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Baby Won't Sleep Without Nursing First

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Baby Sam will not take a nap without nursing first. Even if he displays all the classic sleepy signs (yawning, rubbing eyes, etc), he won't go to sleep without a boob in his mouth. My mother-in-law watched him for several hours this past Saturday and he didn't take a nap at all! He was so cranky as a result, and woke up countless times that night...

 

Any suggestions? I've tried nursing him then putting him to sleep while he is still awake but this just makes him cry and wake up...

post #2 of 22

I usually nurse River to sleep, just because it's quick, easy and helps him sleep longer. When DH is alone with him, he has a whole gauntlet of tricks that he has to cycle through... sometimes they work... sometimes not: going on a walk in the ergo (this one wins most of the time), singing and swaying, holding him like this and bouncing him around, bouncing on the yoga ball.  Also, he turns on white noise which helps. Depending on where the nap is happening, we have a sleep sheep (love!), the stove fan or just the radio on a non-station.

 

Isn't it strange how they sleep worse at night if they didn't nap well during the day? Seems counter-intuitive to me, but it's so true!

post #3 of 22

Yup, nursing to sleep still here, so no help.  I don't get what's so bad about it?  The last two nursings DD gave up when she was weaning were nap and bedtime.  The bedtime one was the last to go.

 

I've never had success putting a baby down sleepy but awake.  They just lay there and fuss until they cry.  

post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Yes, going for a walk in the Ergo may be the only other thing I can do to get baby to sleep...I have to look into getting the Sleep Sheep or a radio in the room for some white noise.

 

My husband also holds the baby in that position. It does, at the very least, soothe baby if not put him to sleep...

 

I only recently found out  how important the nap is to nighttime sleep. I think my mother-in-law, despite how many times I say otherwise, is having trouble with the concept (as you said, it's counter-intuitive). When we picked up Sam, she said he'd sleep real well that night since he didn't sleep much during the day...

 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

Yup, nursing to sleep still here, so no help.  I don't get what's so bad about it?  The last two nursings DD gave up when she was weaning were nap and bedtime.  The bedtime one was the last to go.

 

I've never had success putting a baby down sleepy but awake.  They just lay there and fuss until they cry.  



How old was DD when she was weaned? And was it very hard to get her to sleep after weaning? I guess that's what I'm worried about; that and that it's hard for other caretakers to get baby to sleep if I'm not around...

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irene Roxy View Post



How old was DD when she was weaned? And was it very hard to get her to sleep after weaning? I guess that's what I'm worried about; that and that it's hard for other caretakers to get baby to sleep if I'm not around...



She had just turned 2, and I was able to easily be like, lets read a book and sing a song instead of boob, and she was all, "Ok!".  It was almost too easy.

 

Other people will figure out their own song and dance for helping kids get to sleep, either with a bottle, rocking, holding a hand, singing a song.  I wouldn't worry *just yet*.  OTOH, if it's really something you want to change, you could try putting Sam down for naps well fed but sleepy, and see how it goes.  It can't hurt to try.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post



She had just turned 2, and I was able to easily be like, lets read a book and sing a song instead of boob, and she was all, "Ok!".  It was almost too easy.

 

Other people will figure out their own song and dance for helping kids get to sleep, either with a bottle, rocking, holding a hand, singing a song.  I wouldn't worry *just yet*.  OTOH, if it's really something you want to change, you could try putting Sam down for naps well fed but sleepy, and see how it goes.  It can't hurt to try.


Thanks, yes, you're right I shouldn't worry yet. It's just that there's a possibility I might be going back to work in a few months and I'm thinking ahead...Also, I'll most likely wean Sam at 1 year, so I don't know if the communication will flow as easily as with a two-year-old. All that said, I'm not going to worry.

