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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
X posted to Breastfeeding<br><br>
Hi mamas. I'm so lucky to have a darling 7.5 months old daughter who is a breastfeeding champ <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> . She started out life being able to just fall asleep and slept through the night (8-9 hours) at just six weeks. At five months, the dream ended <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> as it will with babies that age as they get busy with life and begin to notice their surroundings more. As a result, I began nursing her in a dark, quiet room (the bedroom) and she often fell asleep at the breast. No problem, except now she really can't fall asleep with me unless I nurse her down. At night she wakes up, and I nurse her to sleep, but sometimes my sense is she's not really hungry, just restless and wet. She's still kind of awake when I unlatch her and put her in her co-sleeper, but she's far from awake.<br><br>
Lately, I've begun to think that I'd like to develop a different sleep routine for her. FWIW, she can fall asleep by rocking when she's with dh or her auntie, which is rare. Do I risk bad sleep habits developing and continuing into toddlerhood by doing this? How can I end it in a gentle way and when's a good time to do so? It's not that I'm not totally committed to nursing. I am and she's still ebf. I just want these transitions to be easier for her and for her to learn some self soothing. At what age is that appropriate?<br><br>
Can some of you share your stories, experience, tricks and plans with me? I'm not sure of my committment level, but I've learned to trust my intuition and my intuition is waving red warning flags! TIA!
 

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why? babies are BABIES, they don't need to "self soothe", they need their mommies to soothe them. the fact that others can rock her sounds like everything is great, why ruin a good thing? if babies weren't supposed to nurse to sleep they wouldn't fall asleep when they nurse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
melody, thanks for your reply. Hmmm, isn't saying this:<br><br><i>if babies weren't supposed to nurse to sleep they wouldn't fall asleep when they nurse.</i><br><br>
kind of like saying if babies weren't supposed to cry to sleep, they wouldn't fall asleep when crying?<br><br>
I get it that I'm her comfort and that's great, I'm just looking for some info on gentle alternatives and the appropriate age to introduce them.
 

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I think it's important for kids to know how to gently fall asleep on their own and I encouraged my kids by putting them down, awake, from a very early age. With my third I specifically chose not to always put her to sleep by nursing as I felt the habit was not something I wanted to maintain in the long term. I learned how hard it was to have an older (weaned) child who had no self-soothing skills with dd2.<br><br>
I will say I think some kids sleep more soundly than others, but it sounds like your child is one of those. Knowing there are developmental milestones that always accompany night-waking helps, too.<br><br>
Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution? She talks a lot about the tricks that might work. We found parts of the book to be really effective. With dd2 I did the back-pats and the white noise with a lot of success. Also, I would often stay in the room in a chair as she was learning to fall asleep without me or without nursing. I would talk if she got sad, but I let her find her way, gently.<br><br>
Also, my dh tends to dd3 almost exclusively at night. For my kids, sleeping through the night only happened when we weaned at night. Only you know if this is right for your child and your family. It worked for us, but I dont' want to sound like I am advocating it for everyone because I don't feel comfortable with a blanket statement like that.<br><br>
HTH and good luck.<br><br>
Jesse
 

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I don't know anything about teaching a babe to self-soothe, but you aren't risking bad sleeping habits at such a young age. How she sleeps now isn't necessarily how she will sleep when she is older. I once thought I'd be nursing my daughter to sleep forever. Then she didn't want to nurse to sleep, just cuddle. Then only Daddy could get her to sleep. Then either Mommy or Daddy would do. Now she's in a not-picky stage and will cuddle to sleep, nurse to sleep, or listen to her crib aquarium and go to sleep on her own. But she's 14 months old, and she needed help getting to sleep until just recently.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lasciate</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How she sleeps now isn't necessarily how she will sleep when she is older. I once thought I'd be nursing my daughter to sleep forever. Then she didn't want to nurse to sleep, just cuddle. Then only Daddy could get her to sleep. Then either Mommy or Daddy would do. Now she's in a not-picky stage and will cuddle to sleep, nurse to sleep, or listen to her crib aquarium and go to sleep on her own. But she's 14 months old, and she needed help getting to sleep until just recently.</div>
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I have had the same concern with my 8-month-old son. I've always nursed him to sleep, and I worried that he would NEVER be able to fall asleep without nursing. One of my friends eased my fears by telling me that I haven't even met my 1-year old or 18-month-old son, so how could I possibly know what he'll need? In other words, a baby's needs change so quickly that you can't really anticipate what they'll need/want in the future. It made sense to me, anyway!
 

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I nursed both of my children to sleep (for naps and night) from the beginning.<br><br>
They can both put themselves to sleep now.<br><br>
I truly believe that part of AP is recognizing that often children know inside of them their own time frame and if you don't push it, you won't have an issue.<br><br>
I really wouldn't worry with a child that young.
 

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i love the NCSS book recommended.<br><br>
Our routine is:<br><br>
Change diaper<br>
read book<br>
sing song<br>
nurse<br>
turn on mobile<br>
kiss and night night<br><br>
for nap and for bed.<br><br>
The moment she fusses, I go back in and nurse her down.<br><br>
Repeating this routine, it may take a month or even two months, but eventually, she will stop fussing and just hang out and go to sleep, and I wont have to come back in and nurse her to sleep.<br><br>
Its just the over<br>
and over<br>
and over<br>
and over<br>
and over<br><br>
of the routine that is supposed to make it take eventually.<br><br>
Not a quick fix, this one!<br><br>
I am also introducing a lovey (blanket) when putting her to sleep.
 

