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Thread: Weaning Comfort nurser

  1. #1

    Default Weaning Comfort nurser

    My daughter is 22 months old and at daycare 5 days a week. We are nursing about 4 times during the evening, night and morning. We have been working on getting her to sleep without nursing. My husband cuddles with her until she falls asleep. That's been working ok. But when I get home from work, all she wants to do is nurse. She has ripped my shirts when I asked her to wait. Everything I've read about weaning seems to suggest that the other parent should step in for awhile to break the habit. I feel I'm abandoning her when I go to the other room so my husband can soothe her. She doesn't sleep through the night. I nurse her back to sleep, but there are times she'll nurse for over an hour or more. My husband complains that I should stop letting her nurse in the middle of the night. So I've asked him to take care of her. But she'll just wake up 30-45 minutes later. And we repeat this until he finally just brings her into bed with us and she screams and cries until I nurse her. During the morning we can often distract her, but the night nursing and right after work are the sessions I had hoped to drop first. To me these seem like the times she is most stressed and needs comfort. Any ideas on how I can still be giving her comfort without nursing? if I could I would hold her in my arms all the time, but I'd never see a vegetable if I left it to my husband to make dinner. I struggle to get a good night sleep and it hasn't helped my patience. I love nursing's powerful ability to calm so many troubles. But I feel the need to find alternative solutions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,668

    Default Re: Weaning Comfort nurser

    Are you wanting to wean? Many moms are told they have to actively wean, or that a child must or "should" wean by some particular age, etc. This is not true. It is perfectly normal and healthy for a child this age to nurse, nurse to sleep, nurse over night, etc. Since your child is not yet 2 and already down to 4 nursing sessions in a 24 hour period, that would sound to me that your child is well on the way to weaning completely, but weaning is normally a gradual process and can take multiple months or even years. My point is, that if you want, you could continue to nurse your child and do nothing to discourage nursing and your child will still eventually wean. Or you could revisit more actively weaning later, when your child seems better able to handle it, or you could start gradually actively weaning now or whatever you choose. If your husband is complaining about child nursing overnight, and that is why you are trying to wean, I guess the question is why does he have this complaint. Whatever is bothering him might be solved in a different way. Many dads have been very thankful that their toddler nurses at night because they can sleep right through that.
    but the night nursing and right after work are the sessions I had hoped to drop first. To me these seem like the times she is most stressed and needs comfort.
    If these are the times your child needs to nurse most, a better strategy might be that these are the session you eliminate last. As far as making dinner that includes vegetables and getting more sleep yourself, there are also many options there (for example, making dinner ahead of time- a practice every mom might want to learn at some point because trust me it makes life much easier, making dinner actually at dinner time is difficult with kids of any age) that might be easier than weaning at these times at this point.

    On the other hand, if you are sure you want to start moving weaning along more quickly, I agree it would really help if your husband could comfort your child overnight, however, if that is not possible, there may be other things to try. I recently posted several book suggestions, I will look for that post and get back to you, as I have to run right now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,668

    Default Re: Weaning Comfort nurser

    Ok here it is I am just pasting what I wrote here:

    The two books I think have the most reliable info on weaning strategies and the weaning process is How Weaning Happens and The Nursing Mothers Guide to Weaning.

    In particular for night weaning, the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is probably your best bet. Now, I have to caution about that one, because moms on here have said that this book is a 'sleep training' book, and recently one person said that the book says "parents are doing a disservice to their children if they do not get them sleeping X amount by X time," and other things that would not be consistent with LLL philosophy nor the science of sleep.

    Now, I would never recommend a book that said such things. In my opinion, it doesn't. So then I have to wonder why some moms get that impression when they read it! And I think it may be because they are used to "by the book" type sleep training manuals, where everything in them is a "rule" that must be followed precisely (or else!) rather than a suggestion based on what has worked for other parents, that may be tried, or not, as you wish!

    I think that it is important to read Pantley's introductions and explanations of method of research and purpose of her book so you understand that it is not nor is it trying to be a dictatorial "you must do this or else" type sleep training book, and that you can take what works for you from it and leave the rest.

    Another truly excellent book about sleep is Sweet Sleep from LLL. Since it is based so firmly on the known science of sleep, and is also by far the most up to date sleep book (being originally published just three years ago- July of 2014) I would only recommend that book in most cases. But when a mom specifically wants to move weaning (or night weaning) along, it may not give as many suggestions for approaching that as the others I have listed. -Although it certainly does give some and offers good sleep lengthening ideas with or without focusing on weaning.

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