Sleep after baby. This is a pretty touchy subject. Maybe it’s because we are all sleep deprived and hangry since we have a tiny human attached to us at all times of the day. It’s pretty amazing right? I’m not knocking it at all, I love it and honestly wouldn’t have it any other way! I will be honest though, about 2 months ago I was done with the whole waking every 2 hours to nurse. So I decided to do some sleep training.
Let me give you some back story. My beautiful baby is now almost 16 months, We still currently co-sleep, and we are still breastfeeding.
After school ended in May I told myself I was going to cut back the nursing at night so my plan was to feed to sleep, feed at midnight and then feed at like 5. There was a problem here, I went from nursing on demand to a timed schedule. I knew what time it was but my precious baby did not. All she knew was I would nurse her one time she woke up but I wouldn’t the next time.
Ok so onto step B) Cut out nursing at night cold turkey. Uhh looking back I want to say “what were you thinking?” Let me put it this way, neither of us slept for days.
(I have never let my baby cry solo. I am always laying with her. If my husband had to work the next day we would simply stay in another room so he could still function the next day)
Ok so that didn’t work. On to plan C) I have to take a step back and think. Why does she need me in the middle of the night? She’s not hungry 2 hours after eating, why can she not settle? I’ll tell you why, because she was used to having something to suck on and I was taking that away. This is what we have to work on! Getting to sleep without nursing! This was harder on me than it was my daughter. I was more attached to nursing her to sleep than I thought. The first night was a little rough but after she fell asleep she stayed asleep for 4 hours! This may not sound like a lot to you but to me it was amazing! Of course when she woke up she wanted to nurse, but I had to stick to my guns so I just patted her back and loved on her and within a few minutes she was back asleep. At 6 in the morning I though to myself that “it’s morning she can nurse, if she wakes up ok if not that’s fine too.” I usually wake up about that time too so I would nurse her and she will normally doze back off and I will get up and start my day. We have also started to do this at nap times and she doesn’t throw any kind of fit (most days lol).
Not only will it help when she goes to school but it helps her sleep at night. She now sleeps from 9pm to 2am without waking up and then when she wakes up at about 2am she can put herself back to sleep without any crying or nursing!
**I am not an expert by any means but I am going to say this would probably work with any kind of sleep crutch. Whether it’s nursing to sleep, sippy cup to sleep, rocking to sleep, with a paci or anything else. They fall asleep with it at first they are going to wake up wondering where it is at 2 am!
Here is a sample of how our night goes.
6:30pm eat dinner
7:15 Take a Bath
7:45 get Pjs on, brush teeth give hugs and kisses
8:00 read book and nighttime nurse.
8:30 lay down in bed together to go to sleep (no lights and sound machine on)
She usually falls asleep within 15-20 minutes. After that mommy is free to watch tv, clean, or do anything she wants!
To me this is a mommy win! Have you tried some kind of sleep training that may have worked or may not have worked that you would like to share?
I would like to add that I would not change how we nursed at night the past year! Bear wouldn’t take milk from a bottle from 6 months on so she would nurse a lot at night time (since I worked during the day). This is when she obtained a lot of the calories and nutrition that she needed and I was completely fine with this!
Hope y’all have a great weekend!