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Thread: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    Hello ladies

    It's been a while since I've posted in the forum, we've been doing great so far. We are just nursing at night.

    However, the past 2 or 3 weeks she's been waking so much at night. it used to be 1 or twice, but I havent counted how many times she's waking now, I know is more than 3...

    She sleeps the first part in her crib, until the first waking, when I usually get her (crib is in our room) and then we co-sleep from then on. The main thing is that we never got the side laying nursing thing figured out, she actually hates it and she cries until I sit down and put her on my lap to nurse. So every waking, I have to sit down and do that until she falls back to sleep.

    Sometimes she unlatches and doesn't nurse anymore and she just sits, or flips and flops, talks, etc. etc. for a long while, and then cries some, I latch her on again, and does it again... so I'm getting frustrated and I've started hating the whole nursing process, which is not where I want to be. And I haven't slept much really since she started doing all this.

    She got all her teeth, including incisors... so I don't think is teething, unless the 2 year old molars are coming early.

    I also don't feel she's drinking any milk at all, except maybe when she goes to bed. My supply is pretty much gone I think, so most of the nursing is comfort nursng I believe.

    I was just wondering if other mommas out there have any tips on how gently night wean, and share experiences if possible.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    I don't have experience with night weaning as I still nurse my 23 month old if he wakes up at night, but from what I've heard/read it is usually easiest to accomplish night weaning by having your partner respond to night wakings instead of you for awhile (if you have a partner, that is). Your DD won't expect Daddy to nurse and may be more willing to just go back to sleep. There is also information on a gentle night weaning method on the DrSears.com website; google "night weaning" and "Dr. Sears" and you should find it. The nice thing about this method is you can do it and keep co-sleeping if you want to. Your daughter may be a little young to understand at 16 months, but basically you just tell the child that "nu-nu's go night-night" or whatever your word for nursing/your boobs is. You shush and pat the child to calm them but refuse to nurse. There will likely be some crying involved but they will eventually realize they don't get to nurse in the middle of the night and will go back to sleep by other means.

    Just so you know, though, night weaning doesn't necessarily always mean less night waking. She may continue to wake at night for developmental reasons, and you'll still have to deal with it, just not by nursing. Don't think that night weaning is the magic bullet that will make her stop waking up and sleep through the night. However, if you just can't stand nursing at night she is old enough to night wean. Just realize this may mean staying up with her and getting her back to sleep in another way.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
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    Nov 2012
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    Montreal
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    Here's a link to Dr. Jay gordon's article on nightweaning for co-sleeping babies over a year old: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

  4. #4
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    Thanks! Yes, I know night weaning won't necessarily make my DD sleep better. It's more about my feelings about nursing at this point than a STTN issue. I am exhausted though.

    Last night she woke up around 10. Didn't go back to sleep until 11:30...
    Then woke up 3 more times after that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    I think it's perfectly fine and valid to decide to night wean just because nursing through the night is driving you batty. Hope it didn't sound otherwise. I just wanted to be sure you realized it doesn't necessarily mean she's going to sleep better--but you do realize that, so do what works for you.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    Joshuas.mommy - We're cool

    We're still figuring out what and how to do it gently... so... we'll see. Thanks for the link @isabelofmtl!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Salamanca, Spain
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    I actually do have great advice. I can't remember which website I read it on, but I was desperate to teach my daughter to fall asleep on her own and self soothe because she was dependent on us to fall asleep and every time she woke up, she would "need" me to go back to sleep.

    This sounds like the true issue here, your daughter needs you to fall asleep. This means that every time she wakes up at night, which is part of a normal sleep cycle, she needs you to put her back to sleep. If you teach her to fall asleep on her own, she won't need you much anymore and will likely learn to just turn over and fall asleep again.

    I am totally against the "cry it out" method so I found a doctor who gave a step by step process of how to get my daughter to sleep on her own in her crib. It can be a long process and does require a lot of patience and love, but I can happily report that the results are PHENOMENAL. We literally went from having to wake up every few hours to rock Sandra to sleep to her "sleeping" 11 hours straight without a peep. I also have to mention that for the most part she has always been a pretty good sleeper, but we needed help with these night wakings.

    The first step is to teach her to fall asleep WITHOUT actually being engaged in the behavior that puts her to sleep normally. In my case that was rocking her in my arms, in yours it is nursing. So here is what you do... You do your night routine as normal. You breastfeed her as normal. But just when she is falling asleep you must disengage her from that activity. She will likely wake up, cry and be upset. So you repeat, you give her the breast again... and when she starts to doze off, you disengage her. Eventually she will allow herself to fall asleep even though she is not attached.

    This process is repeated everynight until she consistently falls asleep without engaging in the activity in question. Oh, and by the way, it is really important that no matter how tired you are you do not allow her to fall asleep while breastfeeding.

    The next step is to teach her to fall asleep on her own in the crib. This means that as soon as you see she is almost asleep, you must put her in the crib. She will cry, you will pick her back up and repeat. Eventually she will allow you to put her in the crib and will be so tired she will fall asleep there. This is repeated until you can consistently put her in the crib when tired without a big fuss. Many nights I had to sit there for over an hour just holding her in the crib firmly, not letting her stand up, soothing her and telling her everything was okay. If I would lift my hand up she would make a fuss. Eventually, I just had to stay with her, without touching her until she fell asleep. Then I started moving further and further away from the crib and then one day I just put her down and walked out VOILA. She usually now allows us to put her in the crib and walk out with no problems.

    So this may sound more like a post about how to teach her to go to sleep rather than avoid night wakings, but I ASSURE you that this is a lot more about teaching your daughter to fall asleep on her own. As a result, she does not need you every time she wakes up.. as a result, she will likely wake up and just turn over rather than call you and demand you help her fall asleep.

    By the way, I breastfed until 13 months and still breastfeed whenever I can, I also coslept, the slept with her in a crib in my room, and then moved the crib to her own room at 13 months. I am against any harsh or unnatural weaning in which a baby is left to cry or not understand why their mommy does not help them.

    This process took us about 2.5 weeks and has changed our life. I highly recommend it. Good luck.

    Kimberly

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: 16 mo wakings, exausted again... How do I night wean?

    Thanks Kimberly

    I stopped trying to wean, I just can't stand hearing my baby cry, not even a little bit. Sometimes she just unlatches herself, still awake and then we fall into a roll, sit up, roll, get on my chest, roll to the bed, and so on routine which can last an hour. She eventually falls asleep by herself but I'm still either with her on my chest or by her in my bed. Which I'm ok with that...

    Anyway, I'll try again in a little while. When I was trying to wean when I posted this, one night got so bad that my DH just walked out the room cause he couldn't stand hearing her cry either... So... Then I understood no one was ready to wean. We'll see in a few weeks if I decide to try again.

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