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How do I ween my 17 month old?

I am almost 20 weeks pregnant with my second child and still nursing my first 3 times a day. I know I can keep nursing and tandem nurse, but I am ready to at least get rid of his nap nursing. The problem is, I nurse him to sleep. So I guess my question is if he is not falling asleep on his own will it be too much of a change for me to take away that nursing and let him cry himself to sleep. Or should I work on getting him to fall asleep on his own first. I know it is not going to be easy either way, I am just looking for some suggestions. Thanks!

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Asked by snugglybuggly at 8:30 PM on Feb. 15, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • What about giving him a bottle at nap time? You could even pump and give him breastmilk at first. Eventually switch it to water so you don't have to be concerned about tooth decay. Then after the bottle, I switched my kids to a sippy cup.

    The other thing you can do is breastfeed a little before nap time. Let him play for a few minutes, then put him down for his nap. Then eventually eliminate that feeding.

    Or let him cry! When I weaned my kids of night time feedings (they were just waking and nursing to fall back asleep, not because they needed it) they would not go back to sleep if I went in their room. My husband would go in and they would go to sleep for him - they knew they couldn't nurse. Maybe if it is a big battle, see if a friend/family member can put him down for naptime. It only took 2 days with my kids and then I had no problem.s

    Answer by micheledo at 8:50 PM on Feb. 15, 2010

  • i agree with the suggestion of asking someone else for help. I had to do this. I have a 19 month old and a 3 month old. My boyfriend has had to help me sometimes by putting my 19 month old to sleep naps mostly because i was busy with the baby. She took to it pretty well. I CANNOT put her down without nursing her though, she knows I have the goods and will not let me leave without giving them to her.

    Answer by angelbabies14 at 12:11 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • try instead of nursing him to sleep, let him nurse then, put him down to nap when you notice him starting to drift off but before he is all the way asleep so that he can learn to fall asleep on his own. DO NOT GIVE HIM A BOTTLE INSTEAD!! you need to let him know that you will still be there for him and he hasn't done anything wrong but he is a big boy and doesn't need to be nursed to sleep anymore. It is tough but if you are consistent and reassure him a few times (after three or four times going back in to soothe him, I'd let him cry but not more than 10 minutes) he will get the picture and the new routine will eventually be what he expects.

    Answer by Angelbluewingsz at 5:00 AM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • I am not big on giving him a bottle as he has only had one twice in his life. I would prefer to give he a sippy cup or nothing at all, but then that would be another habit to have to break.

    Answer by snugglybuggly at 12:46 PM on Feb. 16, 2010

  • This may not be helpful, but I'm in a similiar situation with my 17 month old. I am not a CRY IT OUT advocate. Crying however is part of the process. Unfortunately I've had to endure it while in the room. I just started trying to break the cycle of falling asleep while nursing for naps and bedtime. Instead of struggling with him, I've always opted for just nursing him off to sleep. Now I realize I need to stop it or it will never stop! I nurse him until he's sleepy but then unlatch when he is finished (and begins to just suck). Then I lay on the bed with him and sing. If hat doesn't work I try rocking him, he resists but patience is key- I'm gentle yet persistant and eventually he calms down and I can put him on the bed again & he'll fall off to sleep after more singing. He seems to understand that I am not going to nurse him and will relax eventually. It's hard but I think with some effort he'll get used to it. Good Luck!

    Answer by REINA76 at 1:56 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

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