is it time to wean my 9 mo dd off nursing to sleep and co-sleeping?

Holly Janelle - posted on 12/29/2011 ( 43 moms have responded )

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We have been co-sleeping since the day my daughter was born and also nursing to sleep. Do you think it's time to start weaning her off of these two things? She is still exclusively BF we are working on solids and her main source of comfort and nutrition is me. I of course would love our bed to actually be OUR( my husband and I) bed again by the 1 year mark or close, but I just want to do what best for her and her emotional/mental state and thats my #1 concern. We have her crib in our room if that helps. How long did you nurse your little one to sleep for? or how long dud you co-sleep for? or both? If you don't do it anymore how did you stop? What ever can be said on the subject will help :) thank you

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Hella - posted on 01/21/2012

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I breast fed my son until his little brother was born. He was 2 and a half years old, when I told him, that we should give all this milk to his brother. :)) ( I had too much milk nursing both of them, and my newborn couldn't handle the flow. ) I suggest you to look for clues, if she is ready to wean, than do it, if not, I think it's better to just nurse until she wants to. My oldest son also slept with me until he was almost 3 years old. He was just not ready to sleep in his bed, and I never pushed him. In return , he is the most confident kid I have ever seen.

I suggest you just go with the flow, and let her lead in this subject.

[deleted account]

My son is 15mo, and I still nurse him to sleep for naps and bedtime, and we still bed-share. Sometimes I do get a little fed-up, but it works well, and I don't plan to change it in the near future.



After his bath, my son cuddles for a while with his father, and then he smiles and says "nigh nigh" when he wants to go to bed. He goes to bed easily and happily. Bedtime battles are extremely rare; there are never any tears. Sleep isn't something he fears. I wouldn't trade this for anything! I know in a few years he won't need/want me at bedtime.

Lise - posted on 12/29/2011

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If it works for you, why stop? If it's ain't broke, don't fix it. :)

My dd is still partially bedsharing. We started it out of her need, and we are slowly weaning her off of it. She is doing great - spends the first 4-6 hours in her bed, then walks to our room. No tears, no anxiety over bedtime. She still nurses to sleep. If you move her to her crib and she can sleep there, great. If you try it and she is upset and still needs you, you can move her back.

I love our current situation (dd is 2). Dh and I get snuggle time, and time to be alone (in bed and out), but we both get to wake to her milky breath and sweet kisses. She is 26 months old.

Thamar - posted on 01/15/2012

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My son, now 3, slept right next to us for his first year, and always nursed to sleep. His second year he still nursed to sleep but slept easily in his crib right next to our bed (sidecar positioned). At 2, we transitioned him to his own bed in his own room. I continued to nurse him to sleep, but he slept easily in his own bed. He would occasionally wake at night, and would need me or his dad briefly to fall asleep, but mostly sleeps through the night w/o difficulty. Now he no longer nurses to sleep and sleeps great.

Lise - posted on 01/12/2012

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It's up to you, but my dd still nurses (27 months) even though she stopped getting expressed breast milk in a cup a few weeks after she turned one. She has no problem with baby sitters (all day, or over night) and happily will drink rice, coconut or almond milk, but nurses when we're together.



If you are concerned what's best for her emotional state, go slow.

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Tania - posted on 02/10/2012

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My daughter is 16 months and still nurses to sleep and shares the bed with is. She is my fourth child and this is the longest we have nursed to sleep. Each child has been so different and each needs different things. Take you, your husband's, and babie's needs and do what feels right to you three - don't feel pressured by what other may think.

Amanda - posted on 02/05/2012

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I only nursed for 6 months and he has always slept in his own bed, you should brake the co sleeping and put her in her own as soon as you can. My nephew is 6 and he co sleeps and it is really hard for her to get him to sleep in his own bed because he has been used to it since he was little. I say nurse as long as you can maybe pump into bottles and brake her from the boob. because that will be the hardest part

[deleted account]

I wouldn't try to wean off of nursing, but co-sleeping I would suggest. It is not neccessary to wean off of co-sleeping but since the baby's crib is in your room then I would start with naps in crib. Work slowly your baby will let you know if it is too much. I know my daughter took right to sleeping in her crib in her room, but I started out and she had naps there and got comfortable with her crib before sleeping overnight in it. She now is 17mo and she sleeps in her toddler bed with a baby gate at the door because she can't stand the door being closed. Lately she has been wanting to be rocked and held to go to sleep but I think she also senses that she isn't going to be the baby anymore...I'm 6 1/2 mo with our second child.

