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THIS IS X-POSTED IN TODDLERS<br><br>
Our family has recently made the transition from dd (23mos) nursing to sleep, and nursing back to sleep at each night-waking, to having dh put her down and soothe her back to sleep at night. This happened without a whole lot of tears (she accepted dh much better after I slept in the other room, and after a few nights I was able to come back to the family bed with no problem). Over all, everyone is getting a lot more sleep because she wakes SO much less at night, or at least, when she does wake up, she just goes right back to sleep because she isn't expecting to nurse. (By the way, I do not regret in any way nursing her to sleep for her first 21 mos of life! It worked great for us for a long time, but we were all ready for a change.)<br><br>
Anyway, the "problem" is that now it takes sooooo long for her to go to sleep!!! My dh will literally lie in the dark with her for over an hour, and this is after at least a half hour of quiet play, nursing, getting into pj's, reading stories, saying prayers, singing lullabies... I mean, this kid has a sweet bedtime routine, one that we are fairly consistent with, and yet it still takes her forever to actually give it up and go to sleep. We've tried messing with the bed time (a little earlier, a little later) and this girl is tired by the time she's going down. Perhaps she's to tired...? She goes down between 7-8...<br><br>
So my question is, how did your family make the adjustment to having your dc fall asleep without a parent? At what point is it reasonable to think that we could work toward putting her to bed awake, and leaving her? We do the family bed, so we don't have the issue of her waking up in an environment different from the one in which she fell asleep. I know that each child is different, but I think I would be really encouraged by hearing stories of other families and how you made the transition to having your child fall asleep on her own. We would really love to have some couple time in the evenings, and as it is right now my dh spends 1.5-2 hours each night putting her down. This is hard for us.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">: So sorry to not have any suggestions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> We are actually a couple steps behind you in this process.
 

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Oh please, someone have an answer! I was just about to post this myself. I don't regret nursing for 23 months but I sure as heck regret nursing to sleep and night nursing past 6 mo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
How are you non nursers getting your dc to sleep???
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/praying.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="praying">: someone will have some some good suggestions here as we are in the same boat with DD who is 24 mos that i feel like she is unable to soothe herself... last night she was up from 1:30 to 4:30 and she and i are both exhausted! i've been blaming it on her 2 yr molars for, let's see now, the past 4 months at least <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ... she's never been a great sleeper, but it's reaching the point of ridiculous...
 

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I don't have any great wisdom. As a rule I think most 2 year olds just still need to be parented to sleep in some form or fashion.<br><br>
I'm lazy - I like nursing to sleep because it's fast and nearly always a sure thing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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Maybe she's not tired enough? I know the books all push early bedtimes, but my 2 year old would never go to bed that early.<br><br>
Maybe try wearing her to sleep in a wrap, mei tai, etc.? On nights when the bedtime routine isn't working, I take DD on a walk around the neighborhood in a sling or Ergo, and it works everytime.<br><br>
Or how about saying to her something like "hmmm, it seems like you're not ready to go to sleep yet. You can hang out here as long as you want. Mama and daddy will be right outside the door." We've done this occasionally, and sometimes it actually works and she falls asleep by herself. Most of the time it doesn't work, but I keep a book right outside the door just in case. And I go right back in if she gets upset. There's no way that would work for every 2 year old, but it could be worth a try.<br><br>
Oh, and is she trying to give up a nap by any chance? When my DD was giving up a nap, she was impossible to get to sleep if she did take a nap that day.<br><br>
But overall, I think this might just be the drawback of not nursing to sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rzberrymom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7930955"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But overall, I think this might just be the drawback of not nursing to sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"></div>
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But surely everyone isn't either nursing to sleep or letting DC stay up and dictate his/her bedtime? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just soooo sleep deprived and I'm really beginning to think almost everyone IRL w/ poor sleepers gets to the point where DC just cries. I am at the point I'd do it but it'd have to be locked in his room and that makes me want to :puke Of course the alternative I see of putting him to bed either nursing or it taking 2 hrs until he's...3?...4...?...5...? Makes me sick and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: .<br><br>
Seriously, I should do a poll. Of course people who visit this forum are having sleep problems, but it seems like people either have good sleepers or they're about to lose their freaking minds (which would be me).
 

