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Thread: Night Weaning Questions

  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Night Weaning Questions

    I posted a few weeks ago about an upcoming trip without my LO and this next line of questions are related to that, too.

    I was not planning on night weaning until my son was at least a year old, but I am now wondering how he will react when I am suddenly not around to nurse him for a few nights. Part of me thinks we should trying night weaning over the next couple months to avoid one more shocking change when I am gone, but another part of me thinks it is too early for that. I usually nurse him to sleep at bedtime and middle of the night, but there have been times when my husband has rocked him to sleep, so we know he responds to that sleep routine, too.

    Here come the rapid fire questions:
    Is it too early for night weaning?
    How much is the night nursing about the food versus the comfort?
    How should I prepare the babysitters (my parents) for potential night feedings?
    Could no night weaning lead to my poor parents having to comfort a wailing baby every night that won't settle?
    And most important, am I over-thinking this?

    Thanks for any insight!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    How old is he? ANd why can't your parents just feed him when he wakes up with a bottle?

    I do think you are overthinking this.

    My friend has to go out of town for work and her DH just gives their son a bottle when he wakes up in the middle of the night. He's not as happy as if he had mama, but they survive.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post

    I do think you are overthinking this.
    I am a bit anxious about leaving him, can you tell? LOL

    He is almost 8 month old now and will be 10 months at the time of our trip.

    For us, nighttime seems to be when he is most volatile and I don't want to be setting my parents up for disaster because he isn't getting what he wants. He has thrown some pretty amazing tantrums in the early morning hours because I dared to change his diaper when he wanted to be nursing or cuddling. This is what led me to wonder if it would be better for us to take the heat now, getting him used to no nighttime feeding, or just cross our fingers that he will be okay with a bottle (assuming he doesn't work himself into hysterics waiting for the bottle to warm in the first place).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    I'm probably not the best person to answer your post, because I am not really big on leaving my babies overnight.

    But... I would just let your parents work it out. It's going to be harder on him to understand why YOU aren't nursing him at night. He'll know that the grandparents can't nurse him. Also, what makes you think he doesn't need to eat during that time? He's only 8 months old... he still needs to eat at night.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    ANd why can't your parents just feed him when he wakes up with a bottle?
    This is what my mom did while I was in hospital, and while it wasn't as nice as nursing my son was fine. I definitely would not night wean at eight months. My son is that age and he very much needs to nurse at night.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    I definitely agree that it is too early to try to night wean him. At this point, his nursing at night is probably about comfort AND food. There's just no sense in taking that away from him.

    Since your LO is a little, um, temperamental at night, do you think he would be willing to try a room-temperature bottle so he doesn't have to wait for it to warm? Breast milk is okay to keep at room temperature for some time, so perhaps your parents could have the bottle ready to go as soon as he wakes up. At least for my DD, the faster she gets fed and back to sleep, the happier we all are. (I suppose this depends, though, on how long your son sleep before his first waking. Something to consider, though.)

    Does he take a bottle at all right now? (Sorry, I'm not familiar with your previous thread.) If not, you'll want to introduce it and make sure he will actually take it. If you want to try the room temperature approach, you might try working that in now so he's not like "wtf, grandma? Am I supposed to drink this?" Good luck!
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Also, if would be useful to consider your LO's sleep habits in trying to figure out how to prepare your parents. Does he sleep through the night? Would your parents handle it in a way you approve if he does not? It seems like a lot of people from that generation (making some assumptions about age here) advocate letting babies cry themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night. Figure out how you would like your parents to handle this and discuss it with them well ahead of time. How they dealt with you waking up may be different from how you want them dealing with your son waking up.
    -Hannah

    SAHM-WAHM to lovely Lizzie, born at home 9/14/2010


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Don't warm the bottle!! Just have them give it to him cold or room temp. That way, they don't have to worry about him working himself into a frenzy.

    BM is good at room temp for hours. It will be fine. I stand bottles on the dresser so I can grab them in my half-sleep and feed the baby during the night. Even a bottle fed baby under a year deserves a bottle if he wakes up. What if he is hungry?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Room temperature bottles are the way to go. My mom put a few bottles on the nightstand before going to bed. She slept next to the baby so that she could just grab a bottle and feed him as soon as he woke up. That minimized the time they were up at night, and neither my mom nor my son had any problems getting back to sleep.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Night Weaning Questions

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Even though some literature states night weaning can start at 6 months my gut was saying, No Way!

    And it looks like leaving bottles in the bedroom at room temp is the way to go. My LO takes bottles everyday at daycare and they say he isn't too picky about the temperature.

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