Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic
Thread: Has anyone broken the nap-nursing pattern? Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-11-2013 07:35 PM
kanani

We broke the habit with my DD around 28 months. I'm pregnant with baby #2, and just felt like I was going crazy with the nap-nursing and painful nipples. The Ergo wasn't really an option for us either, since I was getting bigger and was just too tired. The car naps also weren't ideal, since I didn't feel like that gave me the kind of break I wanted.

 

What ended up happening is that we weaned at the same time that we stopped nursing down for a nap. We went cold turkey, since she already wasn't nursing that much during the day and I knew my supply was drying up. I continued to lay down with her at nap time, but I told her that "Mama's boobs were taking a break" and that I'd "cuddle her to sleep instead." I'd also put a cup of (cow) milk on her nightstand, and told her she could have "milk in a cup" whenever she wanted milk (so she'd feel like she had some choice/agency).

 

It was a little difficult at first. The first issue I had was trying to get her to settle; she didn't seem to be able to get in the sleep zone without nursing... so we read lots of books in bed to get her to calm her body/get still and cozy, and then followed that by putting on some soft music to calm her mind (without the music, she'd just lay there singing or talking to herself).  The second issue I had was helping her through the frustration; she knew what was expected of her, but sometimes the sleep wouldn't come and she'd just cry ... I didn't really know what to do except hold her tight and tell her I was going to give her lots of "cuddles" to help her sleep. 

 

Within a week-and-a-half, our new routine was working pretty well. It's been a few months, and she still has days where it takes a long time to fall asleep (and I should add that she still doesn't sleep independently ... if I leave the room, she will sense it and wake up), but her expectations for falling asleep have shifted. 

11-09-2013 05:18 PM
sillymom44

I was at a breaking point with Baby #3-- he took tiny naps and woke up all night long to nurse.  I taught him how to go to sleep on his own, without nursing, and it solved most of the problems. He now sleeps all night long.  He doesn't nap as long as many kids his age, but he sleeps so much better.  He is happier and so am I.

 

I realized that I was prioritizing his needs over every other member of our family.  My relationship with my husband was suffering and so was my relationship with my other children.

 

There are gentle and great ways to teach babies how to sleep!  

 

Message me if you want more details!

 

:joy

11-04-2013 12:44 PM
Crunchymama3

I really feel for you, because I have been there. Twice. My kids loved nursing and they loved napping and nursing at the same time.  The thing that finally helped me was that at the age you are talking about, they don't NEED the breastmilk anymore, it's a comfort thing.  So if you want to nurse, do it at times other than nap times.  Offer a sippy cup of milk or water if necessary before nap and that's it.  Make sure your child has a good meal recently or snack and they will be fine.They will fuss or they won't, depends on the kid.  But sooner or later they will ge the message.  It's hard but you neeed the break. I nursed for about 18 months so I get it.  Just tell them its not time to nurse its time to sleep.  If they insist, offer the botle or sippy. At this age I'd suggest a sippy cup, so you don't have another negative association with to break, and make sure that the bottle or sippy is not taken into the bed or crib as you don't want it to cause tooth decay if its milk.  Most of all, stop feeling guilty. You will need to set boundaries during their whole life and this is one of those times.  I held my first so much I got a blood clot in my arm, so I know how ti feels to try to break these negative sleep patterns.  It might involve some crying, but at this age you can communicate with them somewhat, so you will be okay.

11-04-2013 11:18 AM
Trollmamma

I had a similar experience with my first, and it went on like that for a full three years. Number two was better, and the rest have been (and are) good sleepers. My seventh is now 22 months, and has been a great sleeper day and night since she was tiny. She just puts her head down on her pillow, smiles and snuggles, closes her eyes, and goes to sleep. The trick is to create a bed/crib=sleep equation and avoid the nursing=sleep equation. From day one, I unlatch them just before they go to sleep and put them into their own bed while they are still awake. They may cry and fuss for 10-20 seconds as they adjust to the transition, but then they almost invariably go to sleep. If they cry for more than a few seconds and genuinely seem awake, I will pick them up and nurse them some more, or play or whatever, and put them to bed again when they seem ready to fall asleep... At night, I put the crib next to my bed, so I can nurse in bed and quietly slip baby back into the crib when s/he has finished.

 

My second tip is to create a quiet=attention equation: when your newborn cries, wait for a slight pause, even just the brief pause as s/he inhales - then pick him/her up. Baby will quickly realise that a call to alert you is enough and that there is no need to scream desperately; you should however make a point of always responding quickly when s/he wakes up.

