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How do you put your baby/toddler to sleep??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My DD is 13 months old.We reactive cosleep.She starts out in her crib and when she wakes to nurse she comes to bed with us.Everyone says I am lucky she does not nurse to sleep initially,only when she wakes in the night.I am concerned because for naps and nightime the only way we have every put her to sleep is walking her in the sling.I am in no way complaining.This works well for us and I enjoy this time of cuddling.My only worry is what about when shes older and I setting myself up for trouble??? My DH worries she will not learn how to fall asleep on her own.Please any advice or words of wisdom.

post #2 of 23
My dd will be 2 next week and she still needs to be parented to sleep and that's just fine with us!

Until she was about 14 months, I used to nurse her while walking her in the sling and singing to her to get her to go to sleep. Now our routine has evolved into her nursing to sleep for her nap - we both lie down in her bed and she nurse maybe 5-10 minutes before falling alseep. At night, after her bath, we read stories in her bed and then she nurses for maybe 15 minutes and then just lies next to me or on me to fall asleep.

She still wakes up in the night and I just go get her and bring her to our bed. She's nightweaned so she just goes back to sleep snuggling. She used to co-sleep full-time and it's now only half nights or some nights not at all!

I think you're doing the exact right thing. Your babe will let you know when it's time to change the routine
post #3 of 23
My son is almost 17 months. He generally nurses to sleep, but sometimes he likes to fall asleep with his daddy rubbing his head.

My daughter just turned 3. 40% of the time she just lays down and goes to sleep, 50% of the time she snuggles with her daddy and falls asleep, and 10% of the time she nurses to sleep.

They both nurse to sleep for all naps.
post #4 of 23
Ds stopped nursing in December and one of my greatest worries was going to sleep without the nunus (we cosleep). He was totally ready though, just as he was when he stopped nursing for everything except to go to sleep. He will take a nap with dad or I if we lay down and read to him (Dr Suesses sleep book!!) and when we lay down at night, its mommy daddy night night!!! We all lay down together and he falls asleep then dad and i get up, although the last 2 nights he has been asking to lay down with just dad, so I get a break!!!!! It was a very easy transition for us from nursing to sleep to falling asleep with mom and dad (DS turned 2 in Nov and we made this transition around the middle of December) but dad talked a lot to him about it weeks before we attempted the first night without nursing. I was sooooo nervous, but he didn't even cry and was sooooo proud of himself in the morning!!!!! So, don't worry, she will fall asleep on her own when SHE is ready!!!

post #5 of 23
Pretty much if dh has to put someone to sleep they go for a drive, it used to be a walk in the sling, but they are too big for much of a walk now

I usually nurse them to sleep, but the youngest will sometimes go to sleep with a back or foot rub.

I always hear people saying that they want to give their kids the gift of falling asleep by themselves, but what I want to give my kids is the gift of falling asleep feeling loved. Which I believe will eventually turn them into people who can fall asleep by themselves.
post #6 of 23
What a great way to put it Mallory!!!!! Our DS will go to sleep however he needs to (weather with us laying with him, reading to him, both, none at all, or us rubbing his back, etc)., and I'm sure this will change over time, but hopefully just as you say, always feeling loved!!!!!

post #7 of 23
ds is 27mnths and nurses to sleep.

there have been a few times in the last couple mnths that he turns over b4 he is asleep and falls to sleep without hte breast, so i know he is progressing. he can nurse to sleep for as long as he needs to
post #8 of 23
Holy...I was in the same frame of mind when dd was 13 months....I was worried that she would need to nurse to sleep forever....

I agree with what the other have said that it is a developmental stage that they get too....dd is now 18 1/2 month and she no longer nurses to sleep and I don't carry her anymore either....we just lay on the floor (for naps) together and she rests and sucks her thumb : (I'm hoping this is developmental too) and falls asleep....for bedtime, we brush our teeth, get three books, get in bed and read them and they she goes to sleep...sucking her thumb again. (this is the only time she sucks her thumb~when tired ) I don't know how much being pg has helped....I think she was ready and it just kind of pushed it along cause she is fine with the changes.

It's amazing how fast things happen....it seems like only yesterday that she would only fall asleep while laying on my chest... ....time flys!

