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Thread: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

  1. #1

    Default Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    My husband and I are proud parents of an amazing 13-month-old girl. She has never been a good sleeper. DH and I have tried all kinds of tricks: making the room warmer, cooler, moving up bedtime, moving back bedtime, creating a ritual, giving her lots of BM before bed. Nothing works. We both work full-time, and after a year of constant sleep-deprivation, decided to try a sleep consultant.

    The sleep consultant thinks that night weaning is important to improving our child's sleep patterns. She notes that our daughter often suffers from confusional arousals (milder night terrors), indicating that she is sleep deprived. The consultant suggests we continue co-sleeping for half the night, but cut out all night nursings, and no longer allow my daughter to fall asleep on the breast. This is a key part of her plan.

    I pump 10 oz. a day for my daughter to take at day care. She has refused cow's milk in a sippy, so far, so this is the only liquid she takes all day. I worry that, if we wean her at night, she will grow dehydrated and my supply will tank. DD is also a picky eater (the consultant feels that this will improve if she is no longer filling up on BM at night).

    We have a friend who followed the consultant's advice, and her LO suddenly slept 11 straight hours. The mother did "fall off the wagon" during teething, though, and had to start the process all over again.

    What are your thoughts on the relationship between night waking and night weaning? Has anyone found that it works? Do I need to worry about my supply, or trust that my DD will take to the sippy by necessity. (Related question: should I put cow's milk in a bottle for her, or what? Things are not going well in that area, either.) I had been hoping to stop pumping at 18 months, but if I'm not nursing her at night, either, then that would mean weaning her altogether, which I don't really want to do yet.

    So confused! Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    I'm so sorry that you are this tired! I know it is so hard. I have a bad sleeper - night terrors, arousals between sleep level changes. It's really, really hard. And it's been really, really hard for 3 years now. I night weaned him around 1 1/2 years old (I think; I can't 100% remember how old he was), and for us, it did not mean he started sleeping through the night. He didn't start sleeping worse, but I wouldn't say it was a whole lot better. He probably improved to only waking 4-6 times a night or so. It wasn't until right before his 3rd birthday that he started sleeping better. Now he only wakes me once or twice, generally speaking. But we went back to co-sleeping, also, which may have helped improve his sleep. I don't know.

    Anyway. I just wanted to let you know that for us, the night nursing was not related to the sleeping. Would I night wean again when I did knowing that? Yeah, I think so. But only because it was nice to give my breasts a little break over night. If I hadn't been feeling touched out, I probably would have kept on night nursing.

    I am so sorry you are this tired.

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    We night weaned a month ago and it hasn't helped with ds and his lack of sleep.
    Ds 9/09 nursed for 20 months

    Dd 12/11 nursing a toddler again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    Mine still woke even after night-weaning. And even after weaning completely, they still both wake up at 2.5 and 4.5yrs old.
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    yup not to be debby downer but my 7 year old gets up 4 out of 7 nights.
    And my dad gets up alot a night too and hes grown...

    I think the key here is you don't want to wean.
    are you going to see the sleep lady again?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gulf Coast Florida

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    My daughter started night-waking around the same age as yours is now. I did night-wean her, and the wakings subsided (They do still crop up every so often, but only for a couple days at a time).
    She sleeps in a crib in her own room. When she awoke during the night I would go in to her right away, but instead of automatically scooping her up and nursing, I would lay her back down, cover her up, and tell her that "it is time for little babies to go back to sleep." It actually has worked wonders.
    Good luck to you!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    I night-weaned my daughter over 3 months (we went back to nursing at night when we traveled and then night-weaned again) from the time she was 18mo to 21mo. We co-sleep and we kept that the same during night-weaning. Within 3 nights she no longer woke up to nurse during the night...she always started her night in her room and then by 1am she slept in our bed for the rest of the night, but she would just lay down and was right back to sleep without asking to nurse. So for her, night-weaning absolutely helped her sleep MUCH better at night.

    I recently night-weaned my son - he is 25 months. It has not decreased how often he wakes up at night at all. The only difference with his night-wakings now than before I night-weaned him is that I don't nurse him. He still wakes up, asks to nurse, and some of the time has a fit about me telling him to wait until morning to nurse. So for him, night-weaning hasn't made him sleep better at night.

    So my conclusion is, it depends on the kid.
    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
    In NICU for 2 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jenniebean5 View Post
    So my conclusion is, it depends on the kid.
    My experience was that night-weaning was the cure for my kid's night-waking, but I didn't fully night-wean her until she was 2 years old. At 10.5 months I got her to reduce her night-wakings to a tolerable 1-2 per night by breaking the "suck to sleep" association she had formed. So I have to say that from my experience that part of your sleep consultant's plan sounds reasonable. I would work on that aspect of your sleep plan now and see what happens. If you can get your baby to realize that she can go to sleep without a breast in her mouth, you may see an improvement in the level of night-waking, hopefully one that is big enough that you won't need to contemplate completely night-weaning her.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    We night weaned Kate shortly after she turned a year and she then started sleeping through the night. At that time she was only waking one, maybe 2x a night. We were not co-sleeping though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon

    Default Re: Night waking "cured" by night weaning?

    My almost three year old weaned at 11 months. He is still up a lot (actually if I am truthful A.LOT!!!) He also has terrors, nightmares and both walks and talks in his sleep. And other than the terrors so did I, and my mom and quite possibly one of her parents too. It is about the kid. All about the kid. As a working mom I know how important the reconnection of nursing my baby to sleep and night nursing is for me. And for my daughter (16 months now) She also sleeps better than my almost 3 year old

    I am going to spout off an opinion which I have nothing to back up here. Ignore it if you want to. Sleep consultants are a pile of crock. They are also anti nursing and anti cosleeping and anti attachment parenting. I have never, ever come across or read, or head in any way one that believed that the bond between parent and child was important or extended (past about 6 months) nursing was beneficial. I noted that yours thinks that your baby should be eating more and getting less nutrition from breast milk (I should also note that my no-longer breastfeeding kid didn't eat many solids until about 15-18 months).
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.

    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

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