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Thread: Night-weaning questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Utah
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    Default Night-weaning questions

    I think I've made the decision to night wean my 26 month old son. About two weeks ago I started really making an effort not to nurse him in the middle of the night, then he got sick and was having a very hard time sleeping, so I "gave in" and nursed him for a few nights...and then went back to no nursing in the night.

    It's actually been much easier than I expected, I think we are on 6-7 days of no nursing. He has not asked, so I have not had to say no. Although when he asked at 6am one morning, I told him we only nurse when the sun is up....and he preceded to go to his window and show me the sun was up, so we nursed.

    I am really worried about the nights that he does ask and I say no. He LOOSES it when he is having a hard time with something and I tell him no nursing. Also, if he gets sick is it fair to still say no to nursing?

    So far it's been much easier than I expected. Did your toddlers continue asking to nurse in the night after you've night weaned them? Or at some point do they "get it" that it's over and there's no more nursing at night?
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    527

    Default Re: Night-weaning questions

    I day weaned first, since I work, so I'm not sure if it'll be the same, but... When I weaned my son just after he turned two, I think it only took about four weeks of occasional asking before he stopped. The first week, he asked every night, and then it tapered off slowly. And then about 3 months after, he randomly asked one time, haha. It turned out to be so much easier than I thought it would be! Good luck!
    ~ Megan

    Mommy to Alex (born 2/27/11) and Katie (born 3/31/14)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,594

    Default Re: Night-weaning questions

    Although when he asked at 6am one morning, I told him we only nurse when the sun is up....and he preceded to go to his window and show me the sun was up, so we nursed.
    Cute!

    I am really worried about the nights that he does ask and I say no. He LOOSES it when he is having a hard time with something and I tell him no nursing. Also, if he gets sick is it fair to still say no to nursing?
    Are you worried that if you say 'yes' under some circumstances, that will cause night weaning to backtrack, or be harder, or is for some other reason not 'ok?" If your child is upset or is sick, do you WANT to say no to nursing? Or would life be easier for you if you nursed in those circumstances?

    In my experience, kids are unpredictable, and there is no one sure fire way to wean that works better than others. But generally, I think that if a child is ready to wean, they will ask to nurse less and for a shorter duration than might a child who was perhaps not feeling quite as ready.

    IMO there is no reason to not make exceptions to the rules you yourself have put into place when making an exception makes sense in the moment for you and your child. This goes for weaning limits and many other limits parents set as well.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Night-weaning questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Are you worried that if you say 'yes' under some circumstances, that will cause night weaning to backtrack, or be harder, or is for some other reason not 'ok?"
    Yes, exactly this. I am wondering if it needs to be consistent always.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    If your child is upset or is sick, do you WANT to say no to nursing? Or would life be easier for you if you nursed in those circumstances?
    So yes, I don't know! Maybe....depending on how far it would set us back.
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Night-weaning questions

    as far as I am aware, there is no research that suggests a child needs a particular limit to always be 100% consistent or there will be 'setbacks.' . I know this is a popular theory, but it is not one I share.

    I think it is probably unfair and confusing if discipline is truly arbitrary- for example, you let the kids jump on the couch for months without comment, then suddenly one day you yell and give a timeout for jumping on the couch. But that is not what you are talking about, you are talking about making rational exceptions to the rules when circumstances warrant it. I would call this being flexible, something I think kids benefit from learning. Plus, nursing when a child really needs it is not something with little or no value, like buying candy in the checkout line when you have a firm stance against doing so. It's a time of loving closeness with your child.

    Will there be a setback? I can't predict that. Some kids are relatively easy to set limits with, and some are not. And again, nursing is something some children truly feel a need to do longer than others, and that might cause a difference in how they respond to limits or a temporary lifting of the limits.

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