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Mama-Led Weaning Support Thread

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
Hi! I need a mama-led weaning support thread, and I'm sure there are others out there who do too! So, whatever age your kid is and whether you are weaning super-gradually or faster, come on in and introduce yourself!
post #2 of 130
Thread Starter 
I will start.

I am Mel, and my DS is 27 mo. We are on the super-gradual mama-led weaning track. So far I have pretty much nightweaned and cut him off from nursing when he wakes up, from both nighttime and naps. That was really bugging me. So I don't plan to take any more steps toward weaning again for a couple weeks yet, as he is still getting used to waking up happy without daybees. Ok truthfully he only wakes up happy half the time but I have stood my ground so far...it seems to be helping his sleep too. He still nurses a few to several times a day, as well as down for his nap, often once at night (yeah not completely nightweaned but close enough for now), and at bedtime (but not to sleep at bedtime, his daddy has put him to sleep at bedtime for over a year).

Looking forward to the exchanging of experiences and advice!
post #3 of 130
Hi, Mel,

I'm with you! DS is 25 months. I nightweaned a couple of months back. We had some setbacks due to illness, moving, things like that. But, have easily gotten back on track.

I desperately need to get rid of nursing upon waking. I can't take the a.m. nursing anymore. I need to be able to get up earlier than DS get showered and put together. I don't mind if he still nurses down to the rare nap, or to bed, but the morning "nap" (which is what he calls nursing/breasts...actually he calls one baby nap and the other big nap...I wonder if he gets better results on one side )

Any tips you have for morning-weaning would be VERY much appreciated!!!
post #4 of 130
Hmm, my DD is much younger. I still have a bit of guilt about nightweaning her (she just turned 1) so I would love support. I hope I can both give and get support in this thread!
I will say that DD is an always has been a very crappy sleeper. She would wake anywhere from 3-6 times during the night, and then get up for the day at 6 or 7. I woh part time, and I have been dragging myself everywhere since she was born.
I was practically counting the days until she turned one so I could start gently night weaning. I wouldn't do it earlier. I knew she needed the milk.

But, so far, so good. I decided I wanted no nursies b/c 11 pm and 6 am, no matter what it takes. DD and I bedshare and DH sleeps in the living room. So far, one night I had to get up and rock, and that was torture, but I knew that if I gave in and nursed, I would be in this situation for much longer and I desperately need to get some sleep.
Last night was good. She slept from 10 til 4. When she woke up, I snuggled her in my arms and she fell back asleep. She woke up again at 7. I call that success. We nursed immediately upon waking (my boobs were so engorged) and then she had some cereal for breakfast.

I hope it goes well. I hope she starts sleeping better. I really, really need to get some sleep.

Other than that, I'm still "playing it by ear" as to when we will wean completely, but I feel like it will be mama-led. I will be gentle, of course, but plan to wean by the time she's 2. So I'm happy to find this thread.
post #5 of 130
Thread Starter 
Hi girls! Sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread.

twilight - I don't really know that I have any tips on morning weaning. Just one day I was like, ok kiddo, from now on in the morning you have to wait to have daybees until I am upstairs and have had a drink of water and my coffee. He was upset. Several days later he was less upset. But we still have one time daybees allowed during the night too, so if that is closer to the morning, it makes him a lot more cheerful when he wakes up. If anyone has any tips on getting him to wake up cheerful without nursing or just having nursed not too long before (also from naps), I am all ears. He has been a total crank-bucket.

