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13 mo old never slept on her own for more than 45 mins

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  • 13 mo old never slept on her own for more than 45 mins

    Greetings all! Long time reader, first time poster. This is somewhat of a complicated issue, but here goes:

    My 13 mo-old daughter is still nursring very frequently when we're together. I stay at home with her full time and she is my first and only child. The thing is, I've left her with grandma/grandpa for several hours (4-6) and when she's with them, she refuses bottles/cups of breastmilk and is perfectly content to not nurse at all for hours on end. But when she's with me, it's like all she wants to do is be on the breast.

    It makes me wonder if she really *needs* the breast as much as I give it to her?

    I don't know... The real problem I'm having here is that she refuses to be put down in her own bed for naps or bedtime. I don't want to deny her nourishment at night if she needs it (I know she's using a ton of calories to grow as she sleeps). But she's getting to be TOO BIG to share sleep with me at night (I'm 100 lbs soaking wet and only 5 ft tall). Not to mention the [lack of] sex life; another story for another time lol

    She has proven to do fine without nursing for hours. How can I get her to sleep safely and in a healthy way on her own? Could she be okay overnight sleeping by herself? And how to I get her there? So far my attempts have been futile [see title of post haha].

    I'm at odds with myself on this issue and would any advice/suggestions?! Thank you!!!

  • #2
    Been there!

    Hello Mami!

    Well, my son is 13 months old too. And the process of getting him to sleep for longer than an hour, and on his own in the crib, has been a long one. But I'm so proud of him and myself for not going the "cry-it-out" route.

    One book that has really helped me was The Baby Whisperer ( She does not believe in the "cry-it-out" method at all, so I like her. I would take her advice and adapt it to your needs however. We each have our own parenting style, right?

    Once he was in the crib, he steadily slept longer and longer periods. He now does up to 5 hours on his own. I feel so refreshed! I feel so good in fact that I started a blog on baby sleep advice (

    Just like you, I had to make the decision of introducing the crib to my son, because he was kicking me at night! Plus, I suspected that I was waking him with my snoring... not to mention having the boobies right there, I think the temptation to snack all night was too great for my baby. Teehee! The heartbreaking point was the next morning when he was so tired from waking so often, that he would stumble over his toys. That did it for me. I knew it was going to be a tough transition, but I was going to take all the time he needed to get cozy in his own bed. And now he sleeps there all the time, for naps too!

    All in all, it took about a week to accept the crib and about 2 months to get long chunks of sleep.

    Another idea: some parents put their mattress on the floor and put their baby's mattress on the floor next to them. That way, when the baby falls asleep, they scoot him over on his own. (Make sure that everything is secure around him, of course.)

    Well, good luck! I wish you the best. I'll send you good vibes. Feel free to contact me, via my blog, if you need some more advice.

    Take care,


    • #3
      i recommend reading this article:

      many of us here cosleep with much older children.....13 months is not too old...perhaps you need to change your sleeping arrangements due to your family's needs....but she is not too old to be cosleeping (i am cosleeping with my 5 and 2.5 year olds...however, we have a king and a full beside each other and other rooms with beds for use when we are "in the mood").

      just an FYI, Babywise IS "crying it out" encourages allowing babies to cry for a period of time before responding. That is definitely something API discourages and research has shown that is harmful).

      my son too would not take a bottle, or cup of breastmilk...ever. He is now 2.5 and has always refused breastmilk from anything other than "the tap". just b/c they dont want feeding in any other manner does not mean that they dont "need" it when it is available.

      i wish i could write more but i have to get ready for a playdate.


      • #4
        apparently the Baby Whisperer also has some really bad advice re: breastfeeding.
        this review by Kellymom:


        • #5
          Hi NaturalMami (great ID by the way!)

          My daughter is nearly 8, and my twin boys are nearly 3. My daughter did not fall asleep on her own for a nap until she was very nearly 2. In fact, it happened to be on the day of her 2nd birthday party! It was the first time I'd ever used the baby monitor- she was missing her own party. :-) We co-slept with her until she was nearly 5. I am 104 pounds and 5'2, so I totally understand how "BIG" it feels to have a toddler next to you! Right now I'm co-sleeping with twin 2 year old boys on a twin sized mattress.... that feels REALLY big!

          13 months is still very young. I know it feels like forever, but if you can just hold off a while longer, I think you will see vast improvements in your sleep patterns. I found the 12-18 month frame to be the most difficult co-sleeping with all of my kids. It will get better. There are some things you can do to try to help increase the time between feedings (see "No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley), but honestly, I didn't find anything worked until my kids were at least 18 months old.

          Starting around a year of age, I often laid beside my children until they were asleep, then was able to sneak out for about an hour of "alone time" (either truly alone or with the hubby). You can do a lot in an hour!!! The amount of time I was able to be away would gradually increase.

          Putting a mattress on the floor next to yours is a good transition to start moving towards a bed of her own, but honestly 13 months might be a little young for that. I transitioned my boys to a bed when they were about 2 and 1/2. I am currently sleeping in their bed with them. I have a trundle in the same room that will be my next step, and from there I will go back to my own room, alone in a bed with hubby for the first time in 8 years!!! LOL - good thing there are other rooms in the house.

          Anyway, hang in there. You will miss the time snuggling with your toddler. Honest, you will.


          • #6
            PS - I second the concern about "The Baby Whisperer". She recommends putting a baby in his crib, allowing him to cry for increasing periods of time, and then coming in and laying next to him without picking him up. This is pretty much the same thing Ferber recommends. Ferber himself has said that this is an extreme measure for kids with severe sleep issues, and that he would never recommend allowing a normal, healthy baby to cry - not even for a few minutes.


            • #7
              Baby Whisperer

              Dear Mami,

              I hope you took my advice to adapt The Baby Whisperer to suit your parenting style. She has some good ideas, but by all means, do what feels right in your mommy gut. Some people (including myself) feel she's too rigid with scheduling, which should never be done when breastfeeding. The best rule there is to feed on demand.

              However, just to clarify, she does not advocate "crying it out". In fact, she's pretty adamant about NEVER letting a baby cry when transitioning to the crib. I would never have recommended that book if she did. If anyone doubts that, please let me know and I will get the book and quote it for reference.

              And even though I got my little guy to transition into the crib, I still breastfeed him to sleep whenever he wakes up, which he still does about 2 or 3 times a night. Like a previous poster said, 13 months is very young, and they need the cuddles.

              There are times when he still sleeps in bed with mom and dad. He was sick last night, and we got through the night together. It brought back sweet memories of us snuggling in bed. It's true, it goes by fast.

              Take care,