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A lot of toddlers still go to sleep with bottles if they're not breastfed.<br><br>
Some babies really do need to nurse down for an extended time.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Let me just say first of all, I can really relate to where you are at right now and I also think it's really normal for it to be a tricky transition for a lot of kids.<br><br>
We went through a long (probably around 6 months or so) transition to falling asleep alone with ds1. It felt like two steps forward, one step back a lot of the time, but we now have a lovely routine and a child who falls asleep peacefully on his own (he's 4 now, but has been doing this for about a year).<br><br>
At one point we used a sticker chart...I know that is often frowned upon here, but for some kids it really works and they love it. I think as long as you don't threaten with it or use it punitively, it's fine. Anyway, that's one idea.<br><br>
Is your dd very verbal? We talked a lot about the importance of sleep and the things we would do the next day after a good rest. This helped a lot for our kiddo because he really is a verbal processer, so when he knows why something is happening it is easier for him to go along with it.<br><br>
What we found at some point was our lying down with him extended the process. Our presence just kept him up. So we moved into a chair right outside his room and read. This was good for him as he went to sleep faster and good for us since we were able to read (less frustration). Unfortunately, that also stopped working well and he just would hop up and check on us regularly. So we would go in shifts...my dh would spend some time in the chair and then I would as well. And sometimes we would revert and hop into bed with him. Again, it was a long process!<br><br>
We reassured him a lot that he would not be alone and that we could hear him if he needed us. I think it's a scary transition for them...falling asleep alone is a pretty big deal for a young child. So knowing it will take some time and patience is key, IMO.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>newbymom05</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7931823"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But surely everyone isn't either nursing to sleep or letting DC stay up and dictate his/her bedtime? I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just soooo sleep deprived and I'm really beginning to think almost everyone IRL w/ poor sleepers gets to the point where DC just cries. I am at the point I'd do it but it'd have to be locked in his room and that makes me want to :puke Of course the alternative I see of putting him to bed either nursing or it taking 2 hrs until he's...3?...4...?...5...? Makes me sick and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: .<br><br>
Seriously, I should do a poll. Of course people who visit this forum are having sleep problems, but it seems like people either have good sleepers or they're about to lose their freaking minds (which would be me).</div>
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I hear you loud and clear! I don't think it has to result in dc crying to sleep...it didn't for us. But I think it can be a long process.<br><br>
And for those of you who haven't been in this situation, it's really hard to understand unless you've experienced it. If your dc does fall asleep nicely with nursing, that's awesome!! But I think this thread is addressing the issue of when that stops working. At least that's how I'm reading it.<br><br>
It is really hard. And I think when parents are feeling at their wits end, it is an indication that a change is on the horizon...either it will happen on its own or will be brought about with loving intention.<br><br>
I really think that good sleep habits really are learned. Most children don't want the fun to end and I think that's why a lot of these issues crop up. They might be really tired but it feels like energy to them and they fight it every step of the way. My older ds (who is now 4) is now at a lovely place of knowing when he's tired and taking care of himself by going to sleep. He really understands his body cues and is so used to a regular routine of going to bed. Even when we're at someone else's house or traveling, he is now able to recognize when he's tired and go to sleep. But this took a long time and guidance from us.<br><br>
I would say try different things - lying down with dc, being right outside the door reading, sticker charts, talking about the importance of sleep, having a lovey, play around with naps and nighttime routines, etc.<br><br>
My dh and I talked A LOT about the whole thing while we were going through it. Bouncing ideas off of one another and regularly checking in about whether or not things were working well.<br><br>
It will happen...your children will learn to sleep on their own.
 

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DD1 is 4 and still has to be parented to sleep every single night, she gets scared and wants someone with her. I have no issues with this because she decides when she is ready for bed, and it still takes a good 30+ minutes until she is asleep. If we were to attempt to put her to bed before she was ready, then we all would be there forever. I can say that at 2 even 3, she was no where near developmentally ready to be left alone and go to sleep by herself. She stopped nursing to sleep by herself when she was 3 and still needed another year of snuggling to sleep, she JUST started not needing that a month ago. Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences with me!!! Even those of you w/o "advice"--just knowing that it's a struggle for others is helpful. Just to clarify--nursing to sleep was working (it usually took about 30 min. though sometimes longer) but what was NOT working was the 5+ wake ups in the night when she "needed" to nurse back down. Dh and I thought that if she didn't nurse to sleep, but was just snuggled to sleep, then when she stirred she'd be able to snuggle back down w/o fully waking up (that's what's great about the family bed!). That aspect seems to be working really well--she now only wakes up once in the night asking to nurse, around 5 am or so, which is SO much easier to live with than 5 times!<br><br>
This new routine of snuggling down instead of nursing down usually happens w/o tears (that's why I thought she seemed ready for this transition) but it takes HOURS--sometimes up to 2 or even more! All we want is a little time together as a couple in the evening, but one of us spends the whole evening with dd!<br><br>
Anyway, that's my story, but I am encouraged by some of the suggestions and perspectives on here. Keep 'em coming!!!
 

