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Thread: Really don't want to wean but...

  1. #1

    Default Really don't want to wean but...

    I have to wean my 5 month old off from nursing before naps. I really don't want to because I truly don't mind nursing him to sleep. The issue is that he is a "happy spitter" and it does indeed interrupt with his naps. I have to hold him upright for 30mins to an hour after nursing each time and usually he will fall asleep on the breast and then wake up while I'm holding him upright. If he makes it to his crib he will wake up anywhere between 20-40mins later screaming because he has to spit up / burp. We never really established an eat / play / sleep schedule. It's more of and eat / play / eat (comfort nursing before) / sleep. Has anyone experienced this? I have been trying to change it but he screams to nurse before naps and I give in mostly every time. I know it won't be easy and I do expect it but just want to know if anyone has any suggestions or have gone through something similar. It has literally been interfering with his day because naps are sometimes cut short, and that sometimes leads to an entire day of his routine being all over the place because his daily schedule then varies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,895

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    When my kids were 5 months old, there is no way that either one of them would have slept more than 20 minutes if they had been put down in a crib. In fact, 20 minutes in a crib would have been a miracle. 5-10 minutes of sleep in a crib would have been more reasonable, and that would have happened only if I spent some real quality time holding the baby and getting her into a deep, deep sleep before transferring her to the crib. The only way I got my kids to nap for extended periods was motion. My firstborn napped in the swing until she was a year old. Her routine was to nurse to sleep, at which point I would carefully transfer her to the swing. My second didn't like the swing, so she was a stroller or car seat napper. Her routine was to nurse, and then doze off during a stroller or car ride.

    So I don't think that you are doing anything wrong by nursing your baby to sleep! I think what is making your life more difficult is having the expectation that your baby "should" be napping in a crib, and "should" be on some sort of schedule. A lot of experienced moms- both those who breastfeed and those who formula-feed- will tell you that cribs are actually overpriced laundry hampers, and that schedules only work in books. Seriously, those eat/play/sleep schedules are complete baloney! I don't know a single real baby whose life proceeds that way. Real babies have routines more like what you describe. My kids' routine was generally a eat/play/fuss/poop/eat/fuss/eat/sleep sort of thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    23

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    I agree that not nursing him to sleep probably is not the solution. He might as well not sleep because he misses the closeness and security he enjoys now. My LO was similar to what mommal describes. She would nap for 20 or 30 min by herself and I always nursed her until she was deep asleep otherwise she would ask for more nursing as soon as I tried to put her down. Having her in the sling was the best option for us. If this sounds tiresome now, don't forget that it will change and you'll end up missing the time when they were small and light enough so you could have them on you all the time...
    As for the "schedule", ours looked something like this. Nurse, nurse, play, fuss, nurse, sleep, nurse, fuss, nurse, nurse, sleep...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,746

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    I will make a confession. When my oldest was this age, I spent many an afternoon sitting on the couch, baby on my chest, baby's head above tummy, baby snoozing away, me catching up on Law and Order this that and the other. My oldest will turn 13 in a few months and shows no signs of ill usage...Over three kids I never once thought about any type of schedule and certainly not one that included scheduled play. A baby can play while being nursed, while being held, while riding in a car, while doing the shopping...play just means interaction with you! The kindest thing one can say about books that suggest that play needs to happen at x time, sleep at z time, and feeding at y time is that they are not worth the paper they are printed on. I suggest, enjoy doing what you want to do with your baby when you want to do it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    103

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    I too think the eat-play-sleep cycle is a myth, certainly something I have never experienced with my 3 children. My 5 month old nurses to sleep for naps and never naps in his crib. If I am out he will nap in the baby carrier otherwise I usually hold him until he is in a deep sleep, deep enough that my nipple just slides out of this mouth when I move. If it doesn't come out easily I know he isn't deeply asleep and I wait. Then I transfer him to his stroller. Sometimes he will stay asleep, other times he stirs and I roll it a little until he drifts off again, other times he completely wakes. 20-40 minute naps sound reasonable enough. I'm not sure if others agree, but I find that feeding on demand means a fairly random nap "schedule". DS eats when he is hungry and sleeps when he is tired. If he shows signs of being tired, even if he just ate 15 minutes before, I would nurse him to sleep. He tends to take a longish nap in the morning and another around lunchtime but certainly I am not looking at the clock to see if it is time to nap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    Oh I have no nap schedule and I feed to sleep for naps and nighttimes. I read about that eat play sleep when my lo was first born and fretted for a couple of weeks about it and then decided it wasn't worth my stress. My crib doesn't see much use but is seeing more as time goes on (trying to ensure her safety by having her in crib for first part of evening, we bed share eat of night). My little girl is 7.5 months and was a notorious cat napper until about 4-6 weeks ago where a long afternoon nap suddenly kicked in most days. But that is with me lying with her in bed! In fact I'm doing that now as I type, ha! I can put her in crib occasionally for naps but will only get about 30 minutes if I time it right, otherwise it's 10 or 20. Lying with her I get 1.5-2 hours now. I'm lucky as I don't go back to work until September so I use the time to read or nap myself. Our routine is something like wake, feed, activity, feed, activity, feed, sleep, not interested in feed, activity, latch on too curious of surroundings latch off, enjoying play don't want a nap, feed, sling and walk, snooze ... Etc. But seriously, I just watch her cues and naturally she has fallen into her own rhythm that has a morning and afternoon nap. These times vary slightly which is great as she is flexible. 20-40 minute naps at 5 months isn't uncommon and they will likely lengthen over the coming weeks and months. Spit up I think starts to decline with age as well and they become more efficient at burping themselves etc.

    Mama to a little girl Sept 2015... EBF and BLS
    Baby wearing Mama and Dada
    Co-sleeping family and loving it
    Gentle and positive parenting

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Really don't want to wean but...

    Yes when my son was first born I came across the eat, play sleep nonsense and I was worried there was something wrong because my baby just did not work that way! I thought I was supposed to have him on some type of schedule, because people are always talking about it! Well, I came to realize that just because someone wrote something in a book, doesn't mean it is true, and those books are a waste of time. Just like pp said, my baby eats when he is hungry, sleeps when he is tired, plays when he is feeling playful, and we have no schedule to speak of. He is 5 months now and I just go with the flow. I really can't see any other way to parent, honestly. It just makes the most sense to me, and is less stressful, to just go with the flow. My son will fall asleep with other people if he has no other choice and I am not around, but if I am around he is nursing to sleep and stays nursing throughout the nap. And like mommal said, my crib is used for clothing storage! If only I had known...
    First time working mom to Zachary, 11/20/2015

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