Baby wants to nurse all night and wont sleep in crib. any suggestions??

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Does anyone co-sleep with their babies? My daughter who is now 8 months has been in my bed since birth. It started out only temporary cause I nurse her and it was just easier to feed her with her next to me. Now at 8 months I cannot for the life of me get her in her crib. She will scream and scream and scream. People... tell me to let her scream but I just dont think thats right so I put her in my bed. The only thing is she gets up every 1.5 hours to 2 hours to nurse. This has been going on for 8 months. Shouldnt she be sleeping all night? I just dont know what to do. The doc says refuse to nurse her but that dont feel right. The doc says put her in crib and let her scream until she falls asleep but that doesnt feel right either. I work full time days and am exausted but not sure the right thing to do.

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Sally - posted on 01/08/2013

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Human babies are biologically designed to sleep with their mom. Babies sleeping alone is almost unheard of outside the Western world and it's less than 100 years old here. Also "sleeping through the night" is a five hour stretch, almost no babies are physically capable of it before 6 months and very few are capable before two years. Honestly, very few adults do it. We just don't remember waking up.
If you sleep with her, you both get rest. If you put her in the crib neither of you do and you both get stressed. Why not just sleep with her? At eight months she should be able to latch and unlatch herself if you leave your breast out so there's no reason for you to wake when she nurses. Ignore your doctor, give your baby and yourself what you both need, and get some peaceful rest.

Rosanne - posted on 01/07/2013

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Ferber himself doesn't recommend the Ferber method anymore. Both of my girls bed shared and nursed. I night weaned my oldest at about 20 months, shortly after I got pregnant with my second. She slept in our bed until she was just passed her second birthday then we slowly transitioned her to her own twin bed. She's 4.5, she gets tucked in, has a kiss and hug and goes to sleep on her own and sleeps all night. My youngest is 26 months, still nursing and is transitioning to her own bed. If she's in my bed she wants to nurse throughout the night though she certainly doesn't need it. Most nights lately she sleeps until 5 or 6am in her room. Never o my children ever cried it out. Like you it didn't feel right to me. At 8 months your daughter my really need to still eat at night, some children are closer to 18 months (according to dr. Sears) before they can might it all night without food.
Don't let your doctor bully you into CIO if you dont want to do it, your daughter will night wean, she will learn to go back to sleep on her own and she will sleep in her own bed, it just takes more time when you do it this way.

Tori - posted on 05/05/2010

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my sons did the same thing what i finally ended up doing was taking a soft fuzzy blanket and taking it to bed with us for a few nights makeing sure it was next to me and him when we slept so one it would have my smell on it and 2 he would get use to the feel of the blanket after he would fall asleep i would transfer him and his blanket to the crib and he would sleep for longer periods of to time.

Jonna - posted on 05/04/2010

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Is the crib in your room? I have found that when I'm breast feeding the baby will wake up when sleeping in my room but not in it's own room. They can smell your milk and wake more often. With each of my kids they began sleeping through the night when I moved them to their own room no matter what their age. It's a thought. This transition can be hard on you and your baby. She will cry some, but I wouldn't let her cry for more than 20 min. You can go in and sooth her. Try and get her used to the crib during naps if possible. It will eventually happen.

Andrea - posted on 05/04/2010

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You don't have to stop nursing her if you don't want - but don't nurse her in your bed - get her used to falling asleep in the crib as much as possible. Just hold her standing up next to her crib as you nurse, if it's the middle of the night it shouldn't take long for her to go back to sleep, then gently lay her back down and only get up again if she is screaming - if she is just making SOME noise and fretting a little, let her do that - it's the full blown screaming you don't want to go on for long. Does she suck her thumb or take a paci? Encourage those to help her self-sooth

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Lynnette - posted on 01/13/2013

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Try making her nap in her crib to start then try again to put her in her bed she will cry herself to sleep!

Sharon - posted on 01/12/2013

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Hi this is a difficult dilemma. I never could let my babies "cry it out" either. Does your little One take a bottle at all? If so, try offering water during the night instead of milk as this sometimes discourages them from waking (assuming they are gaining weight ok) you could also try letting your baby fall asleep with you in bed and then transfer them to the cot while asleep - of they especially like to be warm you could warm up her sheets in the cot with a hot water bottle before you put her in but NEVER leave the hot water bottle in with her once she is in the cot. Hope this helps.

Natalia - posted on 01/08/2013

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same problem here; my baby is 3 months old. I just feel like a human pacifier sometimes. I can tell she likes to nurse for comfort purposes at night (during the day, too) because she pinches the nipple so the milk flow is blocked. and if i take her off the booby, she screams bloody murder. we still co-sleep but occasionally i introduce her to the crib and its not working very well - she is up every 1 hr.

