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Thread: weaning (yes) help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default weaning (yes) help!

    It's been a long time for me here - nursing classes wiped out all my discretionary time over a year ago, so I'm guessing it's been that long since my last post. However, I'm at my wit's end and, not only would I'd really love you ladies' advice, I don't know what else to do at this point.

    My sweet girl is 22 months, and as much as I've always wanted to let her self-wean, I can't see how it's going to happen. With each passing month, she's become more attached to and aggressive with nursing. She's still not night weaned, and 3:30-6am seems to have become a constant battle of "No! Please don't twiddle - that hurts momma" and a screaming fit in response. I'm going crazy I'd be happy to go on nursing (even at night), if it weren't for the aggression and twiddling.

    I'm a single mother, so it's just me with whatever potential remedies that come up. I'd really love to hear any advice or stories you guys might have - I feel like I'm going half-way crazy at this point.

    Looking forward to any advice...
    Last edited by @llli*firefly; July 31st, 2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: had to correct the grammar :-)
    Elizabeth, mama to Lillian - 10/03/10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    Hi firefly,
    I am sorry your are feeling half way crazy!
    I know I felt at the very end of my tether when I wasn't getting adequate rest.
    Your life is so full being a single mommy, a nursing student and I am guessing your LO needs your undivided attention when ever she can grab it.
    Unfortunately that is night time, when you need your sleep.
    Your LO is old enough to understand certain boundaries and certain expectations.
    You might want to tell her some rules and what you will and won't allow before she is nursing and before she starts twiddling.
    you might want to give her something else to twiddle with while she nurses, like a beaded necklace or a small squishy ball used for hand therapy.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    Don't worry- your LO will self-wean. 22 months is just really early for it to happen. Kids who self-wean usually do so around 3-5 years old. At this point, if you wean it's going to need to be mother-led. Don't feel like you must wean completely. It sounds like your primary problem is night-nursing and not-so-nice nursing behaviors, and you can cut those things out without resorting to total weaning. Here are some tips on how to night-wean:
    - The first nursing session of the night can really set the pattern for the rest of the night, so nurse your LO until she is drowsy and relaxed, but not asleep, and then pop her into bed. She may be extremely resistant to going to sleep without a breast in her mouth, but you don't need to give in just because she's screaming.
    - Wear restrictive clothing. Baby may be less eager to nurse if your breasts aren't easily accessible. A more restrictive top can also cut down on twiddling.
    - Keep a sippy or bottle of water available for wake-ups. A night-waking toddler may be genuinely thirsty.
    - Communicate. Before bed, tell your LO "Time for sleep. Mommy sleeps. Baby sleeps. Nursies (or whatever you call your breasts/nursing) sleeps. Everyone sleeps all night long. We can nurse again in the morning, when the sun comes up.". In the morning, after a successful night of no nursing, say "Mommy slept all night long. Baby slept. Nursies slept. Now it's morning, time to nurse again!"
    - Expect plenty of screaming and even less sleep while you are working your way through the night-weaning process. Dedicated night-nursers don't give up without a fight.
    - Consider moving baby to a different bed. She's old enough to sleep in her own bed, if you want her to do so.
    - Be consistent. If you make the commitment to night-weaning, stay firm in your resolve. Backsliding will confuse baby and make the process take much longer than it otherwise would.

    I would have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the twiddling. I would put my free hand over the twiddled nipple and just be firm. If baby wants to nurse, she cannot twiddle. That's that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    Mommal certainly has a great list for you! I agree on the night-weaning - if you are going to do it, do it. It's confusing for them if you give up half of the way through the night. Do you think if you night-weaned her that you could be back on the road to mother and child-led weaning?

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    For us, night weaning was a decision and yes once we said we're going to do this, we put up with crying for a few nights but stuck with the "nummies are sleeping, you can nurse in the morning" line and after a few days she stopped asking. I would definitely encourage you to night wean and be firm with your decision and hopefully after a few nights it will be much easier for you.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    I used the Jay Gordon method for nightweaning and it worked great for us, though I didn't follow his time limits. I stretched it out a bit more. It took about a month total for us (iirc).
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    Hi! Just wanted to chime in here with something else that she could "twiddle" My daughter has one of these loveys and she LOVES it! It is her comfort thing and she won't sleep or nurse without it. They have little tabs on the corners, also ears a few other tabs in the center that she rubs and twiddles, even while nursing. We recently had to order a second one (she has the pink bear) b/c I can hardly sneak it away to get washed. Something like a special blankie may also help to comfort her during the night if you decide to night wean. Good luck!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Dallas, TX

    Default Re: weaning (yes) help!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*juliasmomma View Post
    Hi! Just wanted to chime in here with something else that she could "twiddle" My daughter has one of these loveys and she LOVES it!
    these loveys. We have the dalmatian and love it!! So soft!

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

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