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STILL nursing 15 month old to sleep. PLEASE help with ideas!

(19 Posts)
becknnico Tue 28-Jun-11 05:11:31

Hi everyone. Ds id going on 15 months old now and still nursing to sleep. We co sleep as well and some nights are just fine, all snuggles and lots of rest. But other nights I find he is attached to my boob for what feels like hours totally unnecessarily. As he was getting on 9 and 10 months, it seemed like minded parents would have advice like, "do what works for now, he will ween eventually". And I agreed to an extent. I am a single mom so no one else ever puts him to sleep. I finally rolled over the other night and refused the boob while he climbed over me crying a zillion times til he fell asleep. He still wakes up before I go to bed too, needing to be nursed back down. I just need some ideas and advice please. He is too old for this. He KNOWS he is safe. I cant ever get a sitter and have a night out, I never have yet.. And I feel like its developing bad habits at this point. Feel like my addressing this is way overdue. Did anyone else have this problem?... and how did you fix it and at what age? Thanks ahead of time.

becknnico Tue 28-Jun-11 16:27:07


Zimm Tue 28-Jun-11 19:00:57

The No Cry Sleep Solution is excellent in situations such as these. Grab a copy on eBay and good luck.

ImeldaM Tue 28-Jun-11 19:06:56

I have a 6yr old DS that we never taught to self-settle to sleep, he has slept through about 5 times in his life.

He was never nursed to sleep but was comforted/ held/ sat with because it was easier at the time & got him to sleep quicker. Its definitely been a rod for our backs sad

I really, really wish we had tackled it when he was younger, you've got to be firm, sorry.

becknnico Tue 28-Jun-11 19:07:11


Unlurked Tue 28-Jun-11 19:11:31

My dd1 did this, I didn't really think of it as a problem but when it got too much for me we stopped! I would give her a feed before bed (on the sofa not IN bed) then do usual story and cuddles. I think she did about 5 night of making a huge fuss but each night the time she was upset got shorter and shorter until lying down and cuddling to sleep became our new routine. At that stage we were still cosleeping.

Do you want to stop bf altogether? Do you want to stop cosleeping?

Dp could deal with DD at night time if I went out before she was night weaned, she knew he couldn't bf so she just adapted. If you were leaving ds with someone for the evening would it be a family member he knows well?

becknnico Tue 28-Jun-11 19:45:28

I definitely want to keep breastfeeding for another year or so, just dont want him to need it as a sleep aid anymore. I have really enjoyed co sleeping as well, but same story. I dont want it to HAVE to be that way, ya know. What you mentioned was almost exactly what I was considering doing. I also think I am going to put another mattress next to mine and try to get him to begin sleeping on that. As the months go on, moving it into his own room (when I get a new house!). As far as a sitter, I do not really have anyone I know really well, other than my sister who is the only person I have to get out with!! HA! But there is one person who he knows well (a close friend of my sisters), and I thought of maybe asking him. My son trusts him a lot and certainly likes him. I feel bad putting him in the position of soothing my ds who is so use to being nursed back to sleep.

Unlurked Tue 28-Jun-11 20:02:45

That all sounds good to me! I stopped night feeds with my DD when she was 16months (we had a bit of a false start at 14months but I felt she just wasn't ready) but kept bf til she was 20mo (and only then cos I was pg with dd2 and my boobs were too sore!). We moved her into her own room quite soon after night weaning.

You might find that ds settles fine with your friend and even if they don't stick to any bed time routine and ds falls asleep on your friend sitting on the couch, it's not the end of the world and you get to have your night out!

I'd say take it at your own pace, you'll know when ds is ready to deal with change and when you need to wait a few weeks. Also, if you try something and you feel it doesn't work/ isn't right for either of you then stop and try something else.

My DD1 is now 3 and sleeps brilliantly!

Almondine Thu 30-Jun-11 20:09:54

Hi Becknnico, sounds like u & me are in the same kind of boat, me & ds (also 15 months) are co-sleeping, & have been bf her to sleep since she was 7.5months, & feels like she thinks that's the only way to get to sleep. She is currently waking every 3 hours-ish & has never slept through the night. Think I will have to bite the bullet & do the bf then try to put her down separately, but she is such a terrible sleeper in general, & I can't bear the crying! Tried not to feed her during the night at 9 months & she would just cry & cry! Let me know how you go! Thinking of starting the 'new' regime on Saturday.


becknnico Sat 02-Jul-11 16:22:27

It has started to go well. I have started putting him to sleep on his separate mattress next to mine( still nursing though to sleep). When he woke up around 11pm, I went and laid next to him and did not give him the boob. He crawled over me about 5 or 6 times whining a bit but it was obvious it was just a needy whine, so I stuck to my guns. He laid there for a few and then just closed his eyes! AHH! How nice. Then through the night I did nurse him a bit before morning came and we woke up in my bed of course. I expect this for a little while though. This morning after about an hour of having himself attached to me again, I delatched him and try to get a bit more rest but he did not take it as well this time around. So, i finally just got up and gave him breakfast. If anyone does have stories or advice on night weaning, I would still love to hear how you did it. I am still struggling a bit.

