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Thread: Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support


    My nighttime nursling son is 2.5 years old, and I've been sleeping with him on a futon in his room since he was, well, I don't recall how old! He still wakes at least three times a night to nurse.

    My husband and I have decided it's finally time for me to get more than four hours' sleep in a row, and our plan is to switch beds -- that is, have Da-Da take over comfort duty and sleep on the futon with our son, while I sleep alone in the master bedroom.

    (Of course we will give our son some preparation for this -- I plan to make a little story book with stick figures representing Mama, boobs, Da-Da, the sun going down and coming up...).

    My question: Are there any words of support other moms, or even better, other dads, can provide for my husband to help him get through what we predict will be inevitable, prolonged bouts of crying?

    We'd appreciate any success stories on Da-Da as comforter, particularly for weaning two-year-olds with good language skills.


    Sleepy Mama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support

    Hi! I recently night weaned my 2 1/2 year old son, and it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. It certainly wasn't EASY, but there was never a time when my DS cried for more than a couple minutes. When I started the process in July, he was waking to nurse about 10 times a night . Now the rule is after his bedtime nursing we can nurse again when the sun comes up. It took about 2 1/2 months to get to no nursing at night at all. For the last several weeks now, DS has slept through about 2-3 nights a week. He does often still wake, but I can usually comfort him back to sleep fairly quickly without nursing. I'm hoping that as time goes on, he'll sleep through more and more often. We did not use the daddy comforting approach, so I don't have any specific wisdom on that, but I did make him a book about it as you plan to do. We read the book every night before bed, and I think it helped a lot. When we first started I was so afraid I was going to have a screaming, frantic, angry child all night. But, he really handled it very well. If we can do it--anyone can!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support

    your child might just surprize you.
    I my 3 year old dd is weaned down to last thing at night and 1st thing in the morning she doesn't even ask anymore during the day or night she knows its just for bed.
    I just told her "look its just for when the sun comes up". She come in the bedroom and tell me its morning time. lol even if its still dark.
    poor little thing.
    Your hubby will do just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support

    I went away for a weekend while dh took care of dd, but she didn't nightwean, she just woke him up for graham crackers or whatever (I wasn't there), but was just fine. When I returned we were right back at the usual routine. (Though she'd stop nusing to ask me to make more milk, so I guess my supply was affected.)

    Then we did nightwean. At first I tried just cuddling her and telling her no, but we were all up a lot and there was a lot of screaming. Then I finally told her that even if she calls me, I'm just not coming; she's on her own at night now. It sounds harsh, but it was to the point and honest and she took it well. The night I "ignored" her, she cried hard, but brief and dh went to her but was brief and firm (nice, just firm). The next night she slept through - like 8 hourse - for the first time in her life! And she did it again and again. I don't know how long the sleeping through the night lasted - not long, but now she slips out of bed and comes into our room around 1 or 2am and climbs in with me, but doesn't nurse (asks sometimes, but I just say "in the morning. go to sleep." It's nice that she can come in by herself, so I am willing to live with this arrangement for a while. We've tried some other things, like having her stay in her bed and going to HER, but we don't get as much sleep that way.

    My advice is try not to worry about dada. There is a lot of bonding that takes place in the middle of the night, and my husband and daughter's relationship has improved everytime they have had to work things out together at night. It will feel like you're torturing both of them, but they will both be fine, and your little one will probably act all happy and well rested in the morning while the two of you feel like dog meat.
    Just tell them BOTH that they CAN do this.. and then say, see you in the morning.

    But don't expect all nightwaking to end, K?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Night weaning, 29 mos: Da-Da needs moral support

    Thanks to all who responded, for your moral support. We tried denying him access to me one night last week, but caved in pretty quickly to all that frightful screaming as my husband tried in vain to explain that Mama and "nummies" had to sleep.

    Now we're thinking we should try something more gradual, such as Jay Gordon's method, though this kid is unlikely to be calmed by any back-patting. Could be a while before we regroup and continue working on this, but we'll keep a printout of your anecdotes and kind words for future reference. Hmmm, maybe I SHOULD go away for a weekend...

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