Claire - posted on 01/29/2012

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i didn't go co-sleep with my daughter until she was about 7or 8 months it was comforting at the time for us both. she's now 2 and a bit and she often sleeps in my bed and still nurses, she doesn't nurse to sleep unless unwell, i tried alsorts to get her to settle alone, she's older so special toys and bedding help. i started off by introducing a rabbit that she could snuggle when feeding and when in bed but not for general play so she'd associate it with comfort and bedtime which works well. i think if you want to carry on cosleeping and feeding you should, although i would recomend cracking on with the weaning - it's fine for your little one to breastfeed but at 9months she should be trying solids, its an important new world for her to explore, its fun and trying lots of things now will mean she's less likely to be fussy later. good luck

Kat - posted on 01/29/2012

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Debra- so your LO's slept in their crib in the hall, kitchen,etc. if so that is funny :)

Debra - posted on 01/27/2012

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It is what you want to do, and what you are comfortable with. And believe it, you have the instincts to do what is best for you and your baby. To sleep with or not to - either one will have babies flourishing! So long as they are fed and cuddled, they will thrive. I had them in our room, then out in the hallway, into the kitchen, then into their own room as they got bigger - I was worried about every little cry! I had a spare bed in their room, and that is where we both ended up during a feed. It worked for us - some 26 years later I have four of the best kids I parent could wish for. I still have the teens to go with my younger two, but I can't see why they cannot be as good as the other two.

Kat - posted on 01/21/2012

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I co-slept with my son till he was 13 months. This past Novermber 14 was the day that he moved into his crib. We had a side car, and then we put up the railing. He started to be so aware to his surroundings that he would wake up at EVERY noise daddy would make as well as EVERY time i would get up to go to the bathroom, which is alot. I felt selfish as i wanted to cuddle with him for as long as i could. Even having his crib as a side care did not pervent him from getting in our bed. I would squeeze him close. However he was taking ages and ages to get to sleep. Nursing to sleep just wasent seeming to do the trick anymore. We had to make some changes that i did not like at first but now with 9-12 hours sleeping in his own room i realize it was the right thing for him, although i miss him SO much. Do what you feel is going to give your LO the best sleep. :)

Christy - posted on 01/18/2012

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I co-slept with my second one out of necessity. Wanted to establish a routine and help him develop good sleep habits so had him in a bassinet in our room till he was about 6 mos and then put him in the pack n play (because my oldest was still using the crib) in the room with my oldest. The third one also is in the bassinet in our room until I feel it is safe to put him in with the other two, my oldest being in a toddler bed and loving his new little brother so much. I never nursed mine to sleep. I woud put them down awake and they would fall asleep in their crib or bassinet. I would comfort them as many times as they needed and let them know I was still there and that it was safe to go to sleep..

Janice - posted on 01/17/2012

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Holly, I only co-sleep while nursing at night which I plan to cut off at 9ish months like my daughter so I need to keep my sons crib which is too big for our room. But thats okay. I dont know of any shops like the one you described here in upstate NY but I definitely use craigslist. Thanks!

Holly Janelle - posted on 01/17/2012

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Do you have an Regular crib Janice?? I don't know if you live here in the states but here in Texas we have resale shops like : kid2kid, once upon a child and you can sell your used baby items or try selling them on craigslist and get money for whatever you need.

Janice - posted on 01/17/2012

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I wish I had the side-car info before my kids were born. I hate the bassinet I chose. It "connects" to the bed but it has sides so the connection is useless. My daughter rarely actually slept in it and now at 7 weeks old my son rarely uses too. Zero money to buy a mini-crib so I guess we will just co-sleep the old fashion way. :)

Holly Janelle - posted on 01/16/2012

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We actually made our crib a sidecar next to our bed from the link terra gave me and it's working great! I feel like she is right next to us, but we (daddy and I) get our own space and cuddle time. It's great I think all co-sleeping mom should do this :) thank you everyone for your helpful posts!!

