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#1 of 27 Old 03-09-2005, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 21 months old, He has nursed to sleep almost everynight of his life (and for naps too). The few times he hasn't nursed to sleep he has either just passed out from exhaustion while playing (at like 11:30 or midnight), or fallen asleep in the car and transferred to his bed.

I don't really have a problem nrsing him to sleep, I jsut have a few concerns, number one is if he doesn't nurse to sleep how do I get him to sleep? Over the past few months he has become increasingly harder to set nursing limits. If I ask him to wait or try to distract him he gets very angry and throws a tantrum. Usually I just let him nurse because it isn't worth fighting over (but I know that this is a terrible trap to get into, I need to be consistant, either lets him nurse or don't, don't say no then yes). But sometimes, the nursing is excessive. Like 10+ times a day. He doesn't nurse at night, he sleeps through. But he nurses a lot during the day if we are home, if we are out and about, he nurses less.

Second, should he be going to sleep without nursing at this point. I don't want to develop bad habits, and I see very few children his age still nursing to sleep. I just have no idea what to do. And of course I am the only one who can put him to bed.

Our routine is this:

Dinner
Bath/Play (depending on the night)
stories
nurse

When he has fallen asleep I delatch him, DH takes him to his bed. He has never gone to bed awake, only fully asleep. The other thing he (DS) will do is I will nurse him and delatch him when I think he is done but he will "wake up" barely, climb off my lap, lay on the floor and go back to sleep. I am not even sure if he is even awake when he does that, but again we have ot wait until he is 100% back to sleep, then we move him to his bed.

I don't know exactly what I am asking, I guess what I am asking, is should I wean him from nursing to sleep?, How would I do that? What should we do instead?

Thanks

Nicki wife to Rich, Mama to 7 y/o DS, and a beautiful Princess Aug 2010
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#2 of 27 Old 03-09-2005, 06:34 PM
 
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Weaning is a personal decision. It is normal for 2 and 3 years old to nurse to sleep, it's not a bad habit. Breastfeeding is a behavior that children outgrow.

Nursing 10+ times a day may not be excessive since he is sleeping through the night. Sometimes you can't have it both ways - sleeping through the night and not nursing much during the day

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#3 of 27 Old 03-09-2005, 06:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans
Weaning is a personal decision. It is normal for 2 and 3 years old to nurse to sleep, it's not a bad habit. Breastfeeding is a behavior that children outgrow.

Nursing 10+ times a day may not be excessive since he is sleeping through the night. Sometimes you can't have it both ways - sleeping through the night and not nursing much during the day
Thanks! I was just feeling a little weird since no one I know still nurses their toddler to sleep. And I know it is a trade off that he sleeps through the night and wants to nurse more, I guess some of the comments about him not needing to nurse that much is getting to me.... I think I need a LLL meeting.... :

But I would be interested in hearing how other people have weaned their child from nursing to sleep (NOT WEANING FROM BF jsut form doing it to sleep).

Thanks!

Nicki wife to Rich, Mama to 7 y/o DS, and a beautiful Princess Aug 2010
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#4 of 27 Old 03-09-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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After going through ALOT of sleeping and nursing issues, we Ferberized DD at 16 months and she slept 10 hrs at night and nursed 2x a day, BUT this lasted only for 3 months. I know ferberizing isn't popular here and I'm not advocating it, just sharing what we did to start.

Then, all of a sudden she woke up, having tantrums in the middle of the night and asked to nurse several times a a day too. This was for about 6 weeks where we were sitting up holding her while she slept (similar to her newborn days) or I would sleep on the LR floor and let her play in the middle of the night and she came and lied down next to me and fussed, but finally fell asleep.

When she got through this phase (not sure if it was developmental or what) she would sleep in her crib half the night (still went to sleep on her own in her crib with us sitting in the chair in her room), but she was expecting to be nursed so would wake up in the middle of the night and come to my bed. Then, last week I decided to work towards weaning DD completely, starting with nightweaning for good. She didn't cry as much as I thought and understood that milkies were done and it's time to sleep. She wasn't in pain or anything, she just wanted to sleep, so I would tuck my shirt in and tell her to put head on the pillow next to mine and pat her and rub her back. When people used to tell me to do this a year ago, I used to laugh and say, "yeah right, rub her and pat her to sleep?!"

