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Does anyone else have a breastfed toddler who doesn't "sleep through the night" yet?

I nurse my 21 month old son to sleep, during the night and in the morning. He has yet to sleep longer than 7 hours straight and I can count the number of times this has happened. Mostly, he sleeps 3 -4 hours then wakes to nurse, back down...then again...usually ending up in bed with me/us for the duration (just easier for us all).
We do practice AP so I know that most children naturally don't sleep long stretches without "training", something that I don't believe in doing until around 2 years old...I was just wondering how "normal" or "common" this is with nursing toddlers in general.

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Asked by boomamma at 12:57 AM on Oct. 18, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 16 (2,496 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • nursing your toddler is your choice but a chikd his age does not need to eat at night and you can refuse and have him go back to sleap. but its your choice, its all about when you are comfortable changing the routine.

    Answer by cassie_m at 1:02 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I am planning to phase him out of night nursing soon...I just wanted to know how common this is naturally.
    I have a friend who nursed same as me, and her daughter slept through the night from the start! Some babies do (but rarely) on their own, I just wondered how many nursing moms had this situation...or a non-waking toddler.

    Answer by boomamma at 1:14 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • My daughter is 17 months and we still nurse throughout the night. We cosleep for all but the first stretch at night as well (when we have grownup time and she sleeps in her crib in her room). I get frustrated too, but I just try to remember that someday she will be a hormonal teenager and she will hate me, and I will look back on these days with a wistful smile. lol.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 1:18 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • He's quite normal. My ten year old weaned at 26 months...still doesn't sleep dusk to dawn even now. Kids do what they're wired for...mine isn't wired to sleep more than about four to five hours in a row.


    Answer by gdiamante at 1:21 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • Poor you. I never had to do anything about night nursing. My first stopped at 7-8 months, my second was bottle fed, but stopped waking for a bottle (most of the time) around 3-4 months. My third slept through the night from 2 weeks old. But I would try night weaning. He shouldn't need food during the night, but maybe give him a sippy with a little water?

    Answer by tyrelsmom at 1:53 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • My son still technically night nurses... At bedtime, at 4/5 am when DH leaves for work and then again when he actually wakes up in the morning around 6. It is mainly a comfort thing. He did start sleeping through the night at 2 years old, but when my milk came back in when his sister was born, he started nursing more. He is 32 months old now. I don't sleep train and I believe in child-led weaning, so I am just letting it take its course.

    Answer by reflect1light at 5:58 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • My DD started sleeping through the night around 18 mos. I never *tried* to night wean her completely, I just cut out any nursing sessions before midnight. I would just pat her back to get her to sleep. She cried at first some nights, but within a week stopped bothering to wake. The other feedings (one or two, usually after midnight) followed shortly after, on her terms.

    Answer by epoh at 7:14 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • Also wanted to add--before attempting to cut out any night feedings, I would work on putting him to sleep without nursing first. For this task, I suggest daddy! My DD stopped nursing to sleep just a month ago or so, though she still dooes it on some nights. It depends on how tired she is. But we "taught" her t fall asleep without the breast at 1 year. I was working, so her papi would rock her, walk with her, until she was asleep then put her in her bed. If she woke, he just patted her back. Eventually, when I stopped working the night shift, I was able to put her in her crib and pat her back. It took 45 mins some times (some time spent crying, some not) but she would sleep.

    The reason I say this is because children associate how they fall asleep to how they will be put back to sleep if they wake. He will be confused if you nurse him to sleep, then pat his back later. HTH

    Answer by epoh at 7:18 AM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • is your 21 month old a non walker? children his age shouldnt need to eat in the middle of the night. i would try patting him to sleep at first so when you start to wean him off he wont get confused (like the person above me said)

    Answer by monstermansmom at 1:58 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • My son has been walking since 13 months thank you very much! He is waking for comfort, I know that...I just (again) wanted to know how common this is with nursing babies. (Breastfeeding is an entirely different parenting culture than bottle I know it may seem strange to some :(


    Answer by boomamma at 11:09 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

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