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Thread: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

  1. #1
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    Default 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    I feel like I am the only one with a big toddler who has never, ever slept through the night. She is still awake every two hours. The only progress we have made is that if I don't nurse her, she only cries for a minute instead of possibly hours as she used too. I wish I had set more rules when she was little! I was very into this idea that I should breastfeed her whenever she wanted, but I wish I hadn't! All I hear all day is num num? num num? She is always reaching down my shirt and clawing at my breasts. I can't sit down without this happening! It's making my crazy! I love her, but I want to wean her so badly and I can't do it. I am so tired that I usually just let her nurse when she wants.

    So, does anyone else have a toddler who wants to nurse all the time? All day and all night? She is not all that into regular food either. She hates all the things most babies like, like all cereals, bread products, pancakes, crackers, goldfish, yogurt, etc. All she likes is cheese, chicken, fruit and pasta. Won't touch any other milk.

    I want her to sleep more than two hour stretches. i've tried all the books, exercising her more, getting her to eat, etc. no progress. Dont know what to do!
    Mom to Sofia 12-16-2009

    Birth-7lbs12oz
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    We all the time.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Hi there! I'm sorry things are so hard for you now. You should probably try to start with day-weaning or night-weaning. I wonder if you got one of those under control if you would feel a little better about your situation?

    You didn't do anything wrong mama, she is just clinging to you in this way because it is a comfort to her. She would be getting comfort from you in some other way if she weren't nursing.

    If I was going to day wean, I would make sure that we were out and busy all day long except for when it was naptime, because I would probably keep nursing at sleep times available. And just stay busy busy busy for a couple weeks. I was surprised at how easy it was to get my first child at 2 years old to stop nursing on demand all day, I thought I would not be able to get her to stop. But I kept her busy and every time she seemed to want to nurse, I would head her off with a trip to the playground or something. And I would hand her bits of food while she was playing so that she didn't get hungry.

    If I was going to night wean a child your daughter's age, I would probably talk about it for a couple days that on Friday, we could nurse when the sun went down and then nurse again when the sun came up. And then every time she woke in the night I would tell her, the nurses are sleeping, we can nurse again when it's morning and light out. I imagine that there would be crying, but if I really wanted to night wean, and I was there comforting her, I would be ok with it. I will probably take this approach with my 14 month old when she's around 2 if she's still nursing all night long.
    Tracie

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Cheese, chicken, FRUIT and pasta can actually be quite a lot of food. You should work on giving her 3-4 helpings of fruit a day and work in one serving of cold crunchy veggies. Like carrots, cucumbers and sweet bell peppers. And Rock chicken and cheese and pasta around that. I'd do fruit and cheese for breakfast. Fruit snack. Fruit and pasta for lunch. Fruit or cheese snack. And Veggies, chicken and Pasta for dinner. And I think now is a good time to start setting boundaries. It's really hard to do that before they have language. But once they do and they aren't getting all their nutrition from you that is when you begin to pull back. Set boundaries and begin the dancing. Even if your child is older, if they are getting most of their nutrition from you, you reallly should be very available to them. So I would begin to meal plan for her and then begin setting up some boundaries. Like No out in public and no nursing out of boredom. And then begin to work it into very specific times. Like only at wake up, up and down from nap and bedtime.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    So I would begin to meal plan for her and then begin setting up some boundaries. Like No out in public and no nursing out of boredom. And then begin to work it into very specific times. Like only at wake up, up and down from nap and bedtime.


    Shelly said everything better than I did. Boundaries are definitely the key to feeling like you are part of a relationship and not just a thing.
    Tracie

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    I can sympathize with the constant nursing during the day and my son will be 3 tomorrow. EVERYTIME I sit down he thinks it's an invitation to latch on. I just try to tell myself that he won't nurse forever and one day I will miss it.
    I am Lea (middle name)
    Mama to Dominic born on 3/23/09
    Wife to G 4/27/07
    We're blessed to have been for 3 years and counting! Proud to with our squirmy worm

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    -Lois McMaster Bujold

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Does it help to know that everything you are experiencing is super-normal? Limited diet: normal, and self-protective. If toddlers were as curious about foods and other substances as young babies are, they'd poison themselves in a minute. Nursing all day and all night: normal, especially when mom has been very giving and hasn't set hard boundaries about it. I slept with my nearly 2 year-old when we went on vacation and she nursed every 2 hours all night long, just like when she was a new baby!

