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How to help ds sleep without comfort nursing . . .

461 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Ex Libris
I've tried posting this in the nursing forum, but I didn't get much response, so I thought I'd try here. My ds has always been a poor sleeper, and from the time he was born I've had to nurse him to get him to sleep. Now, of course, he can't go to sleep without being latched on. I have to be with him until he falls asleep, nurse him back to sleep again when he wakes up, and then from the middle of the night until he gets up he stays latched on. If I try to move, he'll start crying. I'm getting so sore from sleeping in the same nursing position for 2 years now and I was wondering if anyone's had any success getting a toddler to sleep w/o nursing/comfort sucking all night. I don't want to wean, I just want some better sleep.
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Sorry I don't have a definate solution for you but...
My ds doesn't stay latched on all night but I wanted to help him help himself get back to sleep most of the time when he woke up. We cosleep by the way. Ds nursed to sleep every single time since birth...NEVER had anyone else put him to sleep. For the first time when he was about 21 months or so, a friend invited me out for dinner/drinks and I hadn't been out like that in well, 3 years. So, we started a new night routine. We would lay down in the bed (instead of rocking/nursing to sleep), papa reads a story or 2, then we nurse, then after nursing is done I tell him a bedtime story...about him of course. I'm telling you I was really surprised how quickly he took to this new routine. He cried very briefly the first night and then he was used to his new way of doing things. (Of course I'm laying there until he goes to sleep...which takes about an hour). Now, my point is that just by making sure that he didn't nurse to sleep he became a much better sleeper throughout the night. Not perfect but it cut down night wakings to 2 very brief latchings on a night. Now however he's going through something and I'm at my wits end, pregnant and planning on starting nightweaninig as soon as he gets over whatever it is he's going through.

Anyway, a new routine help break the pattern.
Also, have you checked out "the no cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers" by elizabeth pantley? It has some good suggestions.
Also try posting on the Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting thread.

Good luck to ya!
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I too havetrugglec with frequent night wakenings...though I can't imagine having dd be attached to my breast all night...that would be unbearable! We've tried on and off to night wean for a while so that she learns to fall asleep without nursing. This time it seems to be working...every time she wakes up (3-10 x a night) I've been singing to her. i used to try to be so quiet..but with me singing the same repetitive song over & over she's been falling back to sleep on her own...& then when the sun rises we nurse, sleep another hour & get up for the day. Now I'm hoping that her night wakings will decrease since she is no longer getting to nurse and hearing me sing isn't worth waking up for.
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My son totally used to fall asleep nursing, but never stayed latched on all night. When he started going to sleep on his own without nursing (he self weaned when I was in my 3rd trimester with my 2nd son), he kept asking for his cup at night. So we'd let him go to sleep with a sippy cup full of water. We always put the sippy cup in the same place (corner of the bed near him) so he knows where to find it should he wake up. Maybe you could try that with some breast milk instead of water??
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll definitely try some different tactics to see if a change in routine works, like Phoebe says. Problem is that he's a high needs baby, so he doesn't take to changes very easily (especially those involving nursing). I'd be ecstatic if he just woke up to nurse for a little while throughout the night. I'm just so tired of being constantly connected to him all night. I feel like a pacifier! It'd be pretty funny if my shoulders and back weren't so sore!
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