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Thread: a reluctant weaner

  1. #1

    Default a reluctant weaner

    hi needing some advice! i would like to start weaning my two year old. i have been nursing for 48 months (+) straight without any breaks, and im exhausted! i nursed my first daughter over two years, including during the pregnancy of my second daughter and occasionally even after her birth. my first daughter has passed on her love of nursing to my second daughter, who is even more addicted! she nurses day and night! she was never interested in baby foods i made for her, and even now she isnt interested in food at all. i could give her a donut and she wont eat it. on the off chance i do get something ion her mouth she chews it up and spits it out. so nursing really is about 99% of her nourishment. i have been trying many of the the suggestions listed in the llli website, but there any small step we may make towards putting longer times between nursings is quickly undone. she still wake 5 or 6 times a night to nurse.... and nurses very frequently throughout the day. but really, my body is just exhausted from nursing and not sleeping for years and i think its time. but she is SO resistant! in every sence of the word. help please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: a reluctant weaner

    Welcome to the forum! 48 months of nursing is definitely draining. I've been nursing for 63 months and let me tell you, sometimes it gets OLD!

    I think the best way to go about weaning this baby is to pick a time of day when you absolutely don't want to nurse. I'm willing to bet that it's the night-time nursing that is most draining for you, since it's always the most draining for me. I can nurse during the daytime forever, but I need sleep in order to do it! And because babies do like their sleep, night-weaning is often the easiest place to start your weaning journey. Here are some tips on night-weaning:
    - Communicate. Tell your LO before bed that "Everyone is going to sleep. Mommy is going to sleep. You are going to sleep. And the nursies (or whatever your nursing word is) are going to sleep. Everyone sleeps ALL NOGHT LONG. In the morning, you can nurse again". After a successful night of no nursing, reinforce the lesson. "Good morning! You slept Ll night long and so did mommy and so did the nursies! The sun is up now, so let's nurse!"
    - Keep a sippy or bottle of water available. A night-waking toddler is often genuinely thirsty.
    - Wear restrictive tops. If your LO cannot gain easy access to your breasts, she may be more inclined to give up.
    - Review your sleeping situation. If you're sleeping with baby, now might be a good time to move her to a crib in your room, or to her own room. Or it might not- it's very individual!
    - Enlist help. Let dad or grandma or someone deal with some night wakings. Babies often don't demand to nurse when the caregiver is not mom.
    - Expect things to get worse before they get better. A dedicated night-nurser is not going to give up without a struggle! You may be facing a period where you're getting even less sleep for a while.
    - Be consistent. Giving in one night but not the next prolongs the process of night-weaning.
    - Be flexible. If your LO is truly in severe distress, don't be afraid to prolong the process by giving in!
    - Start the night out right by putting baby in bed drowsy but still awake. Nursing baby all the way to unconsciousness sets the pattern for the rest of the night- she's going to expect to be nursed back to sleep every time she wakes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: a reluctant weaner

    Sounds like you've got 2 young children and are up all night-I feel tired just reading your post!

    That's really tough is she's resistant to solids. Not sure what to suggest there? Leave nibble trays all around the house (chunks of cheese, crackers, fruit)? She's so busy, maybe she can eat little bits here and there, rather than proper meals? There's got to be something she'll eat, just keep trying.

    If you can get her to fill up with food and milk during the day, she'll probably wake less at night.

    I'd focus on reducing the night waking if you can. The no-cry-sleep-solution has lots of good tips. The main one that worked for me was the Pantley-pull-off. This only works though if they're nursing mostly for comfort, not for food. If they're genuinely hungry it won't work.

    1) Nurse until she's really sleepy, but not totally asleep
    2) Remove from breast, rub her back, hum, whatever, and hope she falls the rest of the way asleep without boob in mouth
    3) If she fusses, go back to #1 and keep repeating until she falls asleep.
    4) When she wakes in the night, think is she hungry? If it's only been 1 hour since she's fallen asleep and you fed her well, she's probably not hungry. So go straight to the back rubbing and humming. If this doesn't work, nurse, then back to back rubbing etc until she falls asleep.

    It sounds kind of exhausting, but it works! Be consistent for a few nights and I bet you'll see results.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: a reluctant weaner

    Have you talked to your pediatrician about her night wakings? Has she ever slept better than this, or has she always been up 5 to 6 times a night?

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: a reluctant weaner

    How did you wean your 1st baby? Did she walk away on her own? What did that look like for you?

    Way too lazy for formula

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