Please watch my child sleep video on how to stop nursing your child back to sleep.
Do you have any questions I can answer for you?
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And if you have some insight or advice for anyone who has already posted, PLEASE just click the ‘Reply’ link under that comment. It’s a great way for us all to help and support each other!View the Video Transcript
Hi! I’m Dana Obleman, creator of The Sleep Sense Program. This week’s question comes from Danielle who writes:
My 13-month-old falls asleep on her own when I first put her to bed but then wakes during the night and screams unless I get her and nurse her back to sleep. How do I get her to put herself back to sleep during the night?
That’s a great question Danielle and it is actually a fairly common problem that children have. The good news is that you have tackled the main issue, which is getting her to fall asleep on her own. It sounds to me like she is capable of using her own skills to put herself to sleep at bedtime but through the night, she has a different association in place. This can be fairly common in that a baby puts themselves to sleep at bedtime but then is nursed back to sleep in the middle of the night. Therefore, they will wake up through the night expecting you to nurse them back to sleep.
Congratulations on getting her to fall asleep! Now, you are going to have to work on what happens through the night. I would either do the stay in the room method (outlined in the Sleep Sense Program) or a variation of leaving and checking on her. Definitely pull the a night feeds, but the only way to do that is cold turkey. If you try to wean her or just nurse once during the night, you will find that she wakes up all over the place. It’s then likely she’ll be crying for long periods of time, waiting for that “magic time” where you are going to nurse her.
If you are not totally comfortable pulling the feeds cold turkey, you could just go down to one but you have to have to keep her awake through the nurse. Go in, get her up, feed her quickly and business like. Keep her awake (poke her, tickle her, talk to her) through the feed and then put her back into the crib awake. That way, she will probably start disassociating the nursing with the getting back to sleep part and she might stop waking up for the nursing because it is not really getting her back to sleep anyway. You should still be expecting her to do that part on her own. So the two choices there are to pull the feeds cold turkey, (which would be my best advice) or cut down to just one, keeping her awake then back to the crib and that will probably solve your problem.
Thanks for that question, Danielle and sleep well.
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