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How do you get LO to sleep without always nursing to sleep.

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DS is 5mo old and Im not sure when or how you get them to learn to sleep on their own. Right now he can fall asleep while nursing, swinging, being carried (which I shouldnt be doing with his heavy butt), or riding in the car. I want him to eventually be able to go to sleep on his own so that when I ween him in a couple of years he will still be able to sleep. Its not that I dont like nursing him to sleep, although sometimes it takes forever and I honestly dont like that. But I want him to be able to doze off on his own someday.

At what age is it good to start teaching him to sleep on his own, and how do you do it?

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM
Replies (21-30):
by Group Admin - Stacy on Dec. 7, 2012 at 4:35 PM
You can nursing to sleep every day for the next two years and trust me the day will come when he figures out how to fall asleep on his own. ;-)

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by Group Admin - Stacy on Dec. 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM
1 mom liked this
Want to add that nursing to sleep is my favorite trick in my mothering toolkit. Once that's gone, getting the child to sleep is a crap shoot. ;-)
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by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Mom needs to choose. Continue to sit down and nurse the child to sleep, or be prepared to work hard to get baby to do it on her own. If the child is ready, it will be easy. If the child is not ready, it will take awhile, and will likely involve crying (hopefully mom will choose to stay with the child and comfort her and not shut the door leaving the child alone to cry)

When my DD was 18 months I felt like I was ready to stop nursing her to sleep, so I decided to give it a try. I nursed her and sang to her as usual, but then put her in her crib while she was still awake, planning to sit in the rocking chair in her room, where she could see me, until she fell asleep. She started to cry at first, but as soon as she realized that I was staying, she stopped crying, put her head down and went right to sleep. The next day, she new I was staying and didn't make a peep, just layer down. Gradually over the next few months I stayed for shorter periods until it got to where I'd just put her in her crib and leave.

She clearly was ready. If she had screamed the first time I tried it, even after realizing I was not leaving, I would have stopped, and tried again in another month or two.

Quoting AlexSosa:

What if it doesnt work for the mom? Out of curiousity. This isnt me that Im asking for obviously, since I have a 5mo old. :)

Quoting melindabelcher:

If it works for you and the child its not an issue.

Quoting AlexSosa:

So if a baby only goes to sleep while nursing at age 1yr, its still in the norm?

Quoting melindabelcher:

When the child is ready. For some they don't need to sleep with mom or need help going to sleep. Others nurse to sleep until they wean.

by Group Admin - Amy on Dec. 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM
My son stopped nursing to sleep on his own sometime after 3 years old. His brother stopped nursing to sleep before 2 but still needed to be cuddled for at least a couple more years. They both learned to fall asleep on their own in their own time.
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by Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 7:57 PM

I think that as baby is nursing less often it will come with time. My son only nursed for  a year and over time he would stay awake throw feedings (playing and looking around). I didn't want to sway him or nurse him to sleep so once he was awake through feedings, at nap time we would lay down in my bed and take a nap. Then a few months later I wanted to break him from needing to be put to sleep in my bed (he hated his crib). I would rock him and read him a story and then put him in his bed. 

My son is now 2 1/2 and I still lay with him to get to sleep (but in his bed lol). I would like him to put himself to sleep, but I enjoy our time together and with baby #3 on the way I think that time is even more valuable now : )

by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Dayde is 9 months old and we are just getting him to sleep on his own in his playpen we currently make sure he isnt hungry and then rock him till he is almost asleep and then put him in the playpen and rub his back till he passes out he is learning to fall back asleep in there on his own if nothing is wrong like a wet diaper or teething or being hungry but sometimes he still gets scared and i have to bring him back to bed to nurse. on the otherhand my neice is 17 months old has been bottlefed from six weeks and still cant sleep without cuddles and a rediculous amount of soothing. every kid is different

by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 10:01 AM
I've never nursed my babies to sleep. I always keep them awake to get a full feeding so they sleep on their own from the very beginning. I don't like starting habits of having to be nursed to sleep, etc.
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by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM
It's comfort for him. Just like a baby would have a binky or blankie. It's comfort. The greatest comfort he could have! My son is 2 and I still have to nurse him to sleep. Wether for naps or nighttime I have to nurse him. They will grow out of it someday. Just enjoy this time. He's still a baby and won't be for long.
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by on Dec. 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM
I nursed then bath time then rock him wih a binkie until he is right about to fall asleep. Then lay him down.
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by Gold Member on Dec. 8, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I like making the analogy of walking. "I want my baby to walk, I don't want to be carrying him around my whole life". You can't set him on the floor to cry and make him figure out how to walk, you follow the developmental cues, allow him to practice with you right there until eventually he's got it. You can help practice by allowing the same cues night after night to signal bed time. You can pat his back and be there if he cries or wakes up so he learns he's never alone. But he's not going to do it until he's developmentally ready.

Dd is now showing cues she's ready to start falling asleep on her own. At bed time I let her nurse til she's drowsy (she will not fall asleep nursing anymore no matter how long I let her stay latched. That was my first sign she's getting ready). Then I lay her in her crib (it's side-carred) and rub her back. She usually cries for 5-10 min but I'm right there shushing her and singing. Some nights she will actually crawl into her crib on her own and go to sleep. The only thing I have done was always nurse when she asks (she pulls on my shirt to wake me up.) and never left her alone to cry. She's 11.5 mo
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