how do i get my 2 year old to sleep without nursing?

Rachel - posted on 01/17/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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my daughter will be 2 next month and i still nurse her at night because she wont fall asleep otherwise and she still wakes up like 6 times a night and wont go back to sleep without nursing...please help i wanna stop nursing altogether

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Daniele - posted on 02/16/2010

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Why would you let your child cry? Isn't that what we, as parents, are supposed to prevent? I am STRONGLY against the CIO method. It is awful. We tried it for one night and I could not stand it. When she finally stopped crying, it wasn't because she was learning to soothe herself - it was because she was giving up hope that I would come and comfort her. That is so awful.



You can use so many other methods. Try the camp out method. Sit by her bed and pat her on the back, stroke her cheek, etc. until she falls asleep - don't rush it. Do this for about 3 nights. When she's comfortable with you next to the bed, move a little farther away toward the door. Stay there for three nights or so. Keep moving farther and farther away every 3 nights. If she starts to regress, move closer and stay there for another night or two before moving farther away. Eventually, you will be in the hallway and she will soothe herself to sleep. Do this for all night wakings. It will result in a week or two of sleepless nights, but will be much better for all of you.



Just remember, if you aren't happy with the method - it's the wrong method. We feel very strongly about attachment parenting and being close and snuggly with our daughter. Everyone is different, but this period of their lives is so short - why would you waste any of it letting her cry? Soon, she won't want snuggles and she will self wean. Everything will start with 'I do it myself' and she will be avoiding you. Why not enjoy them while they're little?

Zubeida - posted on 02/17/2010

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Try and supplement her nursing with something else that she likes to eat or drink. When she's full she will not want to nurse. Also try putting aloe (its bitter) on your nipples. the taste will make her back off a bit

Polly - posted on 02/16/2010

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Ok - I have literally just been through this with my fifth child and thought it would never stop. She only slept when I fed her and then woke up all night and nuzzled into me. Then two weeks ago she got a horrid tummy bug and I had to stop. It was so sad for both of us and she yelled the house down the first night. I was so glad that I knew I could not feed her because I would have found it so hard otherwise. I was kind but firm and she was a furious 19 month old whirling dervish! Night two was just as bad. By night three she just lay down next to me and went (and stayed) asleep. She is now sleeping through the night, in our bed (as she did before). She snuggles right up close to me but does not want to suckle. She still likes to put her cheek right up next to my skin but has no thoughts of suckling. She does not suck her thumb or need a dummy or anything. I was amazed. Since giving up breast feeding she has decided that she no longer needs a nappy and sleeps without one. So far she has not wet the bed!

[deleted account]

It always bothers me when those people who let their kids cry it out say that the kids only cry for 5-10 minutes. not every child responds to that method. I tried CIO a few times, my son screams for HOURS (3-4 hours) before I can't stand it anymore and go in. NEVER does he only cry for a short time (under an hour). we go in and comfort him and sit by his bed.

Kimberly - posted on 02/13/2010

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I completely disagree that you are trading in the trust of your child by letting them go to sleep on their own--even if it means letting them cry for a few minutes. After a couple (literally two or three) nights of brief and not-so-serious cry sessions- my daughter went to bed like a little angel. She now looks up at me and smiles with her blanket in her little hands, and I say I love you, Hope, and shut the light off. I support what any parent does, really, as long as they are comfortable with it...but it's ridiculous to say you are trading your child's trust if you chose to let them cry it out. I am 100 percent confident my daughter trusts her father and me. Angry.

23 Comments

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Kaylin - posted on 08/28/2017

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Im sorry, I do not mean to be rude, but why would you ever let your child cry for 3-4 hours?!?! That is absurd. That is not the correct CIO method! Even for an hour or 30 minutes!! No way. Okay, vent over. This is the site that I learned how to do the CIO method.

https://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-training-cry-it-out-methods_1497112.bc

The most common way for parents to make mistakes is being misinformed. There has been many times where I have been misinformed as well, so it happens and I am not judging. No one should judge because no one is perfect. You are not perfect, I am not perfect. But we can all work together to help one another. So I do hope this helps, and just as another mother said, if the method does not work with you or most importantly with your baby, try another. Do as much research as you can on that method, and not just on one page. Look up multiple pages that can help you learn more and more. Good luck to all!

