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Thread: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    Hi, there!
    Does anyone have any advice for a toddler who still nurses to sleep? My son will be 2 next week, and I am happy to nurse him. But the ONLY way he'll sleep for me is by nursing! He'll climb up into my husband's arms, and go instantly to sleep. If my mother is watching him, she can lay him in the crib, and pat him on the back (with a small amount of protesting), and he'll go off to sleep. With me, the only way I can get him in his crib is if he nurses off to sleep (sound asleep...this takes about 45 minutes!), and then i put him down. if he wakes up even slightly, that's it, he's up for about another hour or so before he is even slightly ready to go back to sleep. If he's not all the way asleep, he cries if I leave the room; if he's wide awake, he stands up and screams and cries if I leave. My husband works evenings, so i'm in charge of bedtime and naptime nearly every day, and this is getting very frustrating for me. Has anyone else been through this? I would love to be able to put him down to sleep...my sister's son actually asks for his 'cribby' when he's tired. not fair!
    My son still wakes up once per night, which I don't have a problem with. We go in and get him and bring him into bed with us to snuggle. He falls asleep right away that way! No problems at all. I'm not comfortable putting him to bed in our bed if we're not there, though, which is why we don't co-sleep all the time. He's too wiggly, and I fear that he'll fall out, even with the guard rails.
    How do I get my boy to sleep?! can anyone relate?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    My toddler and I are at the same place you are. Some nights I really enjoy nursing him to sleep. Other nights I just need some time to myself and it seems like he's NEVER going to go down! And if his dad and I go somewhere and he's with his grandparents, they tell me they just put him in his crib and he's out--no problems!

    Lately I've been using this approach, and it only works some of the time: I nurse him for awhile and then tell him he needs to go to bed with Meow (his lovey), give him a kiss, turn on some music and leave. If I hesitate, he gets freaked out and it doesn't work. But sometimes he's happy to just cuddle by himself.

    And sometimes if he has been nursing FOREVER, I just go get his dad (who usually rocks him for all of one minute before he falls asleep).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    my dd is like this she will be 4 in June.. she only nurses to sleep she is weaned from all other feeds.
    Its much eaiser then not nursing to sleep! My 5 year old sometimes takes over an hour to go to sleep. He has to get a drink of water, then go pee, then fix his bed he can realy draw bed time out.
    If its working then why mess with it..
    IS he still in the crib?
    My dd went from the co-sleeper into a twin bed.
    I don't have to put her down, just unlatch and leave.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    My daughter was like that until my husband was able to take over bedtime. The things that helped me were that...
    1. I used a twin bed and therefore could lay down with her and not have to move her when she fell asleep.
    2. Someone once gave me the advice to just enjoy this special time. Relax and get some rest yourself and realize that it is only for a short time.

    I totally understand your frustration though. I had many nights taht I jsut wished it could be otherwise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    With my first two I drove myself crazy nursing them down and then nursing them down again (2 hours later). I realized with #3 that what drove me crazy wasn't so much the nursing as the sitting in the dark nursery for so long. With #3 (now 17 months) I just nurse him while I watch TV and when he wakes up again (generally around 10) if I'm not ready to go to bed I just bring him back to the family room. I may regret this little routine when I want to night wean him but for now it's great.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    I can relate. My ds will be 2 on March 7th. Here are the changes we made to accomodate him. We ditched the 4 poster bed and put the mattress and box spring on the floor. He has fallen off 2 or 3 times, and has never gotten hurt. In fact, one time didn't even wake up. If we didn't have hard wood floors, I would have left him asleep there. We also put him in a toddler bed. It has attached rails that come down the sides halfway. He is quite the thrasher, and the rails keep him put. What is nice about this is that when he wakes up, I don't have to get up at all. He just walks into our room, and because the bed is low, he can climb up by himself.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    My twin girls still nurse to sleep and they are over 3years now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Nursing Toddlers to Sleep

    I nurse her and lay her down semi-awake. Then I rub her back.

    The first few nights she was MADDDDDD --- the second night she threw up. Oy!

    But I stuck to it. And the fourth night she quit crying in about 30 seconds.

    Consistancy is the key. She would want to nurse and i would tell her they were night-night.

    We are having an issue of frequant wakings now - but we have going to bed down!

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