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Thread: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    381

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Ah, I just saw your post where you said you would never want to go cold turkey! So my post above is probably of limited use to you - for some reason I thought you wanted to completely end it ASAP.

    Anyway, I have also 95% nightweaned at this point, mainly using the "Daddy's your nightime parent now" method This has involved a little bit of CIO (like, 5-10 minutes at a time at most) because I had to let him feel free to make some decisions since he was starting to take over the brunt of the nighttime wake-ups and issues. And even if it wasn't my preference it actually seemed to really help move the process along, as sometimes she seems to go to sleep much, much faster with a few minutes of crying vs. hours and hours of nursing and rocking and books, etc. etc. We still have a crib for her so she can't get out. But I will say after a several month transition, which has been 2 steps forward, 1.5 steps back the entire way, we are now at a point where:

    1) she has a set bedtime (8:30)and a bedtime routine that she seems to enjoy and take comfort in
    2) she goes willingly into her crib at night-night time, even pointing into the crib before I'm ready to put her in sometimes!
    3) she seems to wake up a LOT less than she was in our bed, I think we may have been waking her up when we moved/coughed whatever as she's a very light sleeper
    4) some nights are still bad and occassionally DH just has to give up and bring her into me for the rest of the night, but these times are getting less and less frequent, and later and later in the night. Last night we considered "bad" because she woke up 3 times between 1:30-3 am, but otherwise she slept straight through from 8:30-7 am. If you saw my nights before you would understand why I put "bad" in quotes there. 3x and two really long stretches used to be AWESOME for us when we were in the tail end of cosleeping.
    5) My DH and I get an hour or two to ourselves each night, which has been very good for our marriage and personal sanity.

    As always, take what may be useful to you and leave the rest!
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    11

    Wink Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Hi ladies,
    Thanks for your helpful advice. I would love to just be able to stop cold turkey but I don't want to cause my little one any distress. I just get to the point were I feel so overwhelmed as it takes all night to get him settled. I feel that it's not good for him either. I do often wonder if I let him nurse before bedtime say 8.30 and then leave the house, my mum lives close by so I could be out of the house but close at hand if needed, would he settle for my husband? He is very supportive and more than happy to try putting him to bed. We do have two older kids 6 &.8. I have tried him in with them but he just keeps them awake.
    Even if I get him to sleep without nursing, it's getting him to stay asleep, as he is very reliant on me being beside him to stay asleep. I'll maybe have a go at some of the night weaning methods...I don't want to be unfair to him either. He has had me to comfort and feed him since birth.. He doesn't know any different, this is his norm. I think I would feel terribly guilty just cutting off his supply all at once.. Or maybe that is the best way cruel to be kind etc...I never imagined myself nursing a toddler. My older two were weaned earlier, as I had to return to work away from home.
    It's a completely different relationship and whilst I am delighted I have gotten this far. I do feel I have to make changes.


    This forum is great though, the support from others mums helps a lot.
    Thank you M x

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    3,113

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*pinkbusybee View Post
    Even if I get him to sleep without nursing, it's getting him to stay asleep, as he is very reliant on me being beside him to stay asleep.
    My 3,5 yr old can now go about 4hrs without me beside him (most days). But at 2 I was lucky if I got 1 - 1.5hrs. And he had horrific night terrors. He weaned at 11 months (pregnancy). Some kids are highly dependent on a body next to them for sleep. And it is exceptionally draining. I do not know how I would have managed with older kids in the house too
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    43

