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Thread: Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

  1. #1

    Default Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

    So, I'm trying to figure out this "sleeping through the night" thing with my toddler. My co-sleeping 12 month old still insists on all-night nursing and I'm exhausted! The past few nights, I have tried to leave her in her bed all night, but she's still waking up 1-2 hours wanting to nurse. I want to break this habit, but I also want to make sure she is getting enough milk. I also still take 1-2 naps with her during the day (because I'm so tired!) and she nurses all the way through them. She's pretty much always been like this. I'm pretty certain her frequent and all-night nursing has been due to her tongue/lip tie and the fact that I have a small storage capacity (4-5oz total for both sides). So, I've needed to nurse regularly to maintain my supply especially since she hasn't been the greatest at milk transfer, either.

    In terms of growth, she seems to be doing fine right now. She more than tripled her birth weight in her first year (and went from about 10% to 50%), but has dropped percentiles in height quite a bi (from 99% to 50%). Head circumference is fine. She does okay on solids, and I only nurse her 6 times during the day (before and after sleeps, or during sleeps as it were) to try to encourage her eating more at meals.

    So, at what point can I stop worrying about supply and her getting enough milk/food? Is night-weaning feasible at this point? As it is, it constantly feels like I don't have enough milk for her, but I would be happy even if I could get down to 1-2 feedings at night time. Any ideas or strategies? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,479

    Default Re: Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

    Night weaning at this age is pretty hard. A child this age is often still nursing for nutrition as well as comfort. I see nothing wrong with napping with your baby, but it does seem like your baby is nursing more than you feel comfortable with.

    I have a few suggestions, but I do not know what you have tried. My first question is if the tongue or lip tie was ever treated and is that something you would consider?
    Why are you limiting nursing sessions during the day? This is a often effective way to encourage a child to nurse more at night. Your milk has more calories than most foods your baby is likely to eat, so trying to make baby eat more solids is not likely to help the situation. When babies of this age eat solids, it is usually to be 'social' and to mimic others (learning) more than anything else. And many 12 month olds eat almost nothing when it comes to solids.
    Have you tried any galactagogues for increasing your milk production? Would you want to explore that more?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

    Thanks for your response!
    We're treating the tongue + lip tie very soon! She's also really gassy, which plays a role in night nursing for comfort. I hope this helps both issues.

    I didn't realize I was limiting nursing. I try to nurse on demand, but she just isn't interested during her wake time, and hasn't been since she was about 4 months. The only way she will take a decent feeding is if she is drowsy or asleep. Given this, what are some strategies I might use to increase daytime nursing? We currently nurse about every 1.5 to 2.5 hours around the clock, so that's at least 12 feedings a day.

    Our pediatrician (who seems somewhat BF friendly) claims that she would automatically take larger feedings during the day if we night-weaned. She calls my daughter a "grazer" but I personally think it has something to do with her TT and my small storage capacity. Our ped also said that my supply would not be affected if I nightwean at her age…is that true? When I've cut out feedings before, it seems like there has been a decrease in supply to the point that my daughter just gets frustrated while nursing.

    I do drink lactation tea, especially the two weeks before my moon as I notice my supply takes a big hit then, too. Should I add pumping sessions? Do you think I just have low supply related to the tongue tie? I do fill up pretty quickly - 3-4 hours and I'm engorged - so I'm not sure if it's a supply issue or just a capacity issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

    Hmm. I think your pediatrician is wrong about the impact of cutting out feedings at night with respect to your supply. As a fellow low storage capacity mama, I can tell you that every time I cut out a pumping session at work after the year point, my overall supply also decreased pretty dramatically. I think if you are already seeing behaviors in your child that suggest she moves toward less nursing when your supply dips, nightweaning is probably only going to exacerbate that, and probably not "automatically" make your daughter nurse more during the day.

    I think the assumption was made that you were limiting nursing during the day because your initial post suggested that you were nursing around her naps/sleeping to encourage your daughter to eat more solids.

    I personally wouldn't add pumping sessions or anything else if I were in your shoes. I would just offer to nurse more during the day, and I personally would be hesitant to limit nighttime nursing at this point if I were at all concerned about maintaining supply.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Nightweaning a 12-month old with a tongue and lip tie?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonogirl
    I would just offer to nurse more during the day, and I personally would be hesitant to limit nighttime nursing at this point if I were at all concerned about maintaining supply.
    I agree.

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