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Still Breastfeeding to sleep

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
About a year ago I got the advice (from you all) to breastfeed my boys to sleep for naps and night. It has aided in hundreds of cry-less sleep sessions, thankfully. Now they are 19 months, should I still be doing it? Everyone around me has babies that go to sleep without nursing (older and younger).

What should we be doing now to guide them to not to need me in the future? Or does this occur over time? Since nobody I know nurses their babies to sleep I don't have a true picture of how this is going to play out in the long run...


The twin part of it is: Is anyone tandem nursing their toddlers to sleep? If so, how do you do it? Our chair is getting to small for us and laying on my back and nursing two (I do that through the night) is painful. I lay there kicking my feet with tears in my eyes waiting for them to turn back away from me.

All comments and suggestions appreciated.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasqueflower View Post
About a year ago I got the advice (from you all) to breastfeed my boys to sleep for naps and night. It has aided in hundreds of cry-less sleep sessions, thankfully. Now they are 19 months, should I still be doing it? Everyone around me has babies that go to sleep without nursing (older and younger).

What should we be doing now to guide them to not to need me in the future? Or does this occur over time? Since nobody I know nurses their babies to sleep I don't have a true picture of how this is going to play out in the long run...
I'll answer the non-twin specific stuff

Sure, nurse to sleep as long as they want/need. No reason to change something that works.

They will grow up. Promise. Nothing special needed to "guide" them to it now.

-Angela
post #3 of 19
I nursed my two to sleep until they were about 2.5 yo. I would lay down to nurse both of them but because of the back/body pain, I nightweaned them around 19 months. They just hit 3y 2m yesterday and are still nursing upon waking in the morning and before bed. I wouldn't worry about what others are doing. More than likely the others don't have twins and to me, that's enough of a difference to do what you need to do to get everyone to sleep any way possible. Are you happy with things right now other than the lack of space?
post #4 of 19
sorry, didn't realize this was the multiples forum! I'll answer with alegna

Some time after he turned two, nursing to sleep became harder for DS - it took FOREVER, it just wasn't working anymore. It was at that point that we started a process of saying nite-nite to the milk, nite-nite to the light, and we all snuggled together to go to sleep. Now he nurses until the milk is gone (I'm pg so supply is low), says he's done, rolls over and puts himself to sleep. It's AWESOME. But it wasn't forced, he really got to this point partly on his own and largely with our gentle help and support.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Are you happy with things right now other than the lack of space?[/QUOTE]

I am really happy. I love putting them to sleep so quietly and comfortably. I struggle a little at nap time (when DH is gone) and I have to hold one while I wiggle out from the other one, leaving him in the chair, hoping he doesn't roll out before I get back to him. I also bite my lip a little when I have to turn down an invitation to go out with other moms that have kids similar ages and hey say, "can't your DH put them to sleep?"
post #6 of 19
I can't believe you're still nursing them both in a chair! I don't know how you do it! Anyway, to answer your question, mine are 20 months old and they both nurse to sleep. This works really well for us. The way I do it is to lie in bed with one on each side of me, each one in the crook of one arm. It helps that one of my twins tends to like to kind of nurse more like he's sitting on his knees and leaning over me, but he also nursing lying on his side curled toward me in my arm just like his brother. Anyway, I just lie there and let them nurse until they fall asleep. One is a big fan of the binkie and he'll usually pop in his own binkie and either stay snuggled on me til he actually falls asleep or he'll fall asleep while nursing too. Once they're both totally out, then if they haven't unlatched on their own I'll do it (carefully - one at a time) and be ready to pop a binkie in if they root. Oh, before I do that I usually try to slip my arm out from under each ones head. It's not as complicated as it sounds - I swear! Sometimes I get a bit sore (like, nipple sore) b/c the latch in this position isn't always ideal, but I've been able to deal with it. I hope this helps! Let me know if you need a photo or something.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
2+Twins,

Do you do this in your bed? And for naps as well? Do they wake each other up?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pasqueflower View Post
2+Twins,

Do you do this in your bed? And for naps as well? Do they wake each other up?
Yes, we do the whole family bed thing, only it's a bit crowded so I actually sleep with the twins in the king size bed (me btwn them) and dh sleeps on an aerobed pushed up next to that mattress (our older dd's usually show up & join him during the night). We do this for both naps & nighttime. They don't usually wake each other. For example, they were both just now napping but one of them woke up and came out to find me - the other (my better sleeper) is still fast asleep.
post #9 of 19
I'm just jealous they still nurse to sleep. My stopped that at about 18 months, and it's been really hard to get them to sleep ever since :yawn:.
post #10 of 19
hi there,

my boys are almost 3 and still nursing to sleep. anytime i get frustrated by it, i remember that if they stopped nursing to sleep, i would still want to parent them to sleep and some of these other techniques seem a lot harder! for instance, my friend reads to her 5 year old until he falls asleep. i know that could be fun, but at the end of the day, i am tired and don't have a lot of energy to read for that long out loud! nursing is a breeze!

but, i would really try to find a position that is comfortable for all of you. I lay down in the bed w/ them in the crook of my arms. i lean against the head board and 2 pillows. i am dreading to see what my nipples will look like after they wean!

good luck!
lisa
post #11 of 19
I know what you mean about how uncomfortable it is to nurse them to sleep while sitting up. I sat up in the bed, using a nursing pillow, for over a year but then it got to where it took forever for them to go to sleep and my back would start killing me. But if I moved it would wake them up, and I would have to start over again. I cried alot during that time. Then as they got bigger I finally figured out how to tandem nurse while lying on my back. That was a lifesaver, and that's the only way that I nurse them now.

