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Thread: will you share your sleep success story?

  1. #1

    Default will you share your sleep success story?

    Hi everyone, I know sleep is a hot topic and different for every baby and situation. However, I feel like I'm at a cross roads with my 10 month old daughter and am wondering which steps to take next. She still nurses frequently throughout the night, which is fine by me since she is often very busy and distracted during the day. She is a small baby and has had slow growth for a while now. She nurses to sleep for naps and bed time, unless she's in the car or the ergo carrier. I want her to get as many calories from nursing as possible, but I'm also becoming exhausted (well I probably have been for a while!)

    My main question is: should I keep nursing her to sleep or try to "train" her to fall asleep another way? I've read that she will sleep through the night when she's ready, but has this actually happened for anyone who nurses to sleep? I've also read the opposite: that she will continue to need to nurse to fall asleep until she learns another way. I am hoping to wean around a year, but if she's not ready we will keep going.

    I'm very curious what other moms have done in the "real world" versus testimonials in books that may or may not be accurate. Thanks for sharing!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: will you share your sleep success st

    DD1 was colicky and was up every 15 minutes until she was 13 weeks old. I actually remember the exact date she started sleeping through the night. But I never trained her, and she never left my room in order to do it. She just started one day. Still nursed to sleep, but slept for 8 hour clips until she started teething.

    DD2 started sleeping right away but then stopped after a couple months after a bad cold.

    I have a good friend who had a baby the same week as DD2, and BF until 6 weeks then switched to formula. To this day her "sleep trained" daughter wakes up more frequently than DD2 who is still nursing and has never been pushed to night wean, even.

    I think every kid is different. Even when people talk about their child sleeping a lot, realistically, kids wake up and need comfort. I vote, do what you're comfortable with. I've never been a fan of sleep training, because I like that my kids know that if they cry out because they need or want me that I will be there. But I do understand sleep deprivation, and there were times in those first 13 weeks with DD1 that I let her cry for a few minutes because my own sanity was worth it.

    Not sure if that's an answer, but it's what I've got. Just that it gets better. DD1 sleeps like a teenage boy now, and if you had told me that 3 years ago I would have laughed in your face. Follow your baby's cues, and you'll get sleep eventually. And don't feel guilty if you need to nudge DH out of bed to try to soothe the baby to sleep before you try nursing. Sometimes they don't need to nurse, and sometimes 10 extra minutes in bed helps your own sanity.

    Sane mommy trumps everything.

    ETA: I did introduce a pacifier to DD1 at around 7 months because we were going on a 14 hour road trip and I knew that she wasn't soothed by the car, so having something to offer her in traffic or at moments we couldn't stop seemed like a good idea. She ended up using it to fall asleep occasionally and it helped with the times that someone other than me was putting her down for nap or bed. DD2 goes to sleep on her own for naps and always has, but still nurses before bed at night so no pacifier for her. Experiment with things your child likes and maybe you'll find some tricks, but trust yourself and try to ignore people telling you that the not sleeping is nursing related.
    Last edited by @llli*aphimama; March 1st, 2012 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Forgotten details

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: will you share your sleep success st

    A1 always nursed to sleep for the first year. She also took a binki after 3 months. At about a year she just started sleeping longer periods of time. If she woke up during the night we'd first give her her binki and pat her and if she still needed more then I'd nurse her. A2 is an entirely different story. So I'll be watching to see other's stories for advice on her.

    Young SAHM of
    Afton (A1) (1/24/09) and
    Autumn (A2) (8/29/11)

    Sealed in the SLC Temple

    and and now CDing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: will you share your sleep success st

    Sleeping through the night is not a developmental milestone like smiling, grasping, crawling etc.. sleeping through the night is a cultural construct. Before the advent of cribs and separate sleeping rooms for children, babies slept when/where momma slept.
    Okay its time for me to confess... none of my children sleep through the night. Neither does their father.
    until my children weaned they woke at night to nurse. the last feeding each child gave up on was the night time nursing session.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: will you share your sleep success st

    We bed shared and I nursed both of my boys well past toddlerhood. I don’t mean I nursed every time they asked all that time, starting in the second year or so, I would sometimes tell them that it was sleep time and (essentially) that the kitchen was closed etc, as needed. In other words, if I was worn out, I tried to put them off. Sometimes If I was worn out at night I might ask my husband to take a turn comforting, and at some point when I was tandem nursing I had to give my older son (three at that time) limits on nursing “only when the sun was up.” The one time I truly tried night weaning (because I hoped it would help me in getting pregnant again) was when my oldest was 18 months and it resulted in less sleep for my husband and I, not more. Once I was pregnant we went back to more or less nursing as requested at night so to have more sleep.

    OK, so I did everything the baby trainors say not to do, for years. And my kids are now 8 & 5 and they go to bed at 8pm with little if any fuss and sleep until 6:30 when they have to get up for school, with only very rare interruption. They now sleep in their own room too. This sleeping all night has been the norm since my oldest was 3.5 and he went into his own room. (That transition was difficult but short lived.) Actually he was sleeping quite well even before that but the family bed was just getting crowded so we moved him into his own room. My youngest started sleeping long stretches when much younger even when we still bed shared, and he voluntarily moved 'out' to the boys room at around turning age 4.

    My kids are normal kids and drive me nuts in many ways but as compared to other kids they are very well behaved and I chalk a lot of this up to their excellent sleep habits. I KNOW my kids sleep much more regularly than many of their peers. My 5 year old even still naps after Kindergarten about 2-3 times a week!

    For me, fostering good sleep habits has come down to meeting my kids night time needs by being there to comfort as they needed when that was developmentally appropriate, fostering a regular sleep/wake/daily rhythm when that was developmentally appropriate, and having no screen time anywhere near bed time which studies show interrupts normal sleep patterns. Bottom line, my kids both sleep great and sleep training was never needed in any way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: will you share your sleep success st

    My little one hasn't nursed to sleep for a while. He is nine months old and still nurses to nap, but not to bedtime. He always wanted to be fed around 6-6:30 so at bedtime (around 7pm), I started a specific bedtime routine about 6 weeks ago. We change him into his jammies, read some books, tell a story or two, then I turn out the lights and sing to him while holding him. I lay him down groggy and he goes to sleep. We didn't really 'train; him for that, though, he just stopped nursing at bedtime and I went with it!

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