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Thread: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nursing?

  1. #1
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    Default How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nursing?

    Since she was about 4 months old, I have nursed my DD to sleep for naps. She will sleep for others, more easily after a bottle of ebm, but doesn't require it. She has always had what I guess is a tremendous need to suck. She takes FOREVER at the boob. Waiting for to pull off when she's done can take an hour, and by then of course the nap is over and I have just spent it entirely attached to her. I'm sure that is not a problem for some people, however I need the me-time a nap provides (she sleeps in her own room).

    I'm wondering how long other one year olds take to fall asleep nursing. Lately, she seems not to fall completely asleep, which makes putting her down, and even just unlatching her, very hard. Although she is able to fall asleep on her own, it usually involves being heavily sedated post nurse. Is it time to separate boob from bed? If so, how? I have some other theories, bu let's start by exploring this question!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    My DS is the same age. We still nurse down for AM/PM nap every day--he won't take a nap unless he is nursed or, if tired, in the car after having just been nursed. He takes about 25 minutes, about 15 min on one side and then about 10 on the other, to fall asleep for nap or bedtime (less when waking overnight, of course). I just patiently wait for him to fall asleep and he does, although I realize it might not always be this way. Sometimes if he doesn't fall asleep I will hold him and rock him, watching the eyes glaze over and slowly close. I think the record for rocking was about 45 min for bedtime. My back hurt after that!

    I'm also wondering how to transition to falling asleep without nursing....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    Wow, I'm not the only one! Thank you! My issue with the long put down is that she gets just enough dozing on the boob to take the edge off, so that if she wakes when I try to put her down, she's really awake, no longer drowsy, but obviously hasn't slept enough to be really refreshed. I'm always torn, for this reason, when it starts to take longer than 15 minutes for what should be a one hour nap. But I'm reassured to hear your son takes just as long! I should try to be more patient, like you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*isabelofmtl View Post
    Wow, I'm not the only one! Thank you! My issue with the long put down is that she gets just enough dozing on the boob to take the edge off, so that if she wakes when I try to put her down, she's really awake, no longer drowsy, but obviously hasn't slept enough to be really refreshed. I'm always torn, for this reason, when it starts to take longer than 15 minutes for what should be a one hour nap. But I'm reassured to hear your son takes just as long! I should try to be more patient, like you.
    Mine is almost a year. The length of time it takes to nurse her down depends - she may be tired, over tired (much harder). She is latched usually for at least a half hour. It is impossible to separate myself from her and have her finish her nap elsewhere. Every once in awhile I give it the ol college try, but the result is the same every time: she's up before she should be and not well rested. As much as I'd love me time I long ago sacrificed it for a well rested baby. She takes her entire nap on me and it lasts anywhere from 90 min to a record 3 hours. Throughout the nap she gropes around for boob and ends up relatching for much of the nap. But it's on and off. I do use the time to read, catch up on personal email, watch a movie sometimes or nap myself

    When I'm at work she naps on DH. When he starts working she naps on the Nanny. I'm lucky to have two people in my life who don't think this is ridiculous. Another way I get some time is by having DH play with her as he did this very evening for an hour. I did exciting things, like vacuum and put away DD's clean clothes.

    I know some day I'll have real me time. For now I accept things the way they are.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    Has your LO always napped on you? Mine did for a period around 4 months, but not since then. Yesterday she napped on DH for a couple of hours. Today, I was willing to hold her for her whole nap, but as soon as I unlatched her -her mouth was soft around the nipple, she was alseep- she woke up and would not just be held. My nipple hurts after a while from the pressure of her top teeth, and I have tried repositioning her, etc, but I can only take so much.
    I suspect a peak of separation anxiety because this is new. I feel like I can deal with it a bit better if I believe it's a phase, and not one that will last for as long as she's bfing!
    As a student of yoga, I admire the ability to accept things the way they are. As an impatient person, I struggle with the reality of it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    Does your LO ever fall asleep in the car or stroller? I try to think about what I want to achieve during nap time and plan accordingly... so if I want to take a nap myself, then I will nurse her to sleep side-lying and take a nap with her. And yes, she has been known to nurse for the WHOLE NAP, and if she does stop nursing or I try to unlatch her and try to get up at that time, she will often wake up. So if I want her to get a good nap, I only put her down in bed if I am prepared to spend the whole nap there with her. Which is great when I also need a nap!

    But if I want to clean up the kitchen or put away laundry or work on the computer, a lot of times I will take her for a walk in the stroller close to nap time and when she's asleep, hightail it back inside, park the stroller containing the sleeping baby close to where I'm working and carry on with whatever it is I need to do. The great thing about the stroller is that I can move her around with me rather than relying on a monitor or something. When I'm done in the kitchen, I just wheel her outside to finish her nap while I work in the garden!

    One thing I have really been loving about summer is that when we are out on the weekend, if she falls asleep in the car on the way home, I can park the car in the shade in the driveway with all the doors wide open and putter around outside or sit in a lawn chair and work on my laptop next to the car while she finishes her nap.

