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I am super frustrated trying to figure out if we can lessen my 15 mo dd's need to nurse down to sleep. We're a dedicated cosleeping family and probably will be for quite some time as she sleeps much more securely with us still. My little peanut is also a milkaholic and we plan to practice CLW when that time comes.

We've tried the No Cry Sleep Solution method of pulling the boob out and trying to soothe but it's just hysterical screaming and the boob is the only thing that calms her down (we're on week three of this and no dice). But seriously, it's killing me. DH is fustrated because he can't get her to sleep and stay asleep on his own... she won't cuddle down in bed with him or allow him to put her down in the bed after walking her to sleep. CIO is not an option we are willing to explore but we are all very frustrated.
: I am tired of being the soothie but I am far more exhausted with all the talk of how she'll never stop doing that if I don't push her out from friends and family. The talk makes me feel like we're failing her there.

I don't know if she's just not ready or if I'm just letting everyone get to me.

What worked for you? Will she ever sleep with out the boob and can it be painless (relatively)? Any thoughts are appreciated.
 

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It sounds to me like she's not ready yet. That was a REALLY hard age for us--molars were coming in, separation anxiety was in full force, skills like walking and running and talking were all disturbing her sleep.

It does pass though. She gave up nursing to sleep around 18 months (and that's when it gets tricky because you no longer have the magic!), warmed up to Daddy putting her to sleep by age 2, and by age 2 1/2, would ONLY let my DH put her to sleep (and then I started feeling rejected!
)

 

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Huge
s to you, mama! And a big resounding Yes, she will go to sleep without the boob and No! You're not failing her in the least!!!

A couple of thoughts:

1. The No Cry Sleep Solution did nothing for us either, so don't feel badly about that. My biggest beef with these books is that children are human beings who are very unique...what works for one may not work for another. It's great to have things to try but don't feel like a failure if they don't work. It's just not the right fit for your lo.

2. Don't ask what your friends and family think if they aren't supportive of your choices to cosleep and practice extended bf'ing. I remember sharing with my MIL with my first and really regretting it because her responses really undermined my confidence that my choices were good ones.

3. Here's what worked for us: I felt as you did when ds2 was about 15 months...I felt a bit trapped because it was me or nothing that would work. My dh got very involved and is really good with babies so that helps a lot. He walked the baby down reassuring him that all was fine...I think his attitude was very persuasive and ds fell asleep with him one night...after that we stuck with it and now the routine is very much a ritual - the family reads together, sings, then I nurse the baby (who is now 17 mos) and dh lies down in bed with him until he falls asleep.

I never thought this would work, but we kept revisiting it until ds was ready for the change. Your lo might not be ready for your dh to be involved but I would keep trying...one day it's going to work. Have dh walk with her in a dark room or rock her or just lie down next to her. I was shocked when my dh was able to just lie down in the bed while ds drifted off to sleep...honestly I thought he was lying. But now ds will sometimes lie next to me and drift off without nursing if he wakes up in the middle of the night and it's such a refreshing change from the all night nursing.

There wasn't really a trick or technique we used. We just talked about it a lot and tried different things at different times until ds was ready.

Trust your instincts. And know that this will pass. It really will. That has helped me tremendously the second time around....it does get easier and it never stays the same.

Hang in there!!
 

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Awhile back we went through a similar thing -- she couldn't sleep without the boob, so it was worse than just the nursing to sleep habit (which I have no issues with), as it was STAYING asleep without nursing that became our problem.

We moved the glider into our bedroom and nursing to sleep in the glider became the new routine before bed. I'd sit and rock andd let her nurse until she fell VERY asleep.

Then we'd crawl into bed, still attached if need be (the NCSS wasn't very helpful for us either as I'm her lovey, but anyway), and very very slowly I'd unlatch her. We did focus on soothing without the breast being immediately offered and gradually she got able to sleep without nursing once more.

Some things that help, I think: when teething, be proactive about pain management. Whether it's Hylands or Motrin -- whatever your remedy of choice, give the child some before you start nursing. We keep a bottle of Hylands by the bed and a small flashlight nearby.