Good luck to you!
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you

so much for all of your responses.I feel very secure in our nightime parenting now!!!

post #10 of 23
I think you should!

dd nurses before falling asleep, but not exactly to sleep -- she nurses, then rolls over and falls asleep. I am looking to change the routine to nurse-> brush teeth -> go to sleep. We've been easing towards it, but verrrry gradually, and almost all of it led by dd. She wanted to sleep in her room, so we moved there. She wanted a big bed, so we gave her a big bed (actually converted the crib, which she'd never used) and she loves it. Now she plays on her bed and occasionally crawls up there and sleeps -- I have a pallet (several quilts and blankets) on the floor next to her bed and we go to sleep there. I talk about how proud I am when she sleeps on the bed by herself. (Totally her idea the 2-3 times it's happened so far.) We read books in our usual spot, but a new addition to our routine is that dd lays down in her bed while I tell her a bedtime story, too. Then lights out and sleep. (I don't tell her to stay in bed, and she comes down to the pallet to nurse.)

I feel like a little nudging will take things to the next level, and after ~6 months on the floor and a year + sleeping separately from my dh, I'm ready to do that, but want to do it right. I won't force anything.

So, pottermamma, I'm very interested in specifics of your story, what your dh said, exactly, etc.

post #11 of 23

Still nursing ds to sleep for nap and bed...

Our ds is 2.5 yrs old and nurses to sleep for his nap and nurses to almost sleep with the roll over onto him tummy right at the end. I pop my finger into his mouth gently and say, "Roll over, time to sleep." and he usually does. Tonight, however, he rolled back and said, "I am the snuggle puppy." This is his new favorite song from Sandra Boynton's Philadelphia Chickens CD. Then he fell asleep.

Yesterday, he was so excited about his new excavator that he tried to nurse to sleep for his nap but popped up, melted into a puddle and I rocked him to sleep!

Our house is so small that we only have one bedroom and one bed. Our office will probably, one day, be his bedroom but I hope we can afford to add on before that day because with 750 square feet in this house we haven't much room to spare!

I enjoyed everyone's posts because it is wonderful to see how many different ways there are for our children to fall asleep with love.
post #12 of 23
My 22 month old still nurses to sleep most nights. If she hasnt' fallen asleep nursing, then I cuddle her for a bit, and then put her down in her crib....I lie down on the single bed we have in her room, and she'll generally drift off to sleep in a minute or two.

If it takes longer, and dh has finished dd1's night-time routine (and she's waiting to nurse!), dh will come in and lie down with dd2 until she falls asleep.

I then go in and nurse dd2 - about half the time, she falls asleep nursing. The rest of the time, she'll stop nursing and lie down and go to sleep. If she isn't really tired, for some reason, we'll usually sing a couple of songs, and then I leave and she goes to sleep.

Their bedtime routines have changed at times...sometimes they can fall asleep on their own, and at other times, they can't. We just go with what works at that time.
post #13 of 23
Reactive co-sleeping. I like that term. That's what we do as well. DS starts in his crib and when he wakes, he ends up with us. Some nights that is midnight - some nights 6am!

At 13 months, we were still nursing/rocking DS to sleep and it looked like we'd be doing it when he was 30! But around 18 months, while DH was rocking him, he started asking to go into his crib. So DH would stand over him and rub his back til he fell asleep. Eventually, DH was able to just rock in the chair and DS would fall asleep on his own in the bed. But one of us had to be in the room!

So now our routine is brush teeth, nighttime diaper, 2-3 books with dad (ending with Goodnight Moon), milkies with mom and then dad takes him to bed. He starts with some roicking and then puts DS in the crib. This last part can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how wired DS is. If we are in a hurry, we will just rock him all the way asleep.

We are about to move him to his big boy bed, and I am not sure how things will change.

