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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,<br><br>
I am due in August with my 2nd child. I nursed my DS for 3.5 years. and every single night of those 3.5 years I nursed him to sleep. He didn't fall asleep any other way unless it was that he fell asleep in the car, or just plain tuckered himself out and he passed out on the floor or something (as a toddler).<br><br>
Now he is almost 7 years old and since he stopped nursing at 3.5 he hasn't been able to fall asleep without the tv. It's like he took one comfort thing and replaced it with another. I don't know for sure that nursing is what caused that, it could just be "him". He is on the autism spectrum and has severe anxiety so that could play a big part in it.<br><br>
What I was wondering is, do most people nurse their kiddos to sleep. I don't mean till they are drowsy but till they are out like a light and then put them in bed? Or do most people nurse, do something else then put them down awake, but not upset? I am not opposed to nursing to sleep again- I mean honestly it was simple to do, there was never any fussing about going to bed or anything so in a way it was easier on me, but I want to make sure I didn't screw up with my son and then repeat the habit... does that make sense? I am not even saying that I screwed up with my son, I mean honestly it doesn't bother me that much that he can't fall asleep without the tv I was like that for many many years, until I started sleeping with my husband who needs it pitch black and quiet and since I wanted to continue to have him in my bed I was able to give it up haha.
 

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my baby is only 3 months, so my experience is only that...<br><br>
i don't ALWAYS nurse to sleep. i mean, not on purpose. sometimes she does fall asleep, sometimes she's only drowsy, sometimes she's up and ready to play. she's also a VERY sucky baby... she only rarely sucks herself out on my breast... normally i'm crawling the walls long before that and need to replace myself with a pacifier.<br><br>
anyway, i'm sort of the same as you and your son... i have a hard time just going to sleep with a dark room and no noise. i don't own a tv, but if i slept by myself, i'd fall asleep with a book on my chest and the lamp on almost every night. my husband likes the total darkness and quietness. i think it's probably better to be able to sleep with some distractions (i came out of the newborn period much better rested than my husband, for example, same with travelling etc) but there is something to be said for learning to shut your brain off at night. personally i think you're better off trying to transition your son to reading or listening to the radio at night, rather than tv... there have been studies that show that tv watching signifigantly impacts quality of sleep.<br><br>
as for your baby, i don't know! i think you kind of just have to do what gets you and them the most amount of sleep at the time, and worry about habits later. there might be some merit in changing it up sometimes though... flexibility in babies and small children is a precious gift!!
 

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I do think it depends a lot on the child.<br><br>
I still nurse dd1 to sleep and I don't see it ending anytime soon (she's 3.5) but dd2(almost 1) goes to bed awake and has been doing so for most of her life. That said, we still parent to sleep, pat her back, rub her arms, stroke her hair, etc until she falls asleep.<br><br>
We did encourage her to go to bed awake but drowsy in the first few months, but I believe that this ability was in her, we just nurtured it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I totally agree about weaning him off the TV but unfortunately no matter how many times we have tried it sets off a series of reactions that isn't good for anyone. His anxiety level goes up so high that sleep is impossible for any one <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We can't even turn off the tv once he's asleep he will wake up in the night scared and come in and cry until we turn it back on... and it's not an issue of light since we have 2 nightlights in his room, and he has a street light almost directly outside his window.<br><br>
I have no issues nursing the new babe to sleep I just don't want to do something "wrong". I think a lot of it stems from my son's issues, and while I know I didn't "cause" him to be the way he is and I love him just the way he is I just want to minimize any risks of having 2 children with sleeping difficulties. Parenting to sleep (if she doesn't nurse to sleep) isn't an issue either as she will be cosleeping... incidentally we are moving a mattress for my son in to our room too because I think he might want to sleep in our room too, and if so that might be a way to transition him out of the tv since he will be in a different environment....
 

