3 yr. old only nurses to sleep. what does clw sleep look like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 12-08-2009, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all. my 37 month old dd still needs the breast and only the breast to sleep. any mention of learning how to sleep without "mimis" results in cries of alarm and resistance. i still enjoy nursing her to sleep, though at times it is an overwhelming responsibility to be the only person on planet earth who can put her to sleep/back to sleep. yet, i don't want to persuade her to sleep without me if she is not ready and i am committed to clw.

my question: what does it look like for a child who is so intent on the breast to eventually learn to sleep on their own? it is just so hard for me to imagine her crawling into bed and falling asleep by herself, or even to be put to bed with lots of cuddles and books and no mimi. again, i don't want to force this process. i just feel very isolated in the method we are using, and don't know of anyone who has walked this path ahead of me. so what does it look like for a child to gradually, lovingly, self-appointedly make the transition from nursing to sleep to falling asleep without mama's milk?

it is so hard in a culture awash with self-soothing techniques, to still commit to being so physically available to a young child. it is a rare friend who understands the choice i am making to still nurse freely. it seems everyone i know night weans at some point. luckily, my dh is highly supportive of the the bond between my dd and myself and deeply agrees with me that filling her emotional need to nurse is a really beautiful and useful gift. still, i feel like i am in unknown territory and would love to hear some stories to help guide me on my way. thanks so much------
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#2 of 18 Old 12-08-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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Well, I'm not sure if this will be useful to you, but my 2 1/2 ds and I are in a similar situation. He nurses to sleep (and back to sleep) 95% of the time. Just by chance, however I discovered that sometimes he'll fall asleep when I'm telling him stories (lights out, snuggled up together in bed--reading stories with the lights on doesn't have the same impact) I think if I get motivated to help him fall asleep on his own regularly, we'll expand on this. One of our favorites is "sleepy-time bus" (imagine Mr. Rogers driving a bus to pick up your child and all their friends/family and you've got the idea--very slow and soothing tale) Or you can retell favorite book-stories from memory or make up your own.

Hopefully, others will chime in and give you some more suggestions...
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#3 of 18 Old 12-08-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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My oldest daughter was nursed to sleep every single night of her life up to 21 months old. Then I got a job from 5 to 10:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. I was so worried that my husband wouldn't be able to get her to sleep. I'll always remember coming home that first night to find them both asleep in our bed with a book still propped between them.

She continued to nurse to sleep when I was there until she was almost 3.

BTW, all my children now go to sleep by themselves and the teenagers often go to sleep after I do, and sleep all night.
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#4 of 18 Old 12-08-2009, 05:59 PM
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My DD, just turned 4, nursed to sleep and when she was waking in the morning up until the end of September. Then she stopped really drinking milk. She 'd latch on then smile and say all done. She kept this up for a couple of months before stopping completely. The first 2 weeks of going to sleep with out nursing was difficult. She'd pull the covers over her head and wiggle around. Then she started cuddling my arm and going to sleep easier. The first of September I had no idea she was about to wean herself. She was still nursing to sleep anytime she went to sleep. Mid summer I would have predicted DD would be closer to 5 when she weaned.
A few days after my DD's 4th birthday, Nov. 17, she decided she wanted to sleep in her bed. She's only been back in our bed once. We started by laying with her, but now she wants a few stories and cuddles my hand while I sit by her bed. I'm still having abit of trouble sleeping without her little feet touching my leg, but she's out for 10 hours each night.
We never night weaned or put any limits on nursing at all. Actually we hadn't started talking about weaning yet. Little ones just stop nursing when they are ready. And they decide they want their own sleeping space when they're ready too. And either thing can be sudden when they reach that point. Most of what I've read seems to say a lot of kids are more gradual than my DD was. I was surprised, but DD is fine.
So enjoy your snuggly nursing to sleep relationship while you have it.
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#5 of 18 Old 12-09-2009, 05:10 PM
 
