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If you were still night nursing when you and your STBX separated/divorced....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Did you night wean your child before his/her first overnight visit with your STBX so that he/she would be prepared to deal with waking up and not having access to nursing or did you continue to nurse overnight and then just hope that he/she wouldn't expect to nurse at night if you weren't around. I'm thinking of night weaning my 2 1/2 year old in preparation for overnight visits with her dad, but part of me is hesitant to do so and I know that little ones can sense hesitancy, which can make night weaning difficult.
post #2 of 14
i don't have experience with this exactly (i lurk here as a married mom who is dealing with the possibility of becoming single), but i have left my currently-night-nursing toddler for overnights with his dad twice. this was at our home, while i spent the night elsewhere. he wanted me in the night - i don't think it mattered about nursing. i mean, he would have wanted me even if he were night-weaned, or completely weaned.

otoh, i did night-wean my older son at 18 months, in preparation for the birth of his younger brother. i used the no-cry sleep solution for toddlers, and we were able to accomplish it with no crying or freaking out. i look back on that, and look at my current night-nurser, and think, "how?!" but we did. (and he continued to nurse until 3 years, 3 months.)

i think it would be nice for her to keep the closeness of night-nursing when you are together, if you want to continue. i don't think that would make it harder for her to be away from you at night. but if you feel it's best, or would be less confusing for her if she were night-weaned, then i want to reassure you that it doesn't have to hurt your nursing relationship. good luck!
post #3 of 14
I pump for DD when she has her overnights with her dad, not to give to her necessarily, but to keep up my supply. Nursing has been such a comfort to both of us during this trying time, I cannot imagine weaning her during this huge transition.
post #4 of 14
My son is 13mo, and he has not nightweaned. He does have overnight visit's with his dad, and they seem to go well (based on my son's reactions to coming home - not based on what his dad tells me).

My thought is this - Lincoln knows that when he is with me he can nurse. He also knows that when he is with his dad he is not with me, and therefore he can't nurse. I think his first few overnights were hard, but his dad learned ways of comforting him, and Lincoln responds to him positively.

good luck making your decision!
post #5 of 14
I did not nightwean when DS started overnights and it worked out fine. Like one of the PPs said, I think he just understood that he nursed with mommy, he had other comforts with Daddy.
We would snuggle and nurse when he got home the next day.

btw, I did eventually night wean and I would agree, they can sense if you are not 100% sure of it being the right thing. If the night nursing isn't bothering you too much, I might recommend waiting until you guys are not in such transition. It might be a nice comfort/bonding for both of you during this time.

Good luck to you.
post #6 of 14
I did not nightwean (i'd had several failed attempts at it and given up), I was nervous about overnights, but it actually worked out fine. DS started doing overnights at the age of 25 months. He has apparently never asked for milk during the night, just cuddled back to sleep when he woke, and now wakes only a couple of times a night when at his dad's...and still about 6 times a night with me (b/c of the milk being available). My impression is that they kind of know and accept when the milk is not an option, but then my son was used to being soothed to sleep by his dad from before we split up (he used to regularly put him down for naps and occasionally bedtime too) so I was confident that he knew how to go back to sleep without nursing.

Good luck with your decision. I would say listen to your child and what he needs and don't rush anything.
post #7 of 14
i left x when ds2 was a few months short of being 2, and he was not nightweaned. his first few nights alone with daddy were really hard on them both, but they figured it out. kids are adaptable, thank god.
post #8 of 14
DS is 26 months now, and he's not weaned. When he goes to overnights at his dad's house, he seems okay with not nursing and he sleeps pretty well for his dad. They have a different routine together.
I think it works out okay at 2+, but it would have been really hard much earlier than that. I guess we started doing overnights at around 22 months? DS is used to going 8 hours without nursing at daycare, and my supply has dropped off enough that I can go overnight without exploding.
post #9 of 14
My ds was 18 months old when he started doing overnights, and I did not night wean him. I felt that any sort of weaning process would have been more difficult for him during the upheaval and transition. He used a sippy cup w/water while at hid dad's, and of course, had his special stuffed animal to snuggle with. He still woke through the night, but accepted the fact that being away from Mama meant no nursies that night. He adapted very easily. And I think it was a huge comfort for him to come home to me and know that he could still nurse when he needed/wanted to. In that way, nursing was a HUGE comfort to him - made him feel secure that he would always come home to Mama and nursing helped cement his feeling of security.
post #10 of 14
My DS was already totally weaned when this type of thing became an issue however I would encourage you not to night-wean just b/c of overnight visits.

DS is 4.5 and we co-sleep. DS has his own room and his own bed but I give him the choice of where he is most comfortable. Sometimes he just wants me to lay with him in his bed until he falls asleep (and then he inevitably joins me at some point in the night) and other times he wants to be with me from the start.

At his dad's house DS has his own room and his own bed and he sleeps there. I know he wakes up a lot and wakes up earlier than he does at home. He is exhausted when he comes home from time at his fathers.

Sometimes I think maybe he'd sleep better at his dad's if I weaned him off co-sleeping with me. However I think the benefits of co-sleeping, especially when he's been at his dad's for a while, are really important. It gives us a chance to reconnect, and it gives DS a chance to make up for his lost sleep.

I would imagine that nursing would be the same. It will help reaffirm your connection to your LO upon his return.

Good luck and HUGS to you!!!
post #11 of 14
My DS is now 4.5 years old and still nurses at night at my house. He started overnights with his dad a little after he turned 3 and he just knew that milkies and cosleeping were for at Mommy's house and water and his own bed were for at Daddy's house. He would still much rather not spend the night at his dad's house, but the papers say 1 night/week, and his dad insists, so...I think kids are pretty adaptable as long as they know what to expect.
post #12 of 14
dd is 7 1/2 years and still nurses. though i am not sure if it is the end because hse hasnt wanted to nurse for the past two weeks.

we separated when dd was 18 months old. we gradually started overnights when dd was 3. we did one night with daddy and one night with mommy during the week and weekends with mommy. by 3 seh was old enough to ask for a soft toy or have daddy snuggle with hre a little bit.

i would definitely not go down the night weaning route just for this reason. my dd figured out a way to sleep with her dad which replaced nursing at his home.
post #13 of 14
I didn't wean Gus before he went to his dad's house for 10 days. He was fine but when he came back, that was that. I tried to nurse him and he looked at me like I was insane! He was 13 months old.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you, everyone, for your responses; they have allayed my stress over the possibility of night weaning. For now, I'm going to continue to nurse at night.
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