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My Dd, 14 months has a pre nap breast feed after lunch and I am desperate to get her off it. We have a routine, after lunch, of nappy change, into sleeping bag, breast feed, cot. She often takes 10 minutes to fall asleep once in her cot but she is happy. As soon as she starts getting put in her bag she is desperate for her feed. I was going to do controlled crying, she is going to be livid, but any other advice? She also has a morning and evening breast feed.
I recommend Tracy Hogg's "pick up/put down" and "shush/pat"methods, worked well for us at night time waking up, very sensible advice. very much based on teaching the baby/child that it's ok & safe to be in bed and fall asleep, and reassuring them with your presence. you'll find the description of the method in her book " The Babywhisperer"
I think you could also give her a bit of milk (formula or breast or cows or whatever) in a cup or a bottle straight after she finished the food, if her tummy's full, she might fall asleep without too much fuss.
I would put mine in bed with a bottle milk or apple juice to drink, no idea if it's advised or not, but that's what works for us.
controlled crying means different things to different people and I'm not sure at what age it is recommended, but I'll say to things about leaving kids to cry:
1. my DD1 was 8 months old and one evening I left him to cry as I was fed up waiting for him to fall asleep (11pm!) it was not an experiment due to any guidelines, I simply was too tired and thought he'll eventually fall asleep. instead he cried hysterically for 30 mins then chucked up all over the cot. that was the end of that. he is now 11 and still seldom falls asleep before 10pm, he's wired that way I guess
2. although I do leave them to cry every now and then to, whatever age, I ALWAYS go and check on them to see why they might be crying, most of the time there's a good reason or a problem which needs my attention! it could be a leaking nappy, fever or just being hot, being sick, teething, illness, blocked nose, separation anxiety, their knee stuck between the bars of the cot or the fact that they managed to strip naked, never mind the grobag being put on back to front!
so whatever you do, listen to how they cry and use gut instinct and common sense over any methods!