How do I get my baby to sleep without nursing?

My son is 10 months old and is still being nursed to sleep in the evenings and in the middle of the night. As a working mom, I am ready to wean my son from the breast. I've tried and tried to put him down awake but he cries, screams and works himself into a tantrum. Help!



Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

It can be difficult to wean a baby who is not yet ready to give up nursing the nighttime and naptime feeds are usually the last to go.

Many babies under a year of age still need the nutrition provided by late evening and middle of the night feeds. Busy toddlers can get one third of their nutrition from these nighttime feeds. However, weaning your little one from the breast does not guarantee you peace. If you wean your baby from the breast, he may still need a bottle in the middle of the night.

If you decide to wean, do it gradually. Eliminate no more than one feeding every three days to keep your breasts comfortable and also to help your little one adjust to the change. Food or drink can be substituted for the nursing, along with lots of loving.

Some moms find it helpful to have their partner help at night while weaning. Your partner can help comfort your baby back to sleep when he asks to nurse.

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