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Thread: Night nursing at 15 months

  1. #1

    Default Night nursing at 15 months

    I'm a SAHM to two girls only 15 months apart. My first child I did not breastfeed and my second child has been exclusively breastfeed for the last 15 months and still going. I never intended to nurse more than 6 months but my daughter refused a bottle. She will drink from a sippy cup a little throughout the day, but she still prefers me over juice and solids. I wanted to wean her at a year old but i have been finding it difficult, not because I don't want to, but because I stay at home which makes me so easily accessible to her. It's not like taking a bottle away. I can make a bottle disappear, but not my body. So I have mostly been following the "don't offer, don't refuse" method but even with that she still want to nurse and pacify often. The only good thing is that she doesn't nurse for long. During the day she mostly snacks and wants me to be her pacifier. If we are home, she nurses to nap, but she will fall asleep without it if we are out. And she also nurses at night before bed. The most discouraging part is that she is still waking up during the night. She has proven she can sleep through the night several times but wakes a few times more often than not. I have tried self soothing, but that doesn't work for her so I continue to hold her and nurse for a few minutes to get her back to sleep. After all that said, I have been and still ready to wean, but I am finding it very difficult with how much she still prefers me over juice and solids. I try to get her to eat more solids throughout the day but she isn't a big eater. She will have a few bites of her meals and of course she nurses too. I'm wondering if she still wakes at night because she isn't getting her fill of solids throughout the day or is it just out of habit. Needless to say, I'm beyond sleep deprived and frustrated. I do enjoy nursing her 90% of the time and try to remember to appreciate the closeness while it last, I just never anticipated continuing this long and my daughter still wanting to nurse as well. I keep telling myself that by 18 months she'll be too busy wanting to play to prefer me but she has proven me wrong since day one so far...any advice towards weaning or helping her to sleep would be great! Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Night nursing at 15 months

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    Karen
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Night nursing at 15 months

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    my first question is that you say your child is 'exclusively' breastfed. Just to clarify, that would mean baby gets NO other foods or drink. It sounds as if your child does eat some solids? Just want to clarify.

    Your issues with weaning when home with baby all day are pretty common! First I would like to understand why you want to wean. Sometimes moms are under outside pressure to wean, or for whatever reason think weaning by a certain age is necessary when it is not.

    A child nursing well into the second year (and beyond) is actually entirely normal and healthy. Waking and Nursing frequently at night, is also normal. Just because a child has slept through the night some of the time does not prove they are able to do so every night. For many kids, regular long sleep stretches come much later. As far as baby nursing because of not eating enough solids, I doubt that is the problem, as you are offering solids and baby is free to take eat what they want. Many toddlers eat very sporadically and just a little at a time, which is another reason nursing during this time can be very healthy as it allows a child to get more of what they need.

    Nor do I think your child is using you as a pacifier. Mom is every child's preferred comfort for at least part of their lives. Some children prefer the comfort of mom and the breast much longer than others. But this is neither unhealthy or not normal.

    That said, if you are ready to move weaning along more quickly, there are many methods you can try to gently encourage baby to nurse less often. Your child already is nursing for a short period each time it sounds like, which is also part of weaning, and that is happening already. It may help to see weaning as a process, a process that started when your child first ate anything other than breastmilk, and it usually goes more smoothly if it is taken slowly. Also, usually the older a child is, the easier it is for weaning to occur. You may not know many moms who are nursing past one, but that is due to societal changes. Biologically speaking, 15 months is an early age for the completion of human weaning.

    There are two excellent books on weaning I suggest: How Weaning Happens, and The Nursing Mothers Guide to Weaning. This article covers some of the more common techniques: http://www.llli.org/faq/weantoddler.html

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