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Thread: Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

    My daughter will be 1 year old this month. She falls asleep in her Ergo or backpack carriers, or in the carseat, or nursing. If she is tired she'll usually ask to nurse and fall asleep nursing. We co-sleep and she frequently wants to nurse during the night too. I'm not sure how often, but more than 4 times a night for sure. I don't mind that at all when I'm in the bed with her, but I don't always want to be in the bed with her. There are certain times (first few sleep cycles in the evening, and most naps) when she wants to nurse after every sleep cycle. If I do not nurse her back to sleep at these times she wakes up crying and crying.

    As you can imagine this is inconvenient because I have to be very close by and run to nurse her the second she cries out, if I want to avoid her waking up in the evening and then keeping me up until midnight.

    Do other babies do this too? Is there anything I can do to change this pattern? I have always nursed her whenever she wanted, and am not willing to let her "cry-it-out" (and it wouldn't work anyways, because she just wakes up). But it would be great if she could just sleep a little more deeply on her own for naps and the first 2-3 hours of the night. At present we are doing field work 5 days/week, so sleeping in a tent, and it is difficult to keep up this nursing-back-to-sleep unless I just stay inside the tent with her (otherwise I have to take off muddy boots, or leave the tent flap open while mosquitos fly in, to nurse her back to sleep every time. It just seems like there should be an easier way...??? I have heard people suggest the father takes over the bedtime, but my husband basically just throws his hands in the air and tells me to nurse the baby because she's tired.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

    My DH was like yours starting out. By the time #3 came along, though, he became much more accommodating. Now he and I both realize that sometimes the baby really doesn't need to nurse, that he really is just tired and is having trouble settling in and the best thing to do on these occasions is to just hold him. Yes, sometimes he fusses about it, but at least he's being held (usually by DH so I can get some rest) and he actually sleeps a longer stretch if he doesn't fall asleep at the breast.

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!

    Daughter of God

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

    usually mine always did/do. It gets better as they get older.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

    My daughter nursed at least that much at that age, usually closer to 8 times then but definitely cut back by 2 yrs and we completely night weaned at 27 mos.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Do your babies want to nurse after every sleep cycle?

    MIne is now almost four (and still nursing to fall sleep) but I think around one year was the time when he became more sensitive to noises, and if the noise came at the "wrong" time in the sleep cycle he woke up and wanted to nurse. If the noise came during the deep sleep phase nothing whatsoever would wake him.

    Occasonally it still can happen that he wakes at night while his sleep cycle is in the light phase and wants to nurse but rarely.

    and from the way you describe the situation with the tent I wonder wether it might not be better if at least for her naps instead of you joining her in the tent what about if you keep her close to you, if she took her nap in her ergo or backpack carrier if that was at all compatible with the work you have to do (or your husband if he is there also) or even in a buggy or car seat next to you. I don't know what might work for you in that sourrounding but maybe there is some way you can create a place she can sleep near you or carry her on you or on your husband while she sleeps?

    I carried my sleeping boy for his naps from about 1 year until he was about 1 1/2 in a wrap (a Babylonia, very easy to use) and for several months he mostly napped while I carried him (because at around 1 year he had a lot of difficulty sleeping or staying asleep and finally I could no longer stand being cooped up in the appartment with a screaming not sleeping baby hoping he wuold soon start his nap so I could do some work).
    After that it got easier, I think he learned not to completly wake between the cycles.

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