Nursing for Comfort--make It Stop!

Updated on June 23, 2010
S.C. asks from Bowling Green, OH
6 answers

My daughter is almost 11 months old an I'm so ready to wean her. It's hot, we have no air conditioning and she's almost a year. I loved nursing her, but I'm so ready to be done! She does really well with a bottle, and doesn't mind formula at all. The problem is that she almost has to nurse to sleep, even if she's just had a bottle. I get so frustrated listening to her cry for the breast, that I just give in and give it to her. Not very conducive to weaning! How do I stop the comfort nursing? She's a thumb sucker, but that doesn't seem to calm her. She also has a blankie, but again that doesn't seem to work. The only thing that settles her down is the breast. Any suggestions? Do I just have to let her cry (scream really) until she falls asleep? I'm not real keen on the CIO method, so that's really rough for me. She will fall asleep if someone else is holding her, but not if it's me.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi S.,

I feel your pain :) The method talked about on this page has worked well for me: (The comment section is helpful too.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

First I would say since she's so close to a year old, you could skip the formula all together and go straight to whole milk. It makes for one less transition since she'll need the whole milk from 12-24 months anyway. But on to the nursing. I would say just to go down to only nursing to put her to sleep - that is pretty much weaned in my opinion. I know it seems to bother you to do the comfort nursing, but it's really not a big deal and I think it wouldn't last long anyway - have you lost your milk yet? If you only nurse for her sleep times than pretty soon you will not have any milk at all. I think once that happens she will probably not care for it as much - it will be a natural way to turn her off to it. At that point you could work on getting her to let you rock her. This was the hard part for me with my daughter when I weaned her because she still wanted to nurse. She did cry, but I didn't just leave her - I rocked her while she cried and struggled to get in nursing position. It only took about a week before she got the hint and let me just rock her to sleep. Now that is our most enjoyable time together snuggling. :)


answers from Norfolk on

Can her dad put her to bed? What worked for us was changing the bedtime routine-- it used to be bath, stories with dad, then nursing until he went to sleep. When i decided to wean at 17 months (and 5 months pregnant with #2), I started reading the books then handing him to dad. He would snuggle him and lay him down in his crib, then pat his back while singing to him. After 2 weeks of just dad putting him down, I tried out the "daddy method" and it worked! Now its the only way he'll go to sleep (and he is completely weaned now) and he wants us to sing his "night night" song for comfort when he's upset or just needs a love. Best of luck!



answers from New York on

It was tough for my daughter to stop as well - what worked was completely changing the bed time routine - with the biggest change being that Daddy took care of the bed time. If I recall she did cry a bit bit, but not for long.

Good luck...



answers from Muncie on

She's almost ready for real milk so that might help. I would actually suggest using a pacifier. Hold her like you would to feed, but give her to pacifier to work on until she's out. It might also help get her off the thumb, once she's too old for the pacifier you can pitch it.

Just an idea. Good Luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I started to try this method myself but I never followed through with it because my son actually started to get a L. better on his own about nursing at night ( I was trying to reduce night feedings). This is from the book Solve Your Childs Sleep Problems by Dr. Ferber. There is a section on how to wean from night feedings and although I know that is not what your post is about, it's worth a try. It does seem to take some work. What you do is first is nurse for a few days and see about how long your daughter nurses (in your case until she falls asleep). Lets say she nurses for 10 min until she falls asleep, so the first night you let her nurse for 9 min and then pull her off and put her down. The 2nd night, let her nurse for 8 min and then put her down, 3rd - 7 min, 4th - 6 min etc. The book claims that you won't even get to the 1 min mark, but who knows! You could also reduce time every other day if you want; tweak it to work for you. I can handle the CIO and it really does work. I never left my kids to cry and totally ignored them, I always went back in every few minutes to let them know I didn't abandon them. Also, I always watched the clock because just 5 min of crying can seem like and hour. Now, I put my kids down awake for naps and bedtime and they put themselves to sleep. I do understand how many moms can't do it though, maybe try that method and see if it works. Good luck!

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