BabyCakes, how is it going now? Your post made it sound like nightweaning is working great so far! Seems like night nursing is the first thing to go for all of us. Well, except nursing in public for me, I gave that up at about 18-19 months, for the most part.
post #6 of 130
Great idea for a thread. My DD is 21 months and i am desperately wanting to night wean or wean all together. im 6 months pregnant and its just really irritating to me at this point. i havent minded the sore nipples (got through that when she was a newborn i knew i could do it again!) and i was planning to tandem, but now i get this irritating sensation altogether when we nurse. She is definitely not nursing for milk anymore (she doesnt swallow for one), she is using it to pacify when she's hurt (which is still very nice for both of us), tired, needing one on one time with me, and to go to sleep. Seemed like we had some progress night weaning for a week or so but then she started teething really bad or something was stressing her b/c we went right back to nursing several times at night and at 5am or 6am (we "wake up" at 7). this used to work for me when i could sleep through the last part of the feedings but now it is so irritating that i have to keep moving her hands away so they dont tickle/irritate me and i am WIDE awake until she's done. in addition to wanting to wean for my own reasons, im worried that she senses my irritation toward her nursing and feels like im pushing her away and cant wait until she is done. she is a very intuitive and sensitive child. SO. any advice on night weaning is appreciated and weaning in general. id like to do it "gently" but the longer this goes on im more and more open minded. my MW said she just told her two year old that they dont nurse any more and then made sure she was covered all the time. i would love to do it like this because im ready to be done tonight! but i know this will not go over without a fight with my DD. gotta run... she needs me. thanks everyone for posting on here- it helps to hear we're not alone!
post #7 of 130
Things are going really well. I hate to say that and jinx it, but it's true. For the most part, Nora is sleeping soundly on her own w/no wake ups from 9:30 pm until 3:30 or 4 am.

One night she slept through till 5 am. I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked at the clock!

A few times, though, she has woken at 4, and I do everything in my power to get her to sleep. I hug her tight, I let her go and crawl around, I sing, I rock. She just will.not.settle. Finally I give in, give her a few min of nursies, and still, no sleeping. That's when I take her to DH and she just lays her head down and goes to sleep. I wonder if she wants him, but can't say it.

I wanted to add that we're also nursing far less often during the day, too, b/c I've introduced a sippy cup w/either water or soymilk. She GULPS down the soymilk. I only put 2 or so oz in, and it's only for going out in public (like in Target or something). But it tides her over and now we're only nursing a few times a day -- wake up, before nap, after nap, one more time, and then before bed.
post #8 of 130
I was so happy to see mama led weaning! DD is 23 months and we are down to one nursing and that is the 5 or 6 am one. We want to get pregnant soon and I really have zero desire to nurse with sore nipples and even less desire to go it tandem. We started weaning around six months ago and it is getting easier as she is understanding more I think. Just last week we got rid of the bedtime one. She still asks for it but I gently remind her she can have more in the morning. We are working very slowly dropping one nursing a month, which is great for both of us, she can adjust and I can recover...

My best advice for someone wanting to wean is to be in the right frame of mind if you aren't ready to spend an extra hour or two cuddling or calming that first night (or whatever time) it will be rough. And introduce the idea of "all gone" that has been a great help to me.

Good luck fellow mommies!
post #9 of 130
I'm not actively weaning DD by my standards but I guess by MDC standards I am .

Babycakes , I started gradually nightweaning DD at 9.5 months, and by 10.5m she got down to no wakings between 10 and 4am, bliss! I had been a total zombie and felt I just couldn't do it any more, it was really starting to affect how I interacted with her. She's had a cold so we've had a fortnight of frequent wakings (which have been much more bearable as I've had more sleep previously, and I know it's short term) but I started again with the nightweaning two nights ago. Last night she woke at 2 and then not till 7 which was fantastic. If I can keep her consistently with the first waking not till 4 I'll be delighted, I'm going back to work in 1.5 months and need my sleep.

DD has an early morning feed usually around 6, then feeds maybe once or twice in the day, then bedtime. I think I'll probably want to wean around 2 but will have to see, interesting to read everyone's experiences here
post #10 of 130
Hi everyone! I started the super-gradual weaning when ds was 18 months and was taking it really slow until I found out I was pg last month. DS is 21 months old now and we have done the opposite of most - we have cut out all day nursing besides pre- and post-nap. We stopped nursing to sleep at night for the most part, but sometimes I will break down and do it if we are getting towards midnight and he will just not settle.

At this point, he goes down between 10-11pm, we put him in his hammock where he stays until 4-5am when he crawls back into our bed and nurses non-stop until 8-9am.

