How the heck do you get a child to nap without nursing?

Jeramie - posted on 10/11/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Ok, I am all for extended breastfeeding if you can do it, and I did it. My daughter is almost 2 and a half years old, and I decided I am DONE! It has been 4 nights and 5 days since I last nursed her. I was trying to do it gradually, but she is SOO attached to it that I felt if I waited until she was ready I'd be still nursing a year from now. Also, I am pregnant and my nipples are SORE! I do not want to have to tandem nurse. I want my breasts to myself for the next 5 months before they belong to another child for 2 or more years... Sorry I guess I feel like I have to explain why I wanted to wean her.

Anyway, she still asks for it all day long. I was wondering if anyone has any tips on getting a toddler to take a nap Without nursing? it's the only way to get her to sleep, other than driving her around in the car when she is really tired. I know she is sleepy. cranky and whiny and clingy and begging to nurse! She hasn't had a nap since I quit, except for passing out in her highchair at dinnertime when she finally can't stay awake anymore. then she wakes up and napping so late, she stays up way past her bedtime. it is hard to get her back on schedule. Any ideas?

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Merry - posted on 10/20/2011

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I'm tandem nursing my 2.5 yr old son and 5 month old daughter and I sometimes nurse Eric before nap but sometimes it's just not possible so I'll lay him down and say just a minute, I have to go do such and such. He whines but I say hold on just a minute. Usually he will suck his thumb in bed and I'll come back and he's asleep.
If he gets out of bed I'll put hum back, lay down, but then make up another excuse to leave. If he cries for me I always come back and hold him a bit and make another exit.
If he fights too much he's either not tired enough or he really needs a nurse so I'll nurse him. I'm not trying to wean, just trying to cut back.
Maybe an excused exit would work for you too.

Lori - posted on 10/11/2011

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Be firm in your decision. If you're done... be done. Sounds like you're doing good now for 5 days. At 2 and a half a LO is very good at picking up signals from us. If she senses that you might give in or that you're having mixed feelings about being done it will make it much harder.

I weaned my older daughter at 23 1/2 months - like you I did it because I was pregnant, and had very sore nipples, and did not want to tandem nurse. Giving up that last nursing before bed time and before nap time is the hardest. We started a new routine of sitting in Mommy's lap (in a different place than where we used to nurse) and reading books before nap time/bed time, then I'd sing a few songs. It didn't really take that long for my daughter to get the idea that she doesn't get to nurse anymore, but she still gets cuddle time with Momma.

So my suggestion is to pick something new as your going to bed routine, and stick with it for a few days. It should get easier pretty quickly. If it doesn't work one way, try something else.. maybe instead of a story listen to a favorite song on a CD or MP3 player.

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All I've got is good luck wishes! My son was able to fall asleep at bedtime w/out nursing (though we still nursed at bedtime every night and we co-sleep), but the only way he napped was on the breast or in the van.

He went for a 4 week visitation w/ his father in July (at 3.25 years), so that was the end of our breastfeeding relationship.... and mostly the end of his napping. NOW he naps at preschool (but only stays for naptime one day/week) and two days/week we are driving around all afternoon. Other than that.... naps are over and bedtime is 6:30!

My son asked to nurse pretty much every day for the first 6 weeks after he came home.

Janice - posted on 10/17/2011

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Have you tried laying down with her? When I weaned my daughter of the nap time and later the bedtime feed we layed down on the couch together and snuggled. Our routine was to nurse on the couch so I kept everything the same except I refused to nurse her. She obviously wasn't too happy about it at first but she did give up after 4-5 days. We weaned slowly over 7 months so our situation was a bit different but the nap and bedtime were the last to go. I would place her in her crib when she almost asleep and then slowly once BF was really over she began going to sleep in her crib with out any cuddles (well just a few hugs). I hope you figure it out soon. Good luck!

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Rachel - posted on 10/25/2011

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I should say she was 20 months. Ergo, at a slightly different point developmentally. I've found with 30 month olds, you're dealing with a stronger sense of sentimentality (potentially). But its worth a shot...

Rachel - posted on 10/25/2011

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hard to say. I always weened fairly gradually. But if it has been a few days, I think it would be safe to offer it. "See? All gone!"

Rachel - posted on 10/24/2011

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when I weened my third, she would beg and beg for it. After I was sure I was dry, I gave it to her. She got frustrated and didn't ask again for a few days. When she did, I held off a while (I didn't want to be her pacifier) then offered it again. Again it was empty. It took her a month (and catching me in just a towel) to ask again. Again I offered, but she changed her mind. That was it. I just had to prove it was actually gone.

Lisa - posted on 10/24/2011

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I'm still nursing my 21-month-old, and I used to nurse him to sleep a long time ago, but I had sleep trained him at a year and switched it so that I put him down awake and nurse him when he wakes up. Now I only nurse him when he wakes up in the morning. He puts himself to sleep, although he somtimes cries for a bit in the beginning. Since you haven't done this already, I suppose either pushing in the stroller for 10-15 minutes or laying down with her might be good. When I lay down with my son he just wants to play and talk with me, so that wouldn't work with mine, but maybe with yours. I don't know.

Jeramie - posted on 10/20/2011

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Thanks Everybody for the encouragement! I am now confident that her nursing days are over, though she still does ask for it usually once a day. She still won't nap though, unless we happen to be driving in the car in the afternoon. my breasts never even filled up after we stopped. She wasn't getting much anyway.

Sarah - posted on 10/13/2011

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Have you tried going for a walk - bubs in the pram, its the only way mr15montsh will go to sleep without a booby

Helen - posted on 10/13/2011

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Wow 2 and a half years - that's impressive! I stopped breastfeeding my eldest at 18 months and most of my friends thought that was really late! It's quite a hard habit to kick for them, but eventually they do not ask for it anymore. I think my boobs were so full of milk & painful I gave my daughter another feed about 2-3 days later and then she never asked for it again! She also gave up daytime sleeps just before she was 2. We now also have a 7 month old daughter and with her I am being firm about getting her to sleep on her own rather than falling asleep nursing! It works... she does cry for a bit but she's fine and she sleeps all night long, generally 9pm-7.30am... would like it to be a bit earlier in evening but its not too bad!! During the day, again I put her down to sleep in her cot & sometimes she falls straight to sleep & other times she cries for a bit, but mostly falls asleep within 5mins. Be strong - I read Teach yourself baby sleep - helpful hints there!

Heather - posted on 10/13/2011

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Give her a sippy cup of milk or a bottle. She is also 2, not all 2 year olds take naps. But other than that, I have no idea. I put my daughter down at 1pm, turns out, she isn't ready to go to sleep now until 2pm, ugg...

Alyssa - posted on 10/13/2011

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Put band-aids on your nipples and tell her mommys got owies there.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/12/2011

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I can't even get my 7 month old to sleep through the night without nursing. I wish you the best of luck. Just don't give in.

Brianna - posted on 10/11/2011

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u gotta be strong. shes gonna have to cry it out and if she gets out of bed just keep putting her back. after acouple days of not giving in she will learn to sleep on her own. a good website is sleepsense.net good luck

Casey - posted on 10/11/2011

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whoa i feel for you! well done for going that long! unfortunatley i cannot help you with this as i am having the exact same problem with my near 6 month old. She wont take expressed milk either. its very tiring at times!

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