    I would definitely work on night-weaning, because it sounds like your LO is ready. Only crying for a minute? Not bad! Either have your partner take over night-waking for a few nights, or handle it yourself and just tough it out without nursing. A long as baby knows that crying = you giving in, she's likely to keep doing it. When my toddler wakes, I go in and lie down on the floor of her room and tell her "Shhh, sleep" until she goes back to bed. Then I either sneak back to bed or sleep on a futon on the floor. Not optimal, but last night she slept from 11:30 to 4:00!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Just wanted to pipe in to say that my almost-3 year old, who has slept through the night once in his little life, weaned, and, of course, STILL doesn't sleep through the night. He wakes up, cries, and needs mama cuddles several times a night. The elimination of nursing has done pretty much nothing for his sleep or mine. Anyway, you're not alone! You're not the only one with an older toddler who doesn't sleep through the night. We're just a quiet bunch of people.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joe.s.mom View Post
    Just wanted to pipe in to say that my almost-3 year old, who has slept through the night once in his little life, weaned, and, of course, STILL doesn't sleep through the night. He wakes up, cries, and needs mama cuddles several times a night. The elimination of nursing has done pretty much nothing for his sleep or mine. Anyway, you're not alone! You're not the only one with an older toddler who doesn't sleep through the night. We're just a quiet bunch of people.

    My first had sttn maybe once by 2.5. He weaned at 11 months. He still rarely sttn and he is almost 4. My almost 2.25 yo has never even thought about sttn and wakes every 2hrs. She eats a lot though. And still nurses A LOT night and day. Kids do things on their own schedule. If you want to feel more in control of your body (I am with you there) it sounds like your LO is a lot more receptive to night weaning than mine. But do not expect it to mean more sleep (it could but it is not the guarantee most moms seem to think it is).

    I am too tired to work hard on weaning too
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    I wish I had set more rules when she was little! I was very into this idea that I should breastfeed her whenever she wanted, but I wish I hadn't! All I hear all day is num num? num num? She is always reaching down my shirt and clawing at my breasts. I can't sit down without this happening! It's making my crazy! I love her, but I want to wean her so badly and I can't do it. I am so tired that I usually just let her nurse when she wants.
    This brought back memories. When my oldest was 2 and soooooooo incredibly clingy I remember crying to a friend "I cannot believe I bought all that AP stuff! That darn Dr. Sears sold me a bill of goods! Why did we co-sleep? why did I nurse on demand? He will never be able to do a thing without me! I will never get three consecutive hours of sleep! All he wants to do is nurse. Argh!"

    It's really hard to function on little sleep and clingy kids can be very frustrating. Also I frankly have little patience for the toddler period as it is it's just not my fave.

    All I can say is that, in my case, things changed. Over time, my kid changed, my attitude changed, and I soon began to feel very positively about my parenting choices again. There is no reason to think you would not be just as frustrated now if you had parented differently earlier. You may have had the same issues, you may have had different issues, there is no way of knowing.

    You have lots of options. Weaning need not be all or nothing if you think you want to try that but are not sure. You could start encouraging weaning along, you could consider partial weaning, or limiting the length of nursing sessions. You could find ways to get more "mommy time" breaks from your child.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 2.5 yo is the worst sleeper ever! want to wean.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    This brought back memories. When my oldest was 2 and soooooooo incredibly clingy I remember crying to a friend "I cannot believe I bought all that AP stuff! That darn Dr. Sears sold me a bill of goods! Why did we co-sleep? why did I nurse on demand? He will never be able to do a thing without me! I will never get three consecutive hours of sleep! All he wants to do is nurse. Argh!"

    It's really hard to function on little sleep and clingy kids can be very frustrating. Also I frankly have little patience for the toddler period as it is it's just not my fave.

    All I can say is that, in my case, things changed. Over time, my kid changed, my attitude changed, and I soon began to feel very positively about my parenting choices again. There is no reason to think you would not be just as frustrated now if you had parented differently earlier. You may have had the same issues, you may have had different issues, there is no way of knowing.

    You have lots of options. Weaning need not be all or nothing if you think you want to try that but are not sure. You could start encouraging weaning along, you could consider partial weaning, or limiting the length of nursing sessions. You could find ways to get more "mommy time" breaks from your child.
    I'm not the OP, but thank you for this. I have never had a period of sleep longer than 5 hours (and that was like once or twice) since my son was born (he's 18 months). I sang the praises of Dr. Sears' in the beginning when co-sleeping, nursing and baby-wearing saved our sanity during DS's colicky period, but I've cursed my buying into it at times when DS wakes up CONSTANTLY to nurse during the night and when I am trying to get like ONE thing done around the house, and DS is just hanging all over me and reaching down my shirt. Of course, I know that things will change (one thing I've learned over this past year and a half is that the next phase -- for better or worse -- is just around the corner!) So, I do enjoy the constant nurturing of DS as much as possible now...and most of the time I feel positively about the way we've chosen to parent, too -- but not so much at 4am when DS is up and ready to go after a night of nursing every two hours

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