I plan on keeping it the way it is for a month or so and just waiting to see what happens to my milk supply. At that point, I will probably start working on night-weaning, or at the very least reducing the night nursing significantly.
post #11 of 130
Thread Starter 
Welcome everyone!

Things are going well here, I think DS is finally ok with not nursing when he wakes up! Yesterday he woke from a nap and didn't even ask to nurse, then went BACK to SLEEP! Amazing! It's also getting easier to tell him at night to wait until closer to morning for his "one time" daybees, and he will go back to sleep.

So now it's one time at night, one time to sleep at nap, near bedtime, and maybe 3 times during the day. I can live with that for right now, especially now that he has somewhat learned to wake up without nursing!
post #12 of 130
I am happy to see this thread! I have started our weaning journey differently to the way I thought I would...
DS is 26 mos and before we went away for the summer he was nursing to nap, to go to bed at night and from 5am on and off until we got up.
Suddenly the nursing to sleep was not working as the sedative it previously was.
So, I just toild him that we won't do it anymore, just cuddles and kisses, songs and books at bedtime.
He fussed for 5 minutes the first night, longer the 2nd night and we were done! He'd ask for 'nip' most nights but I'd say no and he'd roll over and put himself to sleep.
I was ecstatic with this breakthrough!

Next, we had a really busy summer and were outdoors alot so often nap would be in the car or stroller so no 'nip'. If we were in bed though, he would ask and I would give it.

Since we got back home, the past few weeks he's resisting his nap big-time. I am hesitant to believe that he is transitioning out of it because he's always tired after lunch. Even 'nip' won't send him to sleep 9/10 times. We're having quiet time with a book for an hour if we're at home.
Any experience of this Mamas?

On the plus side, he is falling asleep in his own room (another breakthrough with no CIO or anything unpleasant for him) before 7.30pm because he is exhausted due to the lack of napping. Bedtime had been getting later and later. He usually wakes between 1-4am and comes into our bed.

So I need to get rid of the morning nurse-a-thon. I cannot sleep through it. He falls asleep and then 5 mins later, 'nip nip nip'! Drives me crazy. I am leaving it a few weeks though because he's been through alot of change; travel, visiting relatives, Daddy always travelling with work, all in the past few months, poor guy.
I am his only constant and I want to take away his beloved 'nip'!!!
post #13 of 130
Thread Starter 
Welsh - welcome! Could you maybe say you are going to nip for just a few minutes or whatever and then cuddle? He will still be getting tons of love from you.

I haven't had the experience of resisting naps, my little guy loves his naps. Do you think it's related to the weaning? I was thinking for us, nursing to sleep at naptime might be the next thing to go.
post #14 of 130
Hi Welsh, DD is 23mo and is over napping it was taking more time and aggravation to get her down than if I kept her up and let her go to bed early. So for the last 3 weeks no more naps, I notice the same thing in her really tired after lunch but with a little down time and rest she makes it to bedtime ok. It does kind of sound like he is done with the afternoon nap, I just remember the transition was rough for a few weeks when she went from two down to one nap.

Does he go down by himself or do you lay with him at night? I am wondering because I don't know how to get DD to go to sleep by herself or if I am hoping for too much here.
post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by calgal1111 View Post
Does he go down by himself or do you lay with him at night? I am wondering because I don't know how to get DD to go to sleep by herself or if I am hoping for too much here.
I sit on the floor next to his bed until he's asleep.
The first week, we read about 6 books and sang for ages. Now, after a couple of books and songs I encourage him to close his eyes and go to sleep. He seems to like turning his back on me and facing the wall!??!!!

He had been already rolling over to sleep for a month or so when we were fully cosleeping. This was a step on from falling asleep with my nipple in mouth.
I feel like he's guided us toward this next step of his own bed.
I was suspecting that I was waking him up getting into bed and with my general stirrings.
I'm also a really light sleeper and I know that I'm going to be a better Mama in the day when I'm getting more sleep.

