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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi dear mums,

I have a question which might be a common problem for many mums who breastfeed beyond infancy.

In short: my son, 13 months, is used to always falling asleep at the breast, and he should be starting day care at 20 months.

Even worse, he is used to sleeping with me in the same bed (co-sleeping) and to only fall asleep with me, both for daily naps and in the evening. Often I even sleep with him in some of the naps as well, so he is a bit spoilt :p.

At night he still wakes a few times to nurse, which according to my husband it's "not normal" because he should be sleeping through the night. Even though I don't see it as abnormal, I do wonder if he gets enough solids, because if he doesn't eat enough for dinner then he wakes up much more in the night. And also in the morning he is often not so hungry to have breakfast.

Because of the nightly wakings I still have to go to sleep early to make sure I sleep enough, and the rest of my life is kind of postponed. I don't care to postpone my social life for a while, I know it's temporary. But for my job I have been working from home all this time, and it's time I start showing up, because I need to work with my colleagues. But since he currently always needs me to be there to go to sleep, I can't leave for a full day.

What is your experience on this? How do you gently help him to learn to fall sleep with other people, in his own bed? I have some months, but I'm getting uncomfortable because this doesn't change...

Thanks for sharing your experience!
Fla
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned. The difference between 13 months and 20 months is *huge*. Both my girls co-sleep and fed/feed to sleep all the time. I started doing some casual shifts at around 20mo with each of them and they were fine. I didn't express. They just had water and solids while I was gone.

Usually they would have a sleep but, if they didn't, we just had an early night that night.

Your LO sounds completely normal to me. I would not try to change anything in anticipation of something so far in the future :)


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My daughter nurses to sleep still and she is just over 3 years old but from about age 2 she has been able to go to sleep with dad too, she just prefers me. He scratches her back and sometimes he hums, that works for him. My daughter could fall asleep in the stroller and by nursing when she started daycare at 19 months. It was a transition period for the first 2 weeks but she did fine after that. They would lie down with her and stroke her hair or sing and she would go to sleep. At first though they had to let some of the other children go to sleep as she took some effort to get to go to sleep. After a couple more months she fell asleep with no extra help like all the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wouldn't be too concerned. The difference between 13 months and 20 months is *huge*. Both my girls co-sleep and fed/feed to sleep all the time. I started doing some casual shifts at around 20mo with each of them and they were fine. I didn't express. They just had water and solids while I was gone.

Usually they would have a sleep but, if they didn't, we just had an early night that night.

Your LO sounds completely normal to me. I would not try to change anything in anticipation of something so far in the future :)

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Thanks katelove! I will at least try to get him to like his cot, because at day care he has to sleep in a cot, no one will co-sleep with him :)

But reading what you say, I think it would be good if we "practice" by leaving him with dad for longer periods of time.

Thanks again for your advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks katelove! I will at least try to get him to like his cot, because at day care he has to sleep in a cot, no one will co-sleep with him :)

But reading what you say, I think it would be good if we "practice" by leaving him with dad for longer periods of time.

Thanks again for your advice!
Sounds similar... I hope he grows up and gets used to being with other people these months, because right now, he is even crying hysterically if I "give him" to dad to take him to sleep instead of me. We didn't try very long because I just can't stand the crying and I'm there anyway, so I keep doing the same. Always mum taking him to bed...

But we'll see what these months bring, how he changes... :smile:

Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

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As a PP said, there is a huge difference between a just over year-old and and 20 month old in terms of their ability to fall asleep and also their needs to be with a breastfeeding mother for every nap.

The key, as you have seen from a few other posters, is that, although your child may have difficulty falling asleep without breastfeeding or having you with them when you are the one putting them to bed, it is very different when you are not there and a trusted person (parent, grandparent, new caring daycare worker) puts them to bed.

One of the interesting nap time dynamics for (good) daycares, is that, while there can be a transition for the first few days where a child may cry when it goes to sleep in a new place, the fact of having other children around doing the same thing all together, in a set routine, really helps the new children adapt quickly. You could never do that at home! ;) Also, having the child have a "sleep over" for nap time (like an afternoon visit) at grandparents or a close friend's house, is another way to help them get used to a new place for sleeping from the one they have always had.

I think that you don't need to worry a lot at 13 months, but if it were me, I would still start letting another person put your child to sleep here and there, starting in a few months or so - just once here and there, then maybe more than once in a week or a day over time, just to get them used to it. Cuddles is what the baby needs from the others when you are not there. It will also be valuable bonding time with those other people. Even an older sibling can do a great job at this if there is one. :)

Good luck - it is a tough, emotional time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought I'd post an update on this, for other mums who might be having the same concerns.

I'm amazed how well it's going. I started leaving for work twice a week, while dad stays with my son. He is doing very well, they somehow manage to do the daily nap perfectly, so I am more confident that it will work when he goes to day care.

Sometimes you have to try things and you can be surprised (positively) .
 

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Glad to hear things are going well. I started taking my twin boys to daycare at 13 months in January. I went in at lunch and nursed them to nap until August. Then in September they were moving from the baby room to the toddler room and I knew I need to work more on the day they were at daycare. At 20 months they were more ready for napping independently at daycare. We still co-sleep, nurse to sleep at night, and occasionally nursing during the night. Nursing in toddlerhood is normal here, although dh thinks it should be done.
 
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