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  1. #1
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    Default Dependent on nursing

    Hi all. I have a 13 month old whom I have always nursed to sleep because I could not get her to fall asleep any other way. However, in the past few months it has been more difficult to get her to fall asleep despite her obviously being tired. As I lie on the bed and let her nurse, she moves around a lot and cannot fall asleep easily at all.

    In terms of sleep quality, she does wake a few times overnight but generally goes back to sleep easily after nursing. I do find that she is quite grumpy a lot of the time - indicating sleepiness - even though she might have had a decent nap or long sleep. She also seems to constantly look for the breast for comfort and this is a habit I don't want to encourage.

    Given the difficulty we face with regard to sleep, and my suspicion that dependency on nursing is not very effective in helping her sleep. The comfort nursing does not seem to be a good habit to encourage because I'm not keen to be her human pacifier 24/7 (and I'm not sure why some people advocate comfort nursing).

    I have tried sleep training her in the past (cry it out because settling strategies seemed to make her more upset) and it seemed to be effective. She fell asleep quite quickly after a few nights of sleep training and stayed asleep through the night. However, I wasn't consistent with it and she regressed. I don't really have the heart to sleep train her again but wonder if that is the best solution. I'm quite averse to nursing her at this stage. I suspect that "gentler" solutions to weaning might not be effective but I'm open to trying.

    Sorry for the long post. If anyone has a similar experience to share in how they dealt with it, that would be much appreciated! ❤️

  2. #2
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    I used to BF DD to sleep until it became such a drag - I could be in her room for up to 2hrs trying to get her to sleep. In the end I got DH to swap around with me, so I did all the pre bed lead up (feed, bath, teeth) and then he put her to bed. It worked amazingly for us. I still fed her before bed, but we broke that sleep association. I was still able to feed her to sleep for day naps and over night, but it meant the bedtime drama was almost nonexistent. She was maybe 15-18m old old at this point, and DH was used to putting her to bed as I’m a shift worker, so when I went back to work he was it some nights anyway. I then continued BF her until 2y9m.

  3. #3
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    i’m still nursing my 12 month old to sleep. it’s a bad habit and i know it’ll bite me in the bum. some nights it’s fine and she goes down no worries, others are crap and she falls asleep in my arms but then wakes on transfer and carries on. getting dh to step in can help but it’s not always guaranteed to work either. there have been a handful of nights i’ve just been too tired and in need of personal space to be bothered to bf so on those nights, we’ve given her a bottle (formula, i’ve not pumped jn about 2-3 months).

    i think if you’re happy to keep bf for now, all you need to do is break the sleep association. feed her say 30 mins before bed then spend the rest of the time doing other wind down stuff, bath, book and cuddles then bed. then put her in the cot, lights out and walk out. it may help to get dh to do the final 30 minutes so she’s not looking for boob.

    i reckon she will carry on for a few nights in protest but stay strong. it’ll be worth it in the end.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply! My bub seems very strong willed and does not like being settled to sleep in any other way (by other people, by rocking, singing, patting etc), that's why I had to let her "cry it out" in the past. Do you think that is the best solution for us? It seems brutal (she falls asleep slumped against the cot) but it did seem to work after 3 nights or so. I suppose I could try rocking her in the carrier to sleep but she probably would protest. There are other gentle weaning solutions out there like forming associations with music to help baby fall asleep, which I'm a bit skeptical about.

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    I nursed ds to sleep until 5 years. but I don't suggest doing that. Does she nap? Ds dropped to one nap a day around that age and it made him get to sleep better and earlier.

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    Yes she does still nap twice a day 🙂 Sometimes she falls asleep easily other times not so much


 

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