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Is he nursing continuously from 8pm-2am? If so my daughter was the same way. I was at my threshold of having her stay attached to me continuously all night by the time she was 13 months. I did the "Pantley pull off method" to teach her it was ok to stay asleep without my 'baby eats' in her mouth. Elizabeth Pantley has a lot of great tips in The no Cry Sleep Solution. Definately worth the read. You could probably finish the book in a few days of reading it in bed while your son sleeping next to you. By 14 months I would read her a little book, sing a song and nurse her a little until sleepy, pull her off and just rock her until relaxed and asleep and then gently lay her down in her crib. Took about 30-40 minutes total. In the beginning she would wake up seconds to 30 minutes after I put her down. I would repeat the process. Eventually she learned that she sleeps in her crib for a little bit first then comes in bed with me. That took a week or so. At 15 months my husband would read the book, sing the song and rock and give her a bottle of breastmilk. She screamed the first few nights during his routine. I wouldn't consider it CIO because she was never abandoned in her room. She had the comfort of Daddy's arms and her familiar bedtime routine along with momma milk and a rocking motion. By 15.5 months old my husband and I were able to go out to a movie and have grandma or a relative in the house that was able to put her down to bed! Once she got to this point she started sleeping through the night. She would go to bed at 7pm and not really wake up and need asistance until after 2 or 3 am. Since she was only up 1-2 times a night I started just rocking her in her chair in her room at night instead of bringing her to bed. By the time my son was born she was 19 months. She only woke up a couple times a week and only at around 4am and it only took 5 minutes to comfort her. My husband was the one who went in there. She recieved only rocking in the chair, no breastmilk bottles at 4 am. After 20 months anyone could put her to bed, she did not need rocking anymore only a book and song. She was in a toddler bed at 22 months. Now she will be 3 the end of January, bedtime is easy. MY son on the otherhand is transitioning. I now rock him in the rocking chair nursing him to sleep. He starts the night off in his crib and usually stays there from 7pm-10/11pm. After that he does get a little needy and comes to bed with me. Lately he has been nursing alot at night from 10/11pm until 3/4am. Then he sleeps good from 4 until 6am. I have yet to have DH put him to bed. He got his first molar and seems to be getting another so I'll hold off until he has a little break in the pain distraction. My goal is to have dh beable to put him to bed by 18 months.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    13

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    My daughter was also very similar. She would want to nurse almost every hour, wanted to suckle throughout the night and would wake up every time I got up. So I started changing things one step at a time. I first worked on teaching her how to sleep without suckling. I started to get familiar with her sleep patterns. She starts to twitch her limbs when she gets in deep sleep. So I would wait until she was in deep sleep and then detach her. But I would stay with her.. Once she got used to being detached, I then would stay in bed with her but moved over so that if she woke up I was there but so that she could get used to sleeping without a body next to her. Then I did a few nights where I would hang out in the room, maybe do yoga - so that I would be close in case she woke up. I would always wait until I felt that she was in deep sleep so that she wouldn't wake up. This was all a long progression - she now sleeps alone after I've put her to sleep (20 months).
    I've now been working on night weaning a few of her feedings and teaching her to breastfeed and then fall asleep on her own. At first she had major melt downs over the weaning that lasted for what felt like a long time but really only a few minutes. Then they shortened to just a few seconds. Tonight she said "all gone" and I said yep. Then we proceeded to have our nightly peek-a-boo game, kisses and bedtime. I feel sane again now that I can sleep a little longer! I have to say however - I was very determined when I started - because I was also at my last straw. I was working evenings and getting home at one, in bed by two - only to have her wake up at three, four, five, six, and then stay awake at seven. Ackk! It was driving me crazy. So I sympathize and thought I'd share my story. Maybe it'll give you some ideas! Good luck !

    One more thing I just remembered......my husband suggested that we leave the closet light on thinking that she was scared of the dark. And it actually helped a lot. I think she was getting up and then getting scared.
    Last edited by @llli*cynthiacynrd; December 6th, 2011 at 12:44 AM.
    Mama to Maya Neptali born 3-7-10, 6lbs 12 ounces.
    7/27/10 13lbs 10ounces

    We and I at work just so I can
    because I love it.

