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Thread: Nightime Weaning?

  1. #1

    Default Nightime Weaning?

    My DS is 18 months and I find that I am frustrated with the night wakings. He goes to sleep around 8 pm. Wakes up to nurse at 10pm, 12am, and 4am. At the 4:00 time he wants to nurse continuously for the next hour to hour and a half. By the time he settles back down I have to get up for work. My husband is absolutely zero help with the nighttime wakings. If I try to refuse nursing he cries until I cave. If I offer him a cup of milk or water he throws it. Is it time to wean him off the night nursings and how do I do it when I can't count on my husband to help? I find myself becoming very frustrated and angry over my lack of sleep. He also won't sleep in any bed but ours.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    It was around this time that I started getting rustrated with the all night milk bar, too... That said, at 18 months they are old enough to understand a few boundaries.
    One that we started with was when I would nurse him to sleep, I would say something like "ok, now it's night time and we aren't going to have any more milk until the sun wakes up" or "if you're thirsty at night, we can have water just like mommy and daddy". It took a couple of days for him to get used to it, but I would just keep telling him something to delay the feeding. Granted, if I told him he could nurse when the sun came up, I always followed through so the next night I could remind him that it worked.

    Two other things that helped for me:
    1. Increase daytime calorie intake so he's less hungry at night.
    2. Wear more layers or thicker tops to decrease the milk smell- he might be waking because he can smell you there.
    Mari
    Mohamed 6-9-06
    Jad 11-27-08

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,361

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    Here are some things that helped me night-wean my kid:
    1. Move the milk. If your baby won't sleep in any bed but yours, maybe you can move to the guest bed for a while. with missmari that the smell of milk may be inspiring your child to nurse all night.
    2. Restrict access to the milk. Make sure you wear a bra or some restrictive top at night- if your baby can't easily get his hands on your goodies, he'll give up sooner.
    3. Accept that when you are night-weaning, you may get even less sleep than you have been getting. A determined night-nurser doesn't give in without a fight! I think it took my kid about 2 weeks before she started sleeping better.
    4. Accept that there will be some crying, but don't feel like you must give in and nurse just because your child is throwing a fit. So long as you are offering comfort- a back-rub, a gentle song, a hug, etc.- you're not letting your child cry-it-out. You're not offering your child's preferred form of comfort, but you are offering comfort.
    5. Have that sippy available just in case he really is thirsty.
    6. Make sure you tell your child what to expect from the night: "It's nighttime now and everyone is going to sleep. You're going to sleep. Mama is going to sleep. Milkies are going to sleep. You can have mnilkies again when the sun is up."
    7. Reinforce the lesson: in the morning after a successful night of no nursing, say "You did such a good job! You slept all night long, milkies slept all night long. Now the sun is up- let's have milkies!"

    Good luck!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    I had a lot of luck with the Dr. Jay Gordon method of night weaning. I didn't stick to his schedule, it took me about 2 months rather than the 10 days he lays out, and I was pretty flexible about it, but it worked pretty well. My daughter was the same age as yours when I started.

    Good luck!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    Such great suggestions ladies! I too have an 18mo dd and am wanting to night wean...I love the idea of saying good night to the milkies and I know my dd can grasp that concept. She is very smart.. And has and does put herself back to sleep without...but I want to help her. I too need to increase her daytime calories. Especially dinner time. Sometimes I am happy she gets milk at night (usually one side only) especially if she refused to eat a good dinner. So it seems to be a catch 22... She is not as big of an eater and snacker as a good friends baby only 7 weeks younger. But that baby is weaned! So I know she gets alot of her calories(and prefers them) from her nursing...she is a comfort nurser and has never taken a pacifier. But we are ready for some real shut eye now... I get a bit coo-coo from being up...!
    JEN
    Happy Wife of 20 years to J~
    Mommy to DD E~ 9/22/04 BF 21 months
    Mommy to DD H~ 7/2/07 BF 27 months CD'd from 10 mos on!
    Mommy to DD A~ 7-14-10 All cloth, and Potty Trained at 2 1/2. Still Nursing!
    I grow an organic garden, homeschool, and really feel blessed to be a SAHM!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    I really need some help with this, too. DS is 14mo, and although he RARELY nurses to sleep, nursing is the only thing he wants at night. He wakes up 2-3 times, and will flip out if my husband goes in to soothe him but I don't.

    But... we don't co-sleep! When he wakes at night, he is standing in his crib and is quite awake. I've been trying the "Pantley pull off" (From the 'No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers' by Elizabeth Pantley - basically cutting the sessions shorter and shorter). It seemed to help for a while, but not now that he's got some more teeth coming. And when he does nurse at night it's only a few minutes through let-down.

    He also sleeps very well during the day, eats great, etc. He puts himself to sleep at naptimes and after nursing at bedtime (he is very awake when he goes to bed). It's just the middle of the night thing...

    One other thing I haven't tried is getting a silly light (like a duck or something) and telling him that he can have milk once the light comes on in the morning (using a timer). Anyone have luck with that?
    DS 11/16/07 :: Infant reflux and milk protein intolerance, egg and peanut allergies

  7. #7

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    I am in the same boat. Hello ladies, new to this site and looking for help and support. My third DD is 16 months and nursing mostly at night. She will nurse during the day if extremely tired or not feeling well. I have a strong sense that she is nursing for comfort only... Will not drink milk whatsoever and she co-sleeps. She is sooo strong willed that I am at a loss as to what to do. I am going to try a method another mom suggested from Dr. Jay Gordon but am very nervous because she is so strong willed. I think in conjunction with that I am going to use the other idea of "hiding" my milk machines from her sense of smell... I really need to figure this out. I have to go on a medication for migraines that I simply CANNOT take while BF.. Suggestions from anyone... Should I try a LLL meeting or test out the method first.. Thanks so much in advance for your help and support.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    I've got a pretty strong-willed little lady myself and the Gordon method worked for us. I think I said above that I was more flexible and it took a little longer than the 10 days he lays out, but in the end it worked for us. She wasn't happy about it, especially in the beginning, but I stayed consistent about it and she figured it out eventually.

    Good luck!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,160

    Default Re: Nightime Weaning?

    Co-sleeping-I found mine was nursing at night for comfort only and it was only lasting a few seconds. Unless he was very insistent about nursing (lifting up my shirt) he would go back to sleep if I gave him a quick cuddle in bed and then ignored him. I would *pretend* I was back asleep and then he would go back to bed.

    Own bed- I will say that since we moved Logan into his own bed in his own room he is sleeping like a champ. Once you remove the toddler from the milk completely at night, at least on our case, he doesn't need it at all. He sleeps from 7:30 and gets up once at 4 to nurse, then goes back to sleep for another 2-3 hours.
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

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