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Thread: Is 10 MO too young to nightwean? LO doesn't nurse in the day

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    16

    Default Is 10 MO too young to nightwean? LO doesn't nurse in the day

    Hey all.

    I need to nightwean my 10 MO. This is my second child. Both EBF. My first was also an all night nurser and I nightweaned with Dr. Jay Gordon's method at about 15 months, and continued nursing until she was 2.5 years old. When I became about 20 weeks pregnant with our second child my milk dried up and so the nursing ended, trauma free.

    This is different. I am severely sleep deprived. My LO also nurses all night long. We bedshare, all of us in the bed including my toddler. The LO starts off the night in the crib, will sometimes sleep a 2 hour stretch. If she wakes and I am awake I nurse her back into the crib. If she wakes and I am in bed I take her in the bed with me and there she stays. My first child did the same, but I didn't have another child to take care of during the day and my husband worked less hours. Now he is gone all day. He leaves at 7:30 AM and returns at 9:30 PM on average. Sometimes later.

    My marriage is suffering. I cannot keep up during the day and by the time he gets home at night I cannot even hold a conversation. We are not connecting at all because he resents me for pressuring him and I resent him for not being here. I am also about to go back to work part time because we are broke. Something has to give here.

    What I am worried about is that my LO barely nurses during the day. I think she is reverse cycling. She does a little but not much. She is much more into solids than my older daughter was. She eats a lot and is very nosey and distracted during nursing. She used to take a bottle when she was younger but now doesn't at all. I tried giving her breastmilk in a cup but she doesn't know what to do with it. I am worried that she isn't going to get enough if I nightwean.

    I am at a total loss and don't know what to do. I have overcome so many obstacles when it comes to nursing and was always able to push through, despite how difficult it was. With my first we had all kinds of latching problems, inefficient suck, I was finger and tube feeding in the middle of the night, then pumping, and getting minimal sleep. Blah blah the list goes on. I love nursing and am a fierce advocate but something has to give here.

    THanks mamas.
    exclusively ,We and and eager to learn more!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: Is 10 MO too young to nightwean? LO doesn't nurse in the

    Ordinarily, I would say " sure, go ahead and night-wean at 10 months, that's what I did". But I had a kid who was a frequent daytime nurser. You don't- and that's what worries me a bit about the situation. What if night-weaning turns into total weaning because baby isn't nursing enough during the day, or what if baby isn't getting enough calories overall due to low daytime frequency... Not saying these are things that WILL happen- just that they are possibilities which would be of concern, were I you.

    The first thing I think I would do is to move out of the big bed. Let your DH and older child sleep by themselves for a while, and you and baby move out to a different mattress and maybe a different room. I know that I always was a more responsive nighttime mommy when my DH was in the room with us- I was trying to protect his sleep, getting to the baby before she could wake him up. Maybe once you're there, you'll be able to encourage some non-nursing solutions to the night-waking- like a back rub, or a lullaby, or whatever. Also, once it's just you and baby in a bed, maybe there will be less overall disturbance and she'll sleep a bit better.

    If that doesn't work, then I say you don't need to be afraid of night-weaning. You just need to be careful with it- if less nighttime nursing isn't being matched by an uptick in daytime intake or baby isn't gaining weight the way she should, then you consider it a failed experiment and you go back to night nuring. It's just a couple of months before you've made it to a year, and maybe a few more before baby really picks up on her solid food intake and the worst of the 1 year teething is over (hopefully)...

    I know sleeplessness and lack of help from your spouse makes this harder. I know that if my DH were working all day every day, the problems in our marriage would be related to that stressful schedule, not to the difficulties with sleep. It's so hard to come home from being "on" at work and go right into being "on" as a parent and spouse. Would it help if your DH had a defined period of time that was just for him- time to shower, check his e-mail, whatever- before he had to interact with you and the kids? I know my DH is much, much happier on nights when he gets a post-work shower!
    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
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Is 10 MO too young to nightwean? LO doesn't nurse in the

    My hubs gets tons of alone time after we go to sleep. He is naturally someone who goes to sleep late, wakes up early. Even when things are normal he goes to sleep way after me. I am somebody who normally requires 10 hrs. No joke. He resents the constant pressure from me, "when are you coming home?" Then he gets home, and either the kids are asleep and I am a zombie or the kids are still up, it's close to their bedtime, they don't want to sleep now and it becomes crazy. By the time they settle to sleep I am a zombie. In fact I am a zombie all day long- I am dizzy, have lost my appetite and can't concentrate. I know this is from lack of sleep. It's my kryptonite. Being woken every hour or so I can never finish a complete sleep cycle so it doesn't matter that I went to sleep at 9:30 last night. I wake up exhausted.

    The other bed option is a twin bed in the second bedroom. There's no AC in there so I guess I'll go with the baby because the other 2 will never sleep. Or do you think it will be too new of a setting for the baby to sleep in and my DH and OD will just have to suck it up?
    exclusively ,We and and eager to learn more!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,096

    Default Re: Is 10 MO too young to nightwean? LO doesn't nurse in the

    Since you're the one doing all the demanding nighttime parenting, I think you should take the bed that works best for you. If that means you take the twin bed, fine. If it means DH and older child take the twin, that's fine, too. What matters is what gets you the most rest.

    It sounds like you and your DH need to have a calm conversation about your needs- and I mean his and yours. I know that if my DH were calling me all the time while I was at work, and asking for an ETA, it would be a source of stress. Maybe you need to come up with a mutually agreed-upon plan for him letting you know when he will be home. Like maybe he calls YOU at 5:00 and lets you know what to expect, so that you don't have to call him.
    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!"

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