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"Full term BFing" question about sleep. Yes, it's long, my apologies. :(

Posted by on May. 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM
  • 24 Replies

Hello ladies, for those of you who are BFing or who have breastfed toddlers/preschoolers, were you the only one who could put your kids to bed until they weaned? I ask because in 27 months my DH has put DD to bed for a nap or at night maybe three times because she has always nursed before sleep. When she was younger the only way to get her to sleep was to nurse her for at least four hours (that was hell, yes)  but now that she's two I can put her to bed awake and she can finally fall asleep on her own but she still nurses right before going in.  She just won't settle down and sleep if she doesn't get to nurse. She doesn't have a tantrum or get angry or anything, she will just sit awake for hours in her crib, until she passes out after midnight. Then she is in a horrible mood for days or a week afterward because of loss of sleep from one night. She has always had sleeping issues, and has been extremely sensitive to any little change in sleep routine and to any sleep loss and I'm wondering if this is more of the same issue now affecting her as a toddler or if this is normal for BFing toddlers/preschoolers to still need to BF to be able to throw the sleep switch. What brings me to posting this is that I have been invited to go out with some of the ladies from my ex-workplace in a couple of weeks but it's in the evening and I'd have to leave DH to put DD to bed. I actually have serious anxiety about it because I am afraid she will stay awake all night and then I'll have to deal with the horrible aftermath in her attitude and behavior, and after two years of walking on eggshells with her sleep issues I'm not good at handling that for a week. So those are my questions...what do you do when your toddler/preschooler still nurses before bed and you can't be there? Do they go to sleep anyway or stay up like mine does because she hasn't been given the sleep signal? How does your DH make up for nursing if he puts your toddler to bed? I really have been through the wringer and back with DD's sleep issues and at this point I really don't know what is what, and if I should try to go out with friends for an evening or just decline yet again. Thanks!

Just adding an edit to clarify...that DD doesn't need to nurse until she falls asleep, she just has to nurse before being put into her crib. She is still awake when I put her in there, but in the past if she wasn't nursed or if someone else tried to do the bedtime routine and put her to bed, she would just stay awake for hours without falling asleep. It's like nursing is the switch that lets her get ready for sleep.

by on May. 9, 2013 at 4:17 PM
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Replies (1-10):
yikesitsmindy
by on May. 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM
My dd is only 9 months, but I nurse her to bed and naps when I am home with her. During the work week my mom rocks her to sleep. She just cuddles her close with dd''s head on her shoulder rocking and singing her to sleep. Maybe your dh could start trying something like that. It would be better if you were not around when he does it. Do you beds hate or does dd sleep alone?
JTE11
by Member on May. 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM

He could try to rock her to sleep, I hadn't thought of that. That's a good idea. Maybe she will get sleepy that way. She was never one who needed to be rocked so it hadn't occurred to me (duh). She sleeps in her own crib because she does not go to sleep if she can see anyone.  I can't even walk in her room in the middle of the night to check on her because she will sit up screaming from a dead sleep and wake up immediately. Last year we bed shared for naps for a while but then she decided she only wanted to play in my room and refused to sleep there, so that's when I started putting her into the crib.

JTE11
by Member on May. 9, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I thought I had quoted your response but when it posted it didn't quote...I did post a reply, sorry about that!


Quoting yikesitsmindy:

My dd is only 9 months, but I nurse her to bed and naps when I am home with her. During the work week my mom rocks her to sleep. She just cuddles her close with dd''s head on her shoulder rocking and singing her to sleep. Maybe your dh could start trying something like that. It would be better if you were not around when he does it. Do you beds hate or does dd sleep alone?



MalakbelLacuna
by on May. 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM
Here's what will happen lol
She will go to sleep like a perfect angel because you aren't there
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TiffanyMarie80
by Tiffany on May. 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

My 2 yr old nurses before naps and bedtime when I'm home - when she doesn't, Daddy (or babysitter if we've managed a date night! lol) does the bedtimne routine (brush teeth, read book, sing song, say a prayer, tuck in bed) minus the nursing before tucking in part and it's never a problem.  He used to offer her a cup of pumped milk, but it's been a lo-o-o-ng time since he's bothered.  With the rest of the routine in place, she does just fine.