 

When a child is older, learning good sleep habits takes more effort and is more of a challenge to child and parents... You need to break the nursing=sleep equation, for your sake and for your baby's. It may be worth trying to have naps in the car for a week just to break the cycle, as someone suggested, but sleep=Ergo, sleep=car, sleep=whatever equations are not really going to help you in the long run - you need to gently establish a bed=sleep equation. That means putting her to bed sleepy but awake, every time, and NEVER letting her fall asleep at the breast, until the bed=sleep equation is fully established. Of course, if she's learning that sleep=bed, you need to do the same thing at bedtime and at naptime. Good, undisturbed sleep - and a happy, rested mum - are important to a baby's health and development! Good luck :)

11-02-2013 05:22 PM
BabySmurf Been there! What worked for us is that one day I just had enough of the nursing to sleep/while sleeping thing. I was pregnant, and it hit tbe point for me where I just didn't want to be doing it anymore. I think that there was a certain conviction in my voice, lol. So anyway, DS was nursing and I told him that I was going to sing twinkle twinkle and then the nums had to go to sleep. He was not happy that first time and be wimpered a bit. I told him he could have big hugs instead. And he cuddled up against me and fell asleep. Eventually when I told him it was time for nums to sleep be started to just roll over and put himself to sleep. It went a lot smoother than I thought it would. He would wake up early from nap soetimes and look to nurse, but eventually he learned to just put himself back to sleep. Good luck mama, I know that cold terror of a missed toddler nap!!
11-01-2013 02:13 PM
lrj85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zirconia View Post
 

Thanks y'all.  It's really the lack of a break that's getting to me.  DD will nap in the car, but then again I'm stuck.  It would give my poor nipples a break, though.  :)  We are getting ready to move, and we've decided that with the new room will come a new bed, and new routines. We've made other changes like that and she's adjusted well (new carseat = new car routines, etc.). I've really just been too exhausted and overwhelmed to put the effort into a gentle sleep training plan, but it's time to get on it.  

 

We do white noise, blackout curtains, books, music, and loveys, although when DD is ready to go to sleep she only wants my boobs.  She's never really taken a pacifier, hates blankets, and refused bottles around 6 months.  She has never, ever, EVER zoned out with her thumb or blankie like pretty much every other kid I've ever met.  It's hard for her to wind down and (so far) it's always taken my full attention to help her get to sleep.  And most days, I have to work to keep her asleep, too, at least at naptime.  I've got to figure out ways to change her expectations!

I didnt read through the whole thread so I apologize if this has been said already or addressed (at work and was skimming). What helped me when I was in a similar situation was a long weekend and her fathers help. I nursed my daughter and while she was still awake passed her off to daddy could be another adult though and they would rock her to sleep. Basically we were breaking the nursing= sleep equation and we started a new routine where daddy singing and rocking her = sleep. Basically substitution was what worked for us and we have sort of built on that and she is 5 and a great sleeper. Not saying it will work for you but it has worked for me and a couple of friends

11-01-2013 12:55 PM
lovemylab My daughter was the same way. I feel your pain. My nipples started to hurt just thinking about it. At 22 months I had to wean her from nursing and the nap was the last to go. I won't lie it sucked! I ended up driving around to get her to nap for the first week and on weekends my husband would rock her to sleep. After the first full week I rocked her to sleep. After a few months of that my husband trained her...(where was he what felt like a million years before) he taught her we get a story and then it's a hug, kiss, I love you and goodnight. It stinkin worked! A few times the first week or two of that she would call out for us (they can really manipulate us with their tones) but we ignored the calls. Now we follow the steps and sleep is no big deal.
11-01-2013 12:42 PM
YvonneC-M

I feel for you! Do you have your daughter on a schedule, or do you put her down for a nap only when she shows signs that she needs one (crankiness, rubbing eyes, etc)? In either case, I have a couple of suggestions. One is to feed her a meal before nap time, and make sure she eats well before attempting a nap. The second suggestion, concurrent with the first one, is to delay nap time and keep her active to the point that sleep is inevitable. In addition, as others here have suggested, try putting your well-fed, very tired DD to sleep in an Ergo or other carrier. That way she can enjoy being close to you as she drifts to sleep. The Ergo is the only method I know of of keeping my 16-month-old asleep for 1–2 hours without the breast available. Good luck!  

10-31-2013 03:36 PM
Roots Baby

Well done Zirconia for lasting this long. I'm amazed you've managed to stay sane. I was in a similar situation with my girl and I just couldn't handle it. I think it's important to remember that if you don't take care of yourself, no one will. 

I don't believe in any parenting method which involves long periods of the child crying uncomforted. Having said that, some crying is unavoidable and necessary to set up boundaries for your toddler. The only way for a baby to learn to sleep without a boob in their mouth is to fall asleep without it. I know it seems impossible but you don't want to be doing the same thing when your child is 5, do you? 