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I nursed my DD to sleep until she started weaning herself a couple of months before turning 4. We had a transition period where she slowly needed less parenting to sleep. But by 4.5 she just gets her toy-friends and talks to them while going to sleep on her own, when she's tired.<br><br>
The point is nursing a child to sleep doesn't cause sleep issues. A secure child with no other anxiety issues will learn to go to sleep on their own when they are ready. So your DSs need for noise and stimulation when going to sleep isn't because of nursing to sleep. It's probably because of his anxiety. Have you tried white noise, talking books or music? Also a night lite that changes color or has moving lights might be an effective part of a replacement for the tv.
 

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My ds#1 always nursed to sleep. Like 98% (he made an exception for the car) of the time until around age 1. Even after then, until he weaned (at 18 months), he would always nurse just before sleep, until drowsy. When he weaned, he went to a sippy of milk (and now, at 3.5, still wants that) just before bed. And a cup won't do--he wants that sucking. He is an awesome, awesome sleeper.<br><br>
My 2nd ds NEVER nursed to sleep. He nursed upon waking the first 9 months, then added another nursing (I needed to boost supply) just before naps/bedtime at that age. But, never all the way to sleep. He is an awful sleeper--didn't sleep through the night until 21 months old (long after he weaned), and he frequently wakes in the night still.<br><br>
Honestly? I'm almost due with #3, and I'm going to encourage nursing to sleep. It was so nice to be able to take a tired baby and get them to pass out just by nursing. No extensive rocking, boucing, cajoling, etc. It was really nice, and I'm crossing my fingers that this one will be willing. We'll see. I think it has more to do with the baby than anything else, though.
 

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I have two weaned kids and one newborn. DC1 nursed until he was just shy of 4, but was nightweaned around 2, and nursed to sleep around 2 1/2 (middle of my pregnancy with DC2). DC2 was nursed until around 3, but totally nightweaned around 2. They are now 6 and 3, sleep in their own beds (in a shared bedroom) and will go to sleep just about any way. Usually it's the same routine- change into jammies, brush teeth, read a book, go to sleep. It's not uncommon for my daughter 3 yo to decide she's tired and just crawl into bed. Sometimes the kids will look at books on their own before shutting off the lights and going to sleep.<br><br>
Anyway, I don't think that nursing to sleep will necessarily create a habit or dependency. Though, bedtimes usually go more smoothly with an established routine, so it makes sense to choose pre-bedtime activities that are healthy or in line with your family values.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks eveyrone. I knew in my heart that it wasn't the nursing to sleep that caused the problems with my son, but you know that as moms we always question ourselves. Personally I loved nursing him to sleep I loved that milk drunk sleep where they just don't wake up! And I hope that my new DD will be the same since he slept so well after nursing. But I just wanted to make sure it was what other people did too, do you know what I mean??<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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I do and don't I don't delibertly latch her off so I CAN put her to bed awake if shes willing to nurse to the point of falling off dead drunk I allow it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> However its rare all my kids get to the point really early where they actually dont like to be nursed completely down or rocked till totally asleep. So most night I nurse til she is full and latches off and wont latch back and then I go lay her down and she falls asleep the rest of the way on her own. (if she does cry we imediently get her).. Some that have seen her (and our older when she was litttle) comment on how well we "sleep trained" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> but we never did...<br><br>
Deanna
 

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I wished I could nurse to sleep. DD would refuse to nurse at bedtime (starting at a few months old) because she knew it would make her sleepy. At about 20 months she started falling asleep while nursing before naps. She still won't nurse to sleep at bedtime (ok, she might if we nursed for an hour but my pregnant nipples can't take that).<br>
I don't think you created a problem. You said that your son is on the autism spectrum, right? It sounds like he just needs some help processing and soothing-do what works!
 

