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Thread: Overnight Nursing Issues!

  1. #1

    Default Overnight Nursing Issues!

    I am desperate and looking for some advice. My daughter is almost 2 and has been breastfed on-demand since birth. She still nurses often throughout the day and nurses frequently over night (every 1-2 hours). I know she is not hungry each time she wakes me to nurse and is often using me as a pacifier. We co-sleep so often times when I wake in the night, I notice she has latched on and am just too tired to deal with it so I let her continue to use me a pacifier. I am going back to work in 5 weeks and need some help. I don't want to give up the co-sleeping and my goal is to get her nursing down to once at nap time and once at bed time. Does anyone have any suggestions that may help us?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,944

    Default Re: Overnight Nursing Issues!

    Welcome to the forum! Pardon my laziness, but I'm just going to cut-and-paste from something I wrote on another thread:

    Tips for night-weaning-
    - 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. It may help you fight off night-nursing- it's really hard to say "no" when your kid is right there next to you. I'm not saying you should or must put your child in her own bed- just that it's an option on the menu.
    - 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.

    A lot of moms around here have used the Jay Gordon method, or something like it: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Overnight Nursing Issues!

    One thing to keep in mind is that some babies and toddlers want to nurse more at night when their moms go back to work. It's a way for them to reconnect and fill their need for closeness after being separated during the day.

    I just mention it because if it happens it might feel like you're not making any progress with night weaning or even going backwards, but it's normal and temporary, if frustrating.

    You might be able to find some ideas in other forum threads related to toddler sleep and night nursing.
    Karen
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Overnight Nursing Issues!

    I have the same problem and my dd is 14 months I'm just waiting for her to wean herself off but I sometimes wonder when and how that happens. Good luck!

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