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Nursing to sleep

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The weaning thread got me thinking...my son is 8 months old and my plan is to stop pumping at work when he's a year and just let him nurse when we're together until he self-weans. Even though it's not intentional, when he nurses before bed every night, he falls asleep and we take him to his crib. I'm starting to wonder if this will cause sleep issues later if he doesn't know how to put himself to sleep. Any advice? His teachers at school have been trying to let him put himself to sleep for naps at school, but they're rarely successful.

Replies

  • RBXChas
    RBXChas Posts: 2,708 Member
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    I didn't EBF my first, but this time I nurse to sleep. However as he's older I plan to back off as much as I can.

    What I did with my first was give him a bottle do that he was getting sleepy, then hold him until he was a little sleepier, then put him down while still awake so he could learn that it was ok to fall asleep on his own. Eventually I would put him down at the same time regardless of whether he was sleepy or not. Sometimes he'd fall asleep right away; other times he'd play a bit but then would fall asleep. It was also nice because he could wake up and entertain himself a bit do I didn't have to jump out of bed the second he woke up (nice if I needed to shower quickly after a run).

    Just do it gradually, and he should be ok.

    Edited for typo
  • Rubyayn
    Rubyayn Posts: 433 Member
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    I nursed my daughter to sleep until she weaned at the beginning of this pregnancy. She had just turned three when she weaned and nursing to sleep was all she had known. In fact, she had only been nursing to sleep since before she turned two. She was not a day nurser. I kept on because it was such an easy way to put her to sleep! I even told my hubs that I would nurse her until she was 10 if it put her to sleep that easily!

    I was really worried when my milk dried up and she started to wean, but she simply said the milk was all gone and asked for snuggles. Now, we read and within minutes of snuggling she is out (she sleeps in a toddler bed in our room). She also easily transitioned to my husband putting her to bed since laying down with her is no longer comfortable for me. I would even go so far as to say she would likely go to sleep on her own if we didn't enjoy bedtime with her so much. haha
  • LauraLouFace
    LauraLouFace Posts: 56 Member
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    I also nursed my first to sleep every night and slept with him. When he was nearing 22 months we gently started weaning, and a few weeks later he was completely weaned and EASILY fell asleep with stories and songs. He's slept in his own bed in his own room ever since, and daddy puts him to bed each night. I think they learn in their own way and in their own time, and in the meantime we give them a comfortable, safe environment they want to fall asleep in :)
  • Jenny_Rose77
    Jenny_Rose77 Posts: 418 Member
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    I am planning to go at least a year (now I'm thinking maybe more) with nursing, but we night-weaned about a month ago (right after my son turned 8 months), based on the advice Kim West gives in her book, Good Night, Sleep Tight. I nurse Gideon before he goes to bed, but I make sure he is awake (but sleepy) when I put him in the crib. So it looks like this: (1) nurse in my bedroom, (2) diaper change in nursery, (3) read story in nursery, (4) put G in crib and stay with him until he falls asleep, which could be anywhere from 5-30 minutes, but basically involves no tears (so I prefer it to him CIOing alone). Since we started this, we've noticed he sleeps much better at night, sometimes sleeping through the night (that looks like 7:30-6 for us).

    Every baby is different, but for us, following Kim West's advice has really worked. (I will say that I deviate from her advice only in that she advocates a schedule for daytime nursing, but I am planning to continue nursing on demand during the day, at least for now.)

    Edited to add that I would nurse him if he woke especially out of sorts--sick or teething, etc--and seemed to need it. Although I will say once I thought he needed it around 4 AM. He nursed for like 2 minutes then wanted to play. So it's not a science! :-)
  • graycalico
    graycalico Posts: 30 Member
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    I wouldn't worry about it at this age. Evening breast milk has melatonin in it, natures way of encouraging a goodnight's sleep