Need help (mostly sleep) to get nursing toddler to sleep for longer stretches at night - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 08-28-2008, 03:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 19 months old, and has been waking every 2 to 3 hours at night to nurse. I am looking for any recommendations on how to wean him from overnight nursing as I am exhausted and I am finding it difficult to cope with little frustrations during the day. I have tried co-sleeping, but this normally results in my husband sleeping on the couch and I getting very little sleep as well. I don't want to let him "cry it out", but I feel that I am progressively getting more and more sleep deprived, which makes me very irritable and angry during our nighttime feedings. I love nursing my son, and plan on doing so until he is ready to stop, but I also need to regain my sanity!!! Any advise on how to be able to get some longer stretches at nighttime would be much appreciated.
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#2 of 2 Old 08-30-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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How does he act if you play like you're asleep? My daughter (15 mo) sometimes will flop around a bit and make a few noises (though not actually crying) and get herself back to sleep sometimes. I have the bed against the wall so she can't fall out, and I sleep on the other side. If she ever starts crying, pulling at my shirt, or climbing over me, I nurse her.

Another idea is to let him nurse, but for less time than usual. This is tough because you have to stay awake while he's nursing and unlatch him before he gets to deep sleep. (I then have to move quickly away so they can't touch me if they wiggle since then they want to nurse again) You gradually reduce the time over several days until they start skipping it altogether. This works best if you pick the one time that you want to sleep through and work on it only.

Yet another idea (and this worked for my son) is to hold, rock, and/or sing to him through whatever time you want him to give up. The concept is to get him to fall asleep without nursing. He will likely cry, but it will be in your arms with you comforting him. Usually this will work to eliminate a waking within a week. I did this with the first waking each night until he was going 5 hrs straight. He was 18 mo at the time. After a rest we worked on going from that waking to morning so that he was only waking up once a night since I felt I could deal with it once a night - just not more than that.

Good luck and congrats on a job well done! Elizabeth Pantley has some great suggestions in her No Cry Sleep Solution too.
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