Well, she caught on very quickly, and now this week she is sleeping all night again. I guess you could say what I tried this time is similar to the Jay Gordon method, where you are gentley letting them learn to sleep without nursing, and it's while cosleeping.

The main thing is that you have to keep trying. If he's having tantrums,wait a few weeks and try again. That is exactly what we had to do. DC and/or you may not be ready, but when you are both ready just be consistent, patient, understanding and loving. They will get it!

Oh, and naps are another story, but we stopped nursing for naps last summer when I would either stroll her or she would sleep in the car. Then, as the weather got colder I had to stay indoors, so now I walk around with her and when she's asleep put her down on my bed, she sleeps for an hour and a half. She was a 30 min napper for her 1st year or so, so I never thought we'd get to this day.
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#5 of 27 Old 03-13-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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My ds (27months) still nurses at bedtime, and nurses to sleep for naps. I can't think of a reason I would want to do it any other way, is there a specific reason you think you should stop? It isn't a bad habit. I look at it as the absolutely best ever tool for helping him to sleep. He used to nurse to a deep sleep before I put him down but around 18 months started going down in a lighter state of drowsiness and now he will even open his eyes, say good night and pull his blankie around him then drift off to sleep. So it eventually evolves into going to bed awake after nursing instead of truly "nursing to sleep". It's a very nice way to end his day. I wouldn't worry about it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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#6 of 27 Old 03-13-2005, 01:59 PM
 
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I have no suggestions for you, I just wanted to let you know that I still nurse my 3 year old to sleep. Honestly I don't even worry if it is normal or if anyone else is doing it. All I know is that it gets him to bed without any struggle and it works for us! If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Do whatever works for you and if you're ok with the way things are, don't give it a second thought

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#7 of 27 Old 03-13-2005, 10:28 PM
 
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Ds is 16 months and nurses to sleep (although g-ma and papa can get him down for naps without the boob and he's never taken a bottle...) and I have been wondering a little about this issue myself! Thanks velcromom for the words about your little one drifting off... I was mostly wondering how it would shift for him. Would it get harder as he kept nursing to sleep to finally need to let it go? Kind of like breaking a habit is for me? But the picture of your ds just easing on out and still enjoying mama cuddles is just beautiful. I feel happy right now!
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#8 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 08:13 AM
 
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Your choice to nurse to sleep is normal and generous and your child's wish to nurse to sleep is normal and normal and normal!!!!

My nursing toddler was a few months older than yours when she first fell asleep without nursing (by her choice,) and it was several more months after that before she fell asleep regularly without nursing (also by her choice, although sometimes I would ask her not to if I was too exhausted. After about age 2 she was able emotionally to deal with that fine.) (This paragraph edited for clarity.)

The reason you don't know many nursing toddlers is that Western cultures are extremely messed up when it comes to nursing. Those mothers that nurse at all rarely last more than a few months due to family or others pressuring them to wean, bad advice from relatives or health workers, etc....

Nursing to sleep is a WONDERFUL, normal, generous, blissful, healthy habit, in my experience.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#9 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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Well, I wish I could help to answer your question. I asked a similar one not too long ago and didn't receive much advice myself. I am pregnant, my milk is gone and I'm not feeling like tandem nursing is going to be for me. There has to be someone out there whose toddler used to nurse to sleep and somehow found another way to get to sleep?!

