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Thread: 2 year old nursing to sleep?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    317

    Default 2 year old nursing to sleep?

    My daughter is going to be 2 on Saturday, which is awesome and I'm happy to still be nursing her.

    What's not so great is that she nurses to sleep for naps and wakes up within 30 minutes screaming her heart out because I've left the room.

    She falls alseep within like 3-5 minutes nursing to sleep. It's so peaceful, she loves it, there is no struggle. But I can't stay in the room with her because I have another child as well who needs me to care for her.

    I don't know what to do. I've tried telling her that I won't be there when she wakes but that she can come right out and see me (she sleeps on the floor mattress). I'm confused if I should wean her from nursing to sleep at nap time, because clearly she's distressed that she fell asleep nursing and wakes up and I'm not there.

    Anyone else had this issue?
    and Mama to two little girls

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,895

    Default Re: 2 year old nursing to sleep?

    Yes, I have had this issue. In my experience, when it comes to waking from naps, some kids are the 'come and get you' kind and some are the 'sit and scream for you' kind. Luckily the sit and screamers do seem to outgrow it and become the come and get you kind. But it might not be until much older than this. Of course there is also the "stealth wake up" kind, who wake up, sees the coast is clear, and gets into all kinds of trouble before mom even knows the kid is awake. That's the worst.

    Is it possible to go to her when she wakes and nurse her back to sleep?
    Have you tried darkening the room more? White noise? Doing only quiet things with your other child? I am wondering if something is waking her up.

    Is your other child older or younger? If older, can she take a nap or have quiet time on her own in a safe place while you lie down with your two year old for an hour? Sometimes I have my older children lie down with my daughter and me and I read to them, or sometimes I even have one of them lie down with her when I need to do something with the other.

    It sounds like nursing to sleep is working well for you, and I would question the idea that the reason she is waking up distressed has anything to do with being nursed to sleep. I have known many kids (and was one myself) who were not nursed to sleep, who went to sleep on their own, but were upset when they woke up, particularly if they woke up 'early.' Coming out of a sleep state is disorienting and can be frightening.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; December 10th, 2014 at 11:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: 2 year old nursing to sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Yes, I have had this issue. In my experience, when it comes to waking from naps, some kids are the 'come and get you' kind and some are the 'sit and scream for you' kind. Luckily the sit and screamers do seem to outgrow it and become the come and get you kind. But it might not be until much older than this. Of course there is also the "stealth wake up" kind, who wake up, sees the coast is clear, and gets into all kinds of trouble before mom even knows the kid is awake. That's the worst.

    Is it possible to go to her when she wakes and nurse her back to sleep?
    Have you tried darkening the room more? White noise? Doing only quiet things with your other child? I am wondering if something is waking her up.

    Is your other child older or younger? If older, can she take a nap or have quiet time on her own in a safe place while you lie down with your two year old for an hour? Sometimes I have my older children lie down with my daughter and me and I read to them, or sometimes I even have one of them lie down with her when I need to do something with the other.

    It sounds like nursing to sleep is working well for you, and I would question the idea that the reason she is waking up distressed has anything to do with being nursed to sleep. I have known many kids (and was one myself) who were not nursed to sleep, who went to sleep on their own, but were upset when they woke up, particularly if they woke up 'early.' Coming out of a sleep state is disorienting and can be frightening.
    Thank you, this was really helpful and comforting to me. I hadn't really considered having my older daughter lie with us, but that's a great idea!
    and Mama to two little girls

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: 2 year old nursing to sleep?

    I would also be surprised if it were the nursing to sleep per se that leads to the early wake ups. I find my 2.5 yo takes much better and longer naps if I play white noise AND soft music. It took me a long time to figure this out but it works wonders.

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