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Thread: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Breastfeeding has been an incredibly essential and special bonding time between Brydie and I. I absolutely love nursing her!
    I was her full time pacifier until she turned 2. At that time I was definitely needing to cut back as it seemed to be happening all day and all night! I put my foot down and told her "twice a day..nap time and bed time" (and of course still through the night). Using distractions such as different snacks and games, she responded quickly and wonderfully!!
    So for the past 6 months breastfeeding has been very part time for us. nap time, bed time and about 3-4 times in the night. (this part has of course never been fun )

    I've now come to a place where I am no longer happy waking up to nurse her in the night and i'm wondering if its time to wean her completely. I will miss it but I do feel we've put in our time. Her father and i are going on our honeymoon this December and we'll be leaving her with my parents for 3 nights (i already miss her) so she certainly has to be onto this whole sleeping through the night delio (you know what every OTHER baby/toddler is doing apparently )

    and now the question..... ok, how?!

    last night was the first night i refused to give her the breast in the night. i sang to her, offered to hold her hand, tried to cuddle her.. not a happy camper! she cried and cried and refused to sleep. we ended up not going back to bed after 4am.

    she's on my breast now napping. I think my plan of action is to allow the nursing at nap time and then to go to sleep at night, but not in the night. and then in a couple weeks take away another nursing time etc.

    or is it better to go cold turkey?

    my plan of action for the night nurses: I've introduced her to Molly, a little dog which is now her sleeping buddy. ive never before wanted to attach herself to any "thing" but i feel she needs a replacement of some sort. I'll explain to her that in the night when she wakes up she can have a sip of water and cuddle Molly. She can cuddle me too as long as she doesn't keep trying to undress me!

    My parents wonder if having a snack for her might help as well.. something she'll really enjoy like a nutritious cookie. but im not too sure about in the night.. maybe before she goes to bed.
    I don't think she'll suddenly be starving in the night a im not really producing too much milk.. she never gulps it back the way she used to and i don't get "full" anymore. It's just a comfort thing and the one way she knows how to get to sleep.

    I am begging you all for some suggestions!! I am EXHAUSTED and dreading tonight VERY much!

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    is the dad willing to do nighttime parenting? i don't think we could've nightweaned without my husband completely taking over during the night. my presence would make ds mad if he couldn't nurse. just a thought.
    Jean
    proud mama to ds, born 8/3/06, 11 lbs 14 oz, 24", now 35 lbs, 35", self-weaned at 20 months
    expecting baby boy #2 on 7/21/08, hoping for a VBAC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Maybe ease into it by limiting the time you let her nurse during the night for a little while? Count to 20 or something?

    I've been thinking about trying Dr Jay Gordon's nightweaning technique with my 31-month old, but I want that last molar to come through before I try anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    No real advice, but I just wanted to say that my son is almost 4 years old and just started sleeping through the night, so no, not every other child on the planet is doing it.

    I tried night weaning him several times unsuccessfully. All of them involved a lot of tears and very little sleep for either of us. I just couldn't make it happen until he was ready. I was able to leave him with my parents for an overnight when he was about 2.5 years old, and he did surprisingly well with it. He didn't sleep through the night for them, either, but my mother is very patient and snuggled him a lot, so he did alright. I don't know as he would have lasted for three nights, though. That probably has a lot less to do with nursing and a lot more to do with not being ready to separate from me for such a long period of time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    central IL
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    FWIW, my son is night weaned and only sleeps through the night on rare ocasions. I know I could push him that last step to sleeping through the night, but he likes crawling into bed with mommy and daddy in the middle of the night, and I just haven't had the heart to try to get him to stay in his own bed.
    Chelsea
    Mommy to:
    Nate 1/17/07 Emma Lynn 7/13/08 @ 31 weeks and Clara 2/26/10
    Cloth diapering convert
    love to and

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Hello,

    I am so happy I found your post! I am having many of the same problems. My son is 2.2 and I feel that BF is our little secret (my husband and I) and I am afraid to ask for help. About six months I asked the ped for help and she looked shocked that I was still BF and made a nasty LLL comment. I was so annoyed that I never brought up the subject again and now I feel totally alone. None of my friends know I am still BF and although I want to wean, I have come too far to throw it on my husband or deny him cold turkey. My son has been sickly and BF seems to be his happy (safe) time. Is there such a thing as a natural wean?

    BTW, I never thought in a million years I would be BF a toddler. I wasn't even sure I wanted children before he was born! I am so blessed to have this special bond and I am happy I didn't quit earlier!

    Thank you for letting me share!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Hi!

    Another support available for you is actually your LLL leader. She would no doubt have much information to offer you by way of weaning tips and suggestions if that is what you are wanting to do. LLL offers support to the breastfeeding mother no matter what stage she is in. Weaning is just another aspect of nursing. It is part of it, and a leader also must embrace this part of the breastfeeding relationship as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,465

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    I'm bumping this back up because I know at least three active members are still nursing but HAVE night weaned. And I'm hoping one of them will come and talk to you about the specifics that have worked for them.
    I think keeping the the two nursing sessions you want and are involved in her going to sleep is the answer and just not nursing thru the night any more. But do you co-sleep? and will your DH help with the night time parenting? Because often, it is the knowledge that Mama won't be the one coming that does finally calm the waking toddler. And I personally have no idea how you co-sleep and night wean. To me that is like sleeping in the bakery and being told You can't have a Donut! But I think it's being done by someone!

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Hello

    (me again)

    We are finally sleeping through the night (although we are not 100%) and we co-sleep. Sometimes my son does wake up and asks to nurse and I usually just tell him "no" and I try to tell him to go back to sleep. Sometimes this works, but not always.

    List of things to do:

    1. wean
    2. get son in own bed
    3. get son in own room

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Help! Weaning my 2.5 year old...

    Trisha posted this link to nighttime weaning: http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.aspI suggest you read through it completely and then tell us what you think.

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