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I have a very strong willed toddler. We have read the no-cry sleep solution, and did not try it frankly because simply massaging and such would never put DD asleep.

She will only go to sleep when she nursed and occasionally in the car (because sometimes even nursing won't work!) She sleeps through the night for the most part, occasionally she has an off night, and we co-sleep, so I just nurse her back to sleep. But 3 out of 7 nights a week we have to take a 20 minute drive to get her to sleep.

She is just always "going" and doesn't handle change, at all, well.

For a variety of reasons I am thinking I am ready to wean DD, and, maybe even I won't, but her sleep pattern has to change.

We have a routine of dinner (Dh's work requires a late dinner) and jammies and diaper, brush teeth, and nurse to sleep.

How can I help her move on to going to sleep on her own. I am okay with doing most things except rocking, I don't want her to become too dependent on another habit she will have to change.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bauchtanz View Post
We have a routine of dinner (Dh's work requires a late dinner) and jammies and diaper, brush teeth, and nurse to sleep. How can I help her move on to going to sleep on her own. I am okay with doing most things except rocking, I don't want her to become too dependent on another habit she will have to change.
I'm wondering if you try earlier, what might happen. I understand your dh's work and the late dinner, but I can't help wondering...

Is she getting enough (for her) opportunity for energy expending during the day?
Is she napping?
These can be factors in her nighttime habits.

You might check out Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's book, Sleepless in America. Has information on how much sleep each age range requires. Heard her speak on this subject in the spring, and it was fascinating hearing about the "window" that our children show us when they are ready for sleep, but we often miss it, and then it takes that much longer and more work to reach sleep.

I wouldn't worry about "habits." They (children) keep changing and moving on very naturally and inevitably
 

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not much advice, but I have a 19 month old who only nurses to sleep, too. Haven't read NCSS, but massaging/back rubbing would not work for her, either. Sometimes patting her back will help during nightwakings, but most often she searches out the breast to fall back to sleep (and pushes my hand away if I try to pat or rub her back instead!
). I have noticed, in the last month or so, that she will (ocassionally) unlatch while still awake (drowsy, but awake), and then close her eyes and fall asleep. Which, for her, is a big change. In the past, she would have rolled around, flailed, cried, until she latched on again. So, I am seeing some change in her sleep patterns. Not a lot, but some.

My only suggestion is maybe an earlier bedtime? Maybe she's overtired and having a hard time winding down? Although I have a DH with an odd work schedule, too, so I'm guilty of pushing back bedtimes just so they have some Daddy/daughter time together in the evenings...

DD has a hard time with transitions, too, and even though our routine is pretty loose, it does help her to say "goodnight" to things--her toys, etc. It's really become a signal for her that it's bedtime.

All this to say, I understand and other toddlers are like yours. Definitely not alone!

toddler needs me...
 

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Personally, I find that babies don't accept change well if you force it on them. They change and except it better on their own and do better when you follow their lead.

My child is 24 months old, and he cannot get to sleep without nursing. Are you looking to wean completely, or just keep from having to nurse to sleep? I would strongly encourage you not to wean completely, and try to at least make it to two years, as the world health organization suggests.
 

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I have started talking my daughter through things--i.e., "Now it is time for bed. Mama will read you a story, and then you can go to sleep!" I'm not nursing DD, but maybe some cueing will help you in teaching her about bedtime without nursing being essential?
 

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she is just a baby, she needs to be parented to sleep. i think you need to have realistic expectations. are you just burnt out by the end of the day? if you have a SO can they give you an hour or so to yourself before bedtime? i don't know any 18 month old babies (or 2 year olds) who just fall asleep by themselves.
 

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Originally Posted by mothragirl View Post
she is just a baby, she needs to be parented to sleep. i think you need to have realistic expectations. are you just burnt out by the end of the day? if you have a SO can they give you an hour or so to yourself before bedtime? i don't know any 18 month old babies (or 2 year olds) who just fall asleep by themselves.
My 2 yr old does, without nursing or CIO. He just does.
 

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DS nurses to sleep at times and at other times he doesn't, it depends on what he wants to do. But if he needed to every night, I would do it. I guess I am not understanding why this is such a big problem. 18 months is just a baby still IMO, and maybe your DC needs that comfort.

You said in your post that your DC doesn't handle change well at all...weaning would be a bad idea then, along with the fact that 18 months is too young to wean a child IMO.

I wish you luck in finding something you and your DC are both comfortable with.
 

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I don't know if you believe in energy. But i follow feng shui in my home alot and have read that the position of the bed can help with sleeping patterns. You mentioned she just keeps going. Well the "cure" for that is to have the head of the bed face West if possible, which slows the mind down. I was thinking of trying this myself for DD who can get a bit hyperactive and hard to get down.

Just thinking outside the box a bit..
 

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I agree- it's not a reasonable expectation for an 18mo to go to sleep on their own.

Is it just going to sleep that's the problem? Is it taking too long? Is there lots of nightwaking?

Because the just nursing to sleep is normal.

-Angela
 

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You said that most nights she sleeps through the night. If she needs to nurse to sleep at the beginning of the night and then sleeps all night, well, if I were you I would be doing a happy dance!

Sorry, I know that isn't what you're looking for, but with a son that wakes anywhere from 6-12 times each night, and getting on average about 4 hours of sleep per night myself, I would loooove to be in your position.

I agree that trying an earlier bedtime might be an option. How about giving her dinner on her own, getting her to bed, then have a nice quiet dinner with DH?

Good luck,
winn
 

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We've just started something new. Almost 17 mth old DS can only fall asleep nursing. DS nurses anywhere from every 20-30 minutes to every 2 hours or so all night and then there's a big glut in the morning that he nurses for about an hour or two right before we get up. My back is killing me with this much nursing. He comfort nurses and doesn't fully awaken to nurse, just reaches out, finds breast and inserts in mouth. If the breast isnt' there, he starts huffing and eventually wakes up and starts crying and looking for me. I started sleeping on my back and exposing the breast on his side so that in order for him to nurse, he has to slightly wake up and then prop himself up on elbows to get at the breast to nurse. He then will nurse until he either can't stay awake or realizes that it's just not worth it to have to be awake for soemthing he's not really needing and then he will roll over and go back to sleep. I know he's getting enough food during the day 'cause he eats 4-5 times and it's huge amounts (like an avocado in one sitting) so I don't feel like I'm depriving him of nutrition. We were attempting to night-wean b/c of me having to go back to work nights, but found that this would be a good intermediate step in that direction. There's no way he would ever be consoled by a pat on the back or anything. This has worked out really good for us so far in the last three weeks and i am finding that he is going to sleep a little more awake without as much nursing during the night.

Hope that possibly helps ya out.

Jen D.
 
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