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Help!! She won't nurse to sleep anymore!?

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  • Help!! She won't nurse to sleep anymore!?

    We have always nursed to sleep for both naps and bedtime, and it's worked like a charm. Until now She will nurse, almost fall asleep, and then either fight me by pushing and scratching.

    I don't know what has happened. I used to watch for her cues, sit down and nurse her, and she would fall asleep in my arms. Sometimes we had trouble transferring to bed, but it usually worked itself out. Last night I ended up giving her a sippy cup of water, and that is how she eventually fell asleep.

    Is this a normal stage? It doesn't help that everybody around me seems to think that it is time to "train" her to sleep, and whenever we run into problems, it reinforces their perspective.

    Please help!! I need ideas/suggestions/wisdom...

  • #2
    Yes I remember that! At one point my son would just nurse and nurse and never fall asleep for a nap even after an hour of it. Then I had to introduce steps to put him down. Read a book, then cuddle asleep. I think this was around 1 1/2 yrs of age. It was always so much simpler to nurse to sleep --sigh--

    I don't mean to be a Debbie downer but at one point she won't nap at all! My son quit napping at 2 1/2... Ooh that was a rough adjustment for me!
    How old is your daughter?... It still could be temporary.

    Last night I ended up giving her a sippy cup of water, and that is how she eventually fell asleep.
    It seems like she has already chosen a preferred method of settling down to sleep. Why would you need to 'train' this individual who seems to be trying to tell you what she would like. Do some trial and error until you both are happy with your sleep rituals.
    Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 06-29-2008, 08:49 PM.


    • #3
      Thanks for the response Naomi. She will be one year old in just a few weeks. Up until the past week or so, she was taking two naps pretty consistently... Is this behavior normal if she is maybe trying to drop one nap? That's fine... but it seems like she is tired though.

      And I tried the sippy cup tonight...HAH! She is still rolling around in bed with DH wide awake right now. I'm trying to stick to the basics of AP, and try and respond to her cues and follow her lead... but I feel like I am stuck in a rut.

      Maybe we need to tighten up our routine. Thanks


      • #4
        if this is new behavior, how long has it been going on? she could be going through a growth spurt, teething, learning to walk, etc. any of these things could cause change in sleep patterns, too.


        • #5
          This started with my daughter when she was about 11 months old. My son never really consistently nursed to sleep, so I'll leave him out of this.

          Anyway, we found that this was a great time to get Dad involved in the actual going-to-sleep part of the bedtime routine. If she didn't fall asleep after I nursed her, he would read to her until she fell asleep. This worked out really well for us, as he eventually was able to take primary responsibility for bedtime. After our second child was born, this was particularly helpful.


          • #6
            he eventually was able to take primary responsibility for bedtime
            Us Too!

            Hubby got so good and consistant with putting my son to bed, if he was gone it was odd and a little hard for me to put him down! An excellent special time for father and son.


            • #7
              Thanks for all of the suggestions..

              So an update...

              I have let go of having a goal for a certain bedtime hour. That has made it much less stressful for me. Also, I will go and lay down with her, nurse, and when she is done, I send in DH to be with her. Over the last few nights this has worked well, and it seems to take a little less time each night for her to actually fall asleep. And as a crazy bonus, she is sleeping MUCH longer throughout the night. Like this kid used to wake up by 1am, and nurse every hour the rest of the night. Last night, she slept until 4am!!!


              • #8
                Good to hear!


                • #9
                  We are dealing with this too, my DS is 2 and is only nursing at night to sleep. However, there is in all likelyhood not really any milk left, or very little. He nurses for a little then says 'milk all gone, want other one' or something, and I just keep switching sides, then he gets mad and SCREAMS because there is no milk. He probably didnt really NEED any milk, but is used to falling asleep that way. I figured I would just let my body and his go through the natural progression of weaning naturally and he was still nursing about 10 times a day at 22 months. Since then he stopped asking to nurse so often, but that last one right before bed has become a nightmare, as he really isnt getting much and it makes him mad, and he sucks very hard and just keeps switching sides. I did kind of a 'dont offer dont refuse' type thing starting at 22 months.

                  In the book No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, there are a lot of good ways to get the child ready for sleep and to sleep with out sucking on a pacifier or nursing to sleep. There is a toddler version of the book too.

                  He went through a stage too when he did not nurse to sleep anymore, and we just made his window for bedtime a little later, and sometimes that meant 10pm but he would go right to sleep.I figure if they dont go to sleep nursing then they arent tired! Though now, my DS IS tired, but he does not nurse long enough due to lack of milk (I dont feel full or a letdown either) to fall asleep.

                  She will probably go back to nursing to sleep eventually......but for now, enjoy someone ELSE putting her to bed, lol!