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  • Night weaning suggestions

    I am looking for suggestions for night weaning my 15 mth old DS. We nurse and co-sleep, and he usually still wakes anywhere from 3-6 times a night, and nurses back to sleep. I am not (yet!) planning to wean him completely, but would really like the multiple night nursings to stop...after 15 mths, more than 3 hours of sleep at a time seems like a dream! I am looking for any suggestions as to how to stop (or at least reduce!) the amount of night nursing my son wants, with a minimum amount of crying. Is this a pipe dream??? Has anyone out there had success with night weaning without large amounts of crying? I have tried the No-Cry Sleep Solution several times, but it has never really been successful for us. Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!!!

  • #2
    we are at the end of the 4th year of nrusing here ..
    been in probably every possible nursing problem there is and of course constant night sessions were
    good part of our lives for almost 3 years...

    what I discovered at about this time was that most of night sessions were about
    hunger thrist and sens of security...

    we were not co-sleeping in one bed, the crib was in the bedroom but far away and we live on busy street.
    so my dd was waking up frequently when she was in the sensitive phase of sleep upon any noise from the street and she was afraid to fall again without me so I would nurse she would fall asleep..

    second reasons for wake ups .. hunger..

    and funiest thing is that I would think that she totally was fed and good to go and she should not be hungry... untill I discovered that feeding her and then doing any night routines just made her hungry again so she woud be waking up. I started something quite different and fed her right before going to sleep. I mean literarly after she was bathed, and everything.. she would get her "bedtime foodie" and then
    story and sleep while nursing.

    this made HUUUUUUUUUGE difference. we do it till this day, we give her something feeling, calming and soothing that keeps her tummy full and happy and this list includes:

    farina cooked with milk
    oatmil cooked with milk
    half bagel soaked in milk and hten just served with spoon
    slice of hallah bread with butter and glass of warm milk.

    etc..

    as long as it is starch and milk based as this somehow sits really well on her tummy and she is never hungry.
    feeding her right before bedtime makes difference as their tummies are small and once it goes down they feel hungry really soon again.

    then thirst.. for this I learned to have a sippy with water all night long and when she wakes up for nursing I ask her "do you want water" and sometimes she just have sips and goes back to sleep or she will
    nurse one or two minutes and just claims" water" and then she finishes with water.

    so this worked really well...

    I wish I discovered and tried this eaarlier because for the first two years of her life I would have been up endless every night I stopped counting as it would be anything from 8 times to endless as she would sleep for few minutes and then back to nurse.. I literarly would sit up all night on that chair nursing her all night long fearing to drop her and I would not know any better to take her to the bed to nurse as I was afraid to roll over her.

    At aobut 3 I just pulled the cirb next to my side of the bed, removed the side as in toddler bed and many things changed ever since. she is less scared to sleep alone and I don't have to sit on this chair ever again..
    she wakes less, she is well fed for the night and she has her water to this day being close to 5 and if she wakes up sometimes she just want water and she really rearly wakes up for nursing anyways..

    hope this helps.

    hugs

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    • #3
      I actually found between 1-2 years to be really hard for night waking & attributed it to teething (molars are BIG), development (more large motor skills and learning to talk), and hunger (typical toddler busyness during the day meant tanking up at night). It honestly seemed harder to try and change the night wakings at that point than just living with it, so that's what we did. I did start introducing some ideas to shorten nursing sessions - Saying "yes, you can nurse until I count to 10 (sing Twinkle Twinkle, recite a favorite poem, whatever)", then not starting the countdown until they had gone from active nursing to comfort nursing. I also started offering back rubs and cuddles first instead of nursing at night, which periodically worked (but was more "work" for me than offering a breast ;-).

      When we did night wean, I had the most success using the suggestions from Jay Gordon's Good Nights. Only ideas I found that respected nursing to sleep and bed sharing while night weaning. My children were older though (2 1/2) when we used his ideas. I think what we'd done to shorten nursings and not always say yes immediately set the stage for eventual night weaning. His protocol is on-line at http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html. DD night weaned easily in a week using this. It was NOT easy for DS, though; DH was literally up with him every single night for a month (30 days, we counted). I'm glad to have a supportive partner who simply said it was "his turn". DS would not allow me to comfort hiim at all at first, and wouldn't let either of us comfort him in bed. Eventually we could rub his back or cuddle to help him fall back asleep. He continues (8 1/2) to have frequent night wakings, but hasn't needed parental help to fall back asleep for many years. He moved into his own bed earlier this year and I will at times find him up reading in the middle of the night. Sorry, son, guess you inherited Mom's insomnia.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your replies. Cherik, I own the Jay Gordon book (the only book out of the many that I purchased during my DS's first year that is not gathering dust!) and was thinking of trying his strategy; I'm glad to hear that you used it with (some!) success. I have a feeling my little guy might take longer than the 10 days too! Thanks again for your reply.

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        • #5
          i had to do a double take to make sure your post was not mine from the past! i had the exact same scenario a few months ago. jay gordon's book (he's our doc) was the only one i finally resorted to, but i actually found a method that worked for us that i found to be simpler in a way. i wrote 2 detailed posts about it on my natural pregnancy/birth/parenting blog if you'd like to check it out. the link is below. jay actually said i should consider writing an article about how i did it once i described it to him.

          this is the main page. under "topics" on the right, click on "co-sleeping and bed-sharing"...there are 2 posts from a few months ago about my night weaning there:

          http://www.babymanualblog.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Thanks for post. It’s really informative stuff.I really like to read.Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here! my best regards guys!

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