Bobmusicgirl4 - posted on 01/16/2012

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My first and only son who is 2 1/2 slept next to us for about the first 7 months, mainly because I breastfed only 7 months. He would start out in his own crib (so he wouldn't be so used to sleeping with us and for my own sanity) then he'd wake up at about 12 for his first feeding and from then on he'd be in his bassonet for the rest of the night (next to our bed). The later and later his first night's feeding got- the more and more I just let him sleep in his own crib. I was only doing about 1-2 feedings a night so I didn't mind just feeding him in his room. Mind you- these night feedings were BIG feedings. I emptied both sides. My son was in the 98th percentile lol.

I never really wanted to do the whole co-sleeping thing. The way I saw it- you never got any sleep and when I tried it- low and behold I did not get a wink. I had him sleeping in a bassonet next to our bed for the first 2 - 3 months or so, then he went to his own crib. At first he hated it- for 1 week- then he loved it and slept almost all the way through the night. It's truly magical what your child will do when you force a little freedom on them.

So it's easy to ween off once you get started- just depends on your method of putting her to sleep (whether she cries it out or you go in to soothe) either way I'd say my experience was very smooth in transition. (I did the cry-it-out method by the way)

I hope my sharing my own experience helps!

Candace - posted on 01/13/2012

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With my first son, who is now two, I nursed him to sleep through the first year. At 7 months, I started weaning the through the night feedings and was done with late night feedings at 9 months or so. For him, he started sleeping better when he wasn't dependent on my breast soothing him back to sleep. As for co-sleeping, we never did it. He was in his crib since 8 weeks old and I always put him there when he fell asleep and got up when he woke up. Now he goes to sleep on his own quite easily but I don't know if that is correlated.

Brooke - posted on 01/11/2012

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amanda the reason i am weaning her is because i will be starting school and she will be going to daycare and i just think it would be best, she doesnt take pumped breast milk for some reason she just wont drink, i can never leave her with a sitter because she wont eat

Amanda - posted on 01/11/2012

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no offence to you brooke but why wean her the canadian association of pediatrics reccomends breast milk untill two or even later thats not saying you have to breastfeed but breast milk is still best ....my son is almost 17 months and still breastfed

Brooke - posted on 01/11/2012

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my baby is 8 months and i still nurse her to sleep but once she alseep i put her in her crib to sleep..i wish i didnt have to nurse her to sleep but its the only way she sleeps. when she is around a year i will wean to on to whole milk well i will try anyways

April - posted on 01/10/2012

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I am still nursing my little one to sleep. He just turned 3 years old. I am planning to let him self-wean. We bedshare, as well. He is getting his own room/bed soon because he recently stopped nursing in the night (just before bed and when we first get up). I'll continue to nurse him to sleep in his own bed until he decides he no longer needs me to do so. Typically, children self wean around the age of 4 (True self -weaning without parental interference) . That's the worldwide average, but nursing for a natural duration means nursing for at least 2 1/2 years (2.5 to 7--> natural duration) .

Anna - posted on 01/10/2012

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My son is 20 months and we still co-sleep and nurse to sleep. You should do it as long as you feel comfortable about it.

LaLasha - posted on 01/08/2012

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I co slept and night nursed differently for each kid my oldest did both for a full year and my second was sleeping thought the nights by 6 months and she always slept better swaddled in the play yard next to our bed she stayed in our room for 6 months every baby is different do what is best for YOUR child.

Melssa - posted on 01/07/2012

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I have 3 children all breast fed till they quit on their own. The oldest weaned herslf abit at a time at 21 months, slept with me off and on till she was 6 then I got engaged and resorted to laying with her to till she fell asleep off and on till she was 11. The middle child was still nursing when #3 came home ( thought he could help with the gorging) but with the pain of a yeast infection he felt that he was putting me in pain and quit cold turkey at 21 months. The youngest was 31/2 years old and due to sepparation from his father and having to go back and forth from home to home he really needed that time to help him cope. Despite the arguement and his father taking me to court to push for a weaning date, I didn't wean him till HE showed me signs of being ready. Like falling asleep before nursing and to start the weaning process I timed how long he nursed for and took 1 minute off every visit with me(it was for 3 days). This child and I are the closest and I beleive the longer they nurse the better for you and for them for proven health reasons and they can decide when it is time if that works well for you. If the bed sharing is the clincher then nurse her till she falls asleep and put her in her crib. My kids all nursed till we both fell asleep and shared the bed. My boys are 4&6 and we 3 share their bed. Yup single Mom syndrome! I tried verry hard to not bed share in the past but this is something my kids very much need. Otherwise no one sleeps!

