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Old 07-23-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
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Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

Hey mamas. Just wanted to see what you all thought about this. I have heard many people say do not nurse your baby to sleep. I heard various reasons for this. Here is my situation....

My dd is 5 1/2 months old. She is a good napper. We have a flexible daily routine. I usually just lay her down to sleep when I see that she is tired....about every 2 to 3 hours. She takes 3 naps a day normally. So I just lay her down and she goes right to sleep within just a few minutes.

Night time is totally different. I try to lay her down around 9pm. She just ends up laying there obviously very tired with eyes half closed. She will cry out (not cry but just holler out) every 5 minutes or so. She will sometimes want her binky but if I give it to her, she will just spit it out later to cry out again. She will also push her legs so that she ends up in a corner of the crib and then she will cry out for help. She doesn't go to sleep but continues this for 30 minutes or even longer. Lately I have just been caving in and going to get her....then I end up nursing her to sleep. My dh suggested cry it out but I cannot do that. I cannot hear her cry and not respond. She hardly ever cries....I know you will possibly think that is not true but I promise that she has only cried for longer than a few minutes maybe 3 times in her whole life. She just doesn't cry so I don't want to make her cry but putting her in her crib and walking away.

So....I go and get her and nurse her for about 15 minutes. She normally falls asleep with this routine (I do not nurse her to sleep for naps) and then I lay her back down where she stays until later on when dh and I go to bed. We co-sleep by the way. We do not co sleep for naps.

So all that to say----do you think that nursing her to sleep will create an issue later on? Why would she desperately want to nurse to bed at night but not at nap? Now it seems that she does not want to go to sleep at all at night on her own even though she easily does it during the day all the time. Do you think that she is "over tired" and that is leading to all the moving around and crying out at bedtime? So far the night nursing is not an issue but I would like for her to go to sleep without needing to nurse since she often has had a meal not long before she wants to nurse and fall asleep in my arms.

So it's not a huge deal but just thought I would throw this out into cyber world. Thanks mamas!

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Old 07-23-2010, 11:10 PM   #2
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

My DD is 5mos too

She never cries when I'm around, never I'm a huge believer in meeting their needs before they get that upset around that age. And we've been going through the difficult night routine in the last week or so.

So, at night, I do nurse her til she's sleepy. I lay her down in her bassinet, and then just stand there and lay a hand on her, or sing or just let her know that I'm there. If she gets upset, I pick her up and soothe until she's calm again and start all over.

I've been doing this for some time, and she's going to sleep without a lot of fussing, Very nice
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:56 PM   #3
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

I have nursed both of my kids to sleep, especially at that age, with no problems.

DD nursed to sleep every night for the first 10 months. At that point, she was often very, very drowsy but not totally out when she finished nursing, so I'd just lay her in her crib, walk away and she go right to sleep. She self-weaned at 18 months, and by that point, I just gave her a kiss, laid her down and she went right to sleep.

DS has basically followed the same pattern. Around 9ish months for him, he started being laid down while very drowsy, but still awake and goes to sleep with no problems.

I have nothing negative to say about nursing to sleep. My kiddos are completely different in basically every way, but they've each naturally gotten to a point where they were able to get their belly full of mama milk and go to sleep on their own.

I honestly wouldn't stress about it. If it's working for you, there is absolutely no reason to mess with it. Enjoy it!
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

Sounds like she needs to be nursed to sleep at night but not at naps. Maybe nurse her to sleep before putting her down at night. Or go to bed with her and nurse her to sleep. Different babies have different needs. There is not one thing wrong with nursing your child to sleep if that is what she needs. It is about a whole lot more than just nutrition. Hope you get it worked out!
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:26 AM   #5
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

I'm a firm believer of letting the baby lead the way. DD is 8 months old and I still nurse her to sleep sometimes (very rarely, but every now and then we have a hard time falling asleep). Just ignore what negative people say, if it works for you, it works for you. There is nothing wrong with it at all.
Personally, I savor every moment I get spend nursing DD because we had supply issues and had to supplement for 3 months, but she is off the formula and on the boob 100% again.
The only other thing I might suggest is that she is over-tired which is why she lays awake even though she is clearly tired. And maybe try an earlier bed time. We had the same routine you did at 4 months and when I changed bed time to an hour earlier it worked wonders and she started sleeping through the night pretty much every night.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:30 AM   #6
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

Right now, I'm do not want to go to sleep at 9pm. I don't think I've gone to sleep that early since early grade school. I'm a night owl. Yes, if things got crazy I would modify my schedule but I am not a morning person at all. So at this point, she has not needed me to actually go to sleep with her which is great. I do not want to do that and don't think I am being selfish for wanting some time to myself after she goes to sleep. We spend A LOT of time together each day.

I guess I will just stop even trying to lay her down on her own since that rarely works. I had just kept trying it over and over figuring that she would eventually "get it" but it looks like she does not want to do that at all and I'm not willing to do CIO. I just didn't know if there was any other advice or any mama that had been down that road and would advise differently.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:31 AM   #7
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

hijack here i nurse my LO for all naps and nite, what are the reasons some mama's think that is bad?
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:33 AM   #8
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

Do you co-sleep? It sounds like you don't. I wasn't co-sleeping when I did this.
I just got her ready for bed, and nursed her an hour before she usually went down (if she usually went down at 9 , I would put her down at 8)
There's not really much change to your schedule. If it works, you get a whole extra hour to yourself. I would never do CIO, DH suggested it when things were getting difficult and I just couldn't do it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:37 AM   #9
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

The main thing I have heard is that if you nurse to sleep then eventually your baby will want to be nursed to sleep EVERY time they nap or go to bed. They won't be able to go to sleep without nursing....they won't be able to fall back asleep if they happen to wake up like in the middle of the night. So if you ever use a babysitter or want to go away for a night then your baby will really struggle without you. That might also come into play if you do other activities without your baby like go to the gym, out with friends, doctor's appt. or are in a situation where your baby is clearly tired but you are not available to feed them for whatever reason. Also have heard it is better for a baby's digestion to eat and then do an activity rather than eat and then go right to bed with a full tummy. Guess that depends on the baby though.

Those are the main things. I don't do a ton of things with my daughter but I also don't want to always be saying no I can't do things because my dd won't nap or go to bed without me. She's little now but what about when she is a year old? or older? kwim?
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:40 AM   #10
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Re: Nursing to sleep....need advice on that and napping....

yes we co sleep. Not for naps though....she will nap with me if I happen to need a nap but for the vast majority of the time she naps alone. For night, I put her down at her bedtime and then when dh and I are ready for bed, we join her. I have tried to put her down in the crib and then later go get her when we go to bed but that isn't working consistently because like I mentioned, she just seems to totally fight that. I guess she wants to be nursed to sleep and then laid in our bed.

But I'm wondering about when she gets mobile. What if she wakes up and crawls off the bed?
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