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Thread: Co-sleeping and nursing 2-year-old...should I wean?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Wendell, NC

    Default Co-sleeping and nursing 2-year-old...should I wean?

    Hi ladies,

    I just want to apologize for posting the 1,000th thread asking a similar question, but some of the posts were a little older and I didn't know if anyone would respond.

    My son turned 2 on June 1st, and he still nurses to sleep at naps and bedtime. He will occasionally wake up in the middle of the night for a "sip", and then he likes to nurse first thing in the morning. I also sit with him while he naps (which is either on the couch or in our bed) and of course, sleep next to him all night. This sounds good and fine, but my issue is I feel like I have zero "alone" time. With my first, I could bottle feed him and put him in the crib, and he would fall asleep on his own. Like since he was 2-3 weeks old. I don't know why I chose the co-sleeping route with LO, although I think it's because my hubby was so open to it. I'm ok with the co-sleeping, but the issue is that no one else can get LO to sleep because, of course, I'm the only one that can nurse him. I went out for 2 hours to my neighbor's house the other night and had to come home at 10:30 because hubby couldn't get LO to sleep for the life of him. I am in NO way resentful toward LO, I just feel like I'm going to be on this pattern FOR. EV. ER. Is anyone out there still co-sleeping and nursing their toddler? How are you coping?? Any tips and tricks for getting through this stage? How could I get him to sleep WITHOUT "milky"?? Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle.

    Also, LO isn't talking much so I haven't wanted to start weaning because I'm not sure if he would understand what I'm saying. He says a few words but unlike some other tots, we don't have full-on conversations about stuff. Because of this, I feel like it would be super confusing to him if I started weaning him right now (although I suppose I'm not opposed to it).

  2. #2

    Default Re: Co-sleeping and nursing 2-year-old...should I wean?

    This is my story to a T!! Seriously, even the talking issue part. The only difference is I have to wean because I'm pregnant and high risk so I need an answer ASAP!! I read about so many women simply explaining to their 2 year old that "Mommy's milk is all gone" etc, but I can't talk to him because he doesn't understand yet. I'm at a loss, we co sleep, nurse all the time, and now my morning sickness is kicking in and I can't do this much longer. Plus, last time I tried to wean I got a plugged duct that hurt for weeks (that I had to nurse through! Ouch!!) There has to be a safe, effective way to stop nursing quickly. I need to for my unborn baby's safety (I'm high risk) and for my own sanity lol. Hopefully someone will respond but I think I'm going to call a local consultant... I need help NOW! Lol

  3. #3

    Default Re: Co-sleeping and nursing 2-year-old...should I wean?

    I called a local LLL and spoke with someone about my specific issue. She said to lower the supply by eating sage (like in stuffing/turkey dinner type meals) and also peppermint tea. Also, to use cabbage leave inside a sports bra and change them once they're wilted. As far as the baby (ok toddler! Lol) just tell him no more "milky" or whatever term you use most/prefer as she said even though he may not be talking, he DOES understand enough. So that was reassuring to me because that's what I struggle with the most I think. She also recommended a speech therapist that works with breastfed children, so she can relate more to our issues. I highly recommend you contact a local LLL to get personalized answers for you! I'm nervous/sad to stop but I think at this point I have to.. Good luck to you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Co-sleeping and nursing 2-year-old...should I wean?

    Is anyone out there still co-sleeping and nursing their toddler? How are you coping?? Any tips and tricks for getting through this stage? How could I get him to sleep WITHOUT "milky"?? Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle.
    Isn't parenthood an uphill battle? Or am I being too cynical today? So yes, I am nursing and bedsharing with my just turned two year old daughter. In my experience (she is my third child that I nursed for this long and longer) I could not cope without doing this. Nursing and bedsharing works great for me.

    How do you know your husband could not get your child to sleep? You ran back to rescue them after only two hours! A two years old does not have to go to sleep by any particular time. When I leave my husband to get my daughter to sleep, some nights are harder than others for him to comfort her to sleep. Some nights she is still awake when I get home. Same with baby sitters. None of this keeps me from going out alone or with my husband on occasion at night. What my husband and sitters know is I will not freak out on them if she does not go to sleep, so there is no need for them to keep trying if it is not happening. They can stay up and read books, watch mellow tv, whatever keeps her (and them) relatively calm until I get home. The more you do it, the more likely the evening without mom will go smoothly.

    Based on cross cultural and cross species study, The estimated normal length of human nursing is between 2 and 7 years. There is no reason at all to encourage weaning in any way ever, unless mom is interested in hurrying weaning along for any reason. Children can and do wean "all on their own."

    If mom is interested in moving weaning along, especially in the toddler years, this is almost always accomplished just fine by slowly eliminating one nursing session at a time and/or shortening nursing sessions, slowly and gradually, while learning how best to comfort your child another way. This can be done using redirection, subsititution, limiting the length of nursing sessions, or simply not offering to nurse and not assuming "nursing positions."

    I would only suggest use of any antigalactagogues in very rare cases where more abrupt weaning is desired (as above, although jesssle7 I hope you made sure everything is ok to take while pregnant) or a mom has some difficulty with an overabundance of milk production. Because if the weaning is gradual, they are usually unneeded and also because sometimes a child will react to weaning in a way that makes it clear that weaning is moving along too quickly, and mom may decide she wants to back off on the weaning, and if milk production has been too impacted my an anti-galactagogue, that might be more difficult.

    Many children typically need to be comforted both into and out of sleep for much of their early lives. this is why bedtime, overnight, morning and nap nursing sessions are often the last to go. This is a typical weaning pattern . So if you are not nursing to sleep, another comfort method at that time may be needed.

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