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Old 11-17-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
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Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

My ds has gotten into the habit of only taking daytime naps if I nurse him to sleep and sometimes he wants the boob in the mouth all the time. Now that he's 6 months, I'd like to start to break that habit but I have no idea how. I've tried to lay him down and let him 'cry it out' but that isn't for me, certainly there has to be a better way. He puts himself to sleep at night so we know he can do it.

Does anyone have any advice?
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

My DS (7.5 mos) only goes to sleep with help. At first the only way he slept was through nursing, then I started being able to rock him to sleep, now I can very occasionally "pat" him to sleep, and DH can pat him down. He can also go to sleep in his cradle swing if he's sleepy. I'm not sure what DC does with him--I guess I should ask? I know he does nap there. So, try those tricks. I've got no ideas about how to get them to sleep on their own. I guess some babies can do this, but mine has never been able to just "put himself" to sleep. DH and I both have a hard time falling asleep too, so maybe it's just genetic! I wish he would, but now I'm just grateful that he naps at all after going with no naps at all the first 4.5 months!
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

Funny, I just posted about my 20 month old nursing to sleep and still night nursing. I dont have any advice for you, but heres a bump

ps, he still nurses to sleep at naptime too.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

My DS nursed to sleep for every nap & throughout the night until about 9-10 mos when I started reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly. She did provide me with several "tools" to help him gently learn to fall asleep without nursing to sleep (without making him CIO), but the best thing I learned from her book is that there is only a "sleep problem" if YOU are bothered by your baby's sleep habits. She basically writes that if YOU are having trouble functioning or are exhausted by your baby's sleep habits, then there are gentle ways for you to change their sleep associations, BUT, if it works for you to nurse your child to sleep, then keep doing it. Your child will change & will learn to sleep on his/her own (all through the night!) even if you do nothing to encourage it. Follow your instincts & listen to your baby!
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

i think that book is great!

DS (3 mos) sometimes puts himself to sleep and only nurses to sleep at night, but then i wake him up before i put him down and change his diaper. we use a paci and a little butt pat if he can't fall asleep on his own.
I feed him as soon as he wakes up so he's not usually hungry at nap times.

I hope I'm not jinxing myself
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:41 AM   #6
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll have to look into that book.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:43 AM   #7
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

It's good to know that he'll adapt his sleep habits without me trying to change them for him.

Most of the time I don't mind nursing him to sleep as long as I'm able to lay him down. The times that he wants to nurse while sleeping and being held are the hard ones.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

I still nurse my 15month old to sleep, so no advice here, haha
I also still do car rides!
Helping Baby Sleep by Gethin and Macgregor is a great book!
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

I don't have any advice because I nursed ds2 til he was 16 months and for those 16 months, I nursed him to sleep for every nap and bedtime. My only advice is to enjoy this time now. I know it may seem like it's a lot and sometimes you'd rather just lay him down and let him sleep but he'll only be a baby once. I'll tell you this. When ds2 weaned, he did it without any problems at all. I asked him if he could take a nap one day without nursing, he thought about it, said ok and that was it. No more nursing during naps. And the same thing happened for bedtime. And he's a great sleeper. 10-12 hour stretches
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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Re: Breaking the nursing to sleep habit

We had that habit and it was causing a lot of gas problems for my LO. We had him in the emergency room for his gas because one night he was wailing so loudly it scared us. The doc told us no more nursing to sleep and no more pacifying with the breast. She suggested that we flick the bottom of his feet when he starts to fall asleep at the breast. It took several days but he got sick of me flicking his feet so he started to pull off the breast or let me pull him off when he started to slow down feeding.
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