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Thread: All night nurser

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    6

    Default All night nurser

    My 16 mo is still an all night nurser. I still nurse him to sleep and really enjoy doing it. I don't enjoy being awaken ever hour just after I seem to get comfortable. I have been trying for the last week to refuse nursing from 12 am to 4 am(read that somewhere else). He is still waking up and is really angry. My husband isn't home every night so can't really take over plus he can be a very deep sleeper so we aren't comfortable enough leaving him alone at night to cry it with dad. We have always done reverse cycle feeding since I have to work full time. But he eats great and really only nurses for comfort and habit. I want to minimize the trauma but I need to make a change. We would like to try for another soon and I know it can limit my fertility plus I just want to sleep. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: All night nurser

    Hi there. It sounds like you are frustrated with lack of sleep at night.

    Here are some articles that you might find helpful:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMayJune04p106.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec05p266.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMarApr04p67.html

    Keep us posted and let me know if you see any possible solutions there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: All night nurser

    I had read all the previous post but did reread them. The first link is the only one that really applied. I have sent my husband to buy “The No Cry Sleep Solution”. I would like to think my expiations are reasonable. We have always had a family bed and we nurse to sleep and night. He hasn’t had any real daytime changes or stresses, he eats well, and his naps are about 1.5-2hrs, and we have a good bedtime routine (~8pm). So it looks like it is just a matter a saying no and giving it more time. I guess I thought we would see some progress by this point. Am I sending a mixed message by nursing him again after he wakes up (until 12)? The alarm usually goes off at my house at 4 am anyway so that is not a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: All night nurser

    I to have a problem with an all night nurser. same thing those articles don't help. he's only 7 months old so we aren't really going to try to get him to sleep at night till the fall when we move him back to his own room.
    I think he bacame an all night nurser because we co-sleep and he can nurse whenever he wants and has become protective of the boob. he's good during the day and i still feed on demand and at 5 months he had a strong interest iin solids now he has none, I'd be ineterested to hear some suggestions about boundaries, or how you night weaned in a co-sleeping bed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    2,178

    Default Re: All night nurser

    Hi there.

    When my first baby got to be over about 13 mos. or so, and would wake very frequently to nurse since we co-slept, and I could tell that lo just needed the comfort, not the food, here's what we did: First, I put baby to bed early after nursing. Then I went and had a little alone time with my husband. We finally went to bed at 11:00pm or 12:00. Lo slept alone in our bed until then. When Lo would wake the first time at 2:00am or so, I would gently tell him that night time was for sleeping, not nursing, and get him back to sleep by snuggling. The second time he woke, I wouldn't refuse him and he would nurse back to sleep. He had been nursing 3 or 4 times during the night, so once he got used to going back to sleep the first time without nursing, I would cut out the 2nd nursing session and so on. After a few weeks, he wouldn't nurse until he woke up at about 7am or so and then throughout the day as normal. What I realized after a couple of months, was that he wanted to be near us, but needed more space when he slept to be comfortable ( Quite the catch 22) as he really liked to spread out and bumping into mommy and daddy was disturbing his sleep pattern. He hated his crib, so we got him a big boy mattress with Spiderman bedding and set it on the floor about 5 feet from our bed. Then every night we would gate the hallway so he couldn't get out and roam around if he got up and we didn't hear him, and I put him to sleep by nursing him in his own little bed. He went on to eventually sleep in his own room, nurse until he weaned himself at 2 yrs old, and now has a really great sleep cycle and rarely wakes in the night now that he's 3.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: All night nurser

    I backed off the night weaning for now. It just didn't seem to be going right. I just wasn't confident that I had taken the logical first step. There was alot of confusion and crying, plus his daytime nursing demands increased dramatically. I really your reply mom of 2 and I probably try again in a few weeks using your suggestions. I have noticed that he sleeps fairly well until my we come back to bed. I think we are disturbing him. We have a toddler bed next to ours that he has slept in some but haven't pushed the issue with him using it. So should I try nursing him in the toddler bed more consitently then not nurse the first time he wakes but give into the second? Is alot of crying to be expected? Like I said with my first attempt he was very persistent and cried sometimes over an hour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    19

    Default Re: All night nurser

    I'm currently in the (slow) process of night-weaning my 22 month old. I tried around 18 months and it was met with a lot of resistance so I gave up fairly quickly. Now it seems we are making progress, although it is still slow, so I think there's definitely a readiness factor in there.

    What we have had most success with so far is stopping the feeding to sleep - we have stories, then nursing, then I say "mama's (breast) going to sleep now" and dd will happily cuddle me (lying on my chest usually) until she goes to sleep. If you can substitute the feeding in the night with some other form of night-time appropriate comfort like water or cuddles, that might help. In the night, I remind dd that "mama is sleeping", she can have cuddles and "mama" when the alarm goes in the morning. We have had minimal crying (less than twenty seconds), I've been surprised by how easily she has accepted the change - but as I said I think she's now ready whereas she wasn't a few months ago. Also, on occasion when she has started to become distressed (particularly one week, when she was sick) I have fed her during the night. So we are taking the slow route to try to minimise any distress.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    2,178

    Default Re: All night nurser

    Hi again! I guess that I would either start the night weaning in your bed like normal with the 1st waking feeding skipped, or move to the toddler bed and nurse baby to sleep there, but I'm not sure that I would do both at the same time right away. If you think that maybe you are disturbing baby, I guess my suggestion would be to move to the toddler bed, nurse to sleep there and then nurse to sleep when baby wakes. After baby gets use to sleeping in the toddler bed every night and accepts it then I'd move towards eliminating the 1st night waking feeding and so on so baby doesn't get overwhelmed with all the immediate changes. Also, when our son moved out of our bed, we didn't have a problem with him continuing to use a pacifier when he slept for a while. Some people don't like them, but it worked for us and he went back to sleep quicker with it when he couldn't nurse whenever he wanted anymore at night.

    If baby started nursing more during the day, (assuming its not for nourishment reasons) baby may need more mommie contact and emotional support to deal with the lack of nursing in the night. Since you are gone at work during the day, maybe try out some new comfort techniques that don't involve nursing in the evening. With my 3 yr old, every night Daddy takes the baby a little before bedtime so that I can spend some time with the 3 year old and we snuggle and watch tv or read a book or tell stories...something where there are no other distractions and lo gets me all to himself. It seems to really help him have better behavior during the day when he gets enough one on one time with momma too, but that's just an added bonus.

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