Transitioning from nursing to sleep — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Transitioning from nursing to sleep

Any advice on helping my 13 month old fall asleep? Now that she doesn't nurse to sleep I feel like I don't know how to get her to sleep. DH can get her to sleep but it's a struggle for me. Tonight DH is gone and it took me a good hour and a half to get her to sleep. I did our normal bedtime routine but she just wants to keep playing. I had to lie her down in her crib and let her cry for 5 minutes, then 7, then 10. After the 10 minute stretch she went to sleep. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong when I go back in to comfort her like staying too long, holding her too long or what. She always starts screaming again right when I lie her down or even when I stand up to walk to her crib. It is so hard for me to hear her scream like that, breaks my heart. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

Re: Transitioning from nursing to sleep

  • My son has always nursed to sleeo until about 15 months he's 21 months now and he still nurses before bes but doesbt fall asleep during anymore it just became a part of routine and after I would lay him down and gently talk to him while rubbing his back or sing and walk out he did the same thing as you LO for a long time he would cry for up to 10 minuts and fall asleep. Like you I hated hearing him cry but I just stuck to our routine before bed put him down stayed for a little and left it took some time but after a while ten minuts turned to five  and now he will lay down I still stay for a minute and when I leave he will  sing himself to sleep. not a ton of advice but it seems like your doing the right things. From what I hear babys that have nursed to sleep may have a harder time self soothing at night at first and crying is a part of it,it will take a little time but just be consistent and patient and it will happen:)
  • I've heard some ladys would lay in room with LO as well and that helped in my experience it didn't help my ds just got more upset hah but its worth a shot if you haven't tried it already
  • I think it's just going to be like that for a bit because of of the change in routine. It sounds like you have a good strategy and if you can be consistent about it, she will get used to it quicker. Good luck!
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  • It sounds like you're on the right track. I think consistency is the key. My bf is way better at getting our son to nap, but I generally have more success at night. When we taught him to feed in the middle of the night it was a 3 day process. When we switched up the routine to not have milk and then bed it took a solid 5 days or so. Some nights he still tests me. It's a process, that's for sure. 
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