API does not have an official position on night weaning. Night nursing, like all nursing, is a special relationship between mother and child, and both must be happy and willing to continue this aspect of their relationship. With that said, night weaning should ideally occur when a child is developmentally ready. In general, readiness for weaning may naturally go through spurts and regressions, and it is natural for babies and toddlers to go through phases where they suddenly nurse more at night, perhaps in reaction to teething or reaching a developmental milestone during the day. As toddlers grow, it is natural for some mothers to begin to set developmentally appropriate limits on night nursing. If a child is objecting to limits, it may be a sign either that he is not developmentally ready or that there is some other underlying cause for the night waking. A mother is in the best position to know if her child is waking to nurse during the night to fulfill a need, either physical or emotional, or if nursing has become a habit that could potentially be replaced with other loving and compassionate interactions. Regardless of what the mother determines, the key is to remain compassionate, empathetic, and patient.
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