post #14 of 23

I am soo happy

I am so happy to see that you are all doing what I have hoped I was doing instinctively. My 3 year old slept with me and breastfed to sleep until she was 18 months, thats when her sister was born. She graduated very easily to her own bed taking bottles of goats milk to drink when waking through the night. Also her dad slept with her while I took care of our new born. She is very bonded with her dad now because of that experience and she never had to miss out on co- sleeping. My youngest is now two and still sleeps with me and breastfeeds through the night and quite often to nap or go to sleep at night. My in-laws bought bunk beds for my girls but youngest is just not ready for it yet. She starts out there but gets very stressed out when she wakes in the night. I am confident though that she will sleep on her own when she is ready...no need to force it.
post #15 of 23
Hi sozobe ~ So, our story, well... After Ds stopped nursing for pretty much anything else besides nap time and night time, Dh and I decided he was probably ready to go to bed without nursing. We left the nap time nursing and went for the night time nursing first. We began by using some of Jay Gordon's advice about only night time weaning ( I guess that hapened a bit before anything else,maybe at about 20-22 months or so) so he was already not nursing to get back to sleep through the night, just to initially go to sleep. Dh began talking to him about a month or so before we did anything, just taking every opportunity to talk about not nursing to sleep, and actually not nursing in general (cause that is essentially where we were headed in the long run cause there were only 2 nursing sessions left to take out before he didn't nurse at all). Like, Ds would be getting ready for bed and Dh would just say something really simple like, "Next we'll go have some nunus with mom, pretty soon you won't need nunus anymore to fall asleep huh" and Ds would always agree with him and was comfortable with the whole conversation ~ had this upset DS in anyway we would have taken that seriously and not proceeded any further. Dh also took advantage of us getting 2 puppies right around the same time (not on purpose, but it sure did work) Ds was really curious about the pups and Dh would tell him about how they used to nurse from their mommie's nunus but they were getting to be bigger puppies and now they didn't use mommie's nunus anymore. It was all really gentle and really simple comments or observations like these, and he never pushed, they would just talk about it, and I didin't get involved AT ALL!!!!! (kinda nice, but each time I heard them talking about it I totally dreaded that eventual day KWIM). Then he began talking more and more about it (especially on their way home from work, this is a big quality time for them and I am still at work so I'm not there) and talking about how we would go to sleep instead (mommy daddy night night, as Ds called it) and Ds was actually pretty excited to try it. Then basically DH just told him when we were getting ready to nurse one night that tomorrow night we'd try to not nurse before we went to sleep and then he asked Ds how we would go to sleep and he said "mommy daddy night night" with a big smile. SO we tried it the next night (I was soooo nervous) but not one cry, or any other protest from DS, just went right to sleep with mom and dad laying on either side of him. And that is still waht we do now almost 4 months later!!!!
Naps were a little harder ~ and he gave them up all together for a while too, but now he'll either nap in the car on the way to town, or on the weekends with dad reading him Dr Seusse's Sleep Book (always the sleep book). At first he wouldn't read a book with me and go to sleep but I have doen it twice now and it works pretty well. Dh talked to him a lot about naps too and we call it "relaxing time" cause when he ditched napping all together we'd tell him that mom and dad need to get some things done and so he could relax a while since he didn't want to take a nap, and he'd just sit on the couch looking at books or something else fairly quiet. But then Dh started talking to him about how much better Ds seemed to feel when he slept during the day (he would still fall asleep some days in the car, and some days we'd just put him in there cause he was so far gone!!) and Ds ran with it and started "relaxing" with dad each day of the weekend!!!!
Hope this Helps ~ I was sooo amazed it worked out sooooo well, I still am sometimes !!!!!!!!

post #16 of 23
Wow, pottersmama! That's VERY helpful, thanks. My dh works way too much (12-hr days, 6-7 days a week) and so isn't as available, but I plan to print this out and show it to him. THANKS!
post #17 of 23
We used to co-sleep and nurse, but DS stopped it all recently, about three months ago. He weaned himself and then wanted to sleep in his crib all on his own! I guess he just wanted his independence. Now we read him a story, cuddle him a bit and lay him in his crib with his stuffed monkey. He says night-night and goes to sleep.

I wish he still would co-sleep and on bad teething nights or when he isn't feeling well, we do. Otherwise he sleeps in his crib and is happier for it
post #18 of 23
We snuggled Riley to sleep for every nap and bedtime. She eventually stopped *wanting* us to. She's 20 months now and usually prefers to just get in her bed now.

I was stunned when she first showed that preference because I had actually been worrying if she'd ever be able to get to sleep on her own!

If she wants to snuggle with us, we still do.
post #19 of 23
we exclusively coslept with dd until she was 18m. she nursed practically all night from birth, so we tried to transition her to the crib, for at least the first part of the night, at 6m, 12m, and then again at 18m. it wasn't until she was 18m that she (and we) were ready.

at first, she did what your dd is doing. going down in the crib then moving back in for nursing and cosleeping. the first week, she went down around 8 or 9, and was back in with us a couple hours later. slowly, she was able to stay in her crib for longer and longer periods of time.

at 21m, she goes down at 8 and sleeps until 3am or so, at which point she comes in with us, nurses, then goes back into her crib. she usually wakes between 6-8am. depending on when she wakes, she either nurses back to sleep, or we just all get up. some nights, she wakes several times to nurse, but most of the time its just once in the middle of the night, and once in the morning.

we tried once to encourage her to go back to sleep in the crib without nursing or coming into our bed to check in...and it was horrible for all of us. so, we stuck with what was working for us, were patient, and slowly she has reduced the number of times she nursed each night. she goes to sleep happy, and wakes happy.

hope this helps!
post #20 of 23
Dd is 13 months. We co-sleep exclusively and nurse to sleep for naps and at night. I figure she'll start going to sleep on her own when she's ready... at that age when she becomes super independent. If not then, well... at least by the time she goes off for college.
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