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swampangel <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"><br><br>
we have been going through this for months. it is slowly getting better.<br><br>
he went through phases where he would play with a car, read, or listen to a book by himself in his room. he will stay up all night if you let him. it is frustrating but i gotta lay down the law and keep him in his room with the light off. he is often sooo tired but just doesnt want to sleep. the baby will just nurse to sleep when tired thank gawwwd. well usually...sometimes he just screams and gets inconsolable <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> anyway, i'm reading Sleepless in America and No Cry Sleep Solution.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarenSwan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7932570"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This new routine of snuggling down instead of nursing down usually happens w/o tears (that's why I thought she seemed ready for this transition) but it takes HOURS--sometimes up to 2 or even more! All we want is a little time together as a couple in the evening, but one of us spends the whole evening with dd!<br><br>
Anyway, that's my story, but I am encouraged by some of the suggestions and perspectives on here. Keep 'em coming!!!</div>
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ok well it is a trade off...at least you are sleeping. my books say it takes months to adjust after giving up a lovey so give it time. ds1 used to nurse an hour before bed. try adjusting bedtime, naptime, and allow lots of time to run around outside everyday. your dh can leave the room starting at one min at a time if she is ok with that saying he will be right back. honestly shes doing great for her age
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">honestly shes doing great for her age</td>
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Thanks so much for the encouragement!!! It's good to keep things in perspective!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bump.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bump"> we're still struggling... any more thoughts to share?
 

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Is the going to bed in the first place the problem? Or waking up at night? Or both?<br><br>
Are you getting more sleep now than when you were nursing?<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It WAS the waking at night, so we tried to transition AWAY from nursing to sleep by having my dh put her down. This worked like a charm to cut down on the night nursing and we are all getting more sleep, but now it takes up to 2 hours for her to go to sleep in the first place. The main thing that is difficult right now is that it feels like we don't have a system at all. My husband likes to feel like we have a plan, and it feels fairly chaotic right now.
 

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I don't see any reason not to nurse to sleep then. I'd try that again.<br><br>
But there's no way I'd give up something easy and trade it for a 2 hour going to sleep ritual <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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We're going through the same process with DS and were getting very frustrated with the 2+ hour routine! For us it was an issue of weaning him off of being worn to sleep rather than nursing to sleep (he would never fall asleep nursing, even as an infant, but he did sleep in the ergo... until he got too heavy and both DH and I were having back problems!)-- but the process has been much the same. We transitioned from wearing, to rocking, to laying down next to DS over the past few months but then got stuck there with a restless kid who was still awake hours after going into the bedroom (and no, he won't just "fall asleep on his own" if we gave him the opportunity... he just gets more and more wound up). So I definitely feel your pain-- both DH and I were at our wits end! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
So, for the past two weeks we've been working on specific suggestions from "Sleepless in America" (I highly recommend that book for understanding sleep issues) and it seems to have helped to put DS to bed much earlier than we had been (he's an early riser and was not getting enough sleep at night, but it still would take him hours to fall asleep), and to have a very specific routine beforehand (I'm currently making a photo chart of each step of the routine so DS can follow it too). We are also paying closer attention to his sleep "window"-- when he (ever so briefly) slows down in his playing, rests his head for a second, etc, and realizing that is when he needs to be in bed. I'm happy to report slow but steady improvement over the past 2 weeks. It has forced us to become much more structured in our evenings than we would be inclined to be normally (dinner at 5:30, DS in bedroom by about 6:45 or 7), but that seems to be a small price to pay for DH and I to have our evenings back and for DS to get enough sleep at night! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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