Help with Night Weaning - he's almost 2!
My son is 23 months old today. He nurses before bed to fall asleep and wakes 3-4 hours later, comes to bed with me and nurses on and off all night. He doesn't nurse at all during the day anymore, I sit with him or rock him to fall asleep for a nap in the afternoon - which can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour, depending on how tired he is. How do I wean him at night? At 2 am its just been easier for everyone to just nurse him so we all get some sleep. I'm afraid if I don't nurse him when he wakes during the night, he won't go to sleep and I'll be up with him all night.
My husband has decided age 2 is the cut off (I know, don't even get me started. He thinks its weird and is says my breastfeeding him is the reason he's so "attached" to me, he thinks quitting will "toughen him up" - its ridiculous, I know, but arguing with his narrow minded point of is useless, he won't listen.) I'm happy with nursing him, he's happy. But, as you can see I really have no support here (its up to me, hubby won't be getting up during the night to help), so I 'm turning to a bunch of strangers for some help, support and advise on what to do & how to do it. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What did you do? Any tips would be really appreciated!
Emotionally having a hard time with this too. :cry He is my last baby, I don't want to stop but know I have too. I have a 4 year old who nursed til 18 months, she was only nursing before bed at 15 months and slowly quit by 18 months. It was easy, I was hoping my son would just quit too, but he shows no signs of stopping, and I know I'm not helping any either. I'm totally lost on what to do this time,
Re: Help with Night Weaning - he's almost 2!
Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on making it to 2 years of nursing!
It is wonderful that you have been so generous regarding night-nursing. Not too many mamas are that giving for that long! If you are ready to night-wean, here are some things to try:
- Tell your LO what is going to happen. At 2, he's old enough to understand a lot! With my kids, I would say "Okay, it's nighttime. You're going to sleep all night long! Mommy is going to sleep all night. And pupples" (what my kids call nursing, :lol) "is going to sleep all night long. We will nurse again in the morning, when the sun comes up."
- If your LO wakes in the night and wants to nurse, remind him again that it is sleep time and that he can nurse again in the morning. Soon. But not now.
- Keep a sippy cup full of water handy. Night-waking toddlers are sometimes genuinely thirsty.
- Wear restrictive clothing. Easy access to the breast makes a kid more likely to nurse. If he can't get his hands on your goodies, he's less likely to demand a nursing session.
- Remember that crying is not always the worst thing. Enthusiastic night nursers may cry or tantrum when you cut them off. But at this point, nursing is something which needs to be negotiated between mama and toddler. Teaching nursing manners which include "we'll nurse at the appropriate time" is really okay, even if the toddler resists and cries.
- Try to stay consistent. Night-weaning usually happens faster and less painfully when mama sticks to her decision. But do not be afraid to totally change your decision if you decide that your baby isn't ready.
I'm sorry your DH is being such a doofus about weaning. As far as I am concerned, the only ones with a vote about the cut-off date for nursing are a mama and her baby. Daddy doesn't get a vote, because nursing is good for his child and it's not his breasts that are at issue. And you can tell your DH that I said so. "Hey hon, a stranger from the Internet says you're being a doofus!" I'm sure that will be a huge hit.