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Thread: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

  1. #1

    Default I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    I have had two m/c's while nursing (second one today) and I decided that it is time for me to wean DS. My luteal phase is short (9-10 days) and it's just not conducive to getting/staying pregnant. I believe nursing is what is causing such a short luteal phase.

    My DS will be 3 in January and I am honestly ready to wean anyway. I already cut way down on his nursings after my first m/c. He mainly only nurses to go to sleep (nap and bedtime) and then when he wakes in the morning. I think I can easily cut out the morning nursing.

    What I need help with though is - how the heck do I get him to go to sleep without nursing when that is what he has done for the past 2 years and 8 months? I thought it would be easiest to transition if my DH would start a new bedtime routine with my DS because if I am around, he just wants to nurse. But honestly, although my DH says he will help, when it comes down to it, he doesn't want to put in the time/effort it would take to set up a new bedtime routine with DS. He will try for like 15 minutes and then say it won't work and DS needs me. Or he'll just want to drive DS around in the car until he falls asleep, and I definitely don't want that to be our new bedtime routine.

    So any suggestions or help you could give me for me to get him to sleep without nursing (and a minimum of tears) would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    I may not be able to help much. I only have a 6 month old. BUT I am just wondering what you have already tried? I thought my DD was more 'hooked' on nursing to sleep than she apparently is. She always nurses to sleep. Because I always put her to bed and it's just so darn easy to sit on the couch in front of the tv and let her nurse. BUT a while ago we left her with my MIL and went out. I warned her that she normally nurses to sleep so she may have trouble getting her down and not to worry if she's still up when we get in. We got in and my MIL said she had no troubles at all. She fed her a bottle and cuddled her to sleep. Had her in bed by 8 and she slept a full 6hours!

    Granted this was when she was 4 months old and before her good sleep habits went out the window...

    Just wondering if perhaps it might be similar for you? I'm sure someone more experienced will be able to offer some suggestions for you.
    Formerly: baby-blue-eyes

    Canadian Mum to Naomi Born 03/17/08 and has a dairy allergy we are hoping she will outgrow. Nursed for 1 year
    And Gavin Born 01/13/10. 22 months, still nursing and already determined to find every possible way of giving me a heart attack with his dare devilishness

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    A book that helped me with my LO was "The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers." It gives ideas of different routines. Maybe your DH would be more willing to stick it out if he had more tricks up his sleeve? Or maybe a better understanding of children's nighttime needs? That is a hard situation. I wish you the best.
    2001 2004 2008

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    NW OH

    Default Re: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    Have you talked to your DH about this? We recently started nightweaning with lots of success using Dr Jay Gordons Method.
    I actually decided to wean after my own recent m/c. My son will be 2 in January.
    My husband has usually never helped me at night at all since DS was born, but when I got a plan in place, and wanted to stick to it, I sat him down and had a serious talk with him. I needed his help, and it was time he started his own routine with DS, b/c if I do it, he will just want to nurse. He has actually been really helpful since then. If you are trying to have a baby, and you feel this is a necessary step in having a successful pregnancy, then I would imagine he would want to help.
    Whatever you decide to do, it will probably be hard for a few days, but he will get used to the change. you might even see that a gentle push for weaning will be all it takes, he might be ready and will wean quicker than you thought! Good luck!

    I'm Heather, SAHM to Cooper , born 1/2007
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    and wife to Bill since 10/2003!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    My daughter, 21 1/2months, is nursing when she wakes up and when she goes to sleep. I night-weaned a few months ago. Sometimes when I nurse her with the intention that she will go to sleep and she doesn't, we get up for a while until she's more tired and then she, my husband and I go climb in bed together. (We co-sleep for all or most of the night) I tell her that she already had milk and didn't go to sleep, so we are going to cuddle to sleep. She uses her pacifier and will lay her back right against my stomach and chest and we cuddle while she falls asleep. The only reason I told her we already had milk to go to sleep that night and didn't nurse her again was because I'm 4 months pregnant and my nipples hurt when she nurses too often. I felt like I couldn't nurse her again right then. She cried for a minute but that was it. She laid down and went right to sleep. I've done this a total of 4 times now.

    Maybe you can develop a different bedtime routine with your son. And if your husband or son is going to have more trouble with you not being the person to put him to sleep, I would stick with you doing it. It will be hard at first, because he knows what he wants and it's always hard not to get what you want. But you can still be available to him in a loving way and tell him he can nurse again when it's morning time (when night weaning, I said, when the sun comes up). Wherever you nurse him before bedtime - avoid that place. Tell him instead of nursing, you and he are going to ________ before bed, whether that be read his favorite story, cuddle and sing songs, etc. Maybe lay down with him and offer to rub his back or sing to him while he falls asleep? He'll protest because it's a change, but he's going to protest a lot of decisions you make. Just be as loving as possible. Hope this helps!
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
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  6. #6

    Default Re: I want to wean - How do I get DS to go to sleep w/o nursing?

    Thank you all so much for your responses. You have definitely given me food for thought

    We did use Dr Gordon's method to night wean him right after he turned 2. The first two nights were hard (although not quite as hard as I expected), but after that he slept through the night for the first time ever and he still sleeps very well during the night (except when he is not feeling well).

    We have briefly tried to do different bedtime routines, but he will just literally stay up for hours even though he is tired. If I nurse him, he falls instantly to sleep. I think I need to sit down and explain the situation to him since he is old enough to understand, although I don't know what exactly to tell him.

    umbribyz - Thank you for the book suggestion. I will pick that up.

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