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Thread: need advice on night weaning/partial weaning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    547

    Default need advice on night weaning/partial weaning

    I am looking to start cutting back on nursing dd who is 2 now, I don't want to completely wean yet until she's ready, but both because she has developed a few cavities (not blaming it on night nursing, but I don't want to take any chances since we're looking at some expensive dental work already) and I promised dh we would work on getting her into her own bed soon, and I think she needs to at least be night weaned to make that practical. She had a tooth pulled a couple of weeks ago and couldn't have anything to eat/drink after midnight, so I just wore a tank top and she woke up once, cried a few minutes, i rocked her in my lap, she went back to sleep, woke up a couple of other times tugging at my shirt but went back to sleep after I just kept telling her milkies were sleeping and she could have them in the morning. From what I've read, this is pretty much the night weaning process if you just consistently keep it up, right? I thought I'd start out with the 7 hour stretch (Dr gordon's method?) and then go from there. So any input from those who have done this would be great... Also, my next concern is how to work on the nursing to sleep which is the next one I'd like to eliminate, and seems like the hardest- she's nursed to sleep all her life, and I don't mind her nursing at night, just want to get her out of the habit of doing it to fall asleep, especially with the teeth issues, but also to make it easier to transition her to her bed...Sorry this is so long, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    since 10/10/07
    and still going...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,357

    Default Re: need advice on night weaning/partial weaning

    Sounds like you're going about night-weaning the right way! And it sounds like your daughter is plenty ready, too- if she wasn't, "milkies are sleeping and you can have them in the morning" would be cause for a screaming fit, not just a gentle tug followed by back to sleep.

    Here are some things I did that I felt helped me night-wean my 2 year-old:
    - Before bed, explain what is to come. "You're going to sleep, mama's going to sleep, milkies are going to sleep. Everyone sleeps all night long! In the morning, when the sun is up, you can have milkies again." In the morning, reinforce the lesson: "You slept, mama slept, milkies slept. Good job! Everyone slept all night long! Now it's morning, the sun is up, and you can have milkies again."
    - Keep a sippy cup of water available for night-wakings. Sometimes a night-waking toddler is really thirsty.
    - Wear a restrictive top to bed. Your toddler may be less committed to nursing if she can't easily get her little hands on your goodies.
    - Stay consistent. Giving in one night but not the next will only confuse your child and prolong the process.
    - Don't be surprised if there's some screaming. But remind yourself that it's okay to stand firm, and that as long as you're offering some form of comfort (backrub, song, gentle talk), you aren't emotionally abandoning your child. Crying with a loving adult right there is not, IMHO, the same as CIO alone in the dark.

    Also, my next concern is how to work on the nursing to sleep which is the next one I'd like to eliminate, and seems like the hardest- she's nursed to sleep all her life, and I don't mind her nursing at night, just want to get her out of the habit of doing it to fall asleep, especially with the teeth issues, but also to make it easier to transition her to her bed...
    I'm that nursing before sleep is the hardest session to eliminate. It was the last one to go when my daughter weaned. However, at age 2 I was long since done with nursing all the way to sleep: I would nurse DD before bed, but not allow her to fall asleep on the breast. I would put her in bed awake, rub her teeth down with a clean, wet washcloth, and then either me or my DH would lay down with her until she fell asleep. Maybe that sort of compromise would work for you?
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: need advice on night weaning/partial weaning

    yes. I would be very happy with a night time compromise like that. Once we get the middle of the night sessions done, I think I'll try that.
    since 10/10/07
    and still going...

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