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Thread: conflicted about night weaning

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Default Re: conflicted about night weaning

    I have to tell myself all the time to go at my own pace and trust my instincts. My husband felt our son was ready to night wean at a year, and every time I said OK, I would start crying before we went to sleep and said, "I just can't do it!!" Luckily, my husband always respected my needs and gave us (my son and I) the time we needed. At 15 months, I finally felt that we both were ready and, to my great surprise, he night weaned very easily and now my husband is on daddy duty at night. It has taken so much pressure and anxiety off of me, as I was sure he wouldn't be able to sleep or be comforted without me. And it makes me happy that our son can be soothed by my husband and it doesn't always have to be mama.
    Anyway, the point is, when you are ready, you will know when it is time for you and your baby to make the next step and it will be much smoother than forcing it.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: conflicted about night weaning

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ziwa View Post
    But if night weaning would eliminate night stress and encourages him to eat some iron rich solids, however, that would be good for his health and we would consider it!
    Night weaning will likely do nothing in terms of having him eat solids. And honestly, my daughter was not iron deficient at her last checkup, in spite of the fact that she really didn't eat any food at all! I mean, she had like 20 cheerios sometimes and raisins, but she didn't eat meat or even beans and pretty much ate a bite or two of any protein food until a month ago (she is 16 months). So a BF baby/toddler might not need hardly any iron rich foods depending on the baby and the mom. I am not deficient and I go to great lengths to make sure I eat tons of iron and I take an iron vitamin on top of that.

    It was very cute, one day she just woke up and decided to eat (measurable amounts that I actually could notice), like clearing her plate and asking for more. This was about a month or two ago. It was like a switch went off and she loved food consistently. Even meat, ground lamb, beef, ham, etc. Loves lentils, rice, quinoa now.

    My point is that solids is a very individual thing. I do promise that someday your child will eat food vs nurse, but when that will be is in his own body clock.

    And to address the stress part of the night nursing, it sounds like you son is either very uncomfortable at night (teething, illness, bed is uncomfortable, too hot/too cold, diaper is uncomfortable, or he's legitimately hungry) OR he just plain does not now how to fall asleep himself or comfort himself OR both of those things are going on. I would start by being a detective and really zeroing in on what might be bothering him, and start with the physical comfort of his sleeping area. We gave my daughter the buckwheat pillow and tried to make sure her diaper wasn't too tight and we did change our routine to include nursing on the couch with stories for 15 min, and then my husband puts her to sleep by just lying with her. She accepted him with no tears, and now this change is permeant, although we did go back and forth a bit until the last few weeks only he puts her to bed now.

    So, in my opinion she accepted this change in bed time because she was ready for it. She was ready to sleep in her own space even though it's attached to our space, she was ready to fall asleep with Dad. She is nursed to sleep for naps. I no longer experience those nights of crying and screaming with every wake up. She has almost all her teeth, and she knows how to fall asleep by just lying there, so I'm sure that is helping a lot. She still wakes up to nurse but it's quick and quiet. She nurses 2-4x per night, although I sometimes have no idea because finally we're sleeping through it for the most part.

    If you are truly sleep deprived then I would say you have to do something to change the situation for your benefit. I would definitely recommend the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers book, even though I didn't really use it, it helped to think about her routine from a different perspective.
    and Mama to two little girls

  3. #13

    Default Re: conflicted about night weaning

    Thanks so much for the responses girls!! It's so nice to have a breastfeeding community to learn, get new ideas and hear other points of view. I would never dare discuss any issues outside this forum, knowing how people around us feel about our parenting style, so this is lovely!

    Because of my husband, who helps me wherever possible, the disturbed nights are still doable. Tiresome, but hopefully we can stick it out. I feel confident and patient with DS during the day, but mainly because DS is relatively easy going! Without patience I'd have a problem, as it seems to be the reason why he does things he doesn't want initially, like saying bye to a toy before bed time, or to the exciting escalator when leaving the mall, or walking over and sitting on the changing mat for a diaper change, just because of giving him some time to accept it - it works like magic for him! This might not last, but we're enjoying it while it works! So if my patience does go out the door (I hope not!!) we really would need a plan B... (the no cry sleep solution book?)

    Iron deficiency in our pale-skinned toddler is indeed my worry and I might have to pay more attention to iron intake myself. Our GP provided a referral letter, but she wasn't too worried, seeing that DS is also fair haired and blue eyed. But it is great to hear minimum solids intake at this age does not necessarily mean iron deficiency! Someone suggested giving DS probiotics to help with absorption of nutrients and iron - would anyone have any experience with this?

    We started our journey as detectives as suggested, and seem to understand his stressful waking a bit better already! At 11pm we gave him Calpol, by which time he nursed 3 times already following DS's stressful screaming wakings, after which he slept for 5 hours straight! We couldn't believe it... So physical discomfort it is! Wether it is teething or something else you mentioned, we don't know yet, but thanks to you girls we have some things to look out for and try.

    I wouldn't mind if the night feeds stop. I would be heart broken if the bed time and other day feeds stop however, it's so cute, the stares, giggles, chats, tickles... I love it! He seems happy to drop day nursings instead though (even when I offer), but not the night time ones. As long as DS accepts only the boob to fall asleep, and as long as daddy hasn't mastered the art of breastfeeding, I'll stick to the night nursings. It's the only tool we know that works without fail. In the meantime we'll just cross fingers for the discomfort and upsetting wakings to end soon (don't think we should be giving him Calpol every night)! Can't wait for that to happen, for all involved ;-)

    Thanks again for the encouragement and info, it's both helpful and reassuring!

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