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Thread: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

  1. #1

    Default Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    Hi ladies,
    My daughter only falls asleep while nursing, I'm the only one that can put her down. To put her down for a nap or for the night it takes 1-2 hours of comfort sucking for her to go down. Every time I try to leave she just wakes up and we start all over again. This is taking a toll on me, I'm getting very frustrated and upset with her when I understand that it is not her fault, plus after an hour of sucking my boobs are killing me I thought she would eventually get out of this habit but it feels like it's getting worse and worse. My plan was to stop bfing at 12 months but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. She never took a paci no matter how much we tried. How do I get her to sleep without nursing??? After googling a bunch of other stuff it looks like she's a "high needs baby", I'm not even sure what the heck that means. Is this something an lc can help with???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    This doesn't sound like a nursing issue- it's a baby issue. Your baby has a pretty powerful sleep association with nursing, and at this point it's likely to be hard to get her out of this habit without a lot of crying. Can someone other than you take over some of the nighttime holding/rocking? You come in and nurse, and then you slip out and let dad or grandma take over for a while. If baby gets too upset, you slip back in and nurse again- and then remove yourself to a different space again.

    High-needs babies are babies who thrive on interaction. They aren't "easy" babies. You can't just put them down and expect them to play quietly by themselves, or go to sleep without your help. If they are interested in something, they aren't likely to relinquish it without a fight- for example, you might have to pull them away from an electrical cord a hundred times before they will stop trying to grab it. In other words, they are intelligent and determined. These are great characteristics to have as part of your lifelong set of traits- but they don't make for easy children.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    My baby is only 5.5 months old, but we have always had problems putting her down for naps/to sleep for the night. She is what I would say is a high needs baby in that she requires more attention than the average baby, especially when it comes to being near me when she sleeps. She has yet to nap in her crib - she will nap in the car, in the swing, or on me (while nursing, sometimes up to 3 hours at a time!). We co-sleep, because she wakes up as soon as I try to lay her down - when she sleeps, I sleep...or at least lay in bed with her because sneaking away does NOT work. She does, however, love for my husband to walk with her, singing to her before bedtime - I nurse her in our bed, and if she doesn't start falling asleep after about 15-20 mins on each side (I don't really watch the clock, just guessing that's how long she nurses), or if she's fussing at the breast, he takes her OUT OF THE ROOM (important, as if he's in the room she'll just cry until she's handed back to me), and he'll walk/sing her to sleep or at least til she's almost asleep and he brings her back to nurse to sleep (generally only a few minutes). I feel like if we didn't do this, we would be spending hours trying to get her to sleep at night. It might be worth a try for you.

    If you want to try to break the nursing sleep association, I would recommend checking out No-Cry Sleep Solution and No-Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I have been reading through both, and she seems to have good recommendations, though I haven't tried them as what we're doing is working for us(right now anyway!). Another good one I've heard lots of recommendations for is Sweet Sleep, a LLLI book, which I'm just starting to read.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    Thank you ladies! Unfortunately we do not live with family and my husband works from 4pm-12am so I'm the one that has to put her to bed. I will look into the books. I wouldn't even mind letting her CIO but we tried that and she is relentless and will not stop until I pick her up. She just cries herself into a frenzy and I feel horrible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    I am sorry that you're going through this. It sounds incredible difficult. Troublesome Tots is a blog that I think has excellent articles about sleep. I am only directing you there because you said that you aren't opposed to CIO and neither is she (the author), in the right circumstances.

    This article would be a good place to start:

    http://www.troublesometots.com/what-...-night-part-i/

    And this is a good article to relieve your guilt if you do choose to allow baby to cry a bit as she learns to fall asleep on her own:

    http://www.troublesometots.com/is-sl...g-child-abuse/

    For what it's worth, I don't think your baby sounds "high-needs". I don't know many babies who wouldn't put up a bit of a fight when you try and change something that they've relied on for their whole life. That isn't to say you shouldn't change it, in fact I think you absolutely should and sooner rather than later as it will likely only get harder. I just say it so you don't think your baby is so different that you can't have the same success with sleep training that many, many other parents do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    For science-based, evidenced-based information about what is and is not normal in infant and child sleep as well as many ideas for increasing the overall sleep you can get, I very strongly suggest the book Sweet Sleep, which was published by LLL last year. There are four authors, all with decades worth of experience and education in the field of sleep, child development, and breastfeeding. They based their book on the scientific work of many sleep researchers as well as a multitude of various sleep studies. Because it is a book not only published but published by an international organization with a reputation to uphold, it had to pass an vigorous editorial process, including oversight by the LLL Board which includes doctors.

    Your child is not troublesome. She is also not relentless. Your child has normal needs that can be met a variety of ways while still increasing your own total amount of sleep.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Please Help!!! 11 month old only nurses to sleep.

    with MaddieB, especially with the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Your child is not troublesome. She is also not relentless. Your child has normal needs that can be met a variety of ways while still increasing your own total amount of sleep.
    Not all kids have the same level of need. Theis may seem obvious, but "high-needs" kids have needs which are more intense than average. Not just wants that are more intense- actual needs.

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