What I do is get her to settle down on the breast but then put her in her bed as soon as she starts nodding off. She used to wake and cry of course, so I'd put her back on the breast and do it over again. Aaaand repeat. A lot of times. If she's tired, she will fall asleep eventually. I figure as I'm always there to comfort her, it's not as cruel as cutting her off cold turkey. 

Good luck! Your child deserves a happy mum!

10-31-2013 07:12 AM
ebegreen My son is 28 months. He used to nurse his entire nap. That changed around 18 months when I moved him into his own room and bed for naps and just kept trying at each nap to unlatch when he was asleep and sneak away.
Playing in the morning so he was tired going to park or play gum, eating a filling lunch, white noise, dark room.
good suggestion above to try and break the cycle by a week of car naps.
10-30-2013 09:58 AM
ChristmasLover I would also just do naps in the car for about a week...break the nursing-nap asssociation. Then I would wear her in a backpack to see if she could go to sleep that way. I get my 2 yr old to sleep in a backpack, then we rock in a rocking chair to save my back. I look forward to it...it is a nice break for me.
10-28-2013 09:14 PM
Zirconia

Thanks y'all.  It's really the lack of a break that's getting to me.  DD will nap in the car, but then again I'm stuck.  It would give my poor nipples a break, though.  :)  We are getting ready to move, and we've decided that with the new room will come a new bed, and new routines. We've made other changes like that and she's adjusted well (new carseat = new car routines, etc.). I've really just been too exhausted and overwhelmed to put the effort into a gentle sleep training plan, but it's time to get on it.  

 

We do white noise, blackout curtains, books, music, and loveys, although when DD is ready to go to sleep she only wants my boobs.  She's never really taken a pacifier, hates blankets, and refused bottles around 6 months.  She has never, ever, EVER zoned out with her thumb or blankie like pretty much every other kid I've ever met.  It's hard for her to wind down and (so far) it's always taken my full attention to help her get to sleep.  And most days, I have to work to keep her asleep, too, at least at naptime.  I've got to figure out ways to change her expectations!

10-28-2013 01:21 PM
sassyfirechick

I guess we're lucky enough to have a thumb sucker who will shove her thumb in there when I pull away.  She's better about me moving away from naps then at night.  There have been some fussy nights where she's teething and I finally have to say "mommy has a boo boo" and I allow her to nurse for a good length of time but at some point I need to move to a more comfortable position and I will pull her in and we snuggle with her blanky til she dozes off.  It's rough!

10-27-2013 07:29 PM
motherhendoula

Of course its not easy with a nearly 2 yr old - but have you thought of alternates to nap location like wearing her?  or taking her for a ride in the car?  its not optimum - but it accomplishes sleep without wearing you out quite so much.  I had an Ergo - also had a hard pack backpack (purchased cheaply on Craigs List! )  and i could do dishes, cook dinner and vacuum  while baby snoozed.  Currently my LO is 3 and we are on the verge of giving up naps - he will fall asleep if we go more than about 3 miles in the car - i bring the mail, bring my knitting - make sure i have coffee or water bottle with me - i often park in the driveway and shut my eyes for 30 minutes or so myself.  

Sounds pretty yucky mamma - hope you find a solution!

10-27-2013 06:10 PM
Jaxy

It's far from the perfect solution regarding breaking the pattern but it'll give you a break : unlatch and give her a bottle of water then sneak out of the room? That's what we started with our 13mos...

10-27-2013 11:17 AM
Zirconia

My 21-month-old wants to nurse throughout her naps.  I've done this for almost two years, and I've had it.  I love nursing itself, but I've had it with the total lack of a break whatsoever.  Spending multiple hours a day in uncomfortable positions while my toddler painfully nurses long after the milk is gone.  The feeling of no support from DH because apparently he's just never, ever, ever going to decide to learn how to put her to sleep.  It's 100% up to me, and I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, and so very resentful.

 

Has anybody ever taught their little one to nap independently?  Yes, I own and have read all the Pantley books.  For DD, the Pantley-Pull-Off just results in no nap whatsoever - she stays in this light doze-state, and each attempt to unlatch her makes her wake up a tiny bit more, until she's totally awake and nap is over.  If I wait until she's deeper asleep, well, some days (like today) that just never happens - she stays in the twilight state for two hours, and I'm stuck.  So I'm desperate to move past the textbooks and onto some real nitty-gritty.  Did you make a change?  I need the details - I need to know what I'll need to power through, is there any hope at all?  Dr Sears says, "If you resent it, change it!" and I am SO THERE.  Help? Anyone?


Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off