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Putting baby to sleep without nursing? Is it really possible?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi and I know this may sound like a dumb question, but I have no idea how to get my 13 month old DD to sleep without nursing. I have always nursed her to sleep - both for bedtime and naps. As well as nursing her back down when she wakes up at night. I have read the "No cry sleep solution" book and am working on some of the ideas in there. I do not want to wean her, I would just like bedtime to be easier than 30 minutes (or longer) of nursing and putting her down. I am always trying to put her down when she's sleepy and not fully asleep but she almost always rolls over, crawls to the side of her crib, stands up and starts jumping up and down. She had been 90% asleep 2 seconds ago. It's very frustrating. I'd like to be able to nurse her then put her down and let her go to sleep on her own, but she doesn't seem to understand that yet. She does settle herself in the night sometimes. I'll hear her wake up and yell (she doesn't cry - it's more of a "hey! I'm awake now!") and sometimes if I give her a minute she'll just go back to sleep. If she cries I go get her right away though.


My husband has a terrible time trying to get her to sleep if I'm not there. BUT - she is in daycare now and is sleeping great for her daycare provider - I made sure she doesn't let her cry it out. She said that once in her sleepsack, she lays my DD down and she's asleep within 2 minutes. She sometimes calls "mama! mama!" a couple of times but she's asleep very quickly.


How can I get her to do that for me? Any moms out there have any suggestions of what worked for you?

Thanks so much in advance - any suggestions are appreciated!

post #2 of 5

The story of my life! So, so hard for me right now too. The only other way I ever have any luck is by putting DS in the Ergo and walking around for 30 minutes. It's not really a sustainable pattern because I'm feeling so burnt out mama-wise. I feel like I spend just as much time getting him down to sleep as he actually spends sleeping. *sigh*


I'm looking forward to reading others' responses.

post #3 of 5

Eh. Honestly, unless you going to do some some sort of brutal CIO nursing is a lot easier.


Babies will either learn to fall asleep on their own or other ways (DS transitioned from nursing only to nursing and then wanting his pacifier; DD rarely fell asleep with nursing and always liked to be bounced to sleep) but doing it a gentle way like NCSS takes a long time. I am not saying that it doesn't work and wasn't helpful, we used it successfully with #1 but in retrospect it took a lot of effort and we didn't really do it with the next next.I was all worked up with the first one about how sleep was "supposed to be" rather than where we were and frankly, nursing until the baby is older is easier and takes less energy. The difference was with the second one I was at peace with the fact that she and I were both reasonable in our actions.


If you have another caregiver they will find their own path. But with me, that was easy and natural.


And truthfully, all those people "who feed their baby and put them down and then they go to sleep" almost always go through some level of brutality to achieve their ends. Babies naturally like some gentle assistance with sleep. I've had breastfeeding friends tell me they didn't CIO and their baby started to sleep on their own but um, why is there is so much screaming at naptime, you know?


If it is really important to you know then yes, the NCSS does help.

post #4 of 5

It was for us as long as my husband put them to sleep. We moved pretty early in their lives to me nursing them, then my husband taking them to another room, rocking, and singing them to sleep. My husband put them to bed this way every night while I enjoyed a 1/2 hour of watching t.v. or reading a book myself.

post #5 of 5

We sort of taught DD to go to sleep on her own, but not with CIO. Until about 8 months she had to nurse to sleep,  and changing that just took some practice and some late nights. I would nurse her or give her a bottle a little earlier than usual, then put her in her crib. Yes, she would stand up, mess around etc. But we just gave it time. Sometimes she would fuss, and we always went in, laid her back down, stroked her head etc. Sometimes she would just play with toys in there for a long time and babble. That first week she was up late - she would basically have to get so tired she would pass out. Or she would fuss and we would stand there with a hand on her or rubbing her back until she fell asleep. But after a few nights it got easier. The time from putting her in the crib to sleep went from a couple hours to usually a half hour now. We start early, feed, put her in, and she looks at books and plays with toys in her crib and just falls asleep when she is ready in some goofy looking position. No crying or anything. Whatever you do, it will take time. Be patient.

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