12 month old won't sleep without nursing

User - posted on 12/11/2008 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be a year old in 9 days and I'm still nursing. I've been trying to cut back on the number of times I nurse her during the day but she refuses to sleep without nursing. Should I keep nursing until she shows more signs that she's ready to quit or should I continue trying to wean her? Help!

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Holly - posted on 12/18/2008

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My daughter just turned a year old two weeks ago and I still nurse her at night. I have found that it worked better for her to begin weaning her feedings during the day and switching those feeding to milk or juice. My doctor recommends that the night feeding be the very last feeding to give up on and that it is best to let the baby decide when that time is. Nursing is a comfort thing and not that different than going to sleep with a blankie. Don't let anyone pressure you, you are doing what is best for you and your baby!

Aimee - posted on 12/15/2008

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I would nurse as long as she wants to. My son is 11 months and I still nurse him until he falls asleep. Usually, they will start to wean themselves. My other 3 children nursed until around 13 months and the nightime was the last to go. Enjoy that time with your baby, once they are walking they kinda want to be more independent.

Jessica - posted on 12/18/2008

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don't try to wean her, it'll only suck for both of you. look into The No Cry Sleep Solution book. it has good tips for cutting down the night nursing slowly.

Linda - posted on 12/14/2008

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Both my kids nursed until they were 2.5 years old. While I know this is not typical in the U.S., I am thrilled that I was able to nurse each of them so long because stopping was easy (my son weaned himself, and I weaned my daughter last week with very minimal tears), and the nursing relationship is especially wonderful during the second year. I will never forget each of their joy at having "nursie!" which was their favorite thing in the whole world. I am a working mom, and I nursed each of them to sleep at night until they were a little over 2. When they were finally able to fall asleep by themselves, I night weaned them.



If you're tired of nursing, then you should stop. The relationship works both ways. But if you want to keep nursing, by all means do!!



All the best from one mom to another,



Linda

Rachel - posted on 12/12/2008

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I'm also having the same "problem". My son is about to be 21 months old and he will very rarely ever fall asleep without nursing. I'm reluctant to keep doing it because he's smart enough to say, "Mommy booby" and "Nurse now". I figure if he's old enough to say the word, he's old enough to stop.
He never did take a bottle, and does have a hard time sleeping by his lonesome.
I'm worried about weaning him. My son, as stated by other people, has also never been ill. He's never had so much as a fever, aside from after his regular shots at the doctors.
i'm well aware that I'm keeping him ridiculously happy, and also that his intelligence in is no small part related to the goods he's getting from mommy milk.
Still, it has to stop at some point. I'm waiting for the time when he's going to give it up himself, but am also trying to bring that on. This, just ends in temper tantrums.
I also find myself in large arguments with his father who believes our "baby" is far old to "need a boob" as he so artfully puts it.
So... I guess I'm not that much help, other than to say, our children are the same age, I still nurse to get him to sleep and when he totally won't do with anything else, so I get it. However, its beginning to cause problems for me, and I'm not sure what to do either, other than wait to see what my son will do.

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Kristel - posted on 12/06/2012

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My daughter is 17 months old and she is lactose we think.... gets the runs and rashes all over if she takes cows milk. She has never taken a bottle and doesnt like any type of soy milk and believe me I have tried them ALL!! I still breast feed her before nap.. and at bedtime. And in the middle of the night once or twice.... I dont mind the nap and bedtime feed. But she still wont sleep threw the night (never has) and wont sleep on her own... always wants to be caudled. She does not get breast at any time during the day. Sippy cups Only with lactose 2 percent milk or juice/water. But I am ready to start weening her off breast... the problem is she does not at all what that to happen. Any suggestions??

Dianna - posted on 12/18/2008

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Thank you all of you wonderful moms! My son is only 7 months and I planned to let my son self wean whenever that may be and you have confirmed my belief. Can you believe the doctor wanted me to stop at 4 months?