Julie - posted on 02/18/2010

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My daughter was the same and then one afternoon she was nursing and not sleeping and I told her she is too big and its over now. She was 2 years and 10 months. When she woke up at night asking for it I would just hold her and tell her she's a big girl and she doesn't need it anymore. It took about a week and she was over it. Her sister was born 7 months later and she didn't turn a hair when I breastfed her.

Briana - posted on 02/17/2010

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Mine weaned himself at almost 6 months,so we started to switch to his own bed instead of the pack n play next to ours. I let him cry it out but set a time limit on letting him cry...if he cried more than 10 minutes I would get up and go to him. I would hold him and rock him and sing to him, give him a bottle for the first week. Then gradually lessened the bottles as he got on solids fully, he started to sleep through the night at about week 2 of this. It is not mean or ugly to let your child cry it out, just set a time limit to let them cry. If they cry longer go to them then and comfort them. Sometimes you don't even have to pick them up, a gentle back rub and some singing will do the trick.He still wakes up every now and then at night, especially when teething, and he's almost 16 months; but he isn;t traumatised or anything from letting him cry 5-10 minutes at a stretch.

Julie - posted on 02/16/2010

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If you want to nurse her before bedtime, do so. If you want her to be night weaned, Daddy is in charge of "helping" her back to sleep. He cannot feed her, so she cannot nurse. She can still be soothed, but will learn it isn't going to be by Mommy!

Jamie - posted on 02/16/2010

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I have 3 kids of which I nursed all of them. My 2 girls I nursed for 6 months and then switched to the bottle with NO PROBLEM!! My son on the other hand had different plans for me...lol!! He is now 15 months and sleeps through the night like he should have been for months before! Here is what I did: I planned on switching him to the sippy cup at 6 months, well he quit eating baby food at 5 months and was eating table food, and he would not take to formula so I felt as if I had to continue to nurse him. And that lasted for a year not only was I nursing him but he was also sleeping with my husband and me in our bed. I literally was waking up every 2 to 3 hours for feedings just like when I brought him home. I was absolutely exhausted!!! Finally I remember a book that I shoved in a draw and I dug it out and frantically read the sleep chapter...(the book "baby 411"the newest addition) OHHH was I making soooo many mistakes!! I urge you to get this book it will help you through more than just sleepless nights. Anyway, what I did with my son- "the ferber method"I started in the afternoon to give him a little taste as to what the evening had instore for him. All the mistakes I was making I couldn't just take everything away all at once so I let him keep the binky, which both of the girls had as well. I laid him in HIS bed told him it was time to take a nap...I kissed him laid him down and walked out of the room. I let him cry for 5 min went in to check on him, then I laid him back down without picking him up...that is important!!...keep it to 60 seconds or less and leave the room... I then waited 10 mins went in to check on him and laid him down...now like I said this was nap time so the difference with the nap it that you only let this go on for an hour. If they don't sleep then you get them out and that's it. They chose to cry the whole time and they are so wore out. It was REALLY hard but it really made that evening a breeze if you will. When nighfall came we did the same thing...together we went in laid him down said goodnight, walked out and he cried for a half hour total!! That was the first night he woke up 2 times I went in laid him down gave him his binky (all 3 of them...lol, one in each hand and one in his mouth) and went back to bed. The second night 10 mins he cried and woke up once and I didn't even go in. I got to the door and he quit crying so I turned around and went back to my bad SOOO happy! And the last night he whimpered and slept through the whole night...and so did I in the first time in a year!! He has been sleeping in his bed without nursing and without waking up in the middle of the night ever since!! Again I urge you to get the book I think I got it at Target...Baby 411....good luck, I wish I would have read the book when I bought it... would have saved me at least 6 months of sleepless nights!!...lol

Polly - posted on 02/16/2010

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Oh I forgot to say that I offer her a cup of water and she needs toast (early) in the morning. So now the bed is full of crumbs. I have never let my children cry it out and I continually comforted her the first two nights.