Margarita - posted on 01/08/2013

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For many babies, "Sleeping through the night" is actually 6 hours or less. At this age they still need two or three night nursings if memory serves me right, but not every 2 hours anymore. Dumb question, but is the problem that the nursings wake you or that you have to get up to nurse her and then can't back to sleep? If it's the former, I would try the recommendation of adding the small blanket with your smell on it while you sleep on the couch (I agree with the comment that they can smell the milk and that if she wakes up she'll want to nurse if she can smell the milk) and see if it helps. If it's the latter, you may want to just leave her in bed with you from the get go and let her "feed herself." Most sleep nursing bras are the kind baby can just pull (as opposed to the ones that require unhooking) and if you're not leaking, you could try to sleep without a bra in a nursing gown or even topless so baby can eat without waking you.

Chances are some of those feedings are just for comfort since she hasn't seen you for a large part of the day. It's just a question of meeting her needs without leaving you exhausted. Maybe you can try to squeeze in a few extra cuddles before bed to see if it helps. Another possibility is something called the "Dream Feed" (some also call it "top them of"). Basically, right before you go to bed, just pick her up and put her to your breast. Chances are, she will feed in her sleep until she's full. Then you just put her back in bed while still asleep. This will tidy her longer than just going to bed knowing she may wake up hungry an hour later.

Good luck!

Mitzy - posted on 01/04/2013

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Hello! I co-slept for 10 months and my son would wake up every 40 minutes to nurse. Exhausted, I started a sleep-deprived mommy support group and eventually found some solutions for my family. I moved my baby to his own bed and then started helping other moms in the same boat as me. Since then I have helped countless other families. There is hope!

I started a sliding-scale sleep training consultation business after helping many families get the sleep they needed.

sweet dreams pdx offers customized sleep plans that you can feel comfortable with and follow up email and phone support. You are not alone!

I work with all types of families. I offer help with co-sleeping, night weaning, transitioning to crib, sleep training, re-training after sickness or traveling

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Don't give up! Contact Mitzy at http://sweetdreamspdx.com/

Jennifer - posted on 05/05/2010

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thanks everyone for all your suggestions. I called the doc today and she telling me to do the "ferber method" I just dont know. She tells me if I dont then my daughter will continue to get up to nurse every 2 hours and will not be able to every get herself back to sleep. Im so confused. Her dad thinks we should try it. The doc says once she realizes I will not nurse her she will not wake up anymore during the night.. I just hate to hear her cry and especially when I know she is crying for me to nurse her and hold her. Its heart breaking. I just don't know the right thing to do..

April - posted on 05/04/2010

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my 16 month old nurses all night...we typically wake to nurse about 5 times. it is exhausting but i know it is the best thing for him.

we don't bedshare, but we do co-sleep in the sense that his crib is in our bedroom,

i have to physically get out of bed and walk across the room to nurse him. i've got to fully wake up because it is about 10 feet from the bed. Then i have to pick him up and take him to the nursing chair which is between my bed and his crib. Then put him back to bed when we're done.

I would say count your blessings and let your daughter bedshare/nurse. I've heard that they wean themselves from sleeping in your bed at around 2 years old.

Just let her nurse while you two are still sleeping and don't wake up all the way!

Kristin - posted on 05/04/2010

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You may just have to let her sleep with you a bit longer. But, you can fairly easily reduce the number of feeding she's taking at night. When she wakes for it and starts to do whatever she does to let you know, just turn her away from you and give her a something that she loves and can have in bed with her safely. She's going to fuss, but just be consistent with her. Comfort her back to sleep and then let her feed the next time. You could reasonably get her to feed every 4 to five hours in like a week. That means really only waking once a night for you.

Now, for the sleeping all night bit. They do that when they are able to. You kind of have to teach or guide her into doing this on her own. If a substantially reduced nursing schedule helps you to sleep better, then get that to happen first. She will start sleeping longer then too. In a few weeks to a month, you may be able to cut out any remaining night feedings. Just do them one at a time, a few days to a week apart. Once everyone is getting good sleep, then reassess how you feel about the co-sleeping.

I don't really know how to get a child of that age out of the family bed. My first baby was a cosleeper until he was almost three. It really didn't bother us until he started sleeping sideways. Then, we moved him over to his bed. He would make it part of the night and then come over. After a week I think, he was sleeping the big part of the night in his own bed. He would then come over when his dad gets up to get ready for work. No biggie. I will not say that having a three year old in your bed works for everyone. But, it is up to you the child's parents to decide when enough is enough. On a side note, we tried the CIO, modified, to get him to sleep in his bed at 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months. I almost wonder if it didn't prolong his stay in our bed.

Make no mistake here, I am not saying that you should stop breastfeeding. In fact I applaud your efforts through this exhaustion. Is she still getting breastmilk during the day from pumping? If so, she is still getting plenty of the good stuff from you so being done with night feedings isn't as big a deal. Ultimately, I would really only tackle one of these things at a time. It will just be really big drama for longer than necessary if you do both.

Jennifer - posted on 05/04/2010

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thanks. the crib is in my room. we dont have a room for her right now. I could try to sleep on the couch and see if that helps. She will sleep in the crib during naps and early evening; however, night time is when she has the worst time.

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