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DS nursed to sleep until I couldn't nurse anymore (supply disappeared while pregnant). He would not fall asleep any other way. DH had a hard time getting him to sleep when I wasn't home.<br><br>
DD, on the other hand, rarely nurses to sleep. I notice she is sleepy and I either put her in a wrap or else put her in her bassinet and she just goes to sleep! Crazy.<br><br>
So, anyway, I don't think you can really plan for anything, but maybe just *hope* you new baby won't need to nurse to sleep? I did not think it was a big deal to nurse DS to sleep at all, but it sure is easier when they just sleep when they are tired!
 

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well in our case my dd nursed to sleep pretty much every night unless i could transfer her from the car or something. she has fallen asleep next to me or dh a few times as well. right now she is in the habit for asking for a show or movie when she is tired and she will promptly fall asleep. i know she is able to go to sleep on her own but sometimes it is easier to use the tv <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> (my dh works 8am to 1am so sometimes i just cant deal with nursing two at once)<br>
anyway my sister went to sleep with the tv pretty much every night and even as an adult she does it. she just likes the noise i guess. my dh also likes it dark and quiet. i can sleep either way <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Nicole730</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15432723"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DS nursed to sleep until I couldn't nurse anymore (supply disappeared while pregnant). He would not fall asleep any other way. DH had a hard time getting him to sleep when I wasn't home.<br><br>
DD, on the other hand, rarely nurses to sleep. I notice she is sleepy and I either put her in a wrap or else put her in her bassinet and she just goes to sleep! Crazy.<br><br>
So, anyway, I don't think you can really plan for anything, but maybe just *hope* you new baby won't need to nurse to sleep? I did not think it was a big deal to nurse DS to sleep at all, but it sure is easier when they just sleep when they are tired!</div>
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This has been my experience as well. DS1 nursed to sleep and I could hardly ever put him down to sleep, even when he was solidly out. He'd just wake up again. DS2, OTOH, I can put down AWAKE, and he'll sort of entertain himself and then conk out. And then sleep for 3-4 hours alone. And he's only 2 months old! I mean, it's a completely different parenting experience for me. I've been wondering if it's something to do with him being child #2 - maybe I'm more confident, I don't know. Or maybe he's just a super easygoing kid. But yeah, not all kids need to be nursed to sleep.
 

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I don't. I co-sleep for the first few months (3-4) and then my babies move to their own space (I WOH FT and just can't sleep enough to be safe at work when I've got a baby in my bed). After that I start to work on putting them down drowsy but still awake. I still rock, cuddle, and nurse at bedtime and naptimes but I just let them finish then lay them down. It doesn't always work. There are still nights where the 8mo old is zonked by the time I lay him in his crib, but most of the time he nurses until he is done and when I feel him switch from effective sucking to using me as a paci, I put him down or he finishes and pops off and then I put him down. He holds his blankie close and grunts and whines a couple of times and then goes off to sleep.<br>
I think you got to do what works for you and your family. Don't worry about "bad habits." Just do what your heart says is the right thing and you can't go wrong.
 

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The best advice I ever got was to do whatever allows everyone to get the most sleep. At times that was tv for my dd1 as well.<br><br>
dd2 will NOT nurse to sleep. She's 14 wks. She nurses til she's full and then I put her in the wrap (moby) and walk around... she's out in that thing within 10 minutes. If I try anything else she will cry til she sees the wrap. She also likes to suck on fingers to sleep while I walk around but refuses to nurse or take a pacifier. This is for all naps, night time, anytime she's tired. Once she's down at night she will nurse through the night back to sleep so at least I don't have to get up and walk her back to sleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I worried about if I was doing the right thing or not in the sleep department constantly up until the last couple of weeks. My dd1 just turned 3. She started her own room and her own bed about 3 mos ago and is starting to put herself to sleep! I would love to cosleep but it just doesnt work. my 3 yr old is an active sleeper and my husband has some ptsd sleep issues. We have a bedtime routine and then I tell her ok I'm going to check on baby, I'll be back in a few minutes to sit by you... go to sleep. When I go back she's asleep, I can hear her just talk to herself and play w her blanket til she konks out.<br><br>
I don't think there's anything wrong with nursing to sleep.
 
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