Marie-Mom to two boys and a girl.
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#10 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 03:02 PM
 
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Well I hope I don't upset too many people with my comments but I think I was in the same position you are.....
I had always nursed my son to sleep with the few times he fell asleep on his own....VERY FEW. I had to return to work when my son was a year old and I had allot of concerns. One was that he was still waking up at least once in the middle of the night to nurse we slept together so it wasn't too big of an issue but I was always still able to sleep in to recover that lost sleep. I loved nursing him to sleep and totally enjoyed nursing him. My other concern was how he was going to go to sleep for his naps when I went back to work and what kind of withdrawal and abandonment would he have to go through when I returned to work or if DH and I ever wanted to go out in the evening and were not home in time for his bed time. I was worried I was also being unfair to him.
I returned to work and I was SO worn out! I got to the point where I would be exhausted and cranky when he woke me up in the middle of the night to nurse. He was 20 months old when I decided there would be no more night feedings. He was going the entire day not nursing why did he have to nurse at night? It was a comfort thing but it just was no longer working for me. So I stopped feeding him in the middle of the night and when I did that he completely stopped nursing...weaned himself. So then we had to figure another way to put him down for bed time.
Now I lay with him read him a story and cuddle him. Once he is asleep I leave. HOWEVER I usually fall asleep with him 9-9:30pm at night and don't move to my own bed till 1am or so. Then he wakes up for some reason and is usually in bed with us by 3am.
I will say this is very difficult on the marriage. My husband and I spend no time together alone. I fall asleep in his rooms weekdays and weekends and have to be woken up if he wants to talk to me and usually by then I am so exhausted and ready for sleep that he is better just to leave me sleeping.

SOOO....where as I adore my son and cherish every minute together,cuddling,sleeping whatever I think I have done him wrong in the sleep department. He is to a point where he doesn't like to sleep alone and can not put himself to sleep. I don't like that. I would like him to feel secure enough that if he is tired and I am still busy that he can lay down and put himself to sleep. 99% of the time it isn't a problem to lay down and put him to sleep but sometimes there are other things I need to be doing and it would be SO much easier if he could fall asleep on his own. My husband went through a real withdrawal when I removed the TV from our room because he would watch it till he fell asleep and then wake up sometime in the night to turn it off....I am worried about putting my son through the same thing.
I am not sure I have taught him the right way to soothe himself and let himself relax into sleep. However quite honestly....I don't know how to do that!

It is totally your choice what you do here. I know allot of the mothers are going to think I am nuts for wanting him to be able to soothe himself and to be somewhat independant....but I also know there are times when I am jealous of the parents who read their children a book give them a kiss and hug and let them fall to sleep on their own.

I think sleep and the habits they form are huge! However it wasn't till my son was at least ten months old that I realized it was something you have to teach them!! Sorry about that.
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#11 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 03:12 PM
 
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My oldest was 2 year 7 months old when my second was born. Before the baby was born dh would read and I would nurse my dd. She would drift off and then stay asleep after we left. She temporalily weaned 3 weeks before her sister was born and we would snuggle and read to her until she feel asleep. When she permantly weaned we would read to her and then snuggle her until she was asleep.

W/ my second dd she nursed to sleep until she weaned. I was sad when she weaned because it got rid of my quick and easy method of getting her to sleep. I could get her to sleep in less then 5 minutes. We did/do the same thing w/ her that we did w/ our oldest. She gets stories and then snuggles until she falls asleep.

On a side note we bought our girls double beds when they were ready fir them instead of toddler beds or twin beds because then dh or I can comfortably lay down w/ them at night to get them to sleep.

I have to say in my opinion and experience don't rush your baby away! There will be a time in the not so distant future when you are going to wish that you could nurse and snuggle your little one to sleep. My oldest still wants me to snuggle her most nights but I can see that she is soon going to end that on me. It's my one time during the day when everything else stops and I get to just relax and be close to them.
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#12 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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I first want to say that everything I've done regarding nursing/weaning has been done because I felt in my mama gut that it was right, and not until then did I continue with any changes I've made in nursing habits. I think you should do the same - follow your instincts. You'll know when the time is right or not.

