Toddler nursing for naps but not for bedtime. also waking up too early?
Just weaned my 18 month old girl off of nursing to go to sleep. We still will nurse during the day. The way I had to work things is by setting up a matteress on the floor in her bedroom and making the bedroom safe. At night I will lie down with her and now (as of 1 week ago) she just goes to sleep and usually pretty quickly (by 7:30pm). We have a routine 5:30-6 dinner, then bath, then put on pjs, brush teeth, nursing quietly in living room, then saying goodnight to daddy and the dog, then we lie down with the lights out and the star projector on. She is typically out within 10 minutes with no nursing, then she sleeps through the night but then wakes up at 5am crying. She seems tired but wont fall back to sleep on her own (which she does if she wakes in the middle of the night usually)...so she s awake but cranky all morning unless I nurse her to sleep (which I have been trying to make a point not to go backwards and give in to nursing) I did this morning because she was so tired and cranky and I was too tired to try other ways. She fell asleep by about 930am. This is typical of her routine...early wake up, morning nap until 11 or 12, then she is awake for the rest of the day. So my question is...
1) Should I fix the schedule (the 7:30pm to 5:15 am sleep and 9:30/10 am -11/12 nap) or support it assuming that she is getting the amount of sleep that she needs and this odd timing works for her? (Mind you, after her morning nap she is a happy camper for the rest of the day)
2) How to get her to nap without nursing? For whatever reason, it just doesnt flow like bedtime. I have a similar ritual, but to no avail does it work. Also, she refuses rocking, strolling, ...sometimes car rides do the trick but I really wish to not have to rely on any of that stuff.
Also, no lectures about Co-sleeping please (She never shared a bed with us until 10 months anyways). I have heard it all and what works for some doesnt work for others. She has a severe aversion to the crib (another story). Because of this I am using a different approach, I am working on a gradual change. I plan to move out of the room in a few days, and eventually wean her off of needing me there to sleep, but for now I just wish to get her back into a reliable sleep pattern without nursing.
Anyone with ideas, experience, understanding, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts!! Thanks.
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
Have you tried just bringing her into your bed at 5am? My routine with my kids was always pretty similar to yours -- nursing, lying down together at bedtime, etc. The only difference is that my kids usually had a later bedtime because my husband didn't get home from work until 6-6:30, and I wanted to make sure they got to spend some time with him.
Anyway, if my kids woke too early, I just brought them into my bed. At 18 months, two of my 3 kids were still nursing quite a bit (day and night), so I would have just nursed them back down in my bed.
One thing I learned by kid #3 was that I could turn those bedtime snuggles into quiet time for me. I started leaving on a small light (or using a book light) to read while he drifted off to sleep. It was a nice way to end the day, and we still snuggle at bedtime now, and he's almost 5. He can fall asleep on his own if I'm not home, but if I'm there, we cuddle.
As for your questions...
1 -- It's a tough call. If you're not getting enough sleep, you could try gradually bumping her bedtime back by 15-30 minutes at a time and see what happens. Maybe you could eventually change the schedule to 8:30-6:15 (or 9pm-7am) with a nap from 10:30 or 11am-1pm or so. I'm always hesitant to mess with something that leaves a happy child, but if *you* are the cranky one, it may be worth it, too. :-)
2 -- I'd let the naptime nursing go for now. I never expected to nurse my younger two as long as I did, but my middle child weaned at 2 1/2 and my youngest at 4 1/2. My middle child was nursing only about once a day (at naptime) for the last 3 months or so that she nursed, and she ended up weaning on her own. My youngest was down to just nursing at bedtime (and would sometimes skip days between nursing sessions) starting right around his 3rd b-day. It worked for us, and he weaned on his own with no problems.
- barthebearLv 78 years ago
At this point, whatever works. As you say' no lectures.'