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How to stop breastfeeding 16 month old? Lock Rss

I've broken the cardinal rule and am in the long-standing habit of breastfeeding my 16 month old to sleep. It's probably the only reason I'm still breastfeeding at this late stage but I don't know how to disassociate the breastfeeding with sleeping. It's become part of the 'routine' and she has always had such terrible sleeping habits that I'm afraid to change the routine at all. Bub has one afternoon nap and also gets a feed to go to sleep at night and also if she wakes up during the night (which she usually does 1 to 2 times a night). The thing is that she isn't usually asleep when I leave the room and sometimes (especially at night bedtime - between 7 and 7.30pm) she will still cry and cry when I put her down and it takes forever to 'control comfort' her to sleep (and even longer if I try and stay in there to put her to sleep). It can take an hour or more of incredible stress to get her to sleep, so I'm terribly afraid to go through this every single time, if I stop breastfeeding. Breastfeeding really does seem to be the only thing that calms her down sometimes. It's the reason I started doing it in the first place - it was just so much easier and less traumatic on both of us. However, now that I want to stop the boob (and hopefully encourage her to sleep through the night), I don't know how. Can you help?

Amanda, NSW, 5mth baby

It is no different when adults try to break a habit, we know it’s not going to be easy and we often avoid the issue because it’s just too hard. I know because I slept with my son for the first 12months of his life because it was easier and I simply didn’t know any other way.

The breastfeeding isn’t the problem it’s the falling asleep at the breast that becomes the sleep association. The way to avoid this is to know when the feed is done and baby is just ‘sparrowing’ (which is comfort sucking) and to remove them before they have fallen asleep and settle them awake into the cot.

Had you known how to do this earlier would have perhaps made all the difference in your daughters sleeping habits.

Having said this you now are at the point where you want to give up breastfeeding and I would suggest that you get a copy of <a href="It's time to sleep</a"">It's Time To Sleep</a> DVD&BOOK and learn to use our settling techniques, following the program step by step for 6 to 12month old.

It won’t be easy but persistence is the key and in a couple of weeks you will both be much more settled.

Huggies have a great offer on at the moment – see <a href="">Member Exclusive Book Offers</a>.

Best of luck
Cheers Maree

It's Time to Sleep

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