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for those who don't nurse to sleep

500 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Nicci P
It turns out that DD (24 months) has a mouth full of cavities. I know that there is disagreement as to whether nursing contributes, but we have decided to err on the side of caution and develop a bedtime routine which involves nothing to eat or drink besides water after her teeth have been brushed.

We are not struggling with night wakings - she still wakes a few times and will fuss, but she understands that we're waiting until the morning.

It's the bedtime nursing session that we're having trouble with. It's been about a week and we haven't found anything that works consistently.

Tonight, it's 11 pm, and she JUST fell asleep, on the floor. When we were nursing to sleep it would be between 7:30 and 8. If this had all gone down peacefully I guess I could adapt, but she was obviously overtired and very cranky for the last couple of hours.

We have tried rocking to sleep (she refuses), reading (we read 100000 books with no sleeping, in the dark with a booklight), cuddling/singing, walking in the stroller (this has worked best so far, but I feel like she'll outgrow it soon), and driving in the car. The car works to get her to sleep but she never has transferred without waking.

Also, we have been nursing right before teeth brushing. She gets very sleepy at this time and sometimes I have to keep talking to her to make sure she stays awake. I wonder if we're pushing past some "window" at this time, by stimulating too much after she's so tired by brushing her teeth (which she hates).

whew, that was long...all I really meant to ask was:

If you don't nurse your child to sleep, what do you do? How long did it take to establish a new association/routine?

Thank you!
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We nurse for a few minutes (5 minutes at most) then I just sit next to him. Laying down next to him makes him start pulling on my shirt and he gets upset when I stop him. I don't talk unless he's upset, just rubbing his back/belly/face/arm. If I get the timing right, I only have to sit there 20ish minutes before he's asleep

He made the switch easily, we've been doing it like this for about 2 weeks and tonight I was even able to leave the room while he was still awake without any issues.

Maybe if start nursing a little sooner and have the tooth brush and a cup of water in the room so you can brush teeth quickly while still in a dim/dark room so there isn't cuddle/nurse time, get up into bright lights then back to bed.

Good luck!
We just stuck to the routine exactly, it took about 2 weeks for DS to really get used to it.
The routine goes...
1.) Bath. Sometimes I get in with him too. Normally bath for about 30 mins.
2.) Dry hair, massage (he loves this bit!), PJs on.
3.) Nurse for as long as he wants.
4.) Brush teeth
5.) Get into bed, he chooses whether he wants a story or singing... sometimes we have both if he doesnt seem tired.

After that he just cuddles his fave teddy (a pink unicorn that used to be mine!) and goes to sleep without fuss.

We've been doing it for months now and it's great. Takes about an hour altogether.
But getting him used to it was hard. Stick to it and youll be fine!

Good luck

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