Helping LO fall asleep and stay asleep without the boob?!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 03-01-2009, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure where this post belongs...... breastfeeding challenges, nighttime parenting, etc., but here goes:

My one year old cannot fall asleep or stay asleep for longer than 45 minutes during the day or 2 hours at night without nursing (we cosleep and she naps in our bed.) I love nursing and don't think weaning is the answer, but am about at my wits end with the constant round-the-clock breast fest. She wakes up rooting and quickly melts down if my nipple is not within easy reach. She was taking a pacifier, but won't have anything to do with it now.

Will this end on her own timing (will she grow out of it?) and, if so, when? I can't go on much longer like this if the end is not in sight.
Are there things I can do to encourage her to not need me and my breast to stay asleep?

I assumed that teething was part of her frequent wakings, but after 5 months of this situation, I think I should start looking elsewhere for reasons. I'm beginning to think I did something wrong.... Nothing like an unhappy baby and lack of sleep to take a blow at mommy's confidence and ego.

Thanks for your help.
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#2 of 13 Old 03-01-2009, 05:32 PM
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She WILL grow out of it. I remember right around a year being tough with dd too.

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#3 of 13 Old 03-01-2009, 05:37 PM
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Agreed that she will grow out of it. I think that's a tough age. HUGS!

Mama to DS 10/04, DD 12/06, and DD 11/09 my baby
Missing DS 10/08
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#4 of 13 Old 03-02-2009, 03:45 AM
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What they said. Unfortunately, some don't grow out of it for a while. For my DD, falling asleep without the boob was just not an option until she was around 20 months old. That made for a lot of abbreviated evenings out for mama. I found it frustrating at the time, but it passed. Now DH puts her to bed regularly and without incident and I get to go to the gym again. She's 26 months.

Of course I'm having another baby in 3-ish weeks (smacks forehead) so I get to start all over again LOL
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#5 of 13 Old 03-02-2009, 04:24 PM
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Hang in there! I know I've been ready to wean and then something changes so it's not so bad. DS is still nursing to sleep at 2 1/2 but I can at least get my boob back after he falls asleep now.

Now it's body heat or something so I STILL can't move away from him during naps, but at least I don't have to deal with constant boob-chewing.

I think you are at a tough age both developmentally and with teeth - rest assured things will change - best of luck to you!
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#6 of 13 Old 03-02-2009, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your encouragement and thoughts! I really appreciate your honesty and hope that others will chime in even if your experience is not exactly what I want to hear right now. I don't have any close friends or family who have breastfed this long, so it's nice just to know others have been here and survived.

Please keep any thoughts coming!
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#7 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 04:58 AM
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(((hugs))) I know what you are going through. My 13 month lo is the same. She won't to to sleep without nursing EVER!
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#8 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 08:08 AM
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DS is the same, though naps have gotten a lot better. Still, I kind of like our time before bed. It makes me slow down, and just snuggle with him. It's really nice. Now, I admit that the 4th time in the middle of the night it is not quite as nice, but I am choosing to focus on the positives here.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#9 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 02:00 PM
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Oh, yes! My daughter is 16 months old and still nurses TONS!!! Tons! It has been starting to be a little annoying and she just will not sleep with out being nursed down unless I am not around and Daddy rocks her to sleep, but she cries alot so I have to not be there or I will just take her and nurse her!

At night, she wakes up alot and cries looking for me... I just trust that she will slow it down when she is ready.. my son did, he was much easier to put to sleep without the boob...

Hang in there.. I just remind myself that this time passes so quickly and these intimate little cuddle moments will be gone forever some day, so I try to cherish it as much as possible..
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#10 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 02:37 PM
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It's not my favorite. I'm in the "this too shall pass" phase. When I'm getting really frustrated I think, "When she is a teenager and we are having problems I'm going to wish that I still had this solution."

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#11 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 06:48 PM
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My daughter is 16.5 months and the past few months have been terrible. Nursing all the time, unable to fall asleep even when she IS nursing sometimes, leaving her to nurse for like an hour and a half straight (or, hey, all night long!). I think it's teething, etc.

I try very hard to appreciate it but sometimes it's difficult. She never falls asleep without her milkies and it's pretty exhausting. But it will pass. I've been told that 18mo is a magic age for a lot of kids.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

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#12 of 13 Old 03-03-2009, 10:52 PM
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I agree it may be something you have to wait out.

However. If you get really desperate, but are not yet ready to wean, you could consider letting your DH do the nighttime parenting for a little while. There may be some tough nights, be it IS doable, and your child will not be alone.

I had to do this. I felt like I was losing my sanity. Breastfeeding, Co-sleeping, Momma doing all the Nighttime parenting are all wonderful things for a time, but if YOU are not healthy, you can't be healthy for your LO. I needed a change. If you do that, I don't think there is any shame in it. You are doing what is best for your DC by keeping yourself sane
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#13 of 13 Old 03-06-2009, 05:23 PM
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Your DD will grow out of it eventually. My DD was a terrible sleeper for well over a year... unless she was right next to mama, able to nurse whenever she needed it!

A few things that helped save my sanity:
  • Remembering that she needed it. This isn't something you've done to yourself or your daughter - this is simply what she needs right now. Everyone else that I knew at the time had babies that didn't need to nurse as often as my DD, especially at night and during naps. My DD simply needed it, so I had to remind myself that this was simply something she needed.
  • Co-sleeping. I know this is tough for you right now, but trust me when I say the situation would be a lot worse if you weren't doing that.
  • Transitioning from two naps to one after she started walking (her choice). Suddenly, she went from taking two very short (30-45 minutes) naps to one 1.5-2 hour-long naps. This was nothing short of a miracle for me! :
  • Bringing a book in to read when she nursed to sleep at night so that I wouldn't go crazy and try to chew my own boob off in an attempt to escape.
  • Putting her to sleep on her crib mattress on the floor at around 16 months, then rolling away when she fell asleep. After a few months she finally started feeling more comfortable sleeping alone for a few hours during naptime or at night). I still bring her in to our bed when she wakes up around 12:30 a.m. or so each night, but she generally sleeps with zero (or maybe one) wake-ups prior to that.

I know this is a hard time for you right now. But please remember you're doing the right thing by honoring your daughter's needs! And it does get better! Some kids just take longer than others.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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