Friday, August 30, 2013

How to Put a Toddler to Sleep

When Packo had his last immunization and check-up for this year yesterday, Dra. Leonila Dans reminded me for the nth time not to use my breasts as his pacifier.  She knew I'm guilty as charged. He is a comfort nurser while I find it most convenient if he just nurse till he falls asleep. It simply works for both of us.

However I know it's time for my son to fall asleep on his own. I need to take action, train him while it's still early and before a bad habit to form. Why bad?

  • He's turning 2 in a month.
  • Most children should sleep on their own at his age.
  • He is biologically, emotionally, psychologically ready to fall asleep on his own.
  • I am only teaching him to be dependent on me and me alone.
  • It will have a psychological impact if he dependent too much on his primary caregiver  
I noticed that being a comfort nurser not only manifested in sleep but also in most things like everything! Which is not a good thing. I don't want to be a Momma's Boy! Plus, I gotta work!

I took action yesterday but I was only hopeful. Here are the things I did:
  1. Since I don't want to eliminate breastfeeding in our routine, I only kept it in a minimum. How long and how frequent? He fed 4 times for 10 minutes max yesterday, night nursing was already included!
  2. I talked and counseled him on what we're doing, what it is for and why.
  3. I eliminated his afternoon nap.
  4. When he signaled he wanted to nurse, I gave him food. This worked each time.
  5. I let him play all day.
What else can you do?
  1. Let other people from your household put your child to bed.
  2. Make sure your child's primary needs (he's full, has a clean diaper, etc) before putting him to bed.
  3. Read your child bedtime stories. Sing lullabies.
  4. Create a bedtime routine.
  5. Have a substitute Mama in the form of a pillow or teddy bear who will give cuddles and kisses. (You may include them in your stories.)
  6. Be firm or consistent. But never be angry with a child who only wants to be with you when he sleeps.
What happened? 
  • I noticed he understood what we're doing and what he's supposed to be doing.
  • I let him nurse but only for 10 minutes.
  • He cried each time I stopped him from nursing.
  • I know he's trying to sleep on his own. 
  • He kept waking up. He woke up twice last night.
  • I finally nursed him, that was his 4th time, and finally he slept soundly.
He's now having his afternoon nap. Since he didn't have enough sleep last night, I know he's tired. And I took advantage of it. 

You know what I did? I hid from him. He kept looking for me until he got soo tired he finally slept on his own!

Yay! Well, good luck to me later.


  1. Awww.. putting our tots to sleep is realy difficult.

  2. bakit ngayon ko lang nabasa to? sobrang nahirapan din ako kasi nurse to sleep din ako..and I agree with everything you said. Those worked for me, too. Pero kay geo maraming tubig bago matulog..feeling ko nilalasing nya sarili nya. pero di sya nakakatulog pag gising pako. dapat mag tulug-tulogan muna.

    I still can't eliminate her afternoon nap..dun nurse to sleep sya.

    Mommy Karla can you right about potty training?