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  1. #1
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    Default How not to nurse to sleep for nap ?

    I know nursing to sleep is not a bad thing. But lately, I have came to the point of having trouble keeping up with this. I'm feeling really exhausted and stressed that I feel like I get no break and not sure how to get away from this habit. DS is 5 months now and for the past 5 months we have been nursing to sleep both naps and nights.
    I don't mind nursing him to sleep before bed time and when he wakes up once or twice to nurse at night, but naps, he is still taking 4 naps and as soon as I pull that nipple out, he will be awake and fussing. It used to be that he was able to soothe himself back to sleep but lately, he seemed to demand that I nursed him back to sleep for nap. He's still taking the 30-45 minutes naps.

    I usually nurse him in his room, which is dark and quiet, but he will fall asleep after eating for 5 minutes or so and that's when I think he has started to associate nursing with sleeping, so I usually put him down on his crib, he'll be awake and want to nurse some more. I know at 5 months, he no longer needs to feed that often like he used to when he was newborn, except for growth spurts period I believe. He's eating every 2 hours at day time and EBF and won't take pacifier.
    Some suggested that I nurse him at a bright place when he's awake and then play, then routine before nap. Our routine now is nursing, but I'm trying to change that for nap time. He's a bit distracted now at 5 months and will pull off and on. If I nurse him at a dark place, he will just fall asleep.
    Sorry it's a bit lengthy and I'm just exhausted and not sure how to get away from nursing to sleep for nap
    Last edited by babyfiorina1; 03-17-2014 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    I would nurse him until he's asleep but then when he wakes up as you transfer him, tell him night night and let him go to sleep on his own. Or nurse him until he's not quite asleep and help him fall to sleep without nursing.

    I always nursed mine when they woke from naps, so I didn't have this problem. When they showed signs of being sleepy, I'd rock then to sleep, then transfer them and each day I'd rock them a little less before laying them down. It was a painless way for them to learn to fall asleep on their own.
    ~~AngelaS~~
    Mommy to 3 girls: A, G and M. (15, 11 and 8.5)

    The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.
    Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto"

  3. #3
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    I used to nurse him when he's awake and then nurse him again when he's going for a nap which is about 60-90 minutes later from the time he's awake. He did feed very often as newborns and I guess that's how I slipped into this habit until now, nursing him all the time. I've heard some moms who said that their 5-months old eat every 2 -3 hours and when I look at mine, I feel like I'm nursing him all the time because I'm so used to doing that and he doesn't mind that either of course. But now I started to feel that as distracted as he is now, he seems to eat better when I nurse him every 2 hours or so. Hungry enough to eat first before getting too distracted with the whole world instead of snacking all day long.

    Thanks AngelaS, I'll try to nurse him when he's awake from nap as usual and then when it's time to nap, I'll rock him and sing to him as a new "routine" and put him down to sleep
    Last edited by babyfiorina1; 03-17-2014 at 04:12 PM.

  4. #4
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    I think many parents fall into that routine. I was given the advice not to and I'm forever grateful! Hopefully he transitions easily for you. I know at that age, mine would wake, nurse, stay awake about an hour and then start looking sleepy. Don't make the pre nap routine too involved tho. . Because hopefully in a week, when he's looking drowsy you can tell him it's night night time and take him to his bed.
    ~~AngelaS~~
    Mommy to 3 girls: A, G and M. (15, 11 and 8.5)

    The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.
    Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto"

  5. #5
    Katigre is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Will he nap in a baby carrier or swing?

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    Mom of 4: Boy (10), Girl (7), Boy (4), Girl (2)

  6. #6
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    I usually wear baby in a carrier if I want baby to sleep without nursing. Or in the car or stroller.
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katigre View Post
    Will he nap in a baby carrier or swing?

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    When he was much younger, he would, now he won't anymore

  8. #8
    Katigre is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    It sounds like his naps need to be consolidated. He's waking up after a sleep cycle instead of extending his nap through two sleep cycles. At his age he should be down to 3 naps. I know this may not be your first choice, but have you experimented to see how long he'll sleep if you stay in the dark room holding him? I used to hold my babies for their naps around that age or nap with them and it was a really peaceful time for me. I wonder if him getting an hour and a half nap would help him lessen to sleep longer and then you can gradually reduce the nursing part of the equation.

    Fwiw I nursed often at that age with all three kids.

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  9. #9
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    Default How not to nurse to sleep for nap ?

    Mine took "lap naps" quite often at that age after nursing to sleep, and I rested too. I don't know many babies IRL who actually take long naps in cribs at that age. Only in books! My second slept great in her papasan swing even though it was right in between the living and dining room so I could watch her. But of course her brother was at preschool so it was pretty quiet. Good luck. I'd try suggestions and if not, keep nursing. I'd even take a nap next to baby at that age if it helped mine sleep. Exhaustion is hard, hang in there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katigre View Post
    It sounds like his naps need to be consolidated. He's waking up after a sleep cycle instead of extending his nap through two sleep cycles. At his age he should be down to 3 naps. I know this may not be your first choice, but have you experimented to see how long he'll sleep if you stay in the dark room holding him? I used to hold my babies for their naps around that age or nap with them and it was a really peaceful time for me. I wonder if him getting an hour and a half nap would help him lessen to sleep longer and then you can gradually reduce the nursing part of the equation.

    Fwiw I nursed often at that age with all three kids.

    Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
    I was just about to ask about consolidating his naps because I agree with you that he can benefit from 3 good naps at this age instead of cat napping all day and still seemed exhausted and couldn't even last for one hour.

    He can stay awake for max about 90 minutes now and I was wondering at first how I can drop his nap to 3 if he only takes such a short nap and sometimes can't even make it to 90 minutes before time for next nap again. I used to sleep with him for the first 3 months and he always took 2-4 hours naps back in those days, but I have my mom around helping out with my 3-year old DD. Now, she's not around to help anymore, that's why I decided to start putting him down on crib and let him sleep on his own, which immediately turned into cat naps !!!

    I'll try the swing again and for morning nap and after lunch, I can nurse and hold him/sleep with him since DD is at preschool in the morning and she takes 2 hour naps after lunch too. So, that might work out. If not, I can always try swing or sling again. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll work on that and see if that helps to lengthen his naps and drop to 3 naps. May need to move his bed time earlier though if drop the 4th nap ?? He takes his 4th nap at around 5 ish and only last about 20 minutes and he's ready for bed again. He usually awake between 6-7 am and wake up once or twice to nurse and go to bed between 6-7:30 pm as well.

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