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I'm in the same place with my 37 month old, and I'm curious too! I don't mind, my back just starts to hurt some nights.
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#6 of 18 Old 12-10-2009, 05:10 AM
 
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My 10 month old DD needs to nurse to sleep if I'm there, but if I'm not home DH can easily get her to sleep by patting her down. It often takes me over an hour to nurse her down, but he can get her to sleep in less than 20 minutes. That said, he usually only puts her down for naps, I've put her to sleep at night 95% of the time.
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#7 of 18 Old 12-18-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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we started a routine when my daughter was a year old. I would nurse her, then my DH would read her a story and put her down to bed. So nursing wasn't the last thing right before bed. It worked really well for us. She does still wake up once or twice, but now at 3.5, she just has a little nurse and then puts herself back down. It's worked really well for us!
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#8 of 18 Old 12-18-2009, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for replying everyone.

and let me reinstate that i'm not looking for techniques to teach dd to sleep on her own.

more, i'm looking for stories from mamas who have a kid who was intent on nursing, where the mama made no limitations on nursing, no attempt to night wean---and i'm wondering how it unfolded naturally in those situations. when/how did the child stop nursing to sleep/back to sleep and start to be able to sleep by themselves, without any extra effort from mama.

thank you ssh for your story. real heartwarming to hear how your dd made the choice on her own to stop nursing and to sleep on her own. that's exactly the kind of story i find to be very supportive of where i am at right now. i want to choice to be all dd's and i just wanted to hear that that was possible! we are still enjoying our snuggly relationship while we have it.
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#9 of 18 Old 01-03-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teresaaregan View Post
thanks for replying everyone.

and let me reinstate that i'm not looking for techniques to teach dd to sleep on her own.

more, i'm looking for stories from mamas who have a kid who was intent on nursing, where the mama made no limitations on nursing, no attempt to night wean---and i'm wondering how it unfolded naturally in those situations. when/how did the child stop nursing to sleep/back to sleep and start to be able to sleep by themselves, without any extra effort from mama.

thank you ssh for your story. real heartwarming to hear how your dd made the choice on her own to stop nursing and to sleep on her own. that's exactly the kind of story i find to be very supportive of where i am at right now. i want to choice to be all dd's and i just wanted to hear that that was possible! we are still enjoying our snuggly relationship while we have it.
i totally get your question. my dd is almost 3 and still nurses to sleep as well. i figure it isnt hurting anything and most of the time we both enjoy the time we share. i'm not sure what it will look like, but i know right now sometimes she will nurse then pop off awake, roll over and go to sleep. before she would just suck and suck forever, now if shes tired (she is also dropping her nap sometimes) then she nurses for less than 5 minutes and shes out. i'm sure we're getting close, it seems. i'm also nursing her little brother so juggling 2 at night is a bit much, and i think she gets that sometimes she would rather just try to sleep than wait for her turn. (most of the time they go to bed at different times so this happened maybe one or two times.) we still cosleep and we never did the night weaning. she has always been a good sleeper unless she was sick/teething/upset so we never needed to.

mama to one '07 and one '09
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#10 of 18 Old 01-04-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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Well, I posted up thread, but things have been shifting already. DS has been nursing for a few minutes at night, then turning over so his back is against my chest and drifting to sleep. Seemless, easy, all on his own accord. I like it!
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#11 of 18 Old 01-04-2010, 12:16 AM
 
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My dd will be 5 in April...she had stopped nursing to sleep at 2.5, but went back to it around age 3 and still nurses to sleep. But she sleeps all night and of course this is the only time she nurses, other than first thing in the morning. We are CLW, but she doesn't show many signs of losing interest . Not sure if this helps...
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#12 of 18 Old 01-06-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by treespeak View Post
Well, I posted up thread, but things have been shifting already. DS has been nursing for a few minutes at night, then turning over so his back is against my chest and drifting to sleep. Seemless, easy, all on his own accord. I like it!
This is what happened with both of my children as they slowly weaned themselves from the nursing to sleep session. With DD it was much more rapid than with DS, but they just slowly started pulling off themselves when done nursing but still awake and then cuddling up (usually rolling over first) to me before falling asleep. With DS, esp, after a while I could leave during that time (as long as DP was available to cuddle) and it wasn't a big deal.