I stopped nursing DD (now 28 mos.) to sleep a couple of months ago. She's always needed to be completely to sleep before I could delatch her and she was taking an hour, sometimes, to completely fall asleep. She had a queen-sized bed (our guest bed) in her room, so I'd lie there nursing her until she fell asleep and then sneak out. I knew the Jay Gordon method would not work with DD. If I delatched her in any state of consciousness, she'd fully wake up if she didn't get my boob back in her mouth. So, I stopped nursing her to sleep (at night only) cold turkey. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. She cried hard, out of frustration of not getting her way, for a few minutes, but soon calmed down to just fussing and then trying to fall asleep. The first night took 25 minutes - a great improvement from nursing her to sleep. I was nursing her during nightwakings, but I cut those out (sort of ) 2 weeks ago.

Now, she doesn't ask to nurse, but it does still take her a really long time to settle down and go to sleep. And, I still have to be right there until she is COMPLETELY asleep.

I knew I needed to get out of that bed with her, if I was ever going to be able to just lie her down and leave the room with her awake. So, 2 weeks ago she showed real interest in a toddler bed at the store. We made a huge deal about her getting a Dora toddler bed. She even carried the computer-printed picture through the store, looking for it. Long story short, it's still been a rollercoaster, but we are moving in the right direction. She thinks I'm too big to lie in bed with her, so I sit next to the bed. I plan on, eventually, moving to the rug, to the door, etc.

I know she's emotionally capable of handling it because, at my mother's house, she's gone to sleep on her own after my mom walked out of the room. She's just very able to manipulate me.
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#13 of 27 Old 03-14-2005, 10:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsonsmama
it wasn't till my son was at least ten months old that I realized it was something you have to teach them!!

I have to disagree with this. Sleep is a function of the central nervous system, and when this system is mature enough to allow deep long periods of sleep and falling/getting back to sleep independently, a child will do so. You can't teach neurons to make connections. Not having the ability to soothe themself to sleep or back to sleep before the age of two or later is not evidence of a "bad habit" it is evidence of their physiological state of development. Of course you can teach a child to ignore his body's signals of rousing during the night, if you choose. Or, you can use methods to influence their sleep pattern that don't go against their natural inclination so much as to cause serious resistance. Studies show that the central nervous system governing sleep is mature enough to result in the ability to calm themselves back to sleep after night wakings by between age 2-3.

The Sleep Patterns of Normal Children, Armstrong KL, Quinn RA & Dadds MR. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

I personally don't think teaching a child to disregard the signals of his body is a great idea whether it be in regards to sleeping, eating, illness or whatever. Most of these things are self regulated in a healthy manner unless the process is interrupted and taken over by a different system, and the person becomes less aware of thier own body's needs and rhythms.

Ok, got off topic a bit but to bring it back around... I've heard from many moms who nursed toddlers to sleep up until the development of their ability to fall asleep independently, usually right on track sometime in the second year or sometimes a bit later, so I know it will eventually happen. No worries! Things get intense sometimes during needy periods but progress does happen in bursts, then a bit of a setback, then another lurch forward, on it goes. I used the Pantley pull-off as a tool to accustom ds to unlatching before completely asleep. Of course he protested enthusiastically at first but the advice the book gave worked - it took about 3 weeks of serious patience, though. He got used to it without tears. It took all my patience, make no mistake, it was a test for me. I'm glad we did it though, having the ability to look back and see how it created a foundation from which he is still progressing. It also reduce the amount of time I needed to spend nursing him before he could be put down. That was a HUGE step forward and reduced my frustration a lot.
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#14 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 09:50 AM
 
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Well put velcromom.

Here's another interesting article by an anthropologist (although I disagree with some her points such as her premise that NO toddler will sleep through the night until age 3, still on the whole she makes excellent points)

Quote:
No doubt about it, the gap between what our culture teaches us to expect of the sleep patterns of a young child (read them a story, tuck them in, turn out the light, and not see them again for 8 hours) and the reality of how children actually sleep if healthy and normal, yawns widely. ...

(1) Not sleeping through the night until they are 3 or 4 years of age is normal and healthy behavior for human infants.
(2) Your children are not being difficult or manipulative, they are being normal and healthy, and behaving in ways that are appropriate for our species.


http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html

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#15 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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It's true our culture has uniquely harsh expectations about infant sleep. Interesting that we are one of the cultures with sleep issues in adulthood. Related? I think so.


I'm not sure Dettwyler is saying toddlers won't sleep all night til age 3-4, seems like she is pointing out that if they don't, it is normal and healthy. (but I did not reread the article just now so I may be misremembering her gist).


If a mom has a baby who is willing to nurse to sleep, she is blessed with a wonderful tool. Rejecting the best tool in your belt is sort of silly. It's like my dh having a super turbo drill driver, but insisting on driving in screws with a marshmallow so he doesn't get in the "bad habit" of using the drill driver. :LOL I'd think he was nuts. Likewise he'd think I was nuts if one night I said, "I'm not gonna nurse ds to sleep tonight. I know it works great, but I'll do something less effective." He'd be

Some moms have babies who won't nurse to sleep at all... it's not a road I'd choose to go down when I don't have to.

Nursing to sleep isn't pleasant every time or every moment for most moms but when problems come up they can be dealt with. Sometimes the solution has to do with baby, sometimes it is just a shift of POV on mom's part that can make a difference. It's like the rest of parenting - not a walk in the park all the time but worth it in the end.
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#16 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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ITA Velcromom. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but it was this sentence I was referring to:

Quote:
Normal, healthy, breastfed and co-sleeping children do not sleep "through the night" (say 7-9 hours at a stretch) until they are 3-4 years old, and no longer need night nursing..
Just don't want anyone to think their 2.9 year old who sleeps like a log isn't healthy. If she had said MAY not sleep through the night...then the article would be just about perfect. (The reason I mention it is that an MDC mom was recently worrying because her child does sleep through the night.)

But my dd fit into the "normal and healthy" that Dettwyler describes...not sleeping through the night with any regularity until about age 3.

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#17 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rlandnl
My son is 21 months old, He has nursed to sleep almost everynight of his life (and for naps too).

Second, should he be going to sleep without nursing at this point. I don't want to develop bad habits, and I see very few children his age still nursing to sleep. I just have no idea what to do. And of course I am the only one who can put him to bed.


I don't know exactly what I am asking, I guess what I am asking, is should I wean him from nursing to sleep?
Sleep is such a mystery, it can't be willed by anyone, young or old. It's more of an 'allowing' by the body. I look at sleep as part of a larger body of things to be learned and embodied by a child as they grow and unfold. One wouldn't expect a 21 mo to be potty-learned, or to be able to dress themselves etc but for some reason, sleep, seems to fall outside those expectations. Probably because it impacts the mama so much if sleep is elusive or interrupted.

I just posted a question about the sleep needs of toddlers. Ds, 26 mos, still nurses to sleep, nap and also thru the night. My concerns have to do with the actual amount of sleep he's getting. Velcromom thanks for posting, btw we miss you on our 02 tribal thread.

rlandnl you know what is best for your son. If your gut is telling you one thing but you're surrounded by people doing otherwise search out community, IRL or online, that will support your inner feeling.
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#18 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 01:15 PM
 
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[QUOTE=*solsticemama*]. Probably because it impacts the mama so much if sleep is elusive or interrupted.[QUOTE]

That's the crux isn't it. Sleep deprivation is not pretty.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#19 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 01:33 PM
 
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Ah, I see your point Momtwice, about that particular sentence. My ds sleeps thru the night now and is only 27 months old. It might make me wonder if I wasn't enjoying it so much, LOL!
Although, I have seen it said that when a child begins sleeping through the night, what that really means is not that they are in a deep sleep without waking all night - they rouse and wake same as always but are simply able to get back to sleep without calling for assistance. Adults do the same thing, so it would make sense. I know ds does this because I sometimes find him sleeping with his blanky on instead of folded at his feet, and I didn't do it.
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#20 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 01:48 PM
 
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So okay, maybe I used the wrong word. Maybe I shouldn't have said you have to teach. Because what I meant is you need to have them in a consistent routine, something that is comfortable and relaxing for both of you. A routine that allows them time with you and that they know ends in them being tucked in bed to sleep.That's what I meant by teach.