Good luck!
post #16 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarefootScientist View Post
Welsh - welcome! Could you maybe say you are going to nip for just a few minutes or whatever and then cuddle? He will still be getting tons of love from you.

I haven't had the experience of resisting naps, my little guy loves his naps. Do you think it's related to the weaning? I was thinking for us, nursing to sleep at naptime might be the next thing to go.
Thanks for the welcome!

When he asks for nip at night, I can pull off after a few minutes but he wakes frequently again as opposed to wanting long nursing sessions. I've tried offering water, pacifier but no, only nip will do!

We are having lots of cuddle time to compensate in the day and he doesn't seem bothered when he asks and I say no. I don't think resisting the nap is related to weaning but then....you never know!
post #17 of 130

We're done!


I thought I'd be sad but I'm not at all. I am really proud that I nursed DS for 26 months. We dealt with food allergies at the beginning and I did some hardcore elimination dieting. He's healthy, we're really attached. I'm usually quite self-deprecating but here I can say, for sure, I did a good job

So, what happened?
Well, 2 nights ago, my nipples were really sore due his constant nursing in the early a.m. There didn't seem to be any milk left. So he went to bed as usual at 7ish and woke at 11pm. I took him into our bed but refused to nurse, just snuggle, rock etc etc He woke fully and was upset for ages. Wanted to go downstairs. Refused drinks offered. Eventually fell asleep. So I figured, I've refused to nurse once, I don't want to go back now and just nurse at next wake up because I'm tired.
Same again at 1am and 4am. Woke for good at 6am.

Last night, he went to sleep at 7.30 in his bed and didn't wake until 4am. He woke, came into our bed and didn't ask to nurse!!!!!!!!! OMG!
He threw himself down on the pillow and immediately went to sleep.
Woke for good at 6.30 and didn't ask to nurse then either.

Who knows what tonight will bring....

Last night I had 5 hours straight sleep. First time in over 2 years.
I needed it!!!!
post #18 of 130
Mind if I join? DD is almost 3. At 34 months, we were at the tail end of mama-led, very gradual weaning. She hasn't nursed in over 2 months. And me? I'm feeling horribly guiltiy about it, and miss nursing my little girl! She doesn't seem to mind, and never asks anymore, but I feel so bad. Should I reintroduce it? I doubt she remembers how. I know I was getting resentful of the nursing, and it was irritating me to no end. That wasn't good. Why am I second guessing myself? Dd is likely going to be my only child (not by choice).
post #19 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
Mind if I join? DD is almost 3. At 34 months, we were at the tail end of mama-led, very gradual weaning. She hasn't nursed in over 2 months. And me? I'm feeling horribly guiltiy about it, and miss nursing my little girl! She doesn't seem to mind, and never asks anymore, but I feel so bad. Should I reintroduce it? I doubt she remembers how. I know I was getting resentful of the nursing, and it was irritating me to no end. That wasn't good. Why am I second guessing myself? Dd is likely going to be my only child (not by choice).
I would not reintroduce it at this point. I think she reached a milestone and it would be confusing for her to start nursing again. And nursing her out of guilt probably isn't the best idea. I would suggest that you find other really great ways to reconnect with her. There are lots of ways to show affection!!
post #20 of 130
Thread Starter 
welsh

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
Mind if I join? DD is almost 3. At 34 months, we were at the tail end of mama-led, very gradual weaning. She hasn't nursed in over 2 months. And me? I'm feeling horribly guiltiy about it, and miss nursing my little girl! She doesn't seem to mind, and never asks anymore, but I feel so bad. Should I reintroduce it? I doubt she remembers how. I know I was getting resentful of the nursing, and it was irritating me to no end. That wasn't good. Why am I second guessing myself? Dd is likely going to be my only child (not by choice).
Welcome! Although I'm not there yet...I think I agree with PP, if she hasn't nursed in 2 months and isn't asking, it might confuse her to offer...but you nursed for over 2.5 years, awesome job mama! And there are still so many other ways to connect and love her.
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