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Thread: Nursing and Post-Nap Tantrums (21 months)

  1. #1

    Default Nursing and Post-Nap Tantrums (21 months)

    Hi ladies,

    My daughter is 21 months and we nurse several times a day, anywhere from 5 to 10. At night she goes to sleep without nursing, but for her naps I lie down with her and she nurses to sleep. (The nighttime routine does not work for naps; first of all, her dad can't do his part because he's at work, and secondly, she just isn't tired enough for it to work.)

    She naps once a day, at about 1 pm. When she wakes up, the tantrums are epic!! If I nurse her immediately upon waking (I usually stay in bed with her and rest while she naps), she will usually not freak out. But I am getting so tired of all the nursing. She will usually have only slept about 20 minutes, and I just can't handle nursing her again after just having nursed her. Sometimes I do it, but it just makes me feel so trapped.

    On occasion, she will roll over and go back to sleep after the 20 minute waking -- sometimes without nursing (she only half-wakes) and sometimes with it). Then she will sleep about another 45 minutes, and I can even get up out of the bed while she sleeps. But more often, she is just awake.

    She will do the same thing if I nurse her to sleep and then put her down in her crib -- wake up hysterical. She did not used to do this to nearly the same degree -- we did naps in the crib for months -- and used to nap longer, too (about an hour at 18 months or so), although she has never been a "great" sleeper. She does sleep through the night, and has done so reliably for about 4 months.

    Help! Any ideas? I do not want to wean her completely right now, but I have got to restrict the nursings. It is too much for me personally to nurse that many times a day right now (I have D-MER, which makes it emotionally hard every time, although it is much better than when she was a newborn!) There must be a way other than nursing, right?

    I try many things to calm her down: holding, walking, going outside, offering food and water, time outs...the only thing that works is either nursing or taking her on a drive somewhere (she calms down in the car). I am having trouble telling if this is a discipline issue or if she has some other need that I can help her with that I am not seeing.

    Help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nursing and Post-Nap Tantrums (21 months)

    (She also eats lunch before napping. She is a very good eater of solids.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Nursing and Post-Nap Tantrums (21 months)

    Are the naps when she is naturally tired, on her schedule?

    When my oldest son transitioned from two naps to one nap, (oh, that sad day) he dropped the afternoon nap but kept the morning! He was awake at 5:30 or 6 am and ready to nap by 10 am at the latest! It was a drag, as I wanted to be out with activities and playgroups and parks etc. in the mornings, plus I hated how long the afternoons felt. But that is when he slept best. I tried to get him to nap later and it was only a disaster. Eventually his naps moved a bit later, on their own. Nothing I did could change his natural pattern.

    I used to drive my son around if we were out so he would nap, because if I waited until we got home, we missed the 'window" he just did not nap at all and that was not pretty. Not environmentally correct, but of course by breastfeeding we get some points.

    How is baby awakened? What happens right after naps? Maybe having a funny song to sing or gently playful thing to do to gentle baby from sleep state to awake state will help?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Nursing and Post-Nap Tantrums (21 months)

    Those are good ideas. The nap is definitely on her schedule. She slept weirdly well today, so it didn't happen! But usually she wakes up on her own, looks over at me, and starts howling "wanna nurse! nurse a little! wanna nurse!" She is a highly verbal kid. There is very little time in between waking and screaming. Maybe I will try starting to sing if I see her waking...the only problem with that is that I never know if she's really waking up, or if she MIGHT roll over and go back to sleep, so I don't want to interfere.

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