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Old 03-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #31
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I always nursed to sleep, primarily due to my laziness in the early weeks and then not wanting to do CIO as she got older (and still some laziness ). She nurses to sleep for naps but is no longer nursing to sleep at night now at 22 months. No tears, no drama, just did it with a bit of coaxing from me when I was ready to have DH take over bedtime.

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:11 PM   #32
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

My two older boys were great at falling asleep on their own from and early age, about 4 months. I would feed and put them to bed. Then they turned 2 and all of a sudden they couldn't fall asleep by them selves ect.

I really don't think it matters. Each family is different and needs to do what works for them. The newest baby needs to bed nursed to sleep right now and i am fine with that.

We take each stage as it comes and deal with it. I have learned there is no right or wrong way to do something just what works for your family and the more flexible a person is the better for everyone in the family
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:00 PM   #33
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

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Originally Posted by viluc View Post
My little one is doing the same and I love it! But am scared when she gets older, but theres great advice here! Thank you Camsmom13 for posting this and everyones experiences, I hope we have a easy transition.
I love reading everyone's stories....as I nurse my son back to sleep (he has a tummy ache) I am glad I can give him that comfort when he needs it. I think we'll have an easy transition because we are great moms who know how to "listen" to our babies
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #34
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

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Do what works for you. My daughter rarely nurses to sleep, and I wish she would more often because it's SO much easier than having to put her in the wrap and bounce her to sleep, which is what I normally have to do. I don't believe in sleep training. Children will learn to go to sleep on their own eventually, just like they learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, etc without being directly taught or trained. Falling asleep without help is a milestone like anything else.


I think our culture has some damaging myths about babies that are told to new mothers over and over until they are bullied into ignoring their own instincts and listening to their babies. I was so worried about sleep issues and if I should nurse my baby to sleep but I am SO grateful I ignored all the discouraging stuff I heard and kept doing what felt natural.

Colin slept on my chest till he was 3 weeks old and then in bed with us till he was 4 months. At 4 months, he seemed to want more space so I would put him in a crib at the end of our bed between feedings and he slept well. At 6 months he would sleep off and on in our bed and his crib. By 10 months he was back to sleeping in his crib between feedings. At 17 months we moved him to a twin on the floor next to our bed and that's where he is still at 26 months. I wouldn't change anything. Everything happened as it needed to. There were lots of transitions and I feel that they always happened easily when we were aware of his readiness and his needs, and not trying to force him into a mold that "all children should comply with".

I hear people say that babies don't nurse at night for nutrition after 6 months or 12 months but my son, at 12-18 months, would nurse 3-5 times at night and I could hear him gulping and my boob would be drained in a matter of minutes and he was back to sleep. I did several things to try to eliminate his need to nurse at night but he continued to regardless. Finally I decided his body must just need it and I stopped resisting. A few months later, he began nursing less often at night, all on his own accord.

At around 18 months, he also stopped falling asleep while nursing at bedtime (he still would zonk out for naps while nursing) and I was so surprised but I just followed his lead. I would nurse him for 20-30 minutes, then get up and leave. He didn't cry most of the time, and would just roll around for 10-30 minutes till he fell asleep, but if he did cry out for me, I would go right in and rub his back for a couple minutes or give some other comfort, then leave again to let him fall asleep. We never trained or taught him how to self-soothe or fall asleep on his own. I think that is such a myth. He figured it out, all on his own, when HE was ready.

Around 20 months, daddy started putting him to bed from time to time if I had to be away at bedtime. Since he was already used to not nursing to sleep on his own, he was able to go to sleep very easily with daddy just laying next to him for a few minutes and then daddy would leave. Around the same age, daddy was able to put him down for naps, too by just laying with him.

Now, at almost 27 months old, he still nurses to sleep for every nap and nurses for about 10-15 minutes before bed, then puts himself to sleep. He only wakes up once to nurse during the night, if at all, and most nights he sleeps straight through from about 8:30pm to 6:30am. He also takes 2-3 hour naps every day; usually 3 hours is the norm. I never did any "sleep training" other than just following his cues and letting him learn things when he was ready. We never forced him to sleep a certain way and he has been a great sleeper. I really believe every child is unique in what they need and what one needs, another may not or not on the same time table but if you stay in tune with your child, you'll know just what is best and they will transition into each phase in life with support and love.

