Sorry this is long -
My dd is 2yrs 4mo old. She still nurses, but two weeks ago we cut out nursing to sleep. I stopped nursing to sleep partly because we're TTC and I want to slowly wean through the beginning of my pregnancy. I also stopped nursing to sleep because she would fall asleep nursing and the timing was really unpredictable - sometime between 9am and 2pm. I wanted a more predictable nap time.
So, how do you get your LO to sleep without nursing?! I don't want to rock her, because she often wakes when we lay her down, and then she'd want to nurse and would be hard to put back to sleep.
Our routine is: nurse, I read her 2 books, she can read a book by herself sitting on her bed, then we turn music on and she's supposed to lie down.
DD is very strong-willed and also very verbal, so she understands what's going on but doesn't want to do it.
If she stays still for more than 2 minutes, she goes to sleep really quickly. But she's crawling around, playing, etc. I've tried lying beside her and rubbing her back, but she doesn't want that until she's almost asleep. So instead she's crawling on me or getting off the bed to play. I've tried putting my arm over her to hold her on the bed, thinking that if she'd give up struggling and be still, she'd fall asleep. But then she gets upset and tries to hit/bite/kick me.
During the day we set limits for her and give her consequences when she disobeys, but I have no idea how to tackle this one. I was hoping she'd quickly settle into it, but she hasn't.
She's definitely not ready to give up her nap - she's never gone a day without a nap, and a few times a month she'll still take a second nap if she woke up early.
Today I got frustrated because she was fighting against me when I'd put her on the bed, so I just put the gate up and told her I'd be back in 5 minutes (I needed to cool off). She cried for a few minutes, but now I can hear her playing. I know that some kids will play for a bit and then lie down and fall asleep, but she's a pretty good sleep fighter, so I'll be pretty surprised if that happens.
Help, mamas! How do you get them to sleep?!
Added: Here's what worked today (and what often works at night - she goes to sleep a lot easier then): there's a recliner in her room, so I told her I was going to lie down and be still and quiet for 20 minutes. I asked her to play quietly while I rested. She ended up sitting on her bed and reading, then singing, then she laid down and went to sleep!
Even when she gives up her nap, I still want us all to have a daily rest time, because I need it! This worked well for today, but I'm sure she won't always calm down and fall asleep .
Laura, Mom to Julia, 3 years, and expecting #2 in June 2011!