When Baby Stops Nursing to Sleep

My son has stopped nursing to sleep. He’s 11 months old, so this creates a problem for me. How do I get him to become asleep?

I have a few neighbors and cousins who seem to have given birth to the sort of magical baby who will yawn, then the parents put the baby in baby’s sleeping space, and then the baby becomes asleep. And stays that way! For hours at a time!

My husband and I have no idea what that is like. We think the phrase “sleeps like a baby” is code for some sort of screaming tantrum of frustration, because our sons either nursed to sleep or required some serious jostling, bouncing, marching. It’s hands-on parenting all the time at my house.

So now my baby won’t nurse to sleep. I’ve been a bit of a one-trick pony when it comes to baby sleep. My husband is the one who has to do all the marching and swinging and bouncing…I’ve always been able to slip a boob in my son’s mouth and wait for sleep to arrive.

But, at eleven months old, suddenly even nursing is too exciting for him. He pops off to look me in the eye and sign for “milk,” just to confirm that we both know he knows this sign. Or he wants to stand up while he’s nursing, because he can stand now.

By golly, he can do so many things he couldn’t do a short time ago, and he can’t be bothered to stop performing these tricks. It’s exciting! Cruising! Babbling! Biting the recycling bin!

The past week has been rough, since I can’t figure out how to help him get the rest he needs. He’s been cranky, I’ve been tired, and my older son has definitely noticed.

I wonder if this change will be a permanent one? In that case, might I get to put the children to bed together? Cuddled in bed reading stories or singing songs?

I can’t remember when bedtime shifted to its current state with our older son. At some point, we stopped nursing to sleep and instead rocked in the chair (or lay in his bed) reading 2 books, singing 2 songs, and kissing goodnight. I think we dropped the nursing to sleep when he weaned at 27 months.

Right now, we put the boys to sleep separately, because they find each other far too interesting to get sleepy together during cuddling or story-time. We’ll have to start experimenting to figure it all out.

How does bedtime look at your house? Leave us a comment to share your tricks to get babies to sleep without nursing!

1 comment to When Baby Stops Nursing to Sleep

  • Angela

    We went through the same thing with my now 2.5 year old. He was about 12 or 13 months old still nursing but not to sleep. What worked for us was really laying the bedtime routine down. When we were done I would rock him while singing to him then put him in his crib and say good night. I would stay for 10-15 minutes then tell him I had to use the restroom but I would be back to check on him. It took him a week or so to trust that I would come check on him but after that he started falling asleep before I even got out the door.
    My suggestion is find what works for your family and stick to it for a couple weeks before you give up. Good luck to you! I hope I helped in some way.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge