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  • Need To Wean DS from Nighttime Nursing

    DS is almost 9 months old & co-sleeps w/ me. I am 4 months pregnant & my nipples are extremely sore & latch on is getting unbareable. And I dread bedtime every night due to the pain. DS is not a sound sleeper. He pulls on & off & moves while still attached so I am sure you can imagine how painful it can get! Plus he is teething & restless at night from that as well. I need to wean him from nursing at night in order to keep nursing him during the day. Plus I need sleep. I am exhausted. Haven't had much sleep in four years, lol! Every 2-3 weeks I get about 2-3 hours straight sleep but other than that I am pretty much awake all night w/ just a few minutes every hour & an hour sleep somewhere around 7:30-8:30am. I have tried a bottle, pacifier, (neither of which he ever had before), won't take them, tried nipple shield but he bit it twice (while I was wearing it!), & my DH tries to rock him to sleep but if all he wants is me well.....he gets really upset & I end up nursing him. Any ideas of how I can gently, but quickly, wean him before I lose my sanity?

  • #2
    Lots of views but no replies. Maybe there is no AP approach to this? I bought different pacifiers & bottles & hope it will help. Milk supply decreasing & need to supplement some how so trying to find right bottle anyway. I am desperate & do not know what to do. Do not want to put him in a crib & cio but do not want to bed share & night nurse either but do not know what to do. Maybe AP was not right for us. I am feeling quite depressed & in a no win situation. There just has to be a gentle way to balance DS & my needs both.

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    • #3
      i'm sorry you're having such a tough time. i'm sure the reason you haven't gotten replies is b/c you're in a somewhat unique situation w/3 nurslings. there is ALWAYS a gentle way, even if the answer is not always evident. continue to follow your gut here.

      have you tried having him sleep on a separate surface next to your bed? have you tried Calms Forte for the teething? have you ruled out food allergies?

      dr. jay gordon offers some gentle tips. i hesitate to post it, though, b/c he's very adamant about not trying it before age 1. but i'm thinking that you may be able to glean some ideas from it, even if you're not ready to do the whole routine.
      http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp

      i'm thinking, too, that at 9 mos, you may want to skip a bottle and offer a sippy cup. he's certainly old enough for it and, after nursing for so long, traditional bottles aren't going to require the suck that a good sippy cup can.

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      • #4
        I didn't answer this because the youngest baby I've night weaned is a two year old! So, I'll have to imagine that I'm in your situation.

        I had the same thought as PaxMamma with the Jay Gordan and have been debating whether to suggest it as it is for older babies. It is probably what I would do in your situation. I am sure it would involve some crying, maybe a lot, but it would be crying with a person not alone in a room.

        I would prep my baby for it by explaining what was going to happen. I'd probably tell him several times a day for two days how things were going to change at night. I 'm not sure how much would sink in at that age but I bet that something would. I would try offering different things to satisfy his hunger at night. I've heard of people using bottles, sippy cups, regular cups and even solid food. Hopefully he'll accept one of them. I realize solid food sounds a little strange but it may satisfy his hunger without "reminding" him of what he is missing.

        I would also experiment with who comforted him in the night. I know for many people it is helpful for dad to take over but for my DS it was much more stressful to be with dad than to be with me even though he could not nurse.

        Whatever you do give yourself a break. You are in a tough situation and you have the needs of your whole family to look after. Even if this night weaning does not turn out to be as "gentle" as you would like think of all the resilience your LO has gained from all the AP parenting he has received.

        Good luck, keep us posted.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
          have you tried Calms Forte for the teething?
          ack! meant to say Hyland's teething tablets for teething, but you could try calms forte for kids for the sleeping, too!

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          • #6
            Yes, you have a very unique situation. I night weaned my first when he was 11m but he was very OK with it (not counting that long wake-up nurse). He would barley even make a noise if I didn't offer the breast at a waking, I would pat and he would go back to sleep. I think part of my success at that was his personality and love of sleep. I also had been slowly doing that over months, putting it on hold for a stuffy nose or a few days of teething.
            My second has been a totally different thing, we have reduced nursings to maybe 2 or three and I try to keep them short. (he is 13m now) I do get more sleep, but his needs are still met -abiet not exactly- but balance is closer for both of us. He REFUSES to take night comfort from my husband where my first was OK with it.

            You ask
            Any ideas of how I can gently, but quickly, wean him before I lose my sanity?
            At 9m most of us feel are too young, but once again balance is important.

            Lets try to think of creative answers for the short term transition. I don't think just accepting his anger and unhappiness is the route you want to take. What would work? I think your husband has to be willing to do some things like maybe=

            Take him on a walk outside in the stroller or backpack...even if its cold outside, bundle him up.
            Go downstairs and get a snack....
            Listen to some music, take a bath.....
            Then when he is ready to go to sleep, walk him in the carrier or whatever.

            THEN transition into not doing the interim thing into sleeping all night with out nursing.
            You can be responsive and loving regardless of the situation.

            Or any thing he enjoys..that helps him transition from what prefers (nursing).

            No one is going to say it won't be tough on both of you.....

            Comment


            • #7
              If you need to supplement anyway, could your DH give him a bottle or sippy cup of milk in the night instead? My kids would never take an alternative from ME, but if they were going to take it they'd take it from DH.

              hang in there and good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you to all who replied, I appreciate it!

                After getting a small amt of sleep & recovering from being sick, for second time, I am feeling a bit better & thinking a little clearer. I realize now that it is not a reasonable possibility to wean DS2 from night nursing. He cannot go all night w/o eating at least some & he won't take supplements of any kind, inc. DH, at night. Plus it is not fair to suddenly strip him of his comfort & security. So, what I have done is supplement a little hear & there throughout the daytime by letting him chew on pacifier, won't suck on it & don't blame him lol, & water from bottle a little bit & he eats some food too. I only offer supplements after his tummy is full with BM. Also, closer to nighttime I do not let him pop on & off. After his tummy is filled, we all play w/ him & I hold him off until in bed to nurse to sleep. It really helps me to deal w/ night better & gives nipples time to heal a little. Like last night DS1 & DD chased him around the room & he was laughing so hard & had fun that he was exhasted by bed & nursed to sleep well instead of his normal "torture mommy" nursing, lol!

                I am going to print out the doctor link Dedra posted & we are going to tweak it to help us in a way we, the baby & us, are comfortable with. I think it had some great methods but since DS2 is a bit young yet, we will have to adapt it for us.

                Also wanted to mention that DH does really try to help w/ baby & he doesn't get much sleep either & also, older two sleep one on each side of him & he cares for them throughout the night as well. And DS2 is the only one I nurse during the night, not the other two.

                DS2's top four teeth finally all popped through & he is a little easier to deal w/ now! We love Hyland's! They work great for his teeth usually, just difficult when it is something else w/ him. But Hyland's is the only thing we have tried that ever worked! Orajel never did w/ first two & meds make them feel bad so hate doing that! DS2 has 6 teeth total now w/ two on bottom as well!

                There was a couple suggestions posted that we haven't tried yet & plan on giving them a try as well. Thank you all so much!

                p.s. It is amazing what 3 hours of straight sleep can do for a sleep deprived mom's thinking, lol! Feel alot better about situation & have more possitive outlook.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i'm glad you're feeling better! it's true, attitude and sleep can make a world of difference!

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                  • #10
                    I can't handle this anymore! My DH & I believe with all our hearts that AP is the best way to raise children. Also from a theological point of view. But, I am so beyond frustrated & stressed that I do not know what to do. AP is right but could it be that I am not right for AP? I feel like such a failure, not only as a mother but as a Christian as well. I really am trying but getting so overwhelmed! DS2 has been sucking on me for an hour & a half straight & I took him off & tried to put him asleep another way but nothing ever works. DH is holding him, while he cries off & on, in the other room. DD is upset b/c daddy isn't laying beside her b/c he is holding DS2. I am hiding in other room so I can vent a little & cry before I have to go back in & nurse DS2 to sleep again. Everyone talks about balance but nobody is in my situation with such young little ones, two nursing & all co-sleeping & I am pregnant & I do not know where to turn for help. I love my kids dearly & wouldn't trade them for the world. I just wish I could be a better mom for them. I so stink at this! Sorry to vent but had to get it out in writing so I will be a little less angry when I get back to DS2. Although I think DH may have put DS2 to sleep finally, maybe I should keep hiding lol! DH just informed me everyone is asleep. Whoo hoo! We can watch a movie we have rented 3 times & never got to watch b/c someone keeps us up, lol! Dedra, I might PM you soon if it is ok? I have some issues w/ AP I would rather discuss one on one if that is alright w/ you? Please let me know. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      i am sorry you are so frustrated. i am always available for PM or email. let me hear from you soon.

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                      • #12
                        Blessedmama,

                        to you. Wish I could come over and offer my help. How are you feeling this morning?

                        You sound really burnt out. Is there any way you can get some extra help or rest? Call in the cavalry? Are there any friends or family that can help you out? Can you aford to hire someone? I think anything you can do right now to get yourself some mental and physical rest will help you to make the best decision when it comes to your sleeping/nursing situation.

                        As you said, no one else seems to have as many kids as close in age as you do. I hope you are not expecting yourself to be able to parent in exactly the same way as someone with two, widely spaced kids. In fact, even with two widely spaced kids, I feel I'm not able to meet the standard that many parents seem to on this board. I can't imagine how hard it would be in your situation.

                        Be kind to yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Blessedmama,

                          My heart goes out to you. I am sending you a big warm hug here in cyberspace.
                          I can feel what you are going through. Sorry I cannot offer any advice on how to deal with your situation, I only have one child.

                          I know you will find your way, you are not a failure, you will find how AP fits your family.
                          It is hard to find solutions when we feel off-centered and overwhelmed. I know you will find your center and your vibe to turn this around! You are blessed!!

                          Take care,

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you for your replies and kind words! The night I posted my last post actually turned out to be nice. DH got DS to fall asleep & held him while I fixed us food & when DS woke up I nursed him on mattress on floor & then was able to get away from him for a couple hours! DH & I snuggled up & watched a movie & talked awhile & I felt better. But then came time to go to bed w/ DS, lol!

                            DH thinks I do not give myself enough credit & that I am too hard on myself. He reminds me just how great our children are & that it is mostly b/c of how I care for them & the way I/we use AP. He also reminds me that I sacrifice alot to care for our children & how thankful he is that I do all the things I do for the best interest of our children. We discussed that there are some things we need to change in the way we are doing things in order to best benefit the children as well as us & as a family as a whole. DH is worried about me & my well being. So we are working on ways to better our current situation & make life run a little more smoothly & joyful for all of us. The biggest problem I have is lack of sleep. I turn into "mean mommy" when I cannot get sleep, which lately has been alot, & well, the whole family suffers for it. I get up with horrible headache & cannot stand any noise which does not go well in a house with kids! LOL!

                            So, the following is the major areas that we need to work on b/c they are affecting us the most, especially me:

                            1.) I need to find a way to get sleep.

                            2.) I need way to get time to fix snacks/small meals through out the day (have low blood sugar & get sick & upset easily if not eat often)

                            3.) Need a little time to myself every once in awhile.

                            If any ideas on how to tackle any of the above issues, please let me know

                            And sorry for venting on last post. Was middle of night & needed to "talk" to someone......thanks for listening

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE PROBLEM..........I think DS is uncomfortable & needs harder surface to sleep on. Think he feels more secure that way. (will have to go into more detail later) But still working on my theory, lol! I will have to try out for awhile first, in case I am wrong. Will let you know what happens!

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