My 1 yr old won't sleep without me or without nursing!

Kristen - posted on 07/26/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Help! I need tips on how to help my 1 yr old sleep without me and without nursing. When she was really young, the ONLY way I could get her to sleep was to nurse her to sleep, and I nursed by side-laying because we didn't have a couch/chair that I felt comfortable in. Now, that's all she's used to and won't sleep without nursing... it makes car rides, busy days, and putting her down difficult. I also lay with her and escape when she's deep enough. I've been waiting for her to grow out of this need, but I don't know how much longer I can wait. I need more time to myself, especially those days when I can't escape.

I know my way is unconventional, so no need to berate me, my first-time-mom-self-esteem is already low. But I'm willing to hear tips and ideas to gently help my daughter sleep without me. She's pretty sensitive and tender hearted, so I want to be gentle.
Thanks! I'd especially like to hear from others who have had a child who was similar!

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Dove - posted on 07/27/2013

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There are certainly various tricks you can try if you want. I 'hear' the no-cry sleep solution is pretty good, but I haven't done my own research on it.

Kristen - posted on 07/27/2013

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Thanks for the encouragement! I love nursing her, but I sometimes feel like I'm the only one who nurses their child to sleep. It's reassuring to know others do as well.
Since she's my first, I did wonder if this was something I had to help her outgrow, or if she would just do it on her own. I'm willing to wait for her timing, if that's what she needs. I guess I just needed to hear that from someone.

(regarding longer car rides) She still won't fall asleep in the car because she prefers to nurse to sleep. She'll work herself up before she'll let herself fall asleep on her own. I'm often conflicted about whether I should teach her, or just wait longer...

Anyway, thanks for the responses!

Dove - posted on 07/26/2013

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She's fine. Perfectly normal. She won't nurse forever. There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting her outgrow this need in her own time.

If you need tips.... all I can offer is good luck. I nursed my son for every nap and at bedtime until he was 3. ;)

Mandy - posted on 07/26/2013

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Hi Kristen,
I'm a first time Mom as well and have an 17 month old son who I nurse to sleep at nap times. He also nurses throughout the day. I feel your need for more time to yourself! I am in the same situation. I have always nursed him to sleep. He was able to give up nursing before bedtime on his own, a few months ago. He wakes up every morning between 5-6 and comes in bed with me to nurse, & usually falls back asleep for another hour or two. I don't get much sleep because I have a hard time unlatching him without waking him up. This also happens when I try getting him to sleep for naps. He doesn't want to break away from me, & sometimes it takes 2-3 tries (or more) before he finally stays asleep. It can be very frustrating when I am looking forward to time for myself. Many times I end up falling asleep with him still attached & we wake up that way. Not a good habit! & hard to break! My suggestion for you is to try unlatching your daughter sooner every time you nurse her. Keep shortening the length of time you allow her to nurse and be consistent. I'm going to try this too (it has worked for me in the past) and let's see if we can get our babies to nurse less often. I still want my little man to nurse, but I am aiming for morning & maybe 2 times during the day. Not at nap time.

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