to sleep on his own" because that's what every mainstream parenting magazine & website says: baby needs to learn to fall asleep on his own.
Guess what? It's not the truth. You don't need to DO anything. It's a natural process. Baby WILL learn to do that, on his own timetable, without being trained or forced or taught. You've got to let him mature at his own pace, while respecting HIS needs - and right now, nursing to sleep & cosleeping is a NEED - and a RIGHT. ALL infants should sleep with their mothers & nurse on cue - you're doing the right thing. GOOD FOR YOU! Don't cave to the convenience parenting dogma out there.
Your babe isn't going to be nursing to sleep & waking 5 times per night when he's 5yo. But he might have sleep troubles at 5 if you don't honor his needs & parent him to sleep now - he can form negative connections about sleep if he's left to cry to sleep or be forced to sleep, etc.
FWIW, my 4 yo has been sleeping through the night since she turned two. And we never sleep trained, and she's always co-slept.
You'd never force a baby to walk or talk. Why force them to sleep? Keep doing what you're doing. Have you read the Dr. Sears baby book or Baby Sleep Book? It might be good to get another perspective on the REALITIES of baby sleep (not just the ideas behind how to force baby to sleep so that parents can get some sleep).