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PLEASE HELP! How do I get my baby to sleep without nursing him to sleep!?

He is nine months old and has been nursed to sleep for every nap, bedtime and nighttime waking! Doc. told me to stop this and the nighttime feedings. I'm supposed to put him in his crib sleepy but awake, but he always nurses at bedtime and falls asleep during this time. What do you do to get your baby sleepy without feeding him and when am I supposed to feed him if not at bedtime or naptime?

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Asked by RomansMom25 at 12:56 PM on Mar. 12, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (14)
  • I think your Dr. is nuts personally, I nursed my first child (second one hated nursing) every night to put him to sleep and every time he woke up and throughout the day and for naps till he weaned himself with no problems at all. It's up to your child when they are going to stop, within reason of course, but 9 months old they are getting other foods besides breastmilk so as he gets older he will begin to stay fuller longer. In the end, do what you think is right for your child, Dr.'s cannot tell you what to do with them.

    Answer by happyathomemum at 1:00 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Your son is not the only one. Mine still needs the bottle to fall asleep at naptime/bedtime. The only difference is I alter between formula, dilluted juice, and water. Depending on if I think he is hungry, or just wants a drink. I think they will grow out of this on their own.

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 1:19 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Here's what we just did with our 6 month-old to get her to go to sleep without nursing and it worked GREAT! (We did it with our first daughter too and she hasn't needed us in the middle of the night since she was 6 months). We set up a solid bedtime routine that we're doing every night until she really gets the hang of it: weather she needs a bath or not, we give her a short one. Then she gets into her PJs, nurses with the lights on, then we read her a book or 2. After that, we put her in her sleep sack, turn the lights out, and hold her and sing her a song. This isn't singing her to sleep, just getting her to relax. THen we put her into her crib and she just lies there and talks herself to sleep. Sometimes there's a short fuss in there, like 30 seconds, but usually not. Since we've been doing this, she only wakes up once in the early morning (like 5 or 5:30); if she wakes briefly before that she puts herself back to sleep.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:51 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I meant to add that my daughter often falls alseep during the feeding, too. But the book wakes her up, and the song gets her calmed down again. Also, not nursing right to sleep lets you wipe or brush their teeth once that's relevant (mine still has none).

    Answer by EmilySusan at 2:52 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Well, if it's becoming a problem and interfering with YOUR sleep, maybe things do need to change. But that DOESNT mean you need to let your baby CIO or anything like it.

    If YOU feel that it needs to stop, not because of what your doc or anyone else told you, then I would suggest picking up a copy of The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.

    Keep in mind, there's nothing wrong with nursing your baby to sleep. He will eventually wean himself from it, when he's ready.

    Good luck!

    Answer by kate_jocelyn at 2:53 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Just feed her to sleep. It's like sleeping without a pillow for them.

    Answer by soflashelley at 7:16 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • I didn't night wean my son until 14 months. There's no harm in it, as long as you're still comfortable with it. He's still young.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:55 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • My nine month old still needs a bottle to sleep too. Drs always say that. I also worry how I am gonna get my baby to sleep when the bottless days arrive.

    Answer by shajdinyak at 8:37 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • Ugh doctors need to realize they are there for medical advice, not parenting advice! When my son was 3 months old, he told me my son was manipulating me by sleeping in my bed! How much time you think doctors even spend with their children? Probably not much. If it is working for you, keep doing it. It is none of the peds business. At 9 months old, it totally normal for them to nurse to sleep still.

    Answer by TanyaR1024 at 8:40 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

  • Switch to a "wake, eat, play, sleep" schedule (in that order) so that nursing isn't the last thing you are doing before he goes to sleep. Make sure you lay him down at least semi-awake. If he cries, allow him to cry for 5-10 minutes, go in, soothe him by rubbing his back or giving him a lovey toy or whatever but don't pick him up. Continue to do this until he falls asleep. (Leave - come back in another 5 or 10 minutes to soothe without picking him up.) Eventually, he will learn to fall asleep without the breast.

    Answer by proud2Bmomma at 9:04 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

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