Falling asleep without the breast? Please help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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HI all,


I need help!!!!

I need to help my DS (2 yrs-3 months) to fall asleep without nursing!!!!

I cannot do it anymore!!! I can't nurse him for 40 minutes,sometimes longer and have him squeezing, pinching, grabbing the other breast. I feel really bad and guilty but the truth is that I am tired of it. I feel exhausted and have gotten to the point where I don't want to have my breasts touched so much....I am realizing I am getting angry and resentful and that is not good for either of us.....:-( 

I am happy to nurse him before bed/nap but feel like I want him to be able to fall asleep some other way.

I am realizing that lately I am not so nice and patient with him while he tries to fall asleep and feel guilty and like a bad mom.

Any ideas? Any success stories of change please????!!!!!!


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#2 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 08:11 PM
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Wanted to get out a reply to you because I know how you feel! I'm not sure that I have any concrete suggestions but we have managed to switch to nursing then going to sleep. We cosleep. Ds is 23 months old. He has recently really become interested in trains so we take a couple train books to bed, read them, nurse, then I tell him "All Finished, time for Sleep!" most of the time he will release and then lay there with me to go to sleep, sometimes I have to unlatch him myself.

I started doing this a few months ago when his two year molars were coming in, the comfort nursing was tearing me up and so painful!!! So when he had his share of milk I would encourage him to stop before too much comfort nursing. He is kinda a laid back kid so it has gone well. If I remember with my daughter I think I had to read books after nursing. She was maybe a bit older, over 2 and I explained to her that nursing was not helping her sleep so we would nurse then read then sleep. I think she accepted it pretty well too although she is not at all laid back, especially about going to sleep.

So not sure if I am much help! It will happen though, good luck!

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#3 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for replying....

It helps to know that it will eventually happen... :-)

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#4 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 11:22 AM
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I am subbing for ideas, too. I know how you feel! I recently set a limit with DS that he could only have milk in his bed, not in mommy & daddy's bed. So if he wants to come to our bed during the night that is fine, but no milk. He has accepted that, and has fallen back to sleep without nursing (in our bed) a few times in the middle of the night the past few days. I've had to set a few limits like that because like you I was feeling totally tapped out and done. I had to do something about it because I was getting resentful and unhappy. I think our next step is night weaning, but I'd love to have some other ideas on how to get him to go back to sleep without nursing before I attempt it. You are not alone!

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#5 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 01:24 PM
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I don't know if I have any "advice", but DD finally learned to fall asleep boobless at about 2 years 2 months!  She had started daycare about a month and a half before, and they nap them there, obviously without nursing, and she had no trouble with that.  She still nursed to sleep at night, but it was the ONLY time of day she was nursing.  At night when she asked I'd gently defer the question with distractions or other ideas - how about just hair?  Another book? - which worked sometimes and not others.  But then one day she started preferring "hair not nurse" (she played with my hair as she fell asleep) and before I knew it, she never asked to nurse at all.


She started learning to sleep without me lying next to her about a month ago - at about 30 months.  Also successful and tear-free!

Charlotte, mommy to Maggie (July 15th 2008) and Una (July 19th 2011)!
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#6 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 08:48 PM
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Subbing :)

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#7 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 09:57 PM
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I don't know if this is helpful, but I'll offer my experience.  DD started to fall asleep post-nursing at about 10 months, DS just recently at almost 15.  DD did this pretty much on her own, she'd be done nursing and still awake, whereas with DS, he was getting to this place where he'd just nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse--like we're talking 90+ minutes every night--and still be awake and I just could NOT take it anymore because his nursing sessions were sucking up all my time.  In any case, with both kids I started to put them down in the crib awake but WITH crib soothers.  They both had a music box from their mobile and the old-school Fisher Price Aquarium soother, positioned so they could turn them on while laying down.  DS in particular did not like this going-to-sleep-by-himself business and would fuss and squawk at us for quite awhile at first (but not cry, really ,just more like loud expressive grumping).  But now I can put him down when his tummy is full and he's sleepy and he'll lay there and watch the aquarium and listen to his music, babble for awhile, and will fall asleep just in the same place I put him.


FWIW, at first DD would only do this at bedtime, whereas with DS, at first he would only do it in the middle of the night after a nightwaking when he was reeeally drowsy.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#8 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 10:38 PM
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DS is finally night weaned which seemed like a very long, sleepless process..
he will be 2 tomorrow and hasn't nursed for about a week and a half.

The first few nights there was a lot of crying, but strangely he didn't ask to nurse as much as I thought he would. Our problem was that he was used to nursing to sleep, and he is a very active boy so unless he was nursing he didn't want to be still or lay down. It sounds terrible, but I had to hold him and rock him and yeah, he cried. I don't do CIO and never have, but I don't feel like thats what we were doing because even though he was crying, I was right there holding him. He knew he wasn't being abandoned. This is what I resorted to after several hours of reading, singing, and every two seconds saying "lay down sweetie". He didn't get to sleep before midnight for the first five days or so.

But it has been getting shorter and shorter, and tonight what worked was bath, bedtime tea (its an herbal toddler mix I got from an herb shop) quiet playing and looking at books in bed for 30 minutes, then I read one long-ish story, turned off the light and told him the story of when he was born (tomorrow is his birthday- other nights I tell him other stories. He seems to like me to tell him the plots and play-by-plays of his favorite movies smile.gif ) he went to sleep before 9 and with no tears.

Before he was weaned he was waking up 2-3 times at night to nurse. Now that he is weaned, he is not waking up at all, or if he is, he just goes back to sleep on his own. We co-sleep (Me and DH in a queen, DS in a twin pushed up to our bed so its like one huge bed) and he starts out on his side of the bed and ends up either closer to me on our bed or between me and DH so he must wake up at some point but is figuring out how to go back to sleep. Now our issue is that he is getting up at 645 every morning.. he used to sleep until 830 or 9!

 treehugger.gif *CPST*  mama to my three year old DS1 broc1.gif1.31.09 and wedded to angel 8.07  hola.gif

DS 2  waterbirth.jpg 8/18/12!!


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#9 of 9 Old 01-31-2011, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!!!

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