JTE11
by Member on May. 9, 2013 at 11:09 PM

I so hope you are right. Last time we tried it, she stayed up until almost 2 a.m. and the following week was brutal. I can hope, though, lol.

Quoting MalakbelLacuna:

Here's what will happen lol
She will go to sleep like a perfect angel because you aren't there



gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on May. 9, 2013 at 11:14 PM


Quoting JTE11:

Hello ladies, for those of you who are BFing or who have breastfed toddlers/preschoolers, were you the only one who could put your kids to bed until they weaned?

Nope. Muy husband and parents both could. WHich was good since I iused to travel for business and while he dodn't sleep MUCH I couldn't see my son going without sleep for ten days straight! **smile**

I ask because in 27 months my DH has put DD to bed for a nap or at night maybe three times because she has always nursed before sleep. When she was younger the only way to get her to sleep was to nurse her for at least four hours (that was hell, yes)  but now that she's two I can put her to bed awake and she can finally fall asleep on her own but she still nurses right before going in.  She just won't settle down and sleep if she doesn't get to nurse. She doesn't have a tantrum or get angry or anything, she will just sit awake for hours in her crib, until she passes out after midnight.

Oh, that's OK. If she's not having a tantrum then that's FINE. Really! I was that kid once upon a time.

Then she is in a horrible mood for days or a week afterward because of loss of sleep from one night.

Is she getting up on her own those mornings or are you waking her? She may be one pf those kids whose circadian rhythm is set differently. Again. I was one of those kids. 

She has always had sleeping issues, and has been extremely sensitive to any little change in sleep routine and to any sleep loss and I'm wondering if this is more of the same issue now affecting her as a toddler or if this is normal for BFing toddlers/preschoolers to still need to BF to be able to throw the sleep switch.

Yes, it's normal. Far too early to expect her to NOT need it. But I wouldn't be much worried about this.

What brings me to posting this is that I have been invited to go out with some of the ladies from my ex-workplace in a couple of weeks but it's in the evening and I'd have to leave DH to put DD to bed.

Then GO. Let her sleep as long as she wants the next day.

I actually have serious anxiety about it because I am afraid she will stay awake all night and then I'll have to deal with the horrible aftermath in her attitude and behavior, and after two years of walking on eggshells with her sleep issues I'm not good at handling that for a week. So those are my questions...what do you do when your toddler/preschooler still nurses before bed and you can't be there?

He was put to bed. And sometimes he stayed up quite late. We went with HIS sleepy times, not with a clock. 

Do they go to sleep anyway or stay up like mine does because she hasn't been given the sleep signal?

Sometimes he stayed up sometimes he went right to sleep. He was always allowed to sleep himself out.

How does your DH make up for nursing if he puts your toddler to bed?

Rocking, though generally he'd just wait till our son was pretty close to unconscious before even trying to put him to bed. The "put them down awake" thing really doesn't work in this house; we're all people who need to be exhausted to go to bed.

I really have been through the wringer and back with DD's sleep issues and at this point I really don't know what is what, and if I should try to go out with friends for an evening or just decline yet again. Thanks!

GO. Baby will be fine. Let her sleep as long as she wants the next day.

maggiemom2000
by Ruby Member on May. 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM

Hang in there mama! Know that this is 99% high needs child issues and 1% breastfeeding. Don't think for a second that this would not be an issue if you weaned.

My DD is almost 4 and only recently did we stop nursing before bed. She still nurses to sleep for naps sometimes (mostly because I'm lazy). We did stop nursing to sleep at night at around 18 months (nursed but put in bed awake). Even though this was our routine, she would do fine if once in awhile dad put her to bed or a left her with grandma. They could get her to bed just as easily with some rocking and cuddling.

I say just leave her with dad, with the suggestion that he rocks her, snuggles with her, whatever works to help her relax and go to sleep.

