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Thread: Transitions and Weaning???? Long, Sorry!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    60

    Default Transitions and Weaning???? Long, Sorry!

    Hello all,

    I really need some help here, feeling really touched out and so exhausted. I haven't slept a real nights sleep since my twins were born 22 months ago. Up until a few months ago we were nursing pretty much on demand. Now we basically nurse in the morning, before nap, before bedtime, and whenever in the middle of the night. My son has been sleeping through the night pretty much since 17 months old, although the last couple of weeks he has been inconsistent (I was thinking growth spurt, but not sure). When he wakes in the middle of the night, he just wants to stay attached and I can't sleep that way. My daughter still is not sleeping through the night. Occasionally she will make it to 4 AM, but is often in bed with me by midnight. I get a decent amount of sleep co-sleeping with her on a good night, but some nights she wants to nurse up to 10 times. I put them to bed in their cribs, but when they wake up we co-sleep. Since we started nursing less they have been eating A LOT better, which is great, but it hasn't seemed to make a difference in their sleeping. Although, I think I just realized why I'm so irritable, from the change in hormones from decreasing the feedings so much.

    Anyway, I am getting really touched out with our whole bedtime routine (I know I started it, but....) and the middle of the night feedings. My husband works and goes to school, so I have no one to help. I currently nurse/rock them to sleep, which usually takes an HOUR. And it's not just nursing, but them switching sides, fighting, playing, etc. By the time I'm done I'm exhausted and can't get anything done and I'm frequently frustrated, especially if they don't go to sleep. I would really like to get to a point where I'm able to lay them down and they go to sleep on their own. I know this won't be easy, as I have created monsters when it comes to sleeping, but it's definately not easy with twins! I don't think I'm ready to wean them, maybe night wean, but I definately want to change our bedtime routine! I also think it's time to transition to toddler beds because my son is scaling the side of his crib and jumping out - I literally have no idea how he does it as he is tiny and the crib comes up to his nose, but he makes it happen, so we need to do toddler beds soon too.

    Does anyone have any similar experiences, good books, suggestions, anything that will help. I am new to the whole breastfeeding thing and have no idea how to wean. Please help!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Transitions and Weaning???? Long, Sorry!

    Hugs to you! 18 months is often a difficult age with one, let alone 2 with your husband not very available. Developmentally they are going through a ton of changes, very busy during the day, and this often leads to more nursing at night. And, it's completely normal to feel touched out by a nursing toddler. It doesn't sound like you have created monsters, it just sounds like you have been doing what you need to in order to get through. When weaning (and it can be a years long process), it is often helpful to focus on one thing that is annoying you the most or you most want to see changed and really focus just on that until you get things worked out. So, either nighttime weaning or new bedtime routine might be what you want to start with. I'll suggest a few books and maybe those can give you a starting point.
    Mothering your Nursing Toddler (talks about ages and stages and mother's feelings, too)
    How Weaning Happens (short, easy read, gives a good idea about how different the dance of weaning can be)
    The No Cry Sleep Solution (lots of ideas, no one plan)
    And, know that things often get a little (or a lot) worse before they get better, so if you decide to try something, give it a few days and be patient.

    Maybe some mothers of twins can give you some other ideas. If you call a local LLL leader, she might be able to put to in touch with another mom.
    DS 1/2006 9 lb. 2 oz. 22 in.
    DD 10/2008 8 lb, 2 oz. 20 in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Transitions and Weaning???? Long, Sorry!

    My twins just turned 1 year old and I am still nursing them 4 - 6 times a day. Some days I am so over it I'm ready to throw in the towel and put them on formula!

    My girls were also up ALL NIGHT LONG and I'd also been nursing and rocking to get them back to sleep as my husband was working and I was the night shift. I was finally so exhausted I quit night-nursing cold turkey and we tried the cry-it-out thing. I never thought it would work with twins (waking each other up) and as one of my daughters had been in bed with us for months.

    We put them to bed in their cribs. If they cried in the night we comforted them in their cribs every five minutes and left the room. The first night there were hours of screaming, the second night half-hours and the third night 10 min. The fourth night they slept 10 hours in a row and I thought I won lottery. They now sleep consistently 8 or 9 hours without nursing and usually without crying or needing us. I nurse them around 4 am and put them back in their cribs to sleep for another 1-2 hours. This works for us.

    Night-weaning has been the greatest thing for my personal sanity so far. The bigger they get the more pushing and scratching and reaching in the shirt and demanding the boob and jealous nursing and erratic nursing there is--it's exhausting. But easier with a decent night's sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Transitions and Weaning???? Long, Sorry!

    Thanks so much to both of you. This has definately been a long journey and I love nursing them but sometimes it does get old IYKWIM. I think I just needed some support, it's a little lacking here. My husband is supportive of the breastfeeding, but in general he's not here, so there is little physical or emotional support. No one that I know breastfed their children other than my friend, and the longest she ever nursed was 3 months, so she doesn't understand and has mentioned weaning multiple times. I really don't want to wean, but could really use some sleep.

    Jcdandfamily, thanks for the support and book suggestions. I will check them out. You are so right about all of the developmental things they are going through. Sometimes it's just hard for me to understand why other peoples children sleep through the night during these stages? Also, you make a good point about one change at a time. It's a toss up, but I will have to think about it.

    Summertime, thanks for your insight. It is nice to talk with another mother of twins who is actually breastfeeding. There aren't too many of us out there, especially beyond one year. My biggest problem with everything I read is it's geared toward one baby, but doesn't really work with two. As for the CIO, I just can't do it, even though I'm frustrated. Part of me kind of wishes I had done it when they were younger though. As for now, I think it's kinda too late for us because I had to convert their cribs into toddler beds since my son was scaling the side and jumping out.

    Anyway, thanks again. Tonight went well, although still long. They are in toddler beds and I sat in the floor between their beds with the lights off and let them choose ninight or nummies. Of course they played and played, but my son actually laid down in his bed (after nursing a few times) and went to sleep on his own! I think its a step in the right direction.
    Last edited by @llli*twinsmommy; February 5th, 2011 at 10:27 PM.

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