Be proactive about the routine so your little one gets used to falling asleep while nursing somewhere other than in your bed. I gave up trying to get her to sleep without nursing as it was NOT working for us and was making me nuts. Once I took control of my feelings here and decided nursing to sleep was a GOOD thing for us, that helped. But I feel your pain -- nursing all night is no fun. The NCSS did have some good tips on soothing before you offer the breast, and we let her pick out two soft dolls and a blanket (over time and out of many things) to act as a lovey of sorts.

Now we always make a point to get her blanket (or one of the two dolls, but inevitably it's her blanket) as part of the pre-bed routine. We hold it while we nurse in the glider and once she's in bed it's next to her all night. I encourate her to snuggle with the blanket some too, though that's slow-going.

Another thing is to make sure she has a good snack before bed. I know some people don't think solids or a full tummy helps with better sleep, but in our case it does. I am fine with her getting some good healthy food before bedtime and making sure we have that snack has helped reduce the number of nursing sessions in the middle of the night.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I understand, I really do. And I hope that you find some help from the mamas here.

You're certainly not alone.
 

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I agree- it sound like she's just not ready.

Is it just once for the night that's the problem? Or does she wake up often at night and need to be nursed back down?

good luck!

-Angela
 

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Just a thought, because 15 months is often such a busy age. Might she be nursing all night because she is hungry? I know I still go through times when my children are just too busy to take time to eat during the day and then they seem to nurse all night, maybe focusing on eating a lot throughout the day would be worth a try?
 

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My son is 16 months old. I am the soothie. It doesn't bother me. I don't really ask what other people think I should do with my nipples.

Your okay with it. Baby is happy. You all get some sleep. What's the problem?
 

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My oldest DD nursed to sleep until she was 3. Then at 3 she started staying overnight one night per week at my parent's house. Of course she didn't nurse to sleep those nights, but did when at home. This lasted until just before her 4th birthday when one night she just went to sleep without nursing and never nursed again.

My 2nd DD is just over one and although she prefers to nurse to sleep, daddy can dance with her to music and she will fall asleep. She's just a different kid.

So, I agree, she's not ready which probably means that no solution will be an easy one. If it was easy, that would mean she was ready.
 

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Sounds like you need a pair of earplugs - to block out that well-meaning but wrong advice, of course.

Yes, this stage is hard.
It's ok to be frustrated. It's even ok to try to change things. But you're absolutely right to be listening to your daughter, and she's telling you exactly what she needs for the moment, which is nursing to sleep. As long as it's working for her, and working for you (even if it isn't what you would prefer!), keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
wow thanks ladies!

it is so great to know that we're not the only people going through this kind of thing. i just need to stop listening to everyone else...it just is hard to hear how a 5 mo sleeps through the night and CIO is just the only thing that works etc. rar.

i think you guys are right...she just isn't ready yet. i'll keep in mind the suggestions about teething and snacks. we're trying to be better about both of those but could probably try a little harder. teething is a painful time at our house. that is one of the times i get really fustrated but i know it's because she's trying to find comfort. it's the nights of nursing and nursing when i have sore nipples right before my period starts that are killer.

she can go back to sleep on her own if she doesn't get totally awake but she does wake up and nurse/nurse back to sleep a couple times a night.
 

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No real advice, but letting you know that we are in the same situation here. I reckon we can be proud of helping our little ones to sleep in such a gentle way!

DS is 18 months, he screams without the breast, and will scream for dh too. The nipple-pulling-out-of-mouth trick never worked for us, though it's been a long time since I've tried it.

Even thought I made peace with ds's sleeping a long time ago, I still have frustrating times, and have even told dh "you better learn how to help ds go to sleep soon!" after a frustrating session. But, it then gets better, and I actually enjoy the nursing to sleep again.

I've read many times here on mdc that as toddlers grow to understand more, it is easier and kinder to figure out alternative soothing to sleep routines. So, don't worry, we won't have these same frustrations in a couple of years.

Best wishes for you and your little one. Sounds like you are a very loving and attentive mommy.
 
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