You must be exhausted from being the only one who can get her to sleep at night for over 2 yrs! I know that I get burned out on bedtime routine and really appreciate it when dad can step in. Hopefully you are paying it forward and she will be an easy teenager!

K8wizzo
by Kate on May. 9, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I always had to put my kids (both of them, nursing or not) to bed if I was home.  We figured out that my dh could put my nursling to be without a problem if I wasn't in the house.  They had their own special version of "nursing"--they'd slow dance in the hallway until Nathan fell asleep (or got sleepy and wanted to lay down) and he had no trouble going to sleep.

I'd go out and let your dh try it out--they'll figure it out, or worst case if she's still up when you get home you can nurse her and try to let her sleep in.

JTE11
by Member on May. 9, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Thanks for the information! I never wake her up, if I wake her up she wakes up screaming and spends the rest of the day screaming at every little thing. I always let het sleep as long as she wants but if she goes to sleep too late at night she still gets up at the regular time or gets up even earlier and then is too overtired and skips naps for the next few days and screams her way through about a week. It's like toddler colic, it's the only way I have to describe it. She cries and screams something like every five minutes all day long until she manages to catch up pn her sleep and get back on her regular sleep schedule. I do anything I can to avoid it.


Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting JTE11:

Hello ladies, for those of you who are BFing or who have breastfed toddlers/preschoolers, were you the only one who could put your kids to bed until they weaned?

Nope. Muy husband and parents both could. WHich was good since I iused to travel for business and while he dodn't sleep MUCH I couldn't see my son going without sleep for ten days straight! **smile**

I ask because in 27 months my DH has put DD to bed for a nap or at night maybe three times because she has always nursed before sleep. When she was younger the only way to get her to sleep was to nurse her for at least four hours (that was hell, yes)  but now that she's two I can put her to bed awake and she can finally fall asleep on her own but she still nurses right before going in.  She just won't settle down and sleep if she doesn't get to nurse. She doesn't have a tantrum or get angry or anything, she will just sit awake for hours in her crib, until she passes out after midnight.

Oh, that's OK. If she's not having a tantrum then that's FINE. Really! I was that kid once upon a time.

Then she is in a horrible mood for days or a week afterward because of loss of sleep from one night.

Is she getting up on her own those mornings or are you waking her? She may be one pf those kids whose circadian rhythm is set differently. Again. I was one of those kids. 

She has always had sleeping issues, and has been extremely sensitive to any little change in sleep routine and to any sleep loss and I'm wondering if this is more of the same issue now affecting her as a toddler or if this is normal for BFing toddlers/preschoolers to still need to BF to be able to throw the sleep switch.

Yes, it's normal. Far too early to expect her to NOT need it. But I wouldn't be much worried about this.

What brings me to posting this is that I have been invited to go out with some of the ladies from my ex-workplace in a couple of weeks but it's in the evening and I'd have to leave DH to put DD to bed.

Then GO. Let her sleep as long as she wants the next day.

I actually have serious anxiety about it because I am afraid she will stay awake all night and then I'll have to deal with the horrible aftermath in her attitude and behavior, and after two years of walking on eggshells with her sleep issues I'm not good at handling that for a week. So those are my questions...what do you do when your toddler/preschooler still nurses before bed and you can't be there?

He was put to bed. And sometimes he stayed up quite late. We went with HIS sleepy times, not with a clock. 

Do they go to sleep anyway or stay up like mine does because she hasn't been given the sleep signal?

Sometimes he stayed up sometimes he went right to sleep. He was always allowed to sleep himself out.

How does your DH make up for nursing if he puts your toddler to bed?

Rocking, though generally he'd just wait till our son was pretty close to unconscious before even trying to put him to bed. The "put them down awake" thing really doesn't work in this house; we're all people who need to be exhausted to go to bed.

I really have been through the wringer and back with DD's sleep issues and at this point I really don't know what is what, and if I should try to go out with friends for an evening or just decline yet again. Thanks!

GO. Baby will be fine. Let her sleep as long as she wants the next day.



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