I worry that we are making it harder on our children to make them SO reliant on us that they can not be soothed to sleep unless our breast is in their mouth. It is a beautiful enjoyable attachment for both of us...however I imagine the withdrawal for the child is very difficult. When I was a child my night routine involved my mom bathing us reading us a book and then singing a soft song to us and patting our backs at the same time. When my mom thought we reached an age we no longer needed that....or maybe when my younger siblings needed it more she stopped. I remember lying in bed many nights aching to feel her hand on my back and not knowing how to soothe myself without it. I remember feeling very sad and abandoned.(I was an emotional child!) However I imagine it feels the same to one day no longer have your beloved breasts available to you.
Which is why I agree with nursing your baby into that delirous state and then lying them down in bed...I believe you have fed, soothed and comforted your baby and you are now letting them know that they can get comfortable in their bed and drift off to sleep. However I also think this is something you have to teach your children from a young age...because there is no way a 18 month old child will allow you to do this after you have been nursing them to sleep this long...let me tell you I've tried!
You are probably thinking what a terrible mama I am for not wanting to nurse my child into a deep sleep....that isn't it because I absolutely cherish those moments and enjoyed them immensley....what I worry about though is making the next transition so difficult on them! I know it has been hard on my son.

I don't agree that babies are not CAPABLE of soothing themselves because a content infant (meaning one without a dirty diaper or hungry tummy) can soothe itself back to sleep if awaken. So to say that children are not physically capable at this age can not be correct. I personally think that I have taught my child that I am the one that puts him to sleep and it is not something he can do on his own. He feels I always have to be there. No one else. He goes to sleep and I am there so to wake in the middle of the night and not have me there....he has to find me so he can feel relaxed enough to fall back asleep. This is a routine I have taught him....so to speak.

My child at 2 and half years old cannot have an afternoon nap without me lying down with him. If he happens to fall asleep in the car (again children of all ages are able to do this, which I think again proves that they can soothe themselves) and I carry him into he house and he is awaken I have to lie with him till he is fully asleep, however if he is only disturbed he will look at me and ask me what I am going to do, I tell him and then leave his room and he falls back to sleep on his own.

I am not saying that there is ANYTHING wrong with lying down or nursing them to sleep....but you have to have the time. I find that it doesn't always work for us. Especially afternoon naps where when I lie down with him I usally fall asleep myself for at least a half hour...and I NEED that time to get some of the cleaning I can't get done when he is awake (he LOVES to swiffer and mop) done while he is sleeping.

This lady that started this thread was asking for alternatives to nursing her child into a deep sleep. I have to agree with her after nursing my child to sleep for two years I needed an alternative too....so my suggestion was to start trying to teach him how to sleep and soothe himself. I never suggested a cry out...because I could never do that to my son. You teach them it is normal to nurse to sleep from the day they are born so to turn around and try to get them to sleep without it is a difficult task one there needs to be more information on. I know I never felt so guilty having to quit nursing my son to sleep when that is all he knew however it is also a reality.

We all know there is a point where you have to stop nursing your child to sleep and that is what we are trying to talk about here


[Quote/]
I used the Pantley pull-off as a tool to accustom ds to unlatching before completely asleep. Of course he protested enthusiastically at first but the advice the book gave worked - it took about 3 weeks of serious patience, though. He got used to it without tears.[/QUOTE]

And not to sound snarly but...did you not teach your son a different method of getting to sleep right here? He was obviously nursing to sleep and you changed the way he was used to getting to sleep. SInce you weren't going to bend and let him have the boobie till he was right asleep he had to adjust and find a different way to soothe himself to sleep.

This is exactly what I was talking about. No one is talking about teaching them to ignore their needs....instead we are talking about ways to make them comfortable enough to fall asleep without a breast in their mouth.
And that's what we want ideas and suggestions on!
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#21 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsonsmama
[COLOR=Navy] I imagine the withdrawal for the child is very difficult.
Every mom and child are different. What I am saying, and I hear echoed by some others here, is that if the child is ready and chooses to stop nursing because they are ready and have reached that milestone themselves...there is no difficult withdrawal. Honestly. One night she just fell asleep happily without nursing and you could have knocked me over with a feather.