Now that my girls are almost 2, I have been working with them on sleeping without nursing the whole time. I lie down with them and let them nurse for 10-20 minutes. Then I tell them that "nursie is going night-night now", and I put them on their bellies and let them snuggle with stuffed animals. I kind of rock them to sleep by putting my palms on their lower back and gently rocking them. One sometimes just wants me to leave her alone, and will say "no!" She will drift off eventually. The other one sometimes wants me to actually hold and rock her, while I rock the other one on her belly. This has worked great because they still get to nurse, but I don't have to do it for an hour or more! They don't seem to even mind anymore when I stop.

Good luck!
post #12 of 19
Mine are 25 months and I still tandem nurse them to sleep sitting up. I have a wide chair with craftsman-style arms--kind of makes a little fence on either side of me so they can't slide off. They nurse with their legs propped up on the back of the chair on an Easy-2-Nurse pillow. They usually fall asleep fairly quickly--say 10 pf 15 minutes--I don't check, so I don't know. I have a reading light that attaches to a book, and I read while they're nursing. My DH helps me put them in their beds (camp mats on the floor at this point) when they're done. I have tandem nursed them lying on the bed, but I find it painful. And they seem to like going to sleep with their heads touching.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I'll answer the non-twin specific stuff

Sure, nurse to sleep as long as they want/need. No reason to change something that works.

They will grow up. Promise. Nothing special needed to "guide" them to it now.

-Angela
I agree and will add that in my experience there are easier ages to make the transition to a different way of parenting to sleep. The middle of the second year for us both times was all about reconnecting with the breast
post #14 of 19
Oh how I miss the nursing to sleep! My older dd1 nursed to sleep until she was about 2 1/2 years old and she upped and weaned one day on her own. It literally happend within a few days. She still at 5 1/2 likes us to lie down next to her before she sleeps but it will happen, they wont be doing this at age 16!

FF to dd2 Maggie who is 22 months. Maggie didnt like to be nursed to sleep nor lie with her, or anything for that matter. It was a struggle to get her to cuddle with me and calm down until one night I put the struggling tot down for a minute to get something. I turned around and she had found a sleeping position and quieted down and within minutes was asleep. To each her own. so now we put her to sleep for naps and at night and she is happy with this. This was hard for me because of all the cuddling her older sister did to get to nap land and sleep! But Maggie is also more cuddly all day long than her sister.
post #15 of 19
In the past few weeks my twins are not normally nursing to sleep. They are 27 months on Jan 1st... Iam having a heck of a time getting them to sleep now
post #16 of 19
My two are 17months and we still nurse *before* sleep (not *to* sleep). We are currently using my glider and are running out of room, I think that's why they're not actually falling asleep while nursing anymore, it's not very comfy!!! But I haven't figured out an alternative and we enjoy this part of the before bed routine. I hear you on the "let's go out at night" invites! I have found though that if I do need to be out and someone else (usually DH or my mom) needs to put them down it is no problem, I think they are old enough that they don't expect to nurse from anyone other than me.
post #17 of 19
I nurse mine to sleep. They're only 10 months old, and I foresee keeping this up for a good long time. I've learned, in the last few years since DD1 was born, that children move on and give things up (nursing to sleep, nursing, pacifiers, cosleeping, you name it) when they're ready, and that if we wait patiently for them to be ready, they do it all on their own without any interference from us.

I must say, though, that I have been nursing mine to sleep separately. I can't imagine the logistics of nursing them both to sleep tandem, since we do it side-lying. I nurse DD while DS hangs out in the sling with my husband and "helps" with the dishes, and once DD is asleep I come get DS and nurse him to sleep.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I must say, though, that I have been nursing mine to sleep separately. I can't imagine the logistics of nursing them both to sleep tandem, since we do it side-lying. I nurse DD while DS hangs out in the sling with my husband and "helps" with the dishes, and once DD is asleep I come get DS and nurse him to sleep.
You might find that it becomes pretty easy as they get a bit older (and larger - which seems to be the key). I believe my twins were about your twins age when it become possible for me to nurse them both to sleep (one on either side of me). That's how we continue to do it today, although one (as I mentioned before) usually unlatches himself & pops his binky in before actually falling to sleep.
post #19 of 19
my son is 2.5 and still likes to nurse to sleep for naps and bedtime. Sometimes he nurses to sleep and other times he nurses until he is really sleepy and then snuggles close and drifts off to sleep (almost instantly).
We nurse and rock in the glider, and I sing and rub his head or back.

Some kids need the comfort longer - if they were ready to give it up they would. In fact, DS went to sleep one night last week refusing to nurse at all - he had nursed like crazy maybe 20 minutes prior - but he said "no mama milk, mama rock and moon-moon (the song he likes me to sing him)." I was shocked and my heart ached at how big he is getting - he is also potty learning.
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