ZhenXiang Sat 02-Jul-11 17:08:14

Hi becknicco, I bf until DD was 22 months old and also had issues with stopping the nightfeeds. For the bedtime feed when I wanted to stop bfing to sleep I took DD of the nipple as soon as she started to drop off and brushed her teeth which she really liked doing (liked sucking the toothpaste). Then I would put her in her cot and read her a story that she liked and sit with her until she dropped off.

Once this was established I introduced water only for any night wakings after I had gone to bed. This was tough and required nerves of steel and me/DH to remain calm for the crying (lasted a few days). I used to top up sleep feed before I went to bed to minimise waking in the middle of the night at first then dropped that altogether once the water routine was established.

Re: the morning feeding he really does not need to be attached to you for an hour to get his fill at 15 months they are so efficient that 10 mins a side should do it, if you let him stay on you are reinforcing his need for breast in order to sleep. Ignore his pleas like you did in the night time and offer water or if you want cows milk. If the time is after say 7am then just get up and give him breakfast.

It is not easy I know, but two months on I now have a little one who sleeps through the night most nights so long as her nappy is not too wet (I change before I go to bed to make sure). She was a bit older than yours though when I finally dropped the nightfeeds.

Bear in mind though that 15 months old is prime teething time so you will still have some difficult nights when the teeth are pushing. I always found DD's milk intake increased during those times so make sure he is getting more milk/dairy products in the day if you are reducing the night feeds.

crispyseaweed Sat 02-Jul-11 17:21:36

I think by this age he should be settling himself to sleep and not bf.
Plus, to bf for another year seems to me far too long and far too old. Mine gave up at 9, 10 and 13 mts old completely. But everyone is different and its what you feel you want to do and what is right for baby. But its clear you are now really wanting to let Ds settle himself.
As someone said before, you just have to be firm. Can you offer him a dummy ? Its probably too late now...
Wish you luck anyway and hope things turn out the way you want.

becknnico Sun 03-Jul-11 16:34:44

Tried reading to him til he sleeps and he just screams...The feed that he usually wakes for around 11 pm has been going well as I am still awake enough to have extra patience. But I keep caving in the middle of the nightsad. Feel like I am so damn tired that I dont even remember the point when he crawls onto my mattress. Uh... I know I need to just be more firm and tough it out through these few days til he gets better. Some people mentioned that book about gentle weaning??? What are some of the main focal points of the book, does anyone remember?

crispyseaweed Sun 03-Jul-11 19:51:06

How about trying to speak to a health visitor about how to wean a large toddler off the breast?
Trouble is you may have to giv up altogether is you want this bf at bedtime and in the night to stop. Otherwise you are just going to have to go for more months on end with no sleep. If its driving you nuts (as it seems to be doing) you might have to make a decision. When you have a big decision to make in life there is always a sacrifice to make, so they say. That sacrifice will be you give up earlier with the bf than you wanted to do, BUT you get your sleep which, IMHO, is so so important when you are coping with kids all day and trying to be a good mother.

Trillian42 Sun 03-Jul-11 20:27:16

Your post made me feel really sad! DD approaching 13mths and still the same. Biting the bullet is hard though as those cries during the night tear my heart to shreds. Will read any more responses for tips, but getting sleep is vital for you (& all of us in the same position) to be better mothers, and to stay sane and healthy.

Almondine Mon 04-Jul-11 20:31:22

I started our new routine on Fri night, decided to stop feeding to sleep when put her to sleep at night, but still feed during night at moment, hoping to then gradually take out night feeds as she settles into the idea of not being fed to sleep. Am also not feeding her to sleep for daytime naps as I thought she might find this confusing. Initial response was complete upset, screaming & throwing herself around, 4th night on today & it's the first night she's gone down before 10pm, as unless she's really tired, she refuses to go to sleep, on the positive side this means she is waking later in the morning, but this then affects her daytime naps, which have also become problematic with the screaming & throwing herself round, or just simply getting up & running on earth do people get babies to sleep without feeding them, I wonder to myself...a friend gave me this link, which I thought I will try, once I feel she's got the idea that she can go to sleep wihtout my nipple in her mouth! Http://

Almondine Mon 04-Jul-11 20:39:38

Try that link again:

Almondine Mon 04-Jul-11 20:40:44


Almondine Mon 04-Jul-11 21:59:29

Have just spent an hour trying to settle her back down. Gave in & bf her. It's tough, starting to wonder if it's worth it... Also wanted to clarify that I bf her in lounge before bed, then take her to bed to put her to sleep.
Good luck Becknnico.

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