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Thread: When should I night wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default When should I night wean?

    My 11 month old still nurses at night. He eats plenty during the day, nurses during the day, etc. We do not co-sleep as a rule. I have a bed in his room that I can co-sleep with him if he is sick or having a really bad night, but he does not co-sleep with my husband and me. My husband does not want him in our bed for safety reasons (he cannot co-sleep safely because of health issues) He gets up at least once or twice a night still. If I do not nurse him, it's a huge fight to get him back to sleep. Am I making his sleep worse by nursing him and conditioning his body to eat at night? Should I night wean? I would love to since I haven't had a good nights sleep in over a year and it is starting to get to me. I do all the nighttime parenting, my husband does not function without sleep and he brings home the paycheck.
    Proud mama to Ryan born 6-19-10


    We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
    - Anais Nin

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    If it were me I would probably not night wean him yet. If he's only nursing a couple times a night that's not too bad. And night weaning doesn't guarantee he will stop waking up at night, so if you do it and he still wakes it will just be harder to get him back to sleep. You are coming up on time to grow some one year molars and that can be a really rough time for sleep, I found it invaluable with my daughter to be able to nurse her down during that time. I wasn't nursing my son when he was at that point and it was like going through hell trying to get him back to sleep without the magic boob ().

    If you do decide to try it Dr. Jay Gordon has a good method. It's the one I used when I night weaned my daughter. He doesn't recommend it until the child is over 12 months, though, for nutritional reasons.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    i wouldn't even think about it even for a second before a year. And then, it's what you're comfortable with.

    Dr. Jay Gordon has written a book about nightweaning after one that lots of mamas here recommend, though i have no experience with it.

    My 16 mo wakes once or twice a night generally, and i haven't done anything about that because i don't mind him waking at night to nurse. There might be a time when that changes, but for now it works for everyone.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  4. #4
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    This is all very personal and individual. There is no "should." I never found the need to night wean my kids because nursing at night doesn't bother me. My nearly 3 year old still nurses at night and I don't mind a bit. I would like to be done with nursing pretty soon here but I'm fine waiting a little while longer. I can tell he'll be fine with weaning completely very soon-he was very receptive to his final daytime weaning session a couple of weeks ago. If nursing at night is proving to be a real problem for you and your family, I second the Dr. Gordon method. Several families have had great success with it on these boards.

    Good luck!
    To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. ~Joan Didion

  5. #5
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    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    Thanks for reminding me about molars! I totally forgot about them coming soon, I'm not doing any type of night weaning until we get through all of them. I am very tired, I don't get any breaks from the kiddo, he won't settle for anyone but me. It's probably too much information, but it is impacting my sex life. It's hard to be sexy wifey one minute, baby wakes up and it's time be mama again. Then back to sexy wifey or I have a frustrated husband.

    I'm just wrestling with everyone wanting access to my body and I'm needing some hands off time for me.
    Proud mama to Ryan born 6-19-10


    We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
    - Anais Nin

  6. #6
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    I've been struggling with this decision as well. DS is 17 months and insists on having a nip as a pacifier from 3-6am. It's starting to get irksome because if I shift at all in bed he immediately looks for it again. I didn't night wean J until he was 22 mo - and even then it was because I was pregnant and exhausted and needed my rest to be a good mommy. I feel like I don't really have a reason other than I'm mildly annoyed. I havent started anything yet because I know what a valuable tool night nursing is for the molars, and I don't think he's really at an age to understand the Jay Gordan method yet. I used that with J and it worked great, so when I make the leap I'll definetly do it again. It's the timing that is proving to be tricky.

    Emily, mommy to
    Jeremija Charles - 5/30/07 - nursed 26 mo, and
    Aleksandar Hayes - 12/13/09 - nursing strong!


    "Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it." - William Durant

    If you really want to do something, you'll find a way, if you don't, you'll find an excuse.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ryansmomy View Post
    I'm just wrestling with everyone wanting access to my body and I'm needing some hands off time for me.
    I definitely get that feeling. And your husband's feelings are important, too. It may take some creativity as far as timing to try to make sure everyone's needs are getting met. But it sounds like you are making an effort so that's worth a pat on the back. And when you get frustrated with it all try to remember that this time is brief. When you look back it will seem like it flew by, even if it seems like the minutes drag like molasses when you're sitting there waiting for the baby to get the eff back to sleep so you can go finish.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  8. #8
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    Default Re: When should I night wean?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ryansmomy View Post
    Thanks for reminding me about molars! I totally forgot about them coming soon, I'm not doing any type of night weaning until we get through all of them. I am very tired, I don't get any breaks from the kiddo, he won't settle for anyone but me. It's probably too much information, but it is impacting my sex life. It's hard to be sexy wifey one minute, baby wakes up and it's time be mama again. Then back to sexy wifey or I have a frustrated husband.

    I'm just wrestling with everyone wanting access to my body and I'm needing some hands off time for me.
    All of this is very valid! I talk about this with my husband, on days when max is attached more than usual. It can be hard to feel the sexy vibe after being groped all day. This may sound crazy, but I find taking a nice long shower after Max goes down initially for the evening helps me to switch gears. And a nice genle backrub feels like a different kind of touching and also helps me switch gears.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

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