    I was very against relying on the car or stroller (or swing or whatever) for getting baby to sleep when she was small, for whatever reason, but now that she's older I've realized that if we try to be home for every nap every day, we'll be home all day long, and when she falls asleep while we're out in the stroller or car, I can really get a lot done once we get home if I just leave her there!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    It's great that you've found a way to work WITH your LO's naps! I also do the side lying when I'm in need of a nap, but it's rare. I'm not a good napper (see previous comment about impatience).
    Right now LO is sleeping great for grandparens in the morning, but with me will only doze while nursing, and the nap lastrs about half as long as for the grandparents, grrr. In the afternoon, I can put her down for an hour after a solid 30+ min nursing session, and then I have to nurse her while she dozes for another hour.
    It's always the adjustments to a new normal that are the toughest. At least now that I know what to expect (again, for now), I can prepare (have water handy, go pee first, make sure i'm not hungry, have a magazine, etc) and not feel like my plans have been foiled again!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    It was sometime closer to 18 months that ds started sleeping harder. Before he would doze like you describe but not unlatch and would freak if I left the bed. Eventually though he started to have really defined light sleep while nursing and then a really deep sleep for 45-90 minutes where nothing wakes him. He's even caught me getting out off bed but went back to sleep. At 12 months, I felt pretty sure that would never happen. So I got used to 'me time' in bed with my smartphone, a book, simple exercises that didn't jiggle him too much. He also started having longer periods of independent play so getting chores done around the house has gotten easier.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    It is normal and common for it to take time to gentle babies to sleep, whether by nursing, rocking, walking baby down etc. Why else were all those lullabies written? Maybe the endless variety of lullabies are for moms to keep their focus on something calming rather than thinking about everything else they ‘should’ be doing while trying to gentle baby into sleep. Certainly lullabies have worked for me this way. And a ‘lullaby’ can be anything you want to sing or hum of course.

    Something I found helped if I did not want to nap when baby did was to walk baby down in my ring sling. When baby was asleep, I would lean over the bed, loosen my sling, and remove the SLING with baby in it, and lie baby down, still in the sling, so the sling is now like a light blanket. Of course, whatever safety precautions needed for where baby sleeps must be taken.

    I also find baby stays asleep better if I am THERE even if I am not necessarily lying down and nursing baby.

    Also I have found each of my babies has a different "position" that works better for lying baby down. My 11 month old daughter needs to be on her side, head facing a certain direction, with a pillow against her back and a baby blanket on top. When I put her down in her exact preferred way she stays asleep. My husband has not learned this yet and she wakes up every time he tries to lay her down.

    A ‘weird’ thing I have noticed- At around this age my kids would/will "struggle" sometimes with nursing to sleep. Particularly at nap time. I think it is the natural age for distractibility/need to explore...They are tired, I certainly am tired, but they pop on pop off, start crawling away, etc. I have found naptimes were worse for that.

    If my husband is around he can walk baby down. But when he is not, such as, for naps, I will lay in bed on my side, hold baby next to me so baby can nurse if baby wants, and hum songs while gently holding, rocking, stroking baby. Sometimes baby struggles to get away, but I still GENTLY restrain baby. It sounds weird but all 3 of my kids did this and all 3 would usually settle down and either simply fall asleep or nurse to sleep after just a few minutes of fussing and struggling in my arms.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How long does your 12 month old take to fall asleep nurs

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    It is normal and common for it to take time to gentle babies to sleep, whether by nursing, rocking, walking baby down etc. Why else were all those lullabies written? Maybe the endless variety of lullabies are for moms to keep their focus on something calming rather than thinking about everything else they ‘should’ be doing while trying to gentle baby into sleep. Certainly lullabies have worked for me this way. And a ‘lullaby’ can be anything you want to sing or hum of course.

    Something I found helped if I did not want to nap when baby did was to walk baby down in my ring sling. When baby was asleep, I would lean over the bed, loosen my sling, and remove the SLING with baby in it, and lie baby down, still in the sling, so the sling is now like a light blanket. Of course, whatever safety precautions needed for where baby sleeps must be taken.

    I also find baby stays asleep better if I am THERE even if I am not necessarily lying down and nursing baby.

    Also I have found each of my babies has a different "position" that works better for lying baby down. My 11 month old daughter needs to be on her side, head facing a certain direction, with a pillow against her back and a baby blanket on top. When I put her down in her exact preferred way she stays asleep. My husband has not learned this yet and she wakes up every time he tries to lay her down.

    A ‘weird’ thing I have noticed- At around this age my kids would/will "struggle" sometimes with nursing to sleep. Particularly at nap time. I think it is the natural age for distractibility/need to explore...They are tired, I certainly am tired, but they pop on pop off, start crawling away, etc. I have found naptimes were worse for that.

    If my husband is around he can walk baby down. But when he is not, such as, for naps, I will lay in bed on my side, hold baby next to me so baby can nurse if baby wants, and hum songs while gently holding, rocking, stroking baby. Sometimes baby struggles to get away, but I still GENTLY restrain baby. It sounds weird but all 3 of my kids did this and all 3 would usually settle down and either simply fall asleep or nurse to sleep after just a few minutes of fussing and struggling in my arms.
    Ahhhh this is so reassuring to read! Lately my 12 mo DS gives all the usual tired signs at the expected time and when I settle down to nurse him to sleep for his naps he more often than not these days fidgets, fusses , climbs up to a standing position on my lap and either mouths my face or tries to get off onto the bed or floor. Now I've tried putting him on the ed next to me to see if he just wants to get himself comfy to go to sleep but he just flips into overdrive and rolls all over the place squealing and smiling like its a big game. So I pick him back up and try to nurse again, often he resists and as you mention I losely hold him to allow him to gt it out of his system, sometimes he cries but then self latches and falls asleep. If put him down on the floor thinking he'll crash out on the carpet by himself, he goes just as hyper!

    For the past 7 months I nap (or do Internet stuff) with him because all of a sudden one day he refused to nap in his cot/crib. He sleeps in his cot fine all night, it's just the daytime naps he won't . I put it down to him simply being too wired and can't switch off by himself anymore. I won't leave him to cry to sleep either.

    I'll miss these special times together when he's older and wont nap anymore :-(

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