 

 

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#13 of 18 Old 01-20-2010, 04:39 AM
 
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I don't knwo if this is considered CLW, but when my daughter was 2 my husband started putting her to bed. She would have a bath, I'd nurse her and say goodnight and then my husband would take her to bed and read her a story and sing a song. Now I can nurse her right before bed and she goes to sleep reight after that!
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#14 of 18 Old 01-20-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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I don't have time to read through all the other responses so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but I'll tell you our story.

My daughter was formula fed so a bottle before bed was always necessary...which turned into cow's milk in a sippy. She would not go to bed without! Now that she is older and is really starting to enjoy longer stories (Robert Munsch, Berenstain Bears etc) we have put a story into her bedtime routine. She usually has her milk after supper, plays for a bit, then bath/shower, story, bed. We did the CLW I guess (don't offer, don't refuse) without even realizing it

Dad putting her to bed is a good idea too...I know of a few BFing moms that that has worked for. Maybe you could leave the house, with the agreement that if it gets bad you'll return? I don't really know...I am breastfeeding right now, but he's only 4months old. Good luck!
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#15 of 18 Old 01-20-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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DD was about 3 1/2 when she started going to sleep without nursing.
It just kindof happened. We set up a spare bed in the toy room ( we cosleep)
DD said that she wanted to sleep there. I tucked her in and kissed her goodnight thinking she would be out to nurse in a few minutes.
I went back in and she was asleep. She still nursed alot and coslept after that but she just kind of stopped asking and I didn't offer at that time.
DD still nurses occasionally but during my last pregnancy she kind of lot her latch and is only able to catch the letdown now.

With DS he was almost 3 and just started wanting to go to bed with DD.
No tears or anything same as DD. I was waiting for him to come down to nurse but he didn't. It didn't happen all at once it was gradual. On the nights he would ask I would, those nights just got fewer and fewer.
DS still nurses during the night some but it is generally 10 seconds roll over and go back to sleep.
At just over 3 he still nurses to sleep occasionally when he falls asleep during a normal nursing if he is really tired.

Sorry so long I hope this is what you were looking for.

Mommy to Petunia 11/04 Bug 10/06 Button 11/09 and  Sweetie pea 12/11 DW to J :

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#16 of 18 Old 01-23-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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Well, I didn't read all the PP. My DD is 4 1/2 yo. still nurse to sleep and for wake up (80- 90% of the time).I'm fine with that, because it's her time to nurse and didn't nurse during the day. Sometimes she skipped a day or two. I know She is not going to nurse for long and the weaning day is approaching.

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#17 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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thank you for asking this question. It has been very re-assuring to me to read these comments. I have a 2 1/2 y/o son who needs the breast to get to sleep. My husband is supportive of CLW but at times it is frustrating. It is nice to know I am not the only one out there dealing with this... not looking to force the issue... but needs to know that it will and does work in time.
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#18 of 18 Old 01-28-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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At 37 months, I'd say this is exactly what clw looks like. Remember every child is different though. Enjoy the process if you can. They are such a wonder at how they change. I posted my weaning story a few weeks ago. A year ago, I thought dd was going to nurse until she was 7 or something, she loved my "milks". But before I realized it was happening, it happened. I didn't try anything or worry about it. She goes to sleep after a story and kiss goodnight, and that's it. Enjoy, because anytime we can let our kids do child-led anything, we are witness to miracles. You are right, it is difficult to have confidence in what we are giving our children because it is rare. Thank goodness for this supportive forum, it is where I've always turned!
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