Veronica - posted on 01/04/2012

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a bigger bed does feel so much better, especially for those nights when the little ones want to get into bed with you in the middle of the night.

Holly Janelle - posted on 01/04/2012

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Thank you soo much terra!! We are going to try this tonight. Thank you!

Amanda - posted on 01/04/2012

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my son is going on 17 months and he still is nursed to sleep he is slowly going off the breast but i want him to get the best nutrition possible and some studies show that extended breastfeeding can actuallu raise your childs iq and both breastfeeding an co sleeping /bedsharing promotes a healthier more well adjusted child ...i say if both you and baby are happy why change anything

Anna - posted on 01/03/2012

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I like to start the night with my baby in his own bed or crib. Then I bring him in with us after his first waking. It gives my husband and I time to have the bed to ourselves and me time to fall asleep comfortably in whatever position I choose. After having the first few hours by myself I am usually fully content to bring baby into bed with me. It also helps him get used to his own bed without being forced out of ours. I've always found it to make for a smooth transition from bedsharing to having my baby/toddler sleep on his own.

Janice - posted on 01/03/2012

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If you are ready to have your bed back and sleep through the night then yes it is time.
At nine months your daughter doesn't need to nurse at night for nutrition so if you are ready for change there are ways to do it. However, if you are happy co-sleeping and night nursing you dont have to stop either.
When my daughter started crawling at 9 months she stopped sleeping well in our bed. After 3 weeks of very little sleep for us both I decided to night wean and stop co-sleeping. I first took away nursing. She was still in our bed but when she woke to nurse (usually 2x a night) I just cuddled her instead. It was tough for only 3-4 days then she just stopped trying to nurse at night. She was still waking and wanting to practice crawling all night so next we put her in her crib to sleep. She typically napped and spent from 8-11pm in her crib already. In stead of bring her to bed with us at 11 I would just comfort her in her crib. I did this everytime she woke up. She cried and but I didnt give in. I stayed with her and gave her hugs, hummed lullubies, rubbed her back, ect but made her stay in her crib. Basically it was CIO with abandoning her. With-in a week she was sleeping in her crib with out us. It was great. I'm glad we made the switch when we did.

Karen - posted on 01/01/2012

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Absolutely not! My 27 month old is still breastfed, and we co-sleep. Now, right about now, we are both wanting our own space, but at nine months, I would say that is too early for you to consider it, unless it is something that your partner is asking for, or if there is some other pressing need where you must wean her off.

Veronica - posted on 12/31/2011

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Have you tried moving your baby to her crib sometime after you've nursed her and she's fallen asleep? I do that with my daughter. I also cover her with the blanket that we use while nursing, so she has my smell with her when she is sleeping. When she wakes in the night to be nursed, I don't rush to get her anymore. I noticed that if I wait, she sometimes goes right back to sleep all by herself. another thing that helps might be to give her a little baby cereal or bananas before you nurse her to sleep. That way her stomach will be full longer.

Jessica - posted on 12/31/2011

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My first daughter co-slept with us (after I gave in to co-sleeping so I could get some sleep) until she was almost 1. She always nursed to sleep, or had to be rocked and shushed etc for a long time. Nursing to sleep was easiest. When I went back to a work after a year I needed my bed back. She was almost sleeping through the night by then, and it took a while to get her fully out of our bed. With my second I was prepared to co-sleep, but we didn't need to. She goes down very well when awake, and sometimes she nurses down to sleep and I lay her down already asleep. As everyone has already said - whatever works for you and your family! Good luck!

