AP and weaning/STTN — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

AP and weaning/STTN

I am attachment parenting/co-sleeping all the way but what I'd like to hear from y'all is how you got through it? How did you get baby to wean and/or sleep without you and/or your breast? DS is almost 11 months old and  I'm afraid to go back to work or leave DS with a babysitter because he won't sleep without me!
 
We had a problem with DS falling asleep on the breast and needing the breast to sleep.  we got DS on a sleep schedule using sleep easy solution (like Ferber) and he did not need the breast to get to sleep, but we got lax when he started teething and I've been reluctant to get him back on it - I just did not like it (although it was nice to get a few hours alone time every night) and I missed sleeping with him
 
if I don't "teach" him to sleep without the breast or in his own bed, will he learn?  I'm hoping he'll tell me one day that he's ready to be a big boy and wean and sleep in his own bed - am I being delusional? 
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Re: AP and weaning/STTN

  • You've might had people say that if you don't teach him, he'll never learn it.  But seriously, if you don't actively teach him, do you *really* think you'll have a seventeen year old who has to nurse in order to go to sleep?

    No.

    Yes, he will at some point be able to sleep in his own bed and not need to nurse.  No necessarily on your preferred time frame - without any pressure, the average age of self-weaning is sometime between 2 and 4 years old, but even older in some cultures.  And research suggests that half of all toddlers and young children still don't sleep through the night (often wanting to come into their parents' beds in the early hours of the morning).  There is no reason to suggest this is anything but developmentally normal.

    And yet, eventually, they all learn to sleep on their own.

    Do what works for you and your family, not someone else who isn't living your life.

    (FWIW, we just - two weeks ago - moved the mattress my 2.5yr old has been on for the past year and a half into her room.  I moved with her, though I could probably sleep for 2-3hrs at the beginning of the night in my own bed.  But she gets up to nurse once a night (we did partial night weaning, or she'd probably still want to nurse more, but she's always nursed *a lot*) and wakes up 1-2 times as well when she pees.  So why would I try to stay in my own bed when I'd just have to get up out of bed and walk into another room?  I stay in her bed and do everything there and I never have to be vertical all night long, so I feel rested enough.) 

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  • He will probably surprise you and sleep fine for others. DD started daycare at 6 months and had no problem going to sleep (in a crib no less, at home she napped in the swing til 15 months old). At home she wants the breast even to this day (she is 29 months old). At night she doesn't actually fall asleep on the breast unless she is exhausted (when she skips her nap) so it isn't like she needs to be nursed until she is completely out. 

    I have never co-slept and she is still in her crib but  she till wakes up once a night to nurse (although the last 2 nights she actually STTN, she has done this once in a blue moon but never 2 nights in a row so we will see) and I'm Ok with that. If she wakes up to go pee (rarely) she wants a quick "milky" before going back down. She still nurses about 5 x a day total (not all of it for nutrition but that's ok with me).

    If you are OK with nursing him for bed/nap then who cares what everyone else says. IMO he is still little. And chances are that when you are no where near that he will go to sleep just fine.  I was starting to wonder if DD would every STTN and it looks like we are heading that way without any help. I would be fine though with the once a night wake up to nurse still. It never lasts very long and she goes back down easy. 

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  • imagesucredee:

    He will probably surprise you and sleep fine for others. DD started daycare at 6 months and had no problem going to sleep (in a crib no less, at home she napped in the swing til 15 months old). At home she wants the breast even to this day (she is 29 months old). At night she doesn't actually fall asleep on the breast unless she is exhausted (when she skips her nap) so it isn't like she needs to be nursed until she is completely out. 

    I have never co-slept and she is still in her crib but  she till wakes up once a night to nurse (although the last 2 nights she actually STTN, she has done this once in a blue moon but never 2 nights in a row so we will see) and I'm Ok with that. If she wakes up to go pee (rarely) she wants a quick "milky" before going back down. She still nurses about 5 x a day total (not all of it for nutrition but that's ok with me).

    If you are OK with nursing him for bed/nap then who cares what everyone else says. IMO he is still little. And chances are that when you are no where near that he will go to sleep just fine.  I was starting to wonder if DD would every STTN and it looks like we are heading that way without any help. I would be fine though with the once a night wake up to nurse still. It never lasts very long and she goes back down easy. 

    Especially the bolded.  I went back to work when DD was 6 months old and was worried about how she would nap for my mom.  She actually goes down for a nap fairly easy for my mom.  My mom said that she can actually put her down in the pack n play and sing to her a little bit and she is out cold.  She naps for a good hour to hour and a half.

    My DH and I also just recently went away for a night and left DD at my parent's house.  On a normal night, she is up multiple times wanting to nurse and at some point, she will not let us put her back in her crib so we end up taking her into bed with us.  Well, with my parents she only woke up once, they gave her a bottle and put her back to sleep no problem.

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  • I agree with the PP's.. My daughter rarely ever took a nap if I was home with her, but starting at 18 months she went to daycare when I got a full time job, and she napped there just fine. She also napped for my mom just fine as well. I wound up having to tell the daycare to not let her sleep so long because she had been used to not napping and then after napping there she wouldn't go to bed early enough, lol.

    I think you're over-thinking things. They will wean when ready, and they WILL sleep through the night eventually.

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  • My DD is also 11 months and I am still nursing and rocking her to sleep, and she still wakes up 1-2 times a night.  At this time I know she needs this to fall asleep.  She cannot fall asleep on her own, she needs the rocking and motion to relax.  We've tried lots of other things and nothing else worked.  This is how we're all getting good night's rest.  Some day she won't need this much help and she'll actually be able to fall asleep totally on her own, until then I know it's my job to help her.

    That being said, I feel like she's too young to learn this on her own.  If she was 5, maybe I'd be doing something different.  I think it's pretty normal for babies to need to nurse until 2... and I would consider a 2-year old a baby.  :)

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  • My son will be 2 1/2 next week & told me he was ready for a big boy bed about 2 months ago!  It took baby steps, though :). I did have to nudge him to wean, but if there was significant resistance I would wait & try again a few weeks later. Around 24m he was finally night weaned, but would still fall asleep with his hand on my breast for that familiarity & comfort.  Two months ago he saw DH & I prepping his "new" big boy room so we could slowly transition the nursery for DS2, but as he saw us hanging sports themed decor he asked if he could sleep there that night!  I still lay with him until he falls asleep (in his big boy bed), but since he gave up daytime naps as soon as he was fully weaned (26m) he's been going to bed earlier and sleeping through the night.  It may not be as soon as you'd like it, and may cost you nap-time, but there will be a day when big boy is ready to wean & sleep on his own!
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  • Thanks for the advice! I guess I was just worried that me going back to work or leaving him with someone else was going to be too much for him.  I'm probably worrying for nothing!
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