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Thread: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Talking If you've been there and done that... Please help!


    I am ready to night wean my 21 month old daughter!

    I'm pregnant with my second and need to get her to sleep on her own without nursing. I am not opposed to continuing to nurse, or tandem nursing if necessary, but the night nursing needs to end!

    We co-sleep and she nurses to sleep and to fall back asleep after a night waking anyhwere from 1-5 times a night!

    IF ANY OF YOU have weaned an 18-24 month old avid night nurser please tell me HOW YOU DID IT!

    Thanks a ton!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    I've night-weaned or semi-night weaned several times (because whenever my daughter gets a cold or we travel, she gets disrupted and goes back to nightnursing, and we have to start over when she's feeling more settled). Several different things have worked for us: try whichever seems like it might work for you. First: does your child ever go to sleep without nursing, like at bedtime? It helped a lot for us when my husband started putting her to bed, not me: he would sing to her and rub her back, but she knew nursing wasn't available; she put up a fight for a while, but then got used to it, and likes getting the back rub and songs. After he'd been getting her to sleep that way fairly consistently, she submitted to me getting her to sleep that way too, and getting her back to sleep in the night like that, too. Also, for us at least, night-weaning meant moving away from co-sleeping. This doesn't have to mean separate rooms. We have tried having our daughter sleep in a cot or twin bed just moved right up next to our bed; it's only a little bit more distance, but it makes it easier to say, "Shhh, night time now, you have to lie down in your own bed till morning, we'll nurse when the sun comes up" -- and she can't just lunge out and get to the breast! Offer water, try to stay firm on the no nursing. It might be tough the first couple of nights, but it is worth it if you can then sleep for longer stretches. You can also go slow: decide ahead of time that you won't nurse the first time the child wakes up, but if she wakes up again, you will; otherwise it can be too disruptive. Other people I know have had the child sleep next to daddy, not mom; same principle. Our daughter has (22 months) been sleeping in her own room now, most of the time. We keep a twin bed in her room with her, so one of us can go comfort her and spend the rest of the night in with her, if she does wake up. We don't use a pacifier, but I know it works for some people. I guess you just have to figure out what works best for all of you; but maybe try some changes in the sleeping arrangements. Plus, final thing: I think by the time a child is this kind of age, they're able to get the whole concept of night and day, and verbalise it. It helped us when our daughter was herself able to play about sleeping, put her teddies to bed, etc. We could talk about it: 'Night time is for sleeping, not nursing; we don't nurse when it's all dark; in the morning the sun comes up, and then we nurse'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    my son and daughter are 2 years apart. I got him out of our bed by getting a double fouton and putting him on it to sleep. She might start sleeping beter if she was in her own bed. He still got up alot at night and came in got in bed with us but after the baby came he didn't try and get into bed with us anymore.
    Is your partner willing to sleep with her for a few days alone? That has worked for some mothers.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    I totally understand. While I was pregnant with the one I lost, I was at my wit's end. And then after the miscarriage, I just did not have the energy to deal with night nursing.

    We ended up having Daddy step up and take over night-time comforting. I slept in a separate room, and he took care of any night waking. The first few nights were hard -- and it was very hard to hear my baby fussing and not respond, but I kept telling myself he wasn't crying alone but was being held and loved by his daddy, who adores him. Yeah, Daddy was tired and had to take a couple days off work, but it was over pretty quickly. And he now sleeps completely through the night most nights so we are all getting rest.

    Good luck, and hang in there!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    Thank you both -

    Last night I nursed her on the couch, and put her to bed when she was still kind of awake, and she got comfortable enough to stay in bed.

    We did night nurse when she woke up, but I took her out of the bed. I told her no more nursing in the bed. Twice she put herself back to sleep.

    I hope if I continue this, she'll be too tired to get out of bed, and self-sooth herself back to sleep for longer stretches. If it doesn't work, I'll probably buy her a bed of her own and give that a try.

    Wish me luck - and any more suggestions are more than welcome!! Thank YOU!

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    My daughter is almost 26 months old and has been going to sleep without nursing for a few months now. After her bath, we read 2 books and then she asks to nurse. We usually do this on the couch because I wanted her to stop associating her bed with nursing. I started limiting her time at the breast during this time so she wouldn't fall asleep nursing. I told her I would sing her favorite night-night song ("Hush Little Baby") X number of times. I started out singing it 3 times on each side and then I put her in her bed. I would always say "2 more times" or "last time." She fought this the first few times, but then it became routine. She started asking for me to sing it 1 time or 2 times some nights rather than three. We've kind of settled on 2 times on each side. She then says she's ready to go to bed. I don't immediately take her off the breast when I finish singing. I try to prompt her by saying things like "all done now." She eventually stops.

    As far as night nursing goes, I'm not really sure how I managed that. I just remember one night she woke up and I told her that we would nurse in the morning. She cried a lot, but I just held her and told her mommy would snuggle. When I say a lot, I think she cried 5 or 10 minutes, but it seemed like it was a long time. She eventually stopped asking during the middle of the night and also in the morning. She still wakes at least once a night, but I can just lie down with her or sometimes just rub her back and she goes back to sleep. She does occasionally ask to nurse (she did last night), but I just tell her that we don't nurse right now and she lies back down.

    She really only nurses right before bed and seems very content with that. She still says "yummy" to mommy's milk and does not seem at all ready to give up this last nursing session. I would love to say that ending night nursing has made her sleep, but it hasn't. We're still working on that. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    thanks for the suggestion.
    I'm on day 3 of nursing on the couch to bed, and she is falling asleep on the bed by herself.

    The night wakings are a bit difficult - but I'll see how it goes after a week or so - then retreat to a new plan if it doesn't work!

    Hope to hear more suggestions - they are all helpful!

    Thanks again -

  8. #8
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    Neither of mine wanted to give up milkies at night; it was only after 2 that they would even begin to compromise. Good luck to you; you've found some excellent support!

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: If you've been there and done that... Please help!

    hi, my son nurses and then i lay down next to him while he is awake until he is asleep. I lay with him for a while (anywhere between 5-20 min) . how do you get your little one to fall asleep without getting out of bed? sometimes i kinda put my arm over my son and not let him get up. I know if my arm wasn't there he's be up and off the bed in no time. My son is 15 months old and am thinking of night weaning soon. when i do this i plan on having my hubby with my son in his own room (we currently co-sleep) in his own bed. Thanks for all the good suggestions so far.

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