Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    175

    Default Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    HI all,
    I've done an amazing job of breast feeding my daughter - she's 18months now and we still co sleep.
    I"m exhausted though, she has been a terrible sleeper - my fault i know as I breast feed her about 4-8 times during the night, lately it's only 2 but for a while I counted 12!

    Her Daddy and I have recently split - well almost a year ago and that is proving to be very stressful for me, he is moving back here and is wanting her to stay at his house a few nights a week, and he thinks I'm using breast feeding as a way to say NO.

    I"m not - and I"ll say NO anyway at this stage as she is too little and he is moving 3 hours away - so I know that that is going to be even more stress.

    I don't want to stop breastfeeding but I"m starting to worry about my health - missing this much sleep can't be good for you right?
    I've been reading that cancer can be caused from not enough sleep and I"m lucky if I get 4 hours in one stretch.

    Anyone else feel like this?
    Time to wean?
    Time for her own bed which I will know will be tough for her and me.

    Anyway I guess I need support, no one else in my family thinks I should still be breast feeding, but I know my daughter and I know I've done her a wonderful thing by extended breast feeding - your thoughts?!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    i thnk we all need to banish the "i made her a terrible sleeper by night nursing" thing. seriously, how on earth do you know this? it's entirely possible she would have been a WORSE sleeper without night nursing.

    that being said, at 18 months most babies are capable of going longer, and i think when a mama is feeling like you are, it indicates a need for a change. nursing is a relationship, after all, and both people need to be accomodated.

    we went through this around 20 months when ds was nursing ALL.THE.TIME at night, i htink partly due to molars. he was old enough at that point that night weaning was surprisingly easy, and over the next 4 months we gradually got him completely weaned (i was ready as pregnant) and then over the summer his dad started puttin ghim to bed in another room. we're up to 5nights a week with dh now. and i have to tell you it's AMAZING.

    so - a) consider whether she's in teethign pain, b) don't borrow trouble by making too many changes at once. things will change dramatically in the nex 6 months as she gets older anyway, so c) think about one small change you might do that would help you regain a little sleep or sanity, and see how that goes before deciding on next steps.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    Audrey how did you wean?
    I've got her her own bed now and made her room up so it's really lovely.
    I was going to start napping her in her own bed with no boob to start and then slowly putting her in there for night?

    Would that work you think?
    last time I tried night training sleeping her it lasted a week and she got progressively worse not better as so many have told me... one night she cried from 1am to 5am at which point I gave in and gave her boob ... so tired.. i do love breast feeding though and maybe i"m blaming it because everyone else is!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    congrats on your second!!!!

    I'd love to have another bubba ...fingers crossed x

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,396

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    I am so glad you are happy & proud of yourself for nursing your child. You HAVE done an amazing job!

    Please do not mar your personal satisfaction thinking you have done some kind of harm- I agree with auderey. There is no reason to believe your nursing your child or co-sleeping made her a 'bad sleeper." Nursing well into (and past) toddlerhood and bedsharing are not some newfangled ideas that were recently made up. Evidence suggests this is how most (possibly all) human cultures have done things up until pretty recently, and how many cultures still approach nursing and sleep even today. And I have never seen one shred of evidence that the result is that children (or mothers) in those cultures somehow slept/sleep "worse" and are less healthy as a result than modern Western children & mothers.

    And while an 18 month old is physically capable of sleeping longer in that they are perhaps not needing to wake to EAT, necessarily, many still will normally wake for other reasons. And yet they still eventually sleep longer just fine.

    In my personal mothering experience, the 2nd year is harder than the first, for many reasons. Even if you are literally getting the same or more sleep, it can feel much more exhausting mentally and physically parenting an 18 month old than an 8 month old. MUCH more. That is my experience.

    Anyway, if you wish to move weaning along faster than it is happening "naturally," there are many ways to do so. The choices need not be "nurse until mom drops or totally wean." A mother who wishes to move the weaning process along but does not want to totally wean may chose to night wean or otherwise "partially" wean. Also a mom can approach weaning different ways as well-don't offer don't refuse, redirect/distract, delay, offer other foods or drinks, set limits on when baby nurses, where baby nurses, how long baby nurses...and of course any combination of these that may work best in a particular situation.

    Good books on weaning imo are How Weaning Happens and The Nursing Mothers Guide to Weaning.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,930

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    Couldn't more with the PPs. Don't think of your child's sleep habits as your fault, or breastfeeding's fault. It's normal for little kids to need nighttime parenting, regardless of whether or not they were nursed or continue to nurse. And it's also biologically normal for people to have interrupted sleep- all people wake at night. ALL of them. Most of them just don't remember waking! They roll over, readjust themselves, and go back to sleep without remembering anything.

    I just went to add that not wanting to be separated from your child is NORMAL. Your instincts tell you that your LO isn't ready for overnights away from you, and those instincts are worth listening to. I know it has to be difficult when your ex is pushing, but your instincts are there for a reason.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tanpixie View Post
    HI all,
    I"m exhausted though, she has been a terrible sleeper - my fault i know as I breast feed her about 4-8 times during the night, lately it's only 2 but for a while I counted 12
    Can you explain further about YOUR sleep patterns and why you feel exhausted? Do you wake up too much when your daughter wakes to nurse and you can't get back to sleep? Do you find yourself worrying about things at night? My daughter (22 months) lately wakes about 4-6 times/night but I feel well-rested because I go to bed early with her. I don't fully wake when she asks to nurse so it is easy to fall back asleep. but i have to take her potty at 3:00 AM and that often wakes me right up, especially if I am thinking about work. I might end up awake for hours then.

    Sometimes I feel exhausted just from her toddler stuff, whinging, clinging, fussing and whatever. Toddlers are a lot of work, nursing or not! Changing the sleeping arrangements might help you, but there might be other easier ways to get the sleep you need?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    totally agree with pps.

    re: sleeping & night weaning - the only thing i did differently from most of the advice that's around on this forum was to NOT hand him off to dh before he was weaned. i still did bedtime and all of nighttime for awhile, a few months, before we moved him out of my bed/room. that worked well for us, and it was what dh requested (not that he specifically wanted ds to wean, but he didn't want to take over bedtime while ds still expected to nurse down) . partly *i* delayed that separation because i knew it was going to be a big change for ME - most of my time with him his whole life had been at night since i work full time, and i'd spent only 6 nights away from him (on 2 business trips) his whole life by the time he turned 2. so those first few nights by myself at home were both wonderful/vacation-like and a little lonely.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    HEY - thank you so much for the replies, so helpful, to the person that asks, she wakes up when she wants feeding, she doesn't just roll over, she sits up and calls out 'mumma,' until I feed her, I have to roll her over and lay her on her side and then feed her, and she uses her teeth a little bit or they cut in just a little bit (probably position) so I can't just go back to sleep - so I wait until she finishes then roll her over as she takes up all the bed and then try get to sleep!

    so yeah it's not as easy as maybe what others have.
    Also I have so much going on in my mind right now so I guess that doesn't help, I"d love to just feed her 1 or 2 times through-out the night, but I"ve tried that and she screamed the times i didn't feed her, I was starting to think the neighbors might think I was strangling her! I wasn't of course but she really is not a self soother but maybe tonight I"ll try feeding her without really waking up ... if that's possible?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Havn't slept in 18th Months, time to wean?

    Oh I also go to sleep when she does - around 7.30pm - i've been doing that since she was born!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •