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Does your nursing toddler take forever to go to sleep at night?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing this: My 21 month old daughter has always nursed to sleep at night. She used to spend 10 - 45 minutes nursing before she fell asleep and then I could roll away. For the past month, she is taking an 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fall asleep. She'll nurse for awhile, then turn away, start talking to herself, scratch at the wall, roll around, then nurse again. She'll do this over and over until finally she'll nurse, roll away, and fall asleep. Is this just a phase? Is there anything I can do to speed up the process (we already spend at least 30 minutes with the other part of her bedtime routine: potty, bath, get dressed, books, and prayer, so all together bedtime can take up to 3 hours!!!)?

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Any suggestions?
post #2 of 9
Aurora and Siobhan do this. They both sleep with me and DH at night . They will fight over num num and who gets it first,second,third,etc etc.
post #3 of 9
my first one used to do that. i don't think it's ever happened with our second, or at least not often, and not to the degree it used to happen with our first. i can remember some nights when it seemed interminable, and i think it went on for an hour or two sometimes. i think he was under 2 when most of this went on. it would seem as if he was relatively wired. he'd nurse, listen to books i read, roll off, play with toys in the nearby bed, come back to nurse some more, listen to more reading, roll off, switch sides, etc etc etc ad infinitum. now, in retrospect (my boys are 8 and 5 now; we tandem nursed just over 3 years), i think we may have been missing his "window" ... but i'll never know!

i've heard mary sheedy kurcinka, author of the book Sleepless in America (as well as Raising Your Spirited Child and Kids Parents & Power Struggles), talk on this subject, the window of opportunity when a child gives signals/signs/cues that s/he is sleepy. if you miss the window, they can keep going for a long time before they either collapse or hit another window...

the tricky thing is *anticipating* the window and being ready for it!

i'm sure all this varies from child to child.

hth! hang in there!
post #4 of 9
My 15 month old daughter is the same way. Bedtime seems to last forever. She looks so tired. She nurses and I think she's about to go to sleep. Then I see this little smile and she's up and wants me to read more books or just wants to play around. We end up starting bedtime over from scratch. It's driving me a little batty.
post #5 of 9
My DS used to take *forever* to go to sleep, from about a year to just recently and he's 28 months. He'd fight us, nurse for an hour, get out of bed, play with his toys, nurse some more, ect, ect. Then my milk changed to colostrum and it's really painful to nurse him for more than a minute or two, so we HAD to find another way. I read the No-cry sleep solution (both babies and toddlers!) and decided the advice about the intriguing bedtime routine was probably the best. Now, we go potty, get into a diaper and pj's (he gets to pick what he wears, which sometimes isn't pj's at all ), read 3 or so books, nurse for 1-2 minutes, then either DH or I rubs his back until he falls asleep. It sounds like a lot, but it really only takes about 20 minutes. The backrub is KEY. He needed something different than nursing to learn to relax to sleep. Now that he realizes nursing isn't the only way, he goes down so much easier and faster. The only time it doesn't work is when he truly isn't tired, and then I just wait 30 minutes or an hour, then do the books, nurse, backrub thing over again. He's also sleeping better at night too. And since now he doesn't HAVE to nurse back to sleep (backrubs are just as good most of the time!), DH can share in the nighttime parenting (hooray!!!!).
post #6 of 9
When my DD started doing this (at around 17 months I think), I took it to mean that she was ready for other ways of falling asleep. So, we changed our bedtime routine--I nursed her on the couch but not all the way to sleep, and THEN we would head to bed, read stories, sing songs, cuddle, rub her back, rock, etc.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your input. I'm really struggling with identifying the "window" of opportunity. Also, I think I'm ready to change the bedtime routine and have nursing be a small part of it. Now, I just need the courage to make a plan and stick to it!
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
When my DD started doing this (at around 17 months I think), I took it to mean that she was ready for other ways of falling asleep.
Yep us too but ds was a little older.
post #9 of 9
My DS does this too. He is 18 months now and he's been doing it for as long as I can remember but it seems to be getting worse. Naptime usually isn't too bad, but night time can take over an hour. It drives me batty. I am really worried about what I will do when DB is born. I am hoping to figure something out by then.

I have a feeling the my milk supply changes from the pregnancy are making the bed time thing worse. I have been puttin gup with a lot of on and off nursing during bed time in the attempt to keep him interested so I can tadem.

I have tried to do our routine, nurse him, and then let him know it is night-night time and that I wont play with him anymore , but I will stay with him until he falls asleep. Sometimes he just doesn't seem tired, but when we tried putting him to bed later, it was the same thing only later. This week I have tried putting darker window covers due to the sun being out later. So far it has not helped.

I hope I can find a new routine that will work for us and keep up the nursing.
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