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Thread: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo old?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo old?

    Let me say I do enjoy BF for the most part. But the lack of sleep is killing me. I am the only one to take care of my kids (hubs is deployed) and don't know anyone to help out yet or get a break. Here's the deal:

    My 8 month old nurses every 2-3 hrs during the day. Currently he is sick so nursing and solids are both down. He goes to bed around 7, up at 11:30 to feed then up at 2:30 to 3:00 to feed and usually up for good at 5am. Since I also have a 2 yr old, the lack of sleep is REALLY wearing me down. I need to get more than 3 hours in a row at night!!!

    I have tried co-sleeping which he hated. He is currently in his own room and that stretched his sleep out from every 2 hours of waking to every three.

    I am wondering, when can I start to wean him off night feedings given he starts back up with nursing and solids after this cold? I only plan on BF until a year as my body and family atmosphere can't handle much more.

    Any suggestions or stories on when you weaned your little one off night nursing? Or least tried to spread them out a little?

    BTW, when I asked the doc at an appt about a month ago, he just shrugged and said "if the baby wakes, feed him". HMMM. Easy for him to say as I'm pretty sure he has gotten more sleep than I have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    Hi, sorry I dont have more to offer, since I go with your doc's approach. But two thing jump out at me: can you put him in your room, in his crib? So you wouldnt have to wake up so much? That is, co sleeping without bedsharing? Second, how about adjusting his schedule so that his night matches your natural night better -- it sounds like he's actually sleeping great, just not the same hours you are sleeping. If he stays up until 9, after your toddler goes to bed, you could go to sleep at about the same time. If you spend 9-10 hrs in bed, even with wakings you can feel rested! That's how I do it. If the problem is that you have to do chores around the house while he's sleeping, at least that's much more easily remedied than changing a baby's desire to eat -- perhaps you could hire a local kid as a mother's helper for 5 hours a week? In short, I think the key to being rested with a young child is to sleep when the child sleeps, and to try to adjust their schedule so that you CAN sleep when s/he is sleeping.
    Last edited by @llli*katmar; February 5th, 2012 at 11:53 AM.

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    I would try the cosleeping again, honestly. IME, that is only way to get more sleep.

    You could look up Dr. Gordon's way of nightweaning and seeing if that would help.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    I honestly feel like 8 months is too young to night wean. Dr Gordon has a night weaning plan but recommends it for over 12 months.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013

    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    Thanks for the input ladies. I do try to sleep when he sleeps but my toddler and my infant have different sleep schedules... infant down at 7pm, toddler down at 7:30-8. Up with infant several times then 0500 up with toddler. I guess I am just wishing for maybe 4-5 hours in a row at night. I think that would make all the difference in the world.

    Maybe I will give it a few weeks, get over the colds and see if he wants to do solids again. He refuses milk in a bottle so it's up to me alone! I'll stick it out for a bit and see how it goes. Maybe he will surprise me and sleep a little longer soon!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    What the PP. BTW, I know you are going through a lot so I'm not trying to be mean...but you may not want to assume that of your Dr. I know a lot of people don't know fully about a Drs job it's not 9 to 5 by any means. My mom is a dr. She gets up at 4 am, as her rounds at the hospital begin at 5 am, she doesn't get home till 10 pm at night, as she works at the office 8 am till 5 pm seeing patients in the office, then more rounds after that at the hospital again. When she gets home she does paper work on said patients till 12 am and then her day begins again at 4 am. I used to tell my inlaws this, and they didn't believe me till they came and stayed with us and witnessed it themselves, they don't know how my mom live on only 4 hours of sleep a day/night. But....your dr actually may be getting less then you....BTW, I'm one of 18 kids....so yeah she has kids too, my youngest sibling is 9....

    Can your son at least sleep in the same room as you? That way at least you don't have to go all the way to another room?

    Wife to
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    I was thinking the same thing as previous posters-can your son sleep in your room?
    Do you nurse laying down? Then maybe you can go back to sleep.
    Also going to sleep early is a good idea (but I know firsthand how hard that can be).
    Full time working Mom to 3, DH is my hero as a SAHD:
    DS July'09, nursed for 12 weeks
    DD1 & DD2 April'11, tandem nursed for 16 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default Re: Weaning off night nursing for 8 mo o

    I have a no-cry no-wean sleep suggestions document if you'd like it.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

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