 

I've tried feeding Sam then pulling away gently when he seems about to sleep, but he wakes up and cries. Alternately, if I feed him before he's tired, then he just doesn't want to take a nap. Ever since he was born he'd fall asleep at the breast, so much so that it really wore me out in the beginning because he'd drink for a minute or 2 then fall asleep. It's just his way...

post #8 of 22

Often when Charlie's tired but not hungry we just cuddle him up - use a blanket, the heat helps - and just.. rock him. And don't engage him. I mean, if he's trying hard then sure, but just ... bore him to sleep. It works!

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irene Roxy View Post


Thanks, yes, you're right I shouldn't worry yet. It's just that there's a possibility I might be going back to work in a few months and I'm thinking ahead...Also, I'll most likely wean Sam at 1 year, so I don't know if the communication will flow as easily as with a two-year-old. All that said, I'm not going to worry.

 

I've tried feeding Sam then pulling away gently when he seems about to sleep, but he wakes up and cries. Alternately, if I feed him before he's tired, then he just doesn't want to take a nap. Ever since he was born he'd fall asleep at the breast, so much so that it really wore me out in the beginning because he'd drink for a minute or 2 then fall asleep. It's just his way...


 

There are so many reasons to continue nursing past 1!!  I hope you reconsider as time goes on.  I don't know your reasons for thinking you'll try to wean then, but just know there are good reasons to keep going, and nursing during the 2nd year is NOTHING like nursing during the first.

 

That said, I know our babies are getting older, but have you been swaddling?  DH said the other day, he just swaddled DS up and put him in the cosleeper.  A few min later, DS was asleep!  For 3 hours!!  I nearly fainted b/c I've been nursing DS down for every nap since birth, as well.

 

Have you read the No Cry Sleep or Nap Solution?  There is a whole section on the Pantley Pop Off.  Basically, once your LO begins to flutter instead of nursing in big gulps, you gently break the seal and pop baby off.  It might take one try, it might take 5 or 10.  But the point is you do this so that they settle in your arms or on the bed NOT nursing.  It can help in the long run.  I highly recommend all of the No Cry books.  There are always a few tips/tricks that work, even if the whole book doesn't seem to.  I got so much out of the series.  I'm reading the NO Cry Toddler Sleep book now, too.

 

post #10 of 22

This is an issue for me, too.  Thing is, he'll fall asleep really quickly if he's tired and nursing, but then if I try to pop off he wakes up...so it usually takes a few tries.  My mom has gotten him to sleep by holding him and dancing/rocking, and DH has gotten him to sleep by giving him a bottle (pumped milk).  I used to nurse him to sleep, then put him in his own bed.  Now he always wakes up if I try to move him...that's why we're co-sleeping right now.

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post


 

There are so many reasons to continue nursing past 1!!  I hope you reconsider as time goes on.  I don't know your reasons for thinking you'll try to wean then, but just know there are good reasons to keep going, and nursing during the 2nd year is NOTHING like nursing during the first.

 

That said, I know our babies are getting older, but have you been swaddling?  DH said the other day, he just swaddled DS up and put him in the cosleeper.  A few min later, DS was asleep!  For 3 hours!!  I nearly fainted b/c I've been nursing DS down for every nap since birth, as well.

 

Have you read the No Cry Sleep or Nap Solution?  There is a whole section on the Pantley Pop Off.  Basically, once your LO begins to flutter instead of nursing in big gulps, you gently break the seal and pop baby off.  It might take one try, it might take 5 or 10.  But the point is you do this so that they settle in your arms or on the bed NOT nursing.  It can help in the long run.  I highly recommend all of the No Cry books.  There are always a few tips/tricks that work, even if the whole book doesn't seem to.  I got so much out of the series.  I'm reading the NO Cry Toddler Sleep book now, too.

 


For a few weeks, Sam was waking-up like every 1 1/2 - 2  hours. I was so exhausted and out-of-it. I did get a swaddle (they actually sell one for babies up to 22 pounds!) and I picked up the No Cry Sleep Solution at the library. (I was so delirious at the library I told my husband the name of the book was The No Sleep Cry Solution - ha!). On and off I have been trying the Pantley Pull Off for the past 5-6 days, and I have been putting baby to sleep much earlier, which she suggests. I also learned about the importance of naps from the book. I do have to say that I've noticed an improvement...Last night Sam slept for almost 5 hours which was so trippy I couldn't sleep! I'll see what happens tonight. I guess I just want him to be able to sleep peacefully with various methods...I have to be patient, as he's still so young. But yeah, No Cry is the only way I'm going to go. I can't imagine doing otherwise.

