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Thread: 14 month old "forgetting" how to sleep without nursing?

  1. #1

    Default 14 month old "forgetting" how to sleep without nursing?

    Our son is 14 months old and has been a superstar nurser his whole life. We co-sleep and he nurses to sleep and throughout the night. Nighttimes are going well - he nurses to sleep at 8pm then sleeps until 11pm when I come to bed. This arrangement is working well for the whole family.

    Naps have always been challenging. When he was younger, we relied on his infant "reflexes" to bounce him to sleep with a pacifier and he was able to go down for either me or his dad equally well (actually, it was easier for daddy). Since about 12 months he has REFUSED to nap without nursing with me. He pulls at my shirt and screams bloody murder until I nurse him. SO, I've started nursing him to sleep at both naps and nighttime. On my husband's days home with him (I work 3 days per week when he is home with DH), naptimes have been getting more and more difficult. Part of this, I think, has been that DS is getting older and losing his infant reflexes that allowed for bouncing down. He now wants to crawl out of our arms to run around the room and he absolutely refuses the pacifier.

    We have transitioned to lying on the bed with him and keeping him between ourselves and the wall. He nurses down with me well, but with my husband he is taking longer and longer to get down. A few months ago he could lie down with him and DS would toss & turn and fuss just a little, but go to sleep in 30-45 minutes. For some reason it is getting worse instead of better with my DH. Today it took over 1.5 hours of crying before DH gave up and did a drive nap. We have a good routine, including post-lunch slowing things down, pumped breastmilk from bottle, getting out sleep clothes, getting the nap room ready, diaper change & sleep clothes (long sleeve pants/shirt), read a book, white noise, sing lullaby and lie down.

    DH is very frustrated and feels it is related to my nursing him down for naps now so DS is "forgetting" how to fall asleep without nursing. I'm not sure what to do. I am totally fine with him nursing to sleep when I am home but he doesn't seem able to figure it out when I'm not there! Everything online says they figure it out if mom isn't there, but it has been weeks now and every day is getting worse instead of better. DH is very upset and demanding that I stop nursing to sleep....at least for naps. I think it is unfair for me to expect DS to understand that for naps he can not nurse to sleep but at night he can. I also don't want to stop co-sleeping and nursing at night. Has anyone had success with co-sleeping and nursing at night but NOT nursing to sleep? Help!?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 14 month old "forgetting" how to sleep without nursing?

    Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry naps have become so difficult and such a point of contention between you and your husband. I'm also really sorry that he sees your mommy superpower (nursing) as something that is disadvantaging him. It's not. Your child's difficulties with napping aren't being caused by you breastfeeding him- this is just a normal change that many kids go through. And you just happen to have the one tool that still works to get him to sleep in the bed. The challenge here is for your husband to find something that works, too. Lying down isn't working any more- so he needs to step up his game and find something to replace the old routine. If it's a daily drive in the car, so be it. I personally favored the stroller ride- my second child only napped in her stroller until age 2. Not only did she fall right to sleep, but I got some exercise every day!

  3. #3

    Default Re: 14 month old "forgetting" how to sleep without nursing?

    I have a 14 month old too. We did change his sleep associations a few months back but have reneged on that since; he still likes nursing to sleep and often won't accept anything else when I'm there. With DH he just nods off. All we did was start putting him in his sleeping bag for all naps and sleep-times so that the sleeping bag became more of an association with sleep than the boob. We fed him before putting him in sleeping bag then. DH just puts him in sleeping bag and lies beside him now. Lucky him!

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