Kim - posted on 12/15/2008

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Hi Erica



I am still nursing my 13 month old daughter. She does get nursed before bedtime at night but I do not nurse her in the middle of the night if she wakes up. I cut that out at around 8 months old because she started waking every hour and needed it to go back to sleep. I was exhausted. I just started offering her water when she would wake up and she got the hint quickly. It took a few nights of screaming but it worked. I nurse my daughter maybe 3-4 times in 24 hr period. I love it and so does she and of course I am getting from other people that I should give it up now.

I am waiting a few more months before completley weaning. Another thing you can try which I have been doing recently is that replace the nursing with something else.

I used to nurse my daughter before naptime and now I sit with her in the rocking chair.

She starts to fall asleep there on me and then I put her down. It has worked wonders.

Good luck and listen to your heart.

Kelly - posted on 12/15/2008

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I b/f all 3 of my kids and they all weaned differently at different times. My oldest (now 15) decided it was much better to eat on the run and decided to wean at 10 months when he started to walk. My daughter was 15 months when I couldn't take it anymore and just started putting her to bed with a bottle. She cried for a couple of nights and I flowed like a fountain, but it wasn't horrible. My youngest (now 9) was a "velcro baby" from birth, so he was a bit more challenging. I finally (at about 18 months) arranged for him to spend a couple of nights with an overly doting friend (with his sibs - think....."pre-baby nights"!!) and when they came home, I put him to bed with a bottle too. They've all managed to survive. One thing, though - my kids all took both breast and bottle their whole lives and once they were primarily on solid foods, they didn't nurse at all during the day (I worked). Start with the day when you are both ready, it makes the night easier. Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 12/14/2008

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First, you should do what you need to do for you.

Our ds is a horrid sleeper, I mean bad, but as much as it killed me, I just had to wean. So at 1 year one week old I weaned, and it does help his sleep, not significantly, but some. OUr other issue was weight, and weaning to get him to eat more solids has also helped.



I hated weaning, and when you get to breast feed for a year, I think it's easy to want to go more!!



One thing why my son would want to nurse at night is because when he lays down the acid comes up in his throat and the breastfeeding makes it feel better (but hard on mommy!!!!!). We stop feeding him an hour before bed, and he's on a prescription antacid which has helped some.



GOOD LUCK!

Jessica - posted on 12/14/2008

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I think you should wait till she shows signs she is more ready. Unless of course you are resenting the nursing. But I think 1 year is still young to wean completely. Most people i've known said weaning took months....

[deleted account]

Ditto Melanie! We're self-weaners (haha, love that phrase) over here, too. I think forcing it will just add stress and make both of you miserable. If you're really ready to stop, do it slowly and offer things instead of nursing that she'll like...snuggles, a sippy, reading a book, etc. Keep up the awesome work, mama! You're giving her the best thing on Earth, and she knows it. :)

Susanna - posted on 12/12/2008

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My daughter weaned herself around 18 months, but the last one to go was her "before bed" session. I suggest you let her decide when she's ready to quit. It is such a wonderful close moment with your baby, and I think down the road you will regret it if you cut it short by weaning her before she's ready. Even though it's been almost 16 years since I nursed a baby, when I am stressed or sad, I still close my eyes and remember nursing as one of my happiest memories, and it brings me right back to a good and peaceful place. Don't rob yourself or your daughter of those precious moments. Your little girl will decide when she's ready.

Kirsten - posted on 12/12/2008

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My daughter is 22 months and still nurses before bed, before a nap (unless she's not with me) and sometimes first thing in the morning! Apparently my "Mama Juice" is better than chocolate milk :) As long as she's the one who wants it there's no reason to wean her if she's not ready -unless you want to get pregnant again. My daughter has only had a couple colds and has never had an ear infection, she's also not obese like so many other little ones I see lately. I think often people who encourage moms to stop nursing before the child wants to are feeling a bit guilty that they didn't do it longer. Each child is different, she'll let you know. You also might want to try a book called "Nighttime Parenting by Dr. William Sears" he confirmed all my "maternal instincts."

