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Nursing to sleep at 9 months . . . help!!

My son nurses himself to sleep still. I've tried the letting him cry it out method, it does not work. All he does is cry. Sometimes I can rock him to sleep, but mostly it's the boob or bottle. I'm getting tired of doing it. He even does it in the middle of the night still. He used to take a pacifier but doesn't anymore. I don't know what to do. Nothing works.


Asked by momtoperfection at 11:56 PM on Dec. 16, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (12)
  • Welcome to motherhood. They usually outgrow this need by about age 2... but then they will do something else to drive you up the wall. Ever been asked "why" 100 times in one day by a 3 year old? Yea, that's coming and it's more exhausting than a comfort nursing 9 month old. I know, I currently have one of each.

    Co-sleep and set up a good night-time routine so that he goes to sleep quickly. He's developing preferences and he prefers to cuddle to sleep with you... I don't blame him, honestly! Nursing at night is typically about nutrition at this age. They make up for missed daytimes feedings when they're too distracted during the day.

    Hang in there and don't focus on it too much... the less you focus, the less you will mind and the easier it will be. I even enjoy it this time around because I know it won't last forever!

    Answer by LeanneC at 1:25 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Leanne's quite discouraging as it sounds.

    The other option you have...let DAD do it! You disappear at bedtime.

    Also check out Elizabeth Pantley's website.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:50 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Leanne's got it all covered.

    Answer by Jan0609momma at 1:56 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • My husband's tried to put him to sleep but most of the time he screams for me. I think that he might be going through the seperation anxiety phase also. Most of the time I don't mind putting him to sleep like that, but I hear so many people say that it's not a good idea. Personally I love sleeping with my baby. I just wish that he would take a pacifier some nights.

    Answer by momtoperfection at 1:57 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Those "so many people?"


    Do WHAT WORKS. And you'll find that you have the kid who DOESN'T have issues being separated from you when it's time to go off to fact, you'll have the kid who can't get rid of you fast enough because there are better things to explore and you're old news!

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:06 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Yep... we're just getting over separation anxiety here! (for now!). It's exhausting, but it passes. I heard all the "don't nurse to sleep... teach him to put himself to sleep, etc..." with my first and there was literally no other way to put that child to sleep, I don't know what I would have done without nursing! I tried and tried and finally gave up. He nursed to sleep until age 2.

    This time, I had a much easier sleeper on my hands... but I chose to nurse him to sleep and to co-sleep. I learned from my first that it keeps them nursing when they might have weaned during a distractable phase... and that means it also makes sure they're getting plenty of milk during those phases. It's really such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things and you will miss it when it's gone.

    So, just remember when he wants to nurse at night that he needs the milk and it won't last forever.

    Answer by LeanneC at 2:15 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Also, go watch this video. The song came out shortly after our babies were born and I remember crying the first time I heard it (and then crying again now.... damned mommy hormones!). It's really so true and a good thing to remember when you get a little annoyed with this sort of thing. It passes soo, soo quickly. Enjoy every moment while you can.

    Answer by LeanneC at 2:18 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • My daughter nursed to sleep at night until around 14 months. I don't understand why this is a problem for you.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:12 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I disagree pretty completely with the previous posters who said this is no big deal. If it were okay with YOU, then it's fine, but you said yourself in your original post that you are getting tired of it. At 9 months waking up in the middle of the night usually it not a nutritional need; most children can biologically sleep through the night at around 3 months.
    I personally did a modified CIO, but I understand you not being able to listen to him just cry - I don't know what I would have done if mine really fought it, they just fussed and then dropped right off. I would try letting Dad handle bedtime, or transitioning to that - nursing him until he's almost asleep and then handing him off for Dad to rock (which will probably take a few nights).
    Mine have their own sleep props that will have to be handled in time (paci and "bear") but they don't require me, which I'm grateful for.

    Answer by missanc at 8:37 AM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • My DD nursed until 2 as well. LEanne is right. You will miss it when it is over. My dd is almost 8, & it kills me that her younger years are gone & they'll never come back. Nurse him to sleep & love it & love on him & enjoy the time you get to lay down w/ your lovely babie.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 8:43 AM on Dec. 17, 2009