 

And I may continue nursing past 1. I guess I'll see when I get there. Nursing is already so much easier than it was at the start. I almost gave up, it was so hard...Thanks for all your advice.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaika View Post

This is an issue for me, too.  Thing is, he'll fall asleep really quickly if he's tired and nursing, but then if I try to pop off he wakes up...so it usually takes a few tries.  My mom has gotten him to sleep by holding him and dancing/rocking, and DH has gotten him to sleep by giving him a bottle (pumped milk).  I used to nurse him to sleep, then put him in his own bed.  Now he always wakes up if I try to move him...that's why we're co-sleeping right now.

 

Perhaps it's easier for your mother and husband to get baby to sleep because the baby doesn't smell you or your milk. But I don't know, my husband has tried putting Sam to sleep and hasn't been very successful. It's a process. I just want a little more liberty as my MIL has been gracious enough to offer to watch baby, and I would like her to but in a way that works well for all...

 

 


Edited by Ree Tee - 1/18/12 at 10:00pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irene Roxy View Post


For a few weeks, Sam was waking-up like every 1 1/2 - 2  hours. I was so exhausted and out-of-it. I did get a swaddle (they actually sell one for babies up to 22 pounds!) and I picked up the No Cry Sleep Solution at the library. (I was so delirious at the library I told my husband the name of the book was The No Sleep Cry Solution - ha!). On and off I have been trying the Pantley Pull Off for the past 5-6 days, and I have been putting baby to sleep much earlier, which she suggests. I also learned about the importance of naps from the book. I do have to say that I've noticed an improvement...Last night Sam slept for almost 5 hours which was so trippy I couldn't sleep! I'll see what happens tonight. I guess I just want him to be able to sleep peacefully with various methods...I have to be patient, as he's still so young. But yeah, No Cry is the only way I'm going to go. I can't imagine doing otherwise.

 

And I may continue nursing past 1. I guess I'll see when I get there. Nursing is already so much easier than it was at the start. I almost gave up, it was so hard...Thanks for all your advice.

 

 

 

1ht

I did know about the L swaddlers!  My kid is already outgrowing them!!  lol.gif

Yes, patience is key.  Also knowing that this stage really won't last forever.  There will be good nights and bad nights and everything in between.  

I'm very happy to see you are open to nursing past 1.  orngbiggrin.gif

 

 

 

post #13 of 22
Irene, will Sam take a paci? With DS we had some luck nursing almost to sleep, and then switching out the boob for a paci. It's worth a shot if you're not opposed to the idea of pacifiers.

DD mostly nurses to sleep (as she is doing this very minute). DS mostly did it as well. But other things that work for us are walking in the Ergo (and now the stroller too!!), or sitting in the swing while I vacuum. But the vacuum has to be going, or sleeping in the swing is a no go. And ALWAYS a swaddle.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

Irene, will Sam take a paci? With DS we had some luck nursing almost to sleep, and then switching out the boob for a paci. It's worth a shot if you're not opposed to the idea of pacifiers.
DD mostly nurses to sleep (as she is doing this very minute). DS mostly did it as well. But other things that work for us are walking in the Ergo (and now the stroller too!!), or sitting in the swing while I vacuum. But the vacuum has to be going, or sleeping in the swing is a no go. And ALWAYS a swaddle.


Yay, the stroller too! 

And I'm happy to see another baby is still being swaddled.  I thought we were pushing it too far being at 5 months, but DS sleeps so well with it.  Why rock that boat??

 

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

Irene, will Sam take a paci? With DS we had some luck nursing almost to sleep, and then switching out the boob for a paci. It's worth a shot if you're not opposed to the idea of pacifiers.
DD mostly nurses to sleep (as she is doing this very minute). DS mostly did it as well. But other things that work for us are walking in the Ergo (and now the stroller too!!), or sitting in the swing while I vacuum. But the vacuum has to be going, or sleeping in the swing is a no go. And ALWAYS a swaddle.


Thanks, yes, we've incorporated a paci into our efforts...it does help. I don't have a swing but am going to see if I can find one on craigslist...Thx!!

post #16 of 22
OK...chiming in here. DD has been falling asleep just fine for naps and her first night-time sleep. The problem is that she almost never sleeps more than an hour at a time (except her first nap of the day, which doesn't help ME because I'm at work.)

I've started trying the Pantley Pull-Off, and I have to say if it didn't say "be persistent" I'd be throwing the book out the window right now. I feel like all I've achieved is teaching her she can't fall asleep EVER without nursing. sigh... However, she is currently sleeping in her bed with NO pacifier in her mouth, which is I think the thing that will help us. It took an HOUR of nursing...pulling off...fuss...nursing...........an HOUR!

I THINK that until now she's been falling asleep fine WITH her paci, and then it falls out and she wakes up after her sleep cycle and can't fall back asleep (without me waking up to help...every...45...minutes...all......night.........LONG). At that point she doesn't want the pacifier, she wants to nurse. So I'm going to try to stick with the PPO, and hopefully it will improve.

Question, though: the book says if you get frustrated then stop and try again later. Do you think it's ok to do the PPO for the first few cycles at night and then bring her to bed with me for the rest of the night? I just get SO TIRED waking up every 45 minutes, and on school nights I just can't function the next day. Do you think I have to persist the whole night through for this to work? sigh... I actually enjoy having her in bed with me, it's just that she wakes up to nurse so frequently and I'm a wreck, and more importantly, my nipples are starting to be in agony and dry out and crack. YIKES. Thus the importance of a change...
post #17 of 22
ps - I talked with my boss because she had the same situation with her daughter. She said that with her son, she did the Ferber method, and he still had night terrors until he was 6 years old. That was validating to hear. She said with her daughter she refused to do sleep training. Is No-Cry sleep training? DD's crying because she needs something, and I feel so validated that I've taken the stance of meeting her needs. I'm not going to change that. Anyway...back to the regularly scheduled program...

pps - I cut out dairy a while ago, and it's made a definite improvement on her night-time fussiness. I tested it a couple times, and yup, dairy = gassy and fussy night. Why am I so chatty right now?
post #18 of 22

similar situation here... somehow the baby sitter does ok w nap time using the swaddler. i did not know rescuing the nippie was a method..we've been calling it "breaking free" or "taking the nippie back"....however lately, she will wake up halfway after a while, looking for the boob and start crying really loud in her sleep if it is not there....so I cannot put her down to nap without laying next to her almost all the time. Resulting in getting pretty much nothing done.

 

and I do not understand how she can be so hungry when she wakes up.

post #19 of 22
Tear, hugs!!

I think if you do the pop off the first few times, it's fine. The goal is more sleep. If keeping her in bed and not trying to manage things as much gets you more sleep, do it.

For kicks I wanted to see what would happen if I put Finn down sleepy, full belly, but awake. That was a joke. He sucked good thumb for a, few minutes, then all I heard for a good 25 min was moving around, yawning, noises. I don't think it works.

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post #20 of 22

Carrie what happened after the 25 min of yawning etc? Did you pick him up or did he fall asleep?

 

Seth will only sleep after we put him down. He's like his Mama that way in he needs to be in bed to sleep. Aiden would sleep anywhere other than his bed at 5 months. We couldn't put Aiden down awake without a fuss until he was about a year. I think you just have to do what works for each child. Aiden was also swaddled for sleep until nearly 8 months and that involved 2 months of working him out of it very slowly, and Seth wouldn't let us swaddle him after the first month. Just shows how individual they are and how their needs around sleep are very different too.

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