    We've gotten through thrush, nipple vasospasm, eczema, posterior tongue tie and low milk supply.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    4,007

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    We introduced a sippy cup full of water at night. It stayed in the bed and was a special cup just for during the night. Actually, at 3.5 years he still drinks water at night just before bed, and first thing when he wakes up - from his special cup. It was great for me as at two he was still waking up 3-4 times to nurse. Turns out that some of the time he was just thirsty and the water helped. I wasn't successful with night weaning and we ended up letting him self wean so it was closer to 2.5 before he was night weaned, but the water cup was a nice transition for us.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    11

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Hello Ladies,

    Thanks for all your ideas and support. I will try them. I like the idea of the water, as sometimes I think it is habit with him as much as need. He sleeps with us and I use a nightlight and keep the hall light on so he can see if he wakes up. At the minute the back molars are coming through and possibly don't help the situation. Even now if I'm at home he'll want to nurse all the time and this is quite new and he was never really that bothered about day nursing and would happily have played instead. Now it's milk please, milk please all day and he clings to my leg if I go to leave the room.. This is hopefully a phase of intense nursing that he will grow out of (soon I hope!!) It's not even the milk it the act of nursing I think, as you say it's comfort for him. I do have a double pump and I thought if I pumped and maybe put it in a sippy cup for nighttime, it may help.. as I'll probably have to try substitute something for the boob.. He will gladly sleep all night on my chest with his face quite literally on my breast. but this is no good as I get no quality of sleep.

    I know this is a challenging time and it can be quite overwhelming at times. I feel a bit calmer now after reading some of these replies..

    I'll let you know if any of these ideas are successful, here's hoping !!
    M xx

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    My oldest was not quite that bad, but close. She wouldn't fall asleep with out milk! When I stopped pumping and DH didn't have any more bottles during the day, she just stopped napping! What finally worked for us at bedtime was to read to her. First, I read to her until she fell asleep. Then I'd read unti she was close to asleep. Finally I just read 2 books, then 1. Mind you it took some time, but eventually worked. On the waking when you move, I'm not sure what to do about that one! I would put a body pillow next to both of my DD's, but not sure that would work for you!
    Hang in there, mama!

  9. #19

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    How are things going?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*pinkbusybee View Post
    I do often wonder if I let him nurse before bedtime say 8.30 and then leave the house, my mum lives close by so I could be out of the house but close at hand if needed, would he settle for my husband?
    I was actually just going to suggest this very thing.

    For a while there I thought there was no way my son was EVER going to go to sleep without nursing, and then one evening I was accidentally out past bedtime. I rushed home to nurse my son and was absolutely shocked to get there and find out he was already asleep (and it wasn't even traumatic, according to my husband). He weaned on his own a couple months later.

    Of course every child develops at their own rate, and your son may or may not be ready for that. But it could be that he's able to go to sleep without nursing and just doesn't know it yet.
    Karen
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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,501

    Default Re: I need to wean my 2 yr old now!!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ooky View Post
    This may well be true, and I have not weaned my only kid yet, so I don't have personal experience. But one of my best friends BF'd both of her kids until just under 2 yrs old. They were both little boob addicts too Anyway, the way she started off weaning with both was to go away by herself for a weekend, hand expressing enough to avoid clogs and mastitis (which I would think would be a danger of doing this). While she was gone, dad took care of the kids and talked about how nursing was going to go away now. Then when she got back, she allowed like one session a day with one of the kids I think, and the other actually weaned with very little issue just from her being gone and "breaking the habit". Again, I've not done this myself, but she said it worked quite well for her both times. As a SAHM/WAHM she really appreciated the time to herself too.
    I did this with DS2 at 22 months. Went away for four days and left the boys with DH. When I came back, I still had milk, but it was so much easier to divert him after that. I actually never nursed him again once I got back; he accepted the change well enough. Though for months after, he still is attached to my breasts and plays with them like they're his toys; sometimes it's cute, and sometimes it make me cringe (being pregnant doesn't help any). He also has a bottle (as in, baby bottle) that he drinks water from, and we still give this to him at night (seriously, this kid looooves water). He never took a pacifier, but he still seemed to need something to suck on once he was weaned. I'm torn now between weaning him from his water bottle or just letting him decide when he's done with it. DS1 was weaned off his paci by this age, but he was also much easier to wean in general.
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

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