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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always breastfed my 16-month-old on demand. He's used to falling asleep while nursing and wakes several times during the night to nurse again. He sleeps in our bed as well. We liked this attachment style, but it's getting mental. To cut a long story as short as I can:

Since a few months ago, I found myself not spending enough time with my 6-year-old at night because my baby would spend more than one hour nursing and then not falling asleep. I suffered from cracked nipples for months. He was nursing 'all day and all of the night' and still finding it hard to go to sleep at his time. Not that he sleeps that many hours either.

So I decided to cut back on nursing, albeit just a little bit. One month ago I started to put him to bed and try to get him fall asleep without breastfeeding. I lie next to him in my big bed, as always. But it's no good! Doesn't want to lie down, doesn't want to go to sleep quietly. It takes AGES!!! He keeps crawling out of bed and tries to leave the room, to go and play around the house. It is a big change, I know, but we've been sticking to this routine for one month already!

No good singing a soothing lullaby, holding his hand, holding him lovingly, giving him a soft toy, etc. He's just not interested!


Today I've decided to move him to his cot, which is right next to our bed. I've accompanied him all the time at nap time. OH DEAR! He cried for ANOTHER HOUR (I holding his hand... when he let me, because often he shakes it away), fell asleep STANDING UP, then, cried for ANOTHER HOUR. I finally took him out of the cot and took him to play again.

I wonder what people against 'controlled crying', among which I'm supposed to be, make of this. He is crying like mad -no tears, though, but screaming big time- but I don't even leave his side! I'm close to him, try to soothe him... He's not alone at all. He's just not adapting at all either!

THIS IS NUTS!! PLEASE HELP!
 

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I've always heard that the bedtime nursing session is the hardest/last one to go b/c of these reasons. It's hard to break the nursing to sleep association. Is your 6 year old able to spend time at night with another parent/your partner? Can a partner help w/the 16 month old's bedtime? Rocking, singing, etc?

Sorry mama, not much advice from me as my DD still nurses at night before bed herself. Nights when she doesn't fall asleep nursing, I just let her stay up a little longer, and then rock her.
 

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You don't mention if you have a partner. I had to cut out the bedtime nursing session 'cause it was taking soooooo long & I was ending every night feeling so frustrated & upset. So now I nurse him downstairs while he's still pretty awake & then dh takes him up to bed.

As for lying beside him we find we have to hold him solidly for him to fall asleep. He just cannot seem to relax & fall asleep on his own & keeps moving, moving moving. You can literally see him start to nod off & force himself up again to stop himself from falling asleep. He does cry some with this method but less than 5 minutes & it is so much faster overall than anything else we've tried.

Some children just find it harder to let go of the day I think.

fwiw - we had been doing the SAME bedtime routine for MONTHS with absolutely non of the "bedtime routine = sleepy" in this house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you!

Yes, I have a partner, but he works until very late and travels a lot. Right now he's in a business trip.
When we decided to cut the bedtime breastfeed, he changed his schedule to be at home for the baby's bedtime.
So we did what you, lifeguard, did, and he took him to sleep for a couple of weeks until the little one 'learned' that things had changed, the poor thing.

We also chose to cut that feed for a couple of reasons- being able to consider dining out sometimes on our own and granparents taking over without much drama, and the fact that we think there's an even harder time to cut back- nursing during the night. I mean, at 4 am, the last thing I want to do is be completely awaken and start over getting him to sleep.

With my other son, I weaned him altogether when he was about 26 months. It wasn't too hard and he started sleeping through the night, and has always since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A week has passed and he's learnt very quickly


The drama that I described hasn't repeated. That night he accepted the crib fine and went to sleep immediately, and the following times he sometimes "protested" but didn't really put such a fight at all. He sits, then lies and even 'asks' me to put him under his covers!

I stay with him all the time until he's sound asleep. I'm surprised it hasn't taken long. Removing the before-nightsleep breastfeed had been harder.

I hope the good work continues, though! And thank you! Still, your ideas, experiences, support, etc. are very very welcome!
 
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