12 month old nursing ALL night long! Help?!

Lauren - posted on 12/18/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be one on the 30th. She used to sleep through the night every night in a cradle next to my bed. We have a very good bedtime routine down since she was 4 months old. Her father deployed when she was 4 months old and it was just her and I with no friends or family out here. She became VERY dependent on me and will only find comfort in me. Her daddy came home when she was 7 months old bc I fell and broke both my wrists. I was unable to hold we to nurse her so we started co-sleeping when she began waking up once or twice a night. Now we can't get her out of our bed, she pacifies on me ALL night long. She tosses and turns and is very restless. No one gets any sleep. We have tried the modified CIO methods, we have tried crib training her with no luck. She wakes up every time I lay her down! Any suggestions?? She doesn't take a bottle ever and won't take pumped milk in a sippy only juice. I also can't get her to drink any whole milk or goats milk mixed with my milk. I see no end in sight! Help please?!

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Gigi - posted on 12/21/2012

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She probably wakes up because she can't reaadjust in "rock n' Play" - these things are not designed to sleep in.She needs to sleep in normal bed so she gets proper rest. I would put away that "rock-n'play" and she will forget about is soon.
Since she already plays in her crib during the day, you could make the periods longer. Do you leave her there alone or are you in a room with her? If you are now staying there with her, try to leave for a bit - tell her - "mommy will be right back" and come back very soon but then prolong your absences so she gets used to being in there alone.
As for attaching to teh toys, it takes time - my daughter took a while too, but I just kept on giving her her toy every time she would go to bed and soon she would take it herself.
I would also stop rocking/nursing her to sleep - its a prop and she will sleep better once she learns to fall asleep on her own. Rock her and nurse her until she is drowsy, then put her gently to bed and pat her on the back a bit. If she cries, pick her up, reassure her and put her back down. Since she is afraid of the crib, stay there with her and move closer to the door every night or every few nights. this could take a while, maybe even few weeks. Eventually you will be able to put her down in her bed and walk away. Mind you, first you need her to stop being afraid of the crib, so first get her to spend some time there in diferent times of the day.
You mentioned that you already tried CIO and it didn't work. I don't like CIO method so thats why I am giving you this alternative method, but only you know what works for your family.
After she is able to fall asleep alone in her crib, nightime wakings might stop too, but they might stay depending on the reason why she wakes up. At 1 year old, she doesn't need to eat or drink anyting during the night so refusing it completely is ok or offering only water. She might be already adjusted her daytime feedings to accomodate for calories she expects at night and that is part of the reason for waking up. That will pass soon. If she doesn't like water thats fine, but don;t give her juice in the middle of the night. She will get the idea soon and stop asking for it.

Lauren - posted on 12/19/2012

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She falls asleep around 8 pm after her bath while I rock and nurse her I sleep. She HATES her crib. We do put her in there for short periods to play during the day and she is fine with that but refuses it at night. She screams bloody murder and they are cries of fear not her tantrum cries. We have also tried a soft plush animal and soft blanked but she won't attach to any of them. But once I get her to sleep at around 8pm I place her in a "Rock n' Play" and she sleeps in it in her own room for 3-4 hours before waking. Once she wakes around mid night that's when I can't get her back into her own space. It's all mommy! I can't let her fuss it out in her rock n play cradle because If she is upset enough she can wiggle her way out of her harness. That's why I'm so desperate to get her into her crib. She's outgrowing her cradle and I don't think it's safe anymore. We have tried elevating the head of her crib and it's still a no go. I can't even get her to nap in it.

Gigi - posted on 12/19/2012

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If you want to wean her of nightime feedings (they are actually not feedings, but more that she uses you as pacifier), you will need to stay away from her during night and let your husband comfort her. It will be hard the first few nights, but she will get used to it. We had similar situation when my daughter was about 6 months old (except she was sleeping in her bedroom) and after I fed her once during night if she woke up again my husband would give her a bit of water. That worked for us.
It will be a bit difficult since she is sleeping with you in the bed, so i suggest you use this opportunity to get her to sleep in her own bed. You didn't write how and where she falls asleep in the evening - is it in your bed or in her crib? Also does she take naps in her crib?
If she doesn't like her crib, you can let her play there for short periods during the day and maybe give her soft toy during the night so she can have a "friend" there with her.

Anisha - posted on 12/18/2012

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That's very hard... i have a similar experience .. my daughter used to feed bottles till she was 17 months 3 times during the night..she'll have very little 60-80 ml but still wants to feed... we have cut down completely now.. we gave water in bottle and it was working and eventually she stopped feeding during the night... but u know what we have to got her into a bad habit.,,,, she sucks her thumb as a pacifier and she is very used to it now... we are okay with that now because we can cut down the milk and also sleep with out breaks... we r getting some sleep these dayzz....

Lauren - posted on 12/18/2012

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And she refuses pacifies. She is very fond of her father and is very used to him now since he returned from Afghanistan but she just associates him with play time not allowing him to comfort her or rock her to sleep. She is comfortable with him but with hold out until I come up to replace him.

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