[deleted account]

I nursed my twins to sleep for 15 months, but never co-slept. They were binky 'addicts', so the transition was incredibly smooth when we stopped nursing.

I nursed my son to sleep every night for 9 months. Due to our circumstances I had to 'break' him from nursing to sleep EVERY night (cuz some nights it would take an hour and a half to get him to STAY asleep), but he still nursed every night he was w/ me for 3.25 years. As for co-sleeping... he doesn't have his own room. He was in his own crib from 6-14ish months and sometimes in his own bed (converted crib) after 2. He's 3.75 now, but won't stay in his bed all night every night so.... we still co-sleep.

You have to do whatever works best for your entire family and only you can decide what that is. I wish you luck though. :)

Terra - posted on 12/30/2011

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My son is 2 and we still nurse to sleep for nap and bed time. We also co-sleep for at least part of the night most nights. He does start out in his own bed which is a full sized mattress on the floor. I lay with him at night and nurse him to sleep. Sometime between 2 and 5 he will wake and come into our room (unless I hear him fuss first then I'll go lay in his bed, nurse him back to sleep and then return to my bed). This has been our arrangement since he was about 18months or so. I understand your eagerness to get your bed back but she will only be little for such a short time. Enjoy the extra snuggles while they last. It will benefit both of you so much in the long run.

Katherine - posted on 12/30/2011

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I only was able to nurse for a short time with my little guy, and we co slept (him in his bassinett in the same room, never in bed with us) until he didn't nurse anymore (at that time he had outgrown his bassinett as well.

I nursed for only 8 weeks, but by then he was no longer falling sleeping nursing, he wanted more.

just do things slowly, one small step at a time. My son was transfered from our room to his own room, from a small bassinett to his big crib suddenly, some nights we brought him back into our room into the pack and play. now he's 9 months old, sleeping through the night, and in the am we bring him to our room for cuddles in the bed. we love it, it works so well.

each baby is different, but small changes work the best

Lori - posted on 12/30/2011

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With my oldest (now 3 1/2 years old), I was scared to co-sleep (didn't know I could do it safely and had read not to because of risk of SIDS). I'd nurse her to sleep then put her in her own crib. She'd wake several times a night, I'd bring her to bed nurse her back to sleep and if I didn't fall asleep too, I'd put her back in her crib. I nursed her to sleep until she stopped falling asleep nursing at bedtime (about 20 months), but I still nursed her before bedtime... I just had to start a new routine to get her to sleep by that time. That's when we made story time part of her bedtime routine. Anyhow, around 17 months old she started sleeping through the night most nights, but in the morning when she first woke up I'd take her to bed, nurse her and get to stay in bed an extra 30 minutes or so. When I weaned her at 23 months I really missed those early morning cuddles. If I wouldn't nurse her, she wouldn't just lay down next to me in bed. When my 2nd daughter was born (now 13 months old) I had educated myself better about co-sleeping and I fully intended to co-sleep with the baby. However I quickly found out that she sleeps much better close by, but in her own bed. She slept in a cradle next to my bed until she was able to pull herself up. Then she slept in a pack-n-play next to my bed for a while. Around 8 or 9 months I started putting her down for bed in her own room in her crib, but when she'd wake at night, I'd bring her to my room, nurse her in bed then put her in the pack-n-play. It was about this time that my 3 year old started insisting on sleeping in my bed again. She knew her sister got to sleep in my room and she really wanted to too. Just before my LO turned 1, my husband and I set up a full size bed in the babies room. Now the baby gets nursed and rocked to sleep, then put in her crib. Then the 3 year old gets her stories, and then goes to bed in the big bed in her sisters room. Some nights I lay with her till she falls asleep, other nights she's OK being in there without me since she knows her sisters in the room with her. My 13 month old still wakes at least once, usually twice a night, I go in, nurse her back to sleep and put her back in her crib. My older daughter sleeps right through it.

It is nice having our bed back to ourselves most nights (sometimes we still share it with our 3 year old). For the better part of a year now my husband has slept downstairs on the sofa. He doesn't sleep well with the LO's either making noise during the night, or kicking him while sleeping next to him. Luckily he agrees that whatever gets us all the most sleep is the best way to do it.

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