If nursing your baby to sleep works for you, do it. And do not let anyone make you feel bad. You will not ruin your child by nursing them to sleep. Just the opposite.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:59 AM   #35
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Ignore the naysayers and do what works for you.

I have nursed all 4 of mine to sleep and have no regrets. I nursed my older 2 to sleep until around age 3 when the naturally started sleeping on their own.
My older 2 are now 6&8 with no sleep issues ( aside from actually convincing them its bedtime

Still nursing to sleep my almost 3.5 year old and 1 year old.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:37 AM   #36
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

I love nursing mine to sleep. It lasts so little time in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I go to bed at 7:30-8 PM, give up some "me" time, and late nights with DH, but I will get it back soon. I will never get these nursing days/nights back ever. I say do what feels right for you.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #37
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

I nursed DS to sleep for months and it worked great. But then around 8 months or so it wasn't working as well...I was back at work and co-sleeping wasn't working well for us anymore. It definitely created some difficult nights. Until about two weeks ago DS was still waking up every 1.5-2 hours at night (he's 11 months old) which I attribute in part to our nursing to sleep habits (he now wakes up every 2-3 hours!). My work hours are super irregular and there are times when I have to leave in the middle of night. DS wakes up immediately and won't go back to sleep for DH.

Looking back while I loved the sweet cuddles and time with my sweet boy, especially after being at work during the day, I would have started to teach him to go to sleep by himself a little bit more, probably at nap time. It would have made our home life more peaceful and easier on everyone.

Every situation, every baby is so different. If it feels right for you and is working for you then go with your gut. Opinions are like butts, everyone has one
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:50 PM   #38
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Re: Nursing to sleep?

I def agree with everyone about knowing your baby and going with your gut. My first had to be nursed to sleep no matter what else we tried. She just had a strong urge to suck to sleep. I got so wrapped up in teaching her to fall asleep on her own that she formed a major paci habit. We are still dealing with that at 3+ yrs. I wish I had relaxed and followed my gut. This time DS is a lot less demanding of the boob and I can get him down by swaying, patting, swaddling etc. So I do a variety of both so he has other sleep associations and can sleep if he is with another caregiver. It is convenient but would not have worked for my daughter.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:44 PM   #39
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What and uplifting thread! I'm still nursing ds to sleep and all night at 16 months and have been becoming frustrated. Its nice to have a new perspective

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Originally Posted by spcjoneswifey
First of all, do whatever feels right to you. Nursing to sleep is a valid, good, natural feelig parenting choice that works for many many many mamas. Having said that...

I nursed my son to sleep for 18 months straight. By the end of it all, it is my single biggest parenting mistake I ever made. My son is 4 years old now and I am still suffering the consequences of that decision. Simply put, by nursing him to sleep every night I failed to teach him how to fall asleep without nursing. Which meant he couldn't sleep without me. Period. Ever.

No daddy, no grandma, no babysitters, no go back to sleep on his own if he wakes up a bit after rolling over on his sleep. Mom+Boob=Sleep and nothing else mattered

I couldn't stay up to watch a movie with my husband at night. I couldn't make a quick run to the store by myself for a few hours break. No girls nights, ever. And after he weaned? He still couldn't sleep without me. I spent a solid year sleepin on the floor holding his hand thru the crib rails (i refuse to let a young child just cry it out) before I could slowly start sleeping farther and farther from his bed. Another year of him refusing to go back to sleep without me so I was up and putting him back to bed every 1-2 hours. At 4 years old he still BEGS me to stay in the room with him until he crashes.

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you understand the possible consequences.
Mama, I'm so sorry you feel like it was your nursing that caused this. Fwiw my first ds was bottle fed and I did the cry it out method where you leave for 5 minuets then 10 etc. when we moved him into a big bed, we fought for 5+ hours a day/night trying to keep him in there. he will be 5 on march 29th and STILL won't fall asleep without me or dh in his bed, and will often wake up at night and come in our bed, or call us into his. In my experience It is honestly the child and not necessarily the "method" you use.

So OP, nurse away if its what you want to do! I've never met a grandma who said they held their baby too much.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #40
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We nurse to sleep here at age 3.5.
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