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I've been hearing a lot of advice and doing a lot of reading on sleep issues. I co-sleep with my almost 5mo ds, and he almost always has to nurse in order to fall asleep. He also needs to nurse in order to <i>stay</i> asleep. At night, it isn't so bad. I turn over and give him a boob 3 or 4 times in the course of 11 or 12 hours. But for naps, the poor guy doesn't seem to be able to sleep beyond 20 minutes unless I go in the bedroom and nurse him back to sleep for another sleep cycle or two. He takes 3 naps during the day, so in total, he gets about 12 to 14 of sleep overall.<br><br>
Everyone who knows this is just <i>full</i> of advice for me about this. Many say that he needs more sleep. They also say that I am keeping him from learning how to sleep on his own. In the reading that I've done, most authors seem to imply that nursing-to-sleep is a bad sleep habit. And I have to say, this makes me feel like I am a <b>horrible</b> mother because I'm not teaching my baby to sleep well on his own. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:<br><br>
Now, there is no way that I would CIO, but I have tried the "Pantley Gentle Removal Plan." This just completely pisses him off. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I'm willing to let him guide me on his nursing and sleep needs, if that's what it takes, but I guess I just need some reassurance from you MDC mamas. This nursing-to-sleep thing is developmental, right? He <i>will</i> learn to sleep on his own, preferably before high school, right? Even if he only gets an hour of daytime sleep, he will eventually get the sleep that he needs, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
The parenting world is just so full of literature about how to get your baby to do what you think is best. Does anyone know of any books or links or personal stories or <i>anything</i> that talks about the success stories of letting the baby guide the parents?
 

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Worry not mama! First of all, 5 months is still really young. My DS was just like yours--rarely slept for more than 20 or 30 minutes during the day unless he was in the sling. He didn't start napping for longer periods during the day until he was about 9 months old.<br><br>
As for the night time: if it works for him and it works for you, I'd save your anxiety for other stuff.<br><br>
Don't sweat it! Jessi<br><br>
PS I would be happy to generate a list of other things to worry about, if you need help <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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You just described my dd to a T. I'm not worried about her at all. I see nothing wrong with how she's sleeping and the fact that she nurses to sleep. She will eventually stop. To me it's just another part of child led weaning and I see no reason why this part should be any different.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>yllek</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And I have to say, this makes me feel like I am a <b>horrible</b> mother because I'm not teaching my baby to sleep well on his own. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:<br></div>
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You are a wonderful mother <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> ! What a lovely way to fall asleep, don't you think?<br>
Your situation is very, very common. Actually, all 3 of my kids did exactly as yours does (and they all know how fall asleep on their own just fine).<br>
Try to enjoy it while you can. It's such a precious thing.<br>
I promise you will not have to move into the college dorm with him!
 

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Hello...just wanted to add that my DS, almost 19 months, has been nursed to sleep from day 1. He is VERY high needs, and the Pantly Gentle Removal Method did not fly at all! But now sometimes he does fall asleep on his own, with me next to him, but without nursing, without any pressure from me at all. He just seems to be outgrowing it. He definitely prefers "milky" to fall asleep to most of the time (and I cherish the closeness honestly), but he will do without it and falls asleep fine. I remember when he was younger, I always worried about that. I have realized that I spent way too much time worrying about things that just take care of themselves. People (in my life anyway) are so obsessed about pushing babies to be independent so soon. Some babies take longer, I'm sure, but it will happen in time. Nursing to sleep just seems to be the way nature intended things to be, IMHO. Oh, and he also used to nap for 20 minutes at a stretch, and I would have to go in and nurse him back down. He now takes one 1.5 - 2 hour nap per day, and sometimes another catnap in the late afternoon, all by himself. Hang in there!!
 

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It's totally normal. No worries.<br><br>
All this stuff about "if you don't teach them to do ____ during infancy, they'll never learn" is a load of bunk.
 

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I am sorry that mainstream people are making you feel like a bad mother. You a great mom for giving DC what he needs to sleep. The amount of sleep your child is getting sounds appropriate for the age.<br>
My DS has had sleep issues since about 4 mo old. I wish that BF would put him to sleep everytime. He can go to sleep without BF but is often long and drawn out process. Babies do not NEED to learn to sleep on their own. This WILL happen in time. Eventhough, I don't have the personal experience yet, I have faith that one day my baby will sleep without bouncing, BF, or anyother intervention I may provide.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Don't really have anything to add to what others have already posted to you. Hang in there! It will get easier, and you don't have to sacrifice your instincts in order to teach your kid to go to sleep or stay asleep. You are doing a great job in following your child's lead!! Keep it up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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What they said.<br><br>
I was just going to mention that at this point in dd #1's life, it made such a difference to me having friends that were doing the same things. Is there a LLL group in your area? That can be a great way to meet like-minded mamas.
 

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Thank you so much for your replies!! I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> coming here. You mamas make me feel sane.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>luvmyfamily</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">People (in my life anyway) are so obsessed about pushing babies to be independent so soon.</div>
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Yes! I've been feeling so uneasy about the advice I have been given IRL, but I've been unable to put my thoughts into words. This is exactly how I feel. I don't see a problem with nursing-to-sleep, per se, but sometimes I feel hounded on all sides by the mentality that I have to get my baby to sleep on his own or it doesn't count. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I wish I had some witty remark or better yet, some good written references to pass on to those who insist that my baby is going to grow up with some miserable sleep disorder. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Oh well...<br><br>
Thank you again, mamas, for your support and reassurances.
 

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Just another reassuring voice here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Your doing a great job!! If you and him are happy there's nothing to think about. Keep up the great work, and when people ask you how he's sleeping, just say, "Oh, he's sleeping fine thanks, can you pass the potatos please" :LOL
 
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