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Thread: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the crib

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    11

    Default Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the crib

    My LO is 6.5 months old and I nurse him to sleep and I will nurse him back to sleep when he wakes up. This had been working great until recently. He will fall back asleep nursing but the second I put him in the crib he cries and is awake! I know he was sleeping in my arms and I have even started to just hold him longer hoping he gets into a deeper sleep. I guess I'm wondering if this is just a phase or if anyone has experienced this? If I leave him he will either fuss more or he is just laying there wide awake. I enjoy nursing to sleep but I worry about what is happening now and I hope it's just a phase (everything is just a phase right? lol). He needs to get his sleep and I feel like I'm causing him to wake up more instead of helping him get back to sleep. Things like this always have me second guessing nursing to sleep especially since I think I only know 2 people who ever nursed to sleep! They never had an issue like this either.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,843

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    Everything is a phase.

    Don't compare yourself to those people who never nursed their babies to sleep. They might not have your particular challenge, but trust me: they had other challenges. Like struggling to get their babies to sleep without nursing. I'm guessing *some* crying was involved.

    It's totally normal for babies to wake up the instant they are put down in a crib. Babies know instinctively that they are safest and warmest in mom's arms. Being out down... Well, as far as a baby knows we all still live in caves and when you're not in mom's arms, you're just a super-convenient snack for a hungry sabretooth tiger.

    Anyway, some things you can do about the sleep issue:
    1. Don't put baby down. Just pop him into your bed and when he's deeply asleep, slip away for some grown-up time. Just make sure you're following safe co-sleeping practices.
    2. Warm the crib before you put baby in, using a hot pad or hot water bottle. Take the pad/bottle out, put the baby in, and hope for the best.
    3. When putting the baby into the crib, leave a hand on him for several minutes. Gradually removing your physical presence, instead of taking it all away very abruptly, can help a baby stay settled in the crib.
    4. Have baby sleep in a swing. Motion may trick him into thinking you're still there.
    5. See this as an opportunity to help baby go to sleep without nursing. When he wakes up and fusses, pick him up, nurse him, and put him back in the crib while he is very drowsy but not totally asleep. Then stay there, perhaps with a hand on baby, or right next to him. Repeat the process as many times as necessary, until baby just can't keep his eyes open anymore. It may take HOURS to make this happen. But the idea is that this sort of thing teaches baby that he can go to sleep without your breast in his mouth, but it does so without being traumatic for him because you are righ there and you continue to be responsive to his cues.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    78

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    I know lots of moms on here nurse to sleep and probably lots have had this problem too, that's why many people co-sleep. Here's a great article about nursing to sleep: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/comfortnursing/

    Personally I dismantled the crib shortly after her 1st birthday and put a futon mattress on the floor of her room.

    with mommal completely. Another thing that worked for us for a while was for Daddy to take her when she had just fallen asleep and rock her until she was in a deep enough sleep he could put her in the crib and I got to have a bit of a break.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    I just wanted to chime in and agree with mommal that everything is a phase. Just last night (well, really this morning- 4am!), I nursed my 10 month old back to sleep and was thinking as I put her back in her crib that I'm so grateful she no longer wakes as soon as she hits the crib. I can't remember how long it lasted or when it stopped, but it was no fun when a 20-minute wake and nurse became a 45-60 minute ordeal because she woke up as soon as I put her down. I don't have anything helpful to offer, I'm afraid, as I never found that magic trick that would keep her asleep. Just wanted to let you know I know where you're coming from!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    11

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    Thanks! It's nice to hear that other people have gone through this phase! I wish I could co-sleep but I have tried it and I don't sleep well. I will try some of your pointers. Sometimes you just need to hear that other people relate and it's nice to know that other people nurse to sleep. I feel sometimes like it's a dirty word so I don't really tell anyone I do this b/c they are always talking about sleep training.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    46

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    I agree with everyone else. My lo will be 8 months in a week. We co sleep but I work full time and get up at 4am to nurse her and put her in pack&play beside our bed so DH doesn't squish her when he shuts his alarm off. We had this same issue on and off for a few weeks around 5-6 months. One morning it took 7 times of picking her up nursing and putting her back down before she stayed asleep! I have started 1) holding her a little longer to make sure she is more asleep. & 2) laying her down but keep my hands on her and slowly taking them off. Sometimes for a few min.I think this has helped some but mostly I agree its just a phase. The past two weeks she has not woke up at all when I put her down. (Probably just jinxed myself LOL) oh I also nurse and hold her for all of her naps when I am with her.
    First time momma to one amazing baby girl 2/28/2013
    Natural non medicated hospital birth

    We also practice EC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    41

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    I have a six month old and we nurse to sleep, and I have definitely noticed he's been sleeping more lightly lately and wakes frequently if I'm not right there, and thus needs to get nursed back to sleep a lot. (We cosleep and sometimes I will think he is sleeping deeply but he is suddenly wide eyed if I get up!) I think it's just a developmental phase, and maybe the start of separation anxiety (which is also normal and not caused by too many snuggles or love).

    Isn't nursing to sleep wonderful?? Getting to give them food and comfort and cuddles, and watching their bodies relax and sweet faces drift into sleep... <3 Personally I think those other people are missing out
    Last edited by @llli*reading.mom; October 21st, 2013 at 01:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    11

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    I wish I could co-sleep but I think I get less sleep when I co-sleep than when I don't! There are days that I'm just too tired to do anything else but to bring him to bed and maybe after he nurses and is really asleep I move him again.

    Last night I did hold him longer one time and I think that helped. The other time though it took a lot more effort to get him back to sleep! I just keep reminding myself this is a phase and it will get better

  9. #9

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    my 12mo old son will wake up like that only when he's teething really badly and is in need of extra cuddles. I try to identify those symptoms ahead of time and bring a book to those bedtime sessions. Here is what works for us: after he's put himself to sleep and the nursing slows, I unlatch him and then watch my clock and rock him an extra 10 minutes. The last 5 minutes i change his position so he's not in cradle hold, he's more belly-to-belly with me. We then rock for 5-ish minutes like that (Gawd i love those snuggles! his nose in my neck!) then i put him into the crib (we do belly down b/c he sleeps best that way). i will also pat his back lightly for a few seconds and wait for him to settle.

    good luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Falls asleep nursing but wakes when I put him in the cri

    Thanks! That is a good point. He only has two teeth so it could be that he is teething again and I’m just learning the symptoms. I have been holding him longer before putting him in the crib and I think that is helping. I need a more comfortable rocker/glider! I wish mine reclined a little so I coudl relax more while holding him

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