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31 WAYS TO GET YOUR BABY TO GO TO SLEEP AND STAY ASLEEP EASIER<br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070300.asp" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070300.asp</a><br><br>
Maybe some ideas on there?
 

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I don't think that 7.5 months is too old to nurse to sleep. My ds transitioned/is transitioning from nurse to sleep to putting himself to sleep now and it is a slow process. Your baby will reach a point where they will not go to sleep when you nurse them. Does that mean they don't go to sleep? Of course not.<br>
I don't think you are risking bad sleep behavior with this....but if you are really concerned about it the No Cry Sleep Solution is probably your best bet.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ktmama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">melody, thanks for your reply. Hmmm, isn't saying this:<br><br><i>if babies weren't supposed to nurse to sleep they wouldn't fall asleep when they nurse.</i><br><br>
kind of like saying if babies weren't supposed to cry to sleep, they wouldn't fall asleep when crying?<br><br>
I get it that I'm her comfort and that's great, I'm just looking for some info on gentle alternatives and the appropriate age to introduce them.</div>
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babies pass out from exhaustion crying, they don't gently fall asleep. what i'm saying is that you already have a great way to put her to sleep, and she goes to sleep for other people, so why do something else? i'm biased though, i think nursing a baby to sleep is one of the sweetest things in the entire world <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mothragirl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">babies pass out from exhaustion crying, they don't gently fall asleep. what i'm saying is that you already have a great way to put her to sleep, and she goes to sleep for other people, so why do something else? i'm biased though, i think nursing a baby to sleep is one of the sweetest things in the entire world <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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Not all babies who fall asleep on their own do so from crying. My children learned to gently fall asleep, too. Just because there is another side to this story doesn't mean those who think differently from you are monsters or who have no sense of gentle parenting. Who doesn' t think a nursing baby isn't sweet? What isn't sweet is feeling like there are no other options besides nursing to sleep. Being so exhausted you can hardly function or feel resentful. Other options does not equal non-attached parenting.<br><br>
Jesse
 

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one of the reasons i don't like talking about things on the internet is that things get taken out of context. if you look i'm not the one who mentioned crying intitially, it was used to refute a statement i made. maybe i'm just bitter from other parenting websites where people want their children to fall asleep on their own and become independent as fast as possible in the name of "self soothing" (i loathe that term) so i have to defend nursing to sleep as a snap reaction.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Peace.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Peace">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mothragirl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">one of the reasons i don't like talking about things on the internet is that things get taken out of context. if you look i'm not the one who mentioned crying intitially, it was used to refute a statement i made. maybe i'm just bitter from other parenting websites where people want their children to fall asleep on their own and become independent as fast as possible in the name of "self soothing" (i loathe that term) so i have to defend nursing to sleep as a snap reaction.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Peace.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Peace"></div>
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I gotcha. I hear ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just wanted to thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I've been so concerned about my dd's degrading sleep and nursing both during the day and at night that I *knew* she needed a change. After reading all of your input (THANK YOU!), talking with my mom and sisters (all parents - mom raised nine the AP way), reading some "experts" in the field of child development and discussing it with my dh, we did decide to stop nursing to sleep. AND........the results have been remarkable.<br><br>
Both Annabelle's daytime nursing and nighttime sleeping have improved. No more snacking and waking for snacking! She consistently sleeping in 5-6 hour stretches again at night. I'm just rocking her to sleep instead and it's working great. I'm also playing some soft music and keeping the lights dim for her. It takes about 10-15 minutes for her to fall into a relaxed sleep and be ready to be put down.<br><br>
When it's appropriate (weeks, months, I don't know), we'll make the move to help her fall asleep in her bed, but for now, this is a great solution for us. Thanks again, mamas. With your help, we found a really gentle solution. A special thanks to indiegirl. I couldn't have said it better myself.
 

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Kate, you're inspiring me! Clara nurses to sleep 95% of the time, which is great with me about 87% of the time, but sometimes I'm just plain worn out! I think we'll try some other gentle soothing options, just so I don't feel so stuck.
 

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Honestly, I think NOT nursing to sleep after a certain point is the key. Good for you for finding what works for your family!<br><br>
Jesse
 

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Well, I know this one well...I made the mistake twice of teaching my children to fall asleep ONLY by nursing. With my second child, I was waking 6-7 times a night to try and help her fall back asleep...not good for Mommy! On top of that, my daughter wasn't hungry, just needing soothing to sleep. Then she started spitting up and having bad gas from too much nursing! Yikes. I tried at that time to put her down with different techniques, but she would become so frustrated with me, b/c she was used to nursing. With both children, I nursed whenever they were upset (and of course, hungry). A friend of mine who has 5 children said that she never nursed her children unless they were hungry, and she NEVER had the problem that I did. All of her kids slept through the night (or most of it) by 2-3 months of age. When they were crying or upset, she used different ways to soothe them. Waking so many times in one night is tolerable for a month or so, but when this goes on for many months, it takes it toll on everyone. I'm pregnant with number 3, and I don't know what will happen, but I'll try my friend's method and see how it works. Every family has to figure out what works for them. Some of my friends nurse their children all the time (like I did) and never had the night waking problems that I experienced.
 

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I am still nursing my 3 year old to sleep, at night and at nap. Rest assured, they eventually grow out of this. My three older kids, now 14, 12 and 9.5 barely need a kiss! I say give them what they need now, Love, love, love em.
 
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