I know it's hard to believe when your child hasn't gotten to that place yet, I remember that well! But it's true, although some family circumstances do not allow for waiting until the child has made that choice themselves.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#22 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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My 3yo still nurses to sleep most nights- although more and more, he finishes nursing and then snuggles to sleep. Leah used to nurse to sleep until she weaned at 2.5, and I don't recall having any major issues with bedtime when she weaned. Trust me, kids really won't nurse forever!!!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#23 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 04:14 PM
 
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I didn't mean to imply that a mom should not seek to influence infant sleep in appropriate ways under certain situations. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with it. In fact I think if a mom is seeing herself get more and more exhausted, and more and more annoyed with it, it's a good idea to use some gentle methods sooner rather than later when she's so frustrated she won't have the patience and stamina for it. Sometimes moms at the end of their ropes end up seeing CIO as a quick way to get more sleep. I think if you make small changes as you go along, things won't get so frustrating. As you pointed out, I did make changes to our nursing to sleep routine that influenced ds. I did say in a previous post: "you can use methods to influence their sleep pattern that don't go against their natural inclination so much as to cause serious resistance." but even when you have done so, as I did when I guided my ds toward an earlier unlatching, it still remains true that you haven't changed their physiology. The nervous system matures at its own rate whether or not you guide their sleep patterns. It will still signal them to arouse in the night. That hasn't changed. That's one of the reasons it's so hard to change sleep patterns sometimes, and it seems like it's an ingrained "habit" when really nightwaking is a normal part of infant sleep through the second year.


Actually, I did a lot of "bending" while I encouraged ds to unlatch earlier. If he resisted, I allowed him to latch back on. Some nights it took many, many slow and gentle tries before he was ready to let go. (that's the part that really tested me. I sometimes felt like running out of the house screaming, but I knew there would be a super payoff so I gritted my teeth for a few nights.)I let him decide when he was ready. I never pushed it, he never got upset. The method doesn't work if you push it on the child, you end up with a crying baby who isn't going to get to sleep at all. I let him set the level he was comfortable with. What it changed is not the way he got to sleep so much as the depth of sleep he was in when I put him down. It shortened the length of time he spent on the breast before being put down, too. Once he was accustomed to unlatching earlier, he began to move on his own towards unlatching even earlier, and earlier, til he finally would go into his crib drowsy but awake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsonsmama
[COLOR=Navy] we are talking about ways to make them comfortable enough to fall asleep without a breast in their mouth.
And that's what we want ideas and suggestions on!
Well, if all is going fairly well according to mom and she doesn't mind nursing to sleep that's when we say if it ain't broke don't fix it, and I think the OP falls into this category. I think she said that she didn't mind nursing to sleep.

but, you are asking for some concrete ideas about what can help...

so in addition to the pull-off method I described above...

If you have difficulty tolerating nursing to sleep to the point where alternatives are looking attractive, I'd seriously recommend the NCSS as a source of ideas to gently change sleep patterns. It isn't a quick fix, but when you are talking about wanting to change something so fundamental, in a non-traumatic way, patience is going to be required no matter what method you choose.

Sometimes, you think dc is going to be resistant and they aren't as set against it as you thought. I'd occassionally get ds to go back to sleep after a night waking with a "lower" level of help than nursing (like back rubbing) just by asking! Seems silly but the worst they can say is NO WAY!! :LOL I'd tell him, mommy will help you lie down - and sometimes he'd do it, boy was I shocked the first time it worked.

I've heard of some moms offering a sip of water or some other alternative, but my ds would be too awake after that so I would just offer to tuck him back in and rub his back.

Most won't accept such an offer til they are really ready, so I think it's a great way to influence their sleep patterns that still honors their needs and developmental level.

