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Thread: Nursing before bed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Nursing before bed

    Hi mamas, my wonderful son will be 1 in two weeks and our bedtime routine has always involved a bath and nursing in bed before he gets transferred to the crib. He will sometimes want to nurse for 45 min! He is not the kind of baby who will pull off when he's done at night (though during the day he does).

    I'd like to put him down more awake like he is for naps. I know he can sleep without nursing because he doesn't nurse before naps.

    How do I change up our routine? Nurse and then bath? Do I just do it and get him to adapt? Anyone go through similar routine change up?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    532

    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    It's good that you're thinking about this now, because my son is 2 and it is so much harder now that he's older. We still nurse to fall asleep (and a couple times in the middle of the night), and I have no idea how to wean him now. I think it's good to start changing his bed time routine around the 1 year mark. Have you tried adding other things into the routine, such as a book or two? Try to focus more on the non-nursing things. I have also read that having someone else handle bed time helps with weaning, but you might not be quite there yet.
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    Thanks. I think we will start when he's a year. Just trying to get him used to other things before bed. I know it will be rough.

    What do you do when the baby is sick and gets up at night? Nurse? Bottle feed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,349

    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    Mama, what's your goal with putting your baby down "more awake" in the evenings? Do you feel like that would enable you to get some more time back at night, do you need to go out? Or are you primarily worried about your baby's sleep independence?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    I think in the next few months I will be ready to wean gradually. I will be sad about it but I am ready. And I think he will be too. I guess I don't want to rely on nursing every night when I know it's not forever. Every time I go away overnight for work he sleeps through the night. Maybe it's me.

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    I think that a lot of moms borrow trouble by overthinking the future. What I mean is that if nursing to sleep works now, why not keep using it while it's useful? When it's time to transition away from it, when you're really weaning and not just thinking about it, then you can work on removing the breast as a sleep aid. And you're already most of the way there- your baby already goes to sleep without you when you're not around!

    Cross the bridge when you come to it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    You're totally right. I do tend to over plan

    I'm going to see what happens over the next few months. I don't want to force weaning but for those moms who are ready to wean before the baby, I'm curious about how they weaned and why they decided to.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    I agree, why try to fix something that's not broken? And for the future, it's good to know that LO sleeps well without you - so that when you are trying to wean, having DH take over the bedtime routine will likely be helpful. Maybe you'll find that you like the bedtime nursing routine and that you want to keep it for longer than you anticipate. That's the great thing about nursing after age 1 - you can tailor it to suit both of your needs.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    Thanks, mamas. He actually doesn't like to share our bed- he likes spreading out and moving around too much. I do love that night time nursing before bed. I will just try to relax and when I'm ready, we will do something else. Do you replace that with a bottle instead? Or if the baby's old enough, are dinner and books/bath enough?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Nursing before bed

    I've always weaned my babies off bottles starting at one. (They only get bottles of EBM when I'm at work, so I would guess it's easier to get a BF baby off the bottle than a FF one.) And giving a bottle right before bedtime can lead to cavities. So I think a bottle-free bedtime routine would be preferred.

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