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need help--sleep issue!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So here's our general schedule: Wake anywhere from 630am-830 am. Takes a short (30-60min) nap about an hour or two after he woke up. Take another usually longer afternoon nap (1-3hrs) and the kid is back in bed by between 5 and 7pm. And at night he usually sleeps 12-14 hours, with usually 3-4 feedings.

The problem, which is new and awful, is the he SCREAMS when i put him down for nap and bedtime now. This is new. I have always put him to bed awake, and he always did a great job of falling asleep on his own, rather quietly. Now he screams....pacifier doesn't help, guiding his thumb into his mouth doesn't help. I stay with him and pat his tummy/back, doesn't help. Finally, I end up doing the breastfeed to sleep thing, which is habit I REALLY do not want to start. But he gets so worked up (even if I take him out of bed and hold him, he still cries) that only the breast calms him and helps him sleep.

Advice??? I feel like I am slowly starting a horrible habit, but also feel like there's no other choice. HELP!!
post #2 of 5
Hmm, yes, well, I nurse mine to sleep but I never thought of it as a bad habit. Just really useful and stress-relieving since DS really fights sleep all the time in exactly the manner that you describe. I used to nurse my dd to sleep, too. It IS a pain when you're not home and someone else tries putting your child to bed when you're not around, not to mention upsetting to the child. But you know, they do grow out of it. But that's just my two cents.
I knew a woman years ago from another forum who simply made a point of using a sleep/eat/play routine so that her kids never associated nursing with falling asleep - they were nursed AFTER naps and prior to napping was play/quiet time. I could totally go for that kind of routine with an older baby or a toddler, but not with a newborn. And expecially when it wouldn't work with a baby fighting sleep. Plus it just seems "off" to me trying to force baby into a routine already. Again, just my two cents.
Maybe someone else has some other suggestions.
post #3 of 5
We nurse to sleep, did it with DS (21 months- still do, actually) and with baby, DD. It can be a drag, but it's also a lifesaver. With DS, now, I tell him he's going to be done in just a few minutes, then he's fine when I say it's over. That's a long way off for your LO, but if you can't find anything else that works, it's not the end of the world. I read No Cry SLeep Solution, and did the "Pantley Pull Off" which is basically once baby nods off release your nipple from baby's mouth, and gently press their lower jaw up, and if they fight let them suckle again then repeat in a minute or so. I've done that and it works. Both kids may fall asleep at the breast, but then will allow me to put them back down.

One other thing that worked for us, that didn't involve the boob, was holding baby up to my shoulder, and bouncing on a birth/exercise ball. The motion helped them fall asleep.

DD has been fighting sleep more lately, wanting to stay awake despite being exhausted, sometimes the boob is the only thing that will get her to conk out- almost immediately. I'm there with you, too. Hang in there....
post #4 of 5
I used to feel bad about the nursing to sleep habit with both my babies, but recently I read the Dr. Sears Baby Book and he said something that really makes sense: "How would YOU like to fall asleep?" The answer was the "warm" way....warm breast, warm arms, warm bed (even suggested putting a towel fresh from the dryer down and then removing it before laying baby down so the sheets weren't cold!). It all really made sense! And my older daughter is 4 now and falls asleep without nursing of course so they do grow out of it.
Hang in there, I have 2 reluctant to sleep little ones....I know it's hard.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks everybody :-)

hope i didnt sound critical of those of you who chose to nurse to sleep....it is just something that i had personally wanted to avoid, especially since i just hired a sitter!!

at this point i try putting him down without it, but often times resort to it. whatever works, right?!
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