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How to get my soon-to-be 1 year old daughter to stop using me as a pacifier?

Ok, here's the deal. I still bf my daughter and she's almost one. But she's also using me as a pacifier. She normally won't go to sleep unless she's suckling on my nipple. Another thing is, and I know it's bad in most eyes, but I co-sleep with her. Now we have her crib, one side removed, right next to my side of the bed so when she does finally sleep, I move her in the crib. Has anyone had to go through this and have found a solution. My husband and I share 1 room with our daughter and 5 year old son, so leaving her alone in her crib to 'cry it out' really won't work. Help?

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Asked by Nurtle at 10:25 PM on Nov. 26, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Here's a different way of looking at it:

    Pacifiers are artificial nipples... made to take the place of the real kind. So she's not using you as a pacifier, other babies are using pacifiers as mothers.

    It is normal for human babies to sleep with their parents, and it is a lot safer to do that in a bed than on a couch or chair, as long as none of the people in the bed are drunk, drugged or delirious with fever... and safer than kids sleeping in cribs alone. Your baby is in the best place she could be, and it sounds like you have lots of room for her.

    It is normal for children to need comfort and love as they're falling asleep. In order to sleep, people need calm, safe-feeling environments and for young children the easiest way to get that is to be with their mothers (and fathers).

    What's the rush?

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:36 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • We let our children have it only at bed times and naps until there 2nd birthday. Some time before there birthday we begin telling them that the nooky fairy was going to come and take all the nooks to new born babies! And then we get a stuffy or new blanket for the child to show that the fairy left for them thanking them for there nook's! It worked with both of our daughters! They would be a little sad for a night or 2 but they got over it fast!

    Answer by jem102675 at 10:43 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Very normal... nothing wrong with this situation! :) You don't have a separate room for her anyway, so what's the rush?

    My first nursed to sleep until age 2 and my second is 20 months and still nursing to sleep... it's very, very typical. Don't see it as a problem that needs fixing... see it as a really good solution to the problem of how to get toddlers to sleep and make sure they get plenty of calories and nutrients! ;)

    Answer by LeanneC at 11:45 PM on Nov. 26, 2010

  • Breasts are for comfort, as well as nutrition. Pacifiers were invented to replace mommy's breasts. Co-sleeping is allowing you to get more sleep. This time will pass quickly, don't rush it!

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:21 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Thank you for your answers. I love co-sleeping with her, but my husband is getting tired of it. My mother...well...forget about all of that...she thought I should have stopped bding at 6 months.

    Comment by Nurtle (original poster) at 10:53 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Co-sleeping is normal and it is normal for children to nurse to sleep. Mothers have always slept with their young children and they have always nursed to sleep and nursed at night. It is not using the mother as a pacifier. It is normal behavior. It is recommended that all children be breastfed at least 2 years. To get all of the facial and speech benefits of breastfeeding a child needs to breastfeed at least 3 years. In most of the world today mothers and young children sleep together and nurse at night. There is nothing wrong with your child, there are problems with our society.

    I suggest going to a La Leche League meeting or conference where you will meet other moms with nursing toddlers. On the LLL website you can find info about meetings and conferences.


    Answer by Gailll at 10:58 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Tell hubby that if he wants her to sleep alone, then he needs to put her to sleep and wake up with her whenever she wakes up. It's not fair to put more work on you when he's the one that has a problem with the situation. You work hard enough and need your sleep! :)

    My hubby wasn't thrilled with co-sleeping at first either... now he loves it. We all cuddle up together. Our bed feels empty without our boys!

    Answer by LeanneC at 1:43 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Thank you all.

    Comment by Nurtle (original poster) at 12:50 AM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I still nurse Johnathan to sleep and he sleeps with us and he'll be three in a few weeks. I'm nursing him mid-nap right now. : )

    Answer by aehanrahan at 4:40 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

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