How do I get my 2 year old to fall asleep without nursing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 2 and has always nursed to sleep for naps and bedtime. This has worked out just fine until now. I am 16 weeks pregnant and nursing is extremely painful (this is my second time nursing through a pregnancy, and the first time wasn't nearly as bad). It's at the point where I'm crying because it hurts so bad and I'm starting to feel resentful.

So, how do I get her to fall asleep without nursing? I never had this problem with DD #1 because she stopped falling asleep at the breast well before she was weaned. She would nurse and then ask me to sing to her and rub her back. She was only 2 at the time. This time around, my 2 year old throws tantrums if you try to limit her nursing and she just continuously climbs out of bed if you try to get her to fall asleep without nursing. Also, I'm not going to wean her completely...I'm just trying to night wean her.

Help, please!!
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#2 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GracesMama View Post
DD is 2 and has always nursed to sleep for naps and bedtime. This has worked out just fine until now. I am 16 weeks pregnant and nursing is extremely painful (this is my second time nursing through a pregnancy, and the first time wasn't nearly as bad). It's at the point where I'm crying because it hurts so bad and I'm starting to feel resentful.

So, how do I get her to fall asleep without nursing? I never had this problem with DD #1 because she stopped falling asleep at the breast well before she was weaned. She would nurse and then ask me to sing to her and rub her back. She was only 2 at the time. This time around, my 2 year old throws tantrums if you try to limit her nursing and she just continuously climbs out of bed if you try to get her to fall asleep without nursing. Also, I'm not going to wean her completely...I'm just trying to night wean her.

Help, please!!
I used Jay Gordon's night-weaning and it worked fantastic (same situation although my daughter is younger-- pregnancy and nursing all night was wearing me out so much). I did modify it a bit (doing stages for a week rather than his recommended three days, for example), but it was actually easier and less fuss than I thought. You could give it a shot:

http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies:  Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10

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#3 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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when ds was no longer falling asleep at the boob we started rocking him to sleep

ds 3/06 familybed1.gif
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#4 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Another vote for Jay Gordon's method. There were tears but loads of alternative comfort offered, we still cosleep and DS still nurses morning, naptime and bedtime. I believe that the older your child the more likely they are ready to handle being refused nursing at night - but only you can tell when your LO is ready and how much you want to push through. DS was 25 months when we did it, and by 29 months he was consistently sleeping 8 to 530am - I honestly believe he would still be nursing every 2 hours through the night if we hadn't nightweaned him!

We did a lot of preparation, telling Ds that the numnums were getting very tired and soon needed to sleep at night. But we actually went pretty much cold turkey - a speeded up version of JG plan I guess. It took maybe 1 night of serious upset, then gradually less over about a week. Then on and off for a while he would wake and ask at 4am, then gradually we pushed it back to 530am where we have stuck for now! I suspect that won't change until he drops his daytime nap.

BTW I am 20 weeks pregnant. I think it was the push I needed to really take night weaning seriously.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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This was exactly the post I was looking for. I know our situation isn't exactly the same, but similar in that I need a way to ween our LO off of constant night nursing. My 15 month old nurses to sleep and it often takes a good while, which is sometimes annoying, but I am able to deal with it. However, he wants to nurse all the time at night and often for hours on end. I end up sleeping on my side in a weird position, and I am going on 24 months of no good sleep (since I was sick the whole pregnancy and didn't sleep well at all then either). I am so pro-attachment parenting and I want to attend carefully to his needs, but I can tell that such a long time of inadequate sleep (before he was born I slept 10 hours a night) is wearing on my mind, body, and spirit. We bed share and I want to keep that up, but I need to get some deep sleep and feel a little less like a human pacifier. Thanks for starting this post, Grace's Mama.
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#6 of 7 Old 06-08-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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So glad for this post! DD who is now 27 months would wake up ALL night long to nurse. She starts off her night's sleep in her crib and then we co-sleep after we've gone to bed. DH brings her in when her next waking after we've gone to bed. Human pacifier.

We did Dr. Gordon for middle of the night nursing when dd was about 18 months. She used to wake up 6-12 times a night to nurse. We created a blackout window from 11pm-5am where we said mommy's milkies are sleeping. It was about 3 days of long middle of the night wakings and crying, but after that she just puts her head down and goes to sleep. This lasted like 2 months when dd got sick and bad teething and was waking up in the night screaming, so we un-night-weaned. A few months after that, we re-night weaned as night nursing was messing with my fertility.

Night weaning DRASTICALLY altered how often she wakes up now. She went from 6-12 times to 2-3. Also, even though the blackout didn't start until 11pm, she went from waking 3-4 times in the first 1-2 hours of the night, to sleeping about 4 hours straight. Some nights now she'll go 5-6 hours.

Now I'm 7 weeks pregnant and tonight we started to change the nursing to fall asleep. UGH! I prepped dd, told her that after she nurses, the milkies are empty and going to sleep and dd will go in the crib and mommy will lay down next to her. Well, it was about 1.5 hours before she fell asleep, with about an hour of that sobbing. I'm sure it will be easier in a few days, but it's SO hard!

I do love nursing her to sleep, but with being pg and dh and I not having slept through the night in 2+ years, we need to make more changes.

One thing we did before night-weaning was to make a going to bed book for dd. I took photos of her doing her night routine (ie, bath, p.j.'s, story, brush teeth, lay down in crib...). I wrote in the book that "it's still night time. shhh Mommy's milkes are sleeping, go back to sleep...Now it's morning and you can nurse again!" I think this really helped her. She totally "gets" it, even if it's challenging when making the actual change.

I hope things go easier tomorrow. Seriously, I don't understand how people do cio. My heart was breaking and I was in there the whole time.

loving mommy to DD (3/08), brokenheart.gif our little strawberry (7/10). brokenheart.gif little seedling (10/10). brokenheart.gif little pear (4/11). Praying for a Rainbow - due Nov!

 

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#7 of 7 Old 06-08-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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What if your LO is already nightweaned, but they only nurse to sleep? Is this a put them down sleepy but awake method? I've tried those only to fail miserably when DD cries.

I'm ready to be done nursing my DD to sleep sooo badly. But she is only 20 mo! I know she isn't as ready and need a gentle method. I'm not pg but am having weird symptoms when she nurses, and I'm just so ready to be done.

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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