Erin - posted on 12/11/2008

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I know that nursing is a storng bond between mother and child, and I nursed both of my children. The one thing I wwanted to pass on to my children was the ability to sleep on their own. I feel that consistent sleep is the key to good health. The more run down one is the sicker they seem to get. I found that I had to play the tough mom by letting them cry it out for at least a week. At your child's age they do not need to be waking up but it is habit. You need to tale a weel where you check on your child when they wake up, but you need to let them cry to fall back asleep. After a week, they understand that they will not be fed, and they need to go back to seep. I hope this helps:) -E

Shannon - posted on 12/11/2008

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My daughter nursed until 16 months when she just lost interest. I noticed she started weaning herself around 13 months and by 15 months was only nursing for a couple of minutes before bedtime. She didn't even drink a bottle of cow's milk until she was 14 months. Once she started liking milk in a bottle, I would nurse her a few minutes and then give her a bottle, which she loved getting. One day I went to nurse her and she just laughed at me! To be honest, I planned on nursing her as long as she wanted and just assumed she would want to nurse until at least 18 months or maybe two years. At first I was sad because I missed that nursing time with her, but I'm just glad I got to bf her for as long as I did! It's such an awesome thing to share with your baby. I'd try to forget about weaning her and just enjoy your nursing time with her.

Susanne - posted on 12/11/2008

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My 4 boys all nursed until they were 2 yrs old. I would recommend that you continue nursing her since she obviously needs it so much. She is not at all ready to stop. I would also recommed that you nurse her to sleep. You will never ever regret this! Trust me! You are doing the right thing!

Amanda - posted on 12/11/2008

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With my first child(girl) she nursed only at night until she was 13 months old. You have to be sure she is off of it fully during the day. Have u tried giving her formula in a bottle or even going ahead and trying whole milk in a bottle at night instead of nursing? Also remember that all babies are different and also mothers are. As long as you are still comfortable you need to do what is better for your baby and you.

Megan - posted on 12/11/2008

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Do what feels right for you, and don't let people pressure you to stop breastfeeding. Our culture tends to think 1 year is the cutoff for nursing, but there are so many advantages to toddler nursing. For one, it can almost always stop temper tantrums when they get to that age. And take advantage of your daughter falling asleep nursing, it's usually the quickest way, eventually she will learn to fall asleep on her own without nursing. Don't let anyone tell you your spoiling her, you are giving her what she needs, and I can tell you my 3 and 5 year olds are very independent, even though they nursed past their 2nd birthday.

Ginger - posted on 12/11/2008

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If you dont want to give it up dont.. I bf both my kids.. my daughter got kicked of so to speak at 11 months I now wish I didnt do it.. dont listen to others I kinda did, its now a big regret of mine.. good for you keep it up:)

Melanie - posted on 12/11/2008

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You're very welcome!! I'm glad to help!! If you're being pressured to wean, just keep in mind that the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that you breast feed for at LEAST 2 years. Plus, the average self-weaning age around the world is 4-7 YEARS. At a year, you're doing great!! Keep giving your baby the best stuff on earth!! =]

User - posted on 12/11/2008

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That makes me feel much better! Everyone is urging me to stop nursing since she's almost a year old but I don't think she's ready. Thanks!

Melanie - posted on 12/11/2008

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At 19 months, my son is still nursing to sleep (and several times during the day)! It's best to let them self-wean, but if you want to night wean, do it slowly! It can take a couple months until she's fully ready to give up nursing to sleep, but if you start giving her a sippy of warm cow's milk (please wait until she is actually a year old) before bed and then tell her that breast milk isn't for night time anymore. Expect to nurse a lot more during the day though if she night weans... she'll want to make up for lost time. Good luck!

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