How do I stop nursing to sleep? — The Bump

How do I stop nursing to sleep?

My son is 14.5 months old and nursing 3 times a day, sometimes 4-5 when he's teething. I currently nurse him to sleep aroud 7 pm, in the morning around 6 am, and nap time between 11-12. All three of these sessions put him to sleep, which is working for us now, but I want to start thinking about ways to decrease his reliance on me nursing him to sleep. He won't take a sippy cup or bottle from me. 

He is a terrible sleeper and we bed share from about midnight until 8 am each day. He sleeps horribly in his crib and I'm considering a Montessori style room for him to see if it helps. Should I try to break him of his nursing to sleep habit when his new room is set up? Do you think the new environment might help? I'm okay with him nursing back to sleep in the morning because we have always done this and I'm not ready for that time to end yet. The only difference is he slept in his crib until his mooring feeding instead of bed sharing already. He hasn't sttn since we move when he was 9 months old. Will that be confusing to him? 

Help. I'm sorry this got so long.
BabyFruit Ticker

BFP #1 - 12/12/11 - Missed M/C 1/9/12
BFP #2 - 4/5/2012 - Son Born 12/12/12
BFP #3 - 2/2/2014 - EDD 10/16/2014

Re: How do I stop nursing to sleep?

  • With my DS, he always needed to nurse to sleep at that age. He also was nursing 3x per day (first waking up, before nap, and before bed). He was a great sleeper once I nursed him. I really think it settled him. Around 18 months he ended up getting hand, foot, and mouth disease. It was too painful to nurse and he self-weaned. I didn't plan it, but that's what happened. Personally, I didn't worry about it and figured he would eventually fall asleep on his own.

    **DD1 - 7/9/98**

    **DS - 11/9/00**

    **DD2 - 4/30/13**

  • i would try to nurse your LO earlier in the evening, and then, if possible, have your partner take over the putting to bed portion to help break the nurse-to-sleep association-- maybe babywearing, rocking, music, maybe giving your LO a cup of warm cow's milk.

    you could also try the dr. jay gordon night weaning method, but apply it to going to sleep. so you would gradually decrease the before-bed nursing session until you dropped it all together, and just cuddle and pat your LO to sleep. i would maybe still try offering a cup of warm WCM, because toddlers may need something to tide them over through the night.
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