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Thread: night weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    121

    Default night weaning

    how do you night wean? my lo used to sleep 7-9 hours a night up until 15 weeks of age. for over a month now he's been waking to eat. at first it didn't bother me too much, but it went from once a night to 2x and then last night 3x. we've been part-time co-sleeping since his night wakings. (sleeps in crib until first wake-up). i just can't and don't want to feed him 3x a night. it's not like he isn't eating during the day while i'm at work.

    our ped. did say by 4-5 months old he is capable of sleeping through the night without eating. he didn't offer any suggestions on how to stop and i didn't ask because at the time, ds was only waking once, which i could handle.

    any help would be appreciated.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    139

    Default Re: night weaning

    Don't have any suggestions but I think it is normal. My lo is almost 5 mo and nurses 2-3 times at night. We cosleep so it doesn't bother me because I barely wake up. If you are working, nursing more at night is an important way to continue your bond, make up for growth spurts, transfer immunities, maintain a good milk supply, and fulfill the sucking need. If you only pump and BF a few times, you may find your supply starts to dwindle...guess I'd suggest letting him continue myself. Are you losing a lot of sleep?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    121

    Default Re: night weaning

    i feed him in the a.m. before work, then pump. he eats 3x while i'm at work, but i only pump once at work. i then BF 2 or 3 times in the evening before bed, and now he's been waking 1-2 times a night, although last night was 3x. at first the co-sleeping was working ok. i kind of liked him sleeping next to me (even though my husband is not a fan at all). Lately we've been kind of cramped in bed and my back and arm is hurting from how i have to sleep with him in the bed. And now, because hes eating so much at night w/o me changing him, his diaper is super-soaked. i put plastic pants on him, but he still leaked through and wet our bed. this is the 2nd time it's happened. i don't want our matress getting ruined either since it's only 7 months old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    228

    Default Re: night weaning

    Doctors love telling parents that their kids don't need to get up at night after a certain age. Then they tell us to let our babies cry at night and not comfort them, or else they'll be spoiled. (Well, they say, "They won't learn to sleep on their own. They're manipulating you." But it's the same thing.) My experience tells me otherwise.

    My babies still wake up a couple of times a night (17 months). Some nights, they sleep all night. The other night, I was so sick of it, I about had a fit when they were up again. But other than the occasional freak-outs, it's not so bad.

    Parenting young children is a relatively short time. You got to live the life while you can! Changing diapers, getting up all night, cleaning up puke, going to playgroups and the library and the park, etc. One day soon, you won't have a little person waking you up at night. Won't that be lonely ?

    Dr. Sears has really good advice for nighttime parenting ("The Baby Book"). Also, "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" really puts things in perspective about not making your baby grow up until he's ready. Even though your baby isn't a toddler, a lot of the ideas apply.

    Just let it happen! Your baby will sleep all night when he's developmentally ready. Don't make him grow up faster than he's ready!

    Okay, lots of preaching, but remember that it's just my opinion and what works for us. It might not work for you! Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    121

    Default Re: night weaning

    ^ ya, that was alot of preaching and not very helpful. i was asking for advice on how to night wean, not feel like i'm getting the 3rd degree for wanting to do it.

    i don't want my lo to grow up too fast. i don't mind him eating once at night, but i don't think he needs to eat 3x. i actually love co-sleeping other than my back and arm hurting, but my husband is not a fan and it'd be nice to make my husband happy sometimes too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    24

    Default Re: night weaning

    jojo- i'm in the same boat as you, though we don't cosleep, because NOONE gets any sleep that way in my house. SO I have to physically get up every time, last night it was 4 times. I'm hoping you get some useful advice, as I'm wondering what to do as well. DD was down to just one waking at 5 months, then I started work, she got sick, and bam, we're back up to 2-3.