So those are the practical suggestions that improved things for us... is that more like what you were after? I know there are a lot of moms here who have found different ways that worked for them. Hopefully we'll hear more ideas! :
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#24 of 27 Old 03-15-2005, 04:57 PM
 
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ITA with velcromom... nervous system plays a big role in baby's ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. When we brought Jordan home from the hospital she wouldn't sleep longer than 15 minutes in a crib/ bouncy/ pack and play/ etc. So she slept with us. And on us during the day. Around 2 months we figured out that she needed to go to bed earlier than we did - she really started to zone out about 6pm) so I'd lie next ot her in our bed and nurse until she nodded off, then get up and go downstairs until it was time for us to go to bed. She was and still is a light sleeper so us coming upstairs for bed would wake her up.

Then we got to a point where it was more disruptive to her to sleep with us than it was helpful, so she transitioned to her crib (with absolutely no trouble much to my surprise). I'd nurse her to a full deep sleep then put her in her crib. About 4 hours later before we went to bed I'd nurse her again - just pull her out of her crib and nurse if she wasn't awake on her own. That usually got us through to 6:30 am unless she was sick (which she was a lot through the summer and fall)

She goes to daycare during the day and is in a pre-toddler room where they all lie on nap mats and get patted/ backs rubbed to sleep. I must say that prior to her being in this class she never wanted anything to do with having her back rubbed, but now it does work for us. I still nurse to sleep for naps and at night, but if she wakes up during the night (odd for her) DH can pat her back to sleep about 90% of the time.

Incidentally DH has been on me to stop nursing her to sleep. He'd be ok with me not nursing altogether but he wanted to at least move the nursing to earlier in the evening and have him read books to her afterwards, then put her in her crib awake. My feeling is it ain't broke so don't fix it. We have listened to her cues all along and let DD lead the way so why start imposing random rules now? SHe falls asleep nursing when she's tired so we'd have to wake her up, then try to put her to bed (resulting in a cranky peanut) He is annoyed by what he perceives as his inability to comfort her to sleep. There are times when she really wants the boob and any soothing by him results in a full out screaming tantrum.

Sorry for the hijack. I think there are things you can do to set up for sleep. The bath, books, nursing are a calming routine that we follow too that lets DD know it's time to wind down. Nursing is not inherently a problem, and I can't really tell from your post whether you think it is or not. If it bugs you, change it. DD went through a tough phase that I think had something to do with separation anxiety where if she woke up and discovered she was alone she was PISSED. Now she plays in her crib in the morning when she wakes up and seems fine with the knowledge that we will go get her when she's ready.
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#25 of 27 Old 03-16-2005, 12:59 AM
 
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I don't want to hijack, but just a couple of thoughts re: teaching sleep/self-soothing. Why should babies be expected to soothe themselves? I'm 29 and I still appreciate it when people I love help to comfort or soothe me. We can say that a baby is fed and has a clean diaper, but surely emotional needs are just as real. Should they be disregarded? I prefer to look at it as teaching my baby that sleep is not a lonely or frightening time, but rather a time to relax and be at peace with those you love.

BTW, I'm not accusing anyone of disregrading their child's emotional needs, etc.--this is in response to ideas more than any particular post.

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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#26 of 27 Old 03-16-2005, 01:07 AM
 
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Hi. Another person here who still nurses her toddler (20 months, nearly) asleep. You're not alone.
Best of luck!

Jenn - Mom, Photographer, Barista 

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#27 of 27 Old 03-16-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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I still nurse my 32 month old to sleep at night, 3+ times during the night, and for every nap. He also nurses numerous times during the day. I am feeling a little nervous about him never going to sleep on his own right now, too. Especially as the thought of wanting to seriously TTC #3 is on our minds. I nursed through my pregnancy with ds#2 and tandem nurse now. I just don't know that I am up for tandeming at this rate through my next pregnancy. And there is no way I could nurse 3 with as much as ds#1 still wants to nurse. I know many talk about nursing slowing down before 2 and 3, but I have yet to see any signs of it. I will not force my ds to wean, but somedays I feel really tired of him nursing SO much. Other days I am so thankful that he is.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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