Christine - posted on 02/15/2010

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I was nursing till 19 mos and never thought I'd be able to stop, but due to some medication the decision was set. I just had daddy put him to bed for the first few nites and when he got up in the nite, daddy went to him. We did this on a weekend so no one had to get up too early. Then gradually I would put him to bed also, he did ask for it, but I told him it was" all gone" it took about a week and a half before he stopped asking, heart-wrenching!! When i went to him in the middle of the nite, I only offered water, he would take a sip and go back to sleep. I takes some time, good luck!

[deleted account]

try giving a sippy of water at night. I had to transition my son from nursing to sleep to sleeping on his own. I did it earlier than 2, but you have to start sometime!

Denise - posted on 02/13/2010

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No! Please don't listen to these cry it out posts! I second the opinion to check out the book, "The No Cry Sleep Solution". Do you really want to trade in the trust of your child based on a bunch of strangers' opinions?

Angela - posted on 02/13/2010

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Let her cry, she'll get over it faster than you think. It will be hard at first, but she'll ajust

Marcy - posted on 02/12/2010

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Rachel is she sleeping with you? If so and she is near the "all night buffet" she will want to eat. First off, before you read any further, we do not do CIO at our house for 1 second. It has never been something that we have considered. What we did was we put the pack and play right next to our bed. I would nurse him to sleep then put him in it. He slept almost 4 hours in a row the first night. When he woke up I would just take him in to bed with us and then if I had the energy, once he finished nursing, I would put him back in the pack and play. When he turned 2 1/2 we put the pack and play away and put him in his own bed. He slept through the night the first night and has contined to do so for the most part ever since.

Also, before she goes to bed at night give her milk and a good snack to fill up her belly. Just be gentle and go slow...all children eventually sleep through the night.

Rachel - posted on 01/19/2010

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daughter is 15months and i cant get her of my breast and still nursing her she also wakes up 6 times a night

Peta - posted on 01/18/2010

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let them cry, buy a night light for there room, give them a drink of warm milk b4 u put them to sleep, put some light music on for her and if she get worked up put her on her side and sit in there patting her back make her feel secure. or watch the super nanny she suggest to put her to bed and sit in the room with you looking at the floor til she goes to sleep and if they get outta bed put them back in there n dont look at them and keep this up i found this method very hard to do as my daughter kept wanting to play.

Casey - posted on 01/18/2010

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There are ways without letting her CIO... which we absolutely don't agree with. Gentle removal is an option- check out "The No Cry Sleep Solution". What I did was limit my son's time nursing & gradually wean him from night time feeds- one at a time. Keep a log t& you'll eventually get there. He no longer nurses after bed time & bed time nursing is limited to 10 min each side & I put him down before he falls asleep. I stay for a bit till he falls asleep in his own bed. You'll get there.

Tiffany - posted on 01/17/2010

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All the posts are right!!! i was soo bad about this, i bottle fed, but I understand! He is two now and is just starting to sleep through the night, but I found that if you ignore the cries during the night she will stop. it only lasts 5-10 minutes. And about the nursing stop!!! Instead of nursing her just rock her the first week. when she wakes during the night just let her cry herself back to sleep. she will get used to this. it will only take about two days, but do it for about a week. then stop rocking her to bed and just lay her down...she will fuss and scream but calm her... turn her on her stomach and cover her face where she cant see you, dont let her take the cover off...and pat her back. she should be out in about five minutes, play soft music...pat her back for about a wek and the stop that also...just lay her down with the music. she will understand and do it on her own.

It worked on my son and I used to rock him and hold him while he slept. it will take about two weeks but in the end it will be worth it...

Shanna - posted on 01/17/2010

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went through the same thing with my second child! Let her cry it out at night !! It works! it sucks but it works!!
One of my friends did 5 min of crying one night next 10 min the next longer or a few night like that and just get longer and longer but it might take you longer since she is 2. That is trying to break 2 years of routine. good luck

Chare - posted on 01/17/2010

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Post a reply! Just ignore her for a week when she wakes up, let her cry, it sounds horrible but it will work. she is used to that if she wakes up you are there, just leave her and she will get used to it.

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