    How old is your LO? Mine is just about 7 months, and I'm going crazy from sleep deprivation. I work, so it's not like I can rest during the day. We're starting to try sending DH in for soothing. Also, someone suggested to me holding her off every night for 30 minutes for feeding, ie first night don't feed before 1am, next night 1:30, etc. Others have suggested just letting her CIO, but DD has recently started pooping during the night again, so I can't ignore her. I think ultimately our plan will be to have DH go in and check on her, soothe her a bit, then let her work it out. Although I hate it, she generally only cries lightly for about 15 min. I just don't know what else to do at this point. Before we try that, I'm going to start sending slightly bigger bottles to DC (right now she gets 13oz total, I think I'll up to15 oz total) as well as add a bit of solids to dinnertime. Hoping that might help stretch her first waking from 1am to 3-4am.

    BTW, Dr Sears also says something along the lines of 'if you start to resent it, change it'.

    HTH, I'm here to commiserate. Let me know if y ou find anything that works.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: night weaning

    i've been reading the no cry sleep solution, and it's helped with bedtime. i haven't really devised my plan yet, but will be trying something soon. i also work and it's hard. thanks for commiserating with me shorty.

    we'll see how tonight goes. maybe he's going through another little growth spurt, IDK.
    BTW, my ds is 20 1/2 weeks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    147

    Default Re: night weaning

    jojo1079 ..how is lo feeding during the day? does he take well at daycare, and also when u nurse him....my ds has recently upped his night feedings also..from 1 a night to 3 even 4 sometimes...but he is so easily distracted during day when feeding now..that i think he is just having enough to get by of a day and tanking up in the night when it is dark and quiet and he just feeds..during day..feeds last like 5 mins at the moment..and he on and off a lot at beginning..when he feeds at nights it is 15 mins straight on no fussing at all......

    i think when babies get older then they can be easily distracted during day.....maybe when u nurse him during day take him to a quiet darkened room...

    ofc, depends if u having that problem with distracted feedings in day.......


    but that is the reason why my ds has started it recently i think..
    Samantha ---- Mom to Lucas, born 19th Jan 2008..and Georgia, born 8th June 2009
    Lucas 8lbs 1oz born at 42 weeks..now 27lbs at 20 months....bf exclusivly till 10 months then partly till self weaning at 17 months
    Georgia 8lbs 12oz born at 39+4 now 14lbs 5oz at 14 weeks...bfing going strong despite a shaky start

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    121

    Default Re: night weaning

    i also forgot to mention my lo eats 6 oz 3x a day while i'm at work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,637

    Default Re: night weaning

    I partially nightweaned my daughter when she was 10.5 months old, and finally eliminated the last night nursing when she was 2, so I'm not sure my experience is the best guide for working with a young infant, but here it is.

    I found the most important way to get my child to sleep longer at night was to get her in bed awake, and allow her to fall asleep by herself. Once we broke the association between falling asleep and having a breast in her mouth, my daughter was able to put herself back to sleep when she woke in the night. Just getting her in bed awake cut the night-wakings down from 5-6 to 1. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly suggest getting hold of a copy of Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution." It's full of gentle ways to help your baby fall asleep- and fall back to sleep- on his own.

    If you're successful at getting night nursing sessions down to one, you may decide to put off total night-weaning until your baby is old enough to be reasoned with, in which case I suggest these steps, which worked with my 2 year-old:
    -Talk to your baby and tell him "It's night-night now. Baby goes night-night. Mama goes night-night. Nursies (or whatever you call them) go night-night. We'll nurse again in the morning." If your baby sleeps through without nursing, say "Yay! You slept all night! Mama slept all night! Nursies slept all night! Good job! Let's nurse now that it's morning!"
    -Keep a sippy cup or bottle of water handy. A night-waking baby may be genuinely thirsty.
    -Be prepared for tantrums. A dedicated night-nurser will not give up without a fight! Just be patient and offer plenty of comfort- backrubs, songs, loving words.
    -Be prepared to get even less sleep than you have been. It takes a while for a new sleep pattern to establish itself.
    -Be consistent.

    If you find your baby just isn't ready to be night-weaned, co-sleeping really may save your bacon. I know you're concerned about your mattress- I sure didn't want my new bed ruined by baby pee - but there are things you can do to protect your bed. WalMart sells mattress pads with plastic backs for under $40 (if I remember correctly), and if you don't like those you can just tape some thin plastic bags over the part of the mattress where the baby sleeps. The plastic bags are also great at saving your mattress from leaky breasts!

    HTH, and be patient and flexible.

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