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Night nursing/weaning and the teeth!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My DS is 9.5 months old (DOB 5/29/10) and he has recently regressed to waking 2x/night instead of just 1x/night.  He wakes up every 4 hours, and I nurse him back to sleep.  I think he is very hungry, but I can't tell for sure.  He sleeps in a separate room (we all sleep much, much better that way, as much as I didn't want to admit it!) so I don't know if it's because by the time I hear him crying and get to him, he's maybe a little frantic?  (I have no idea how long he's crying.  I don't think it's long - but I don't have any proof of that)


He has 4 teeth - lower and upper front ones.  He's pretty gentle during the day, unless he's VERY hungry.  But, at night, his teeth HURT.  He's not biting, but his jaw definitely isn't open enough and it just hurts.  I'm sick of getting up every 4 hours at night to get chewed on.  We're considering trying a bottle at night but he's never taken a bottle at home well - he takes one at daycare pretty well, but only from certain people.


I'm also wondering if we should be looking at nightweaning and not having him fall asleep at the breast, for the health of his teeth!  I don't want him to fall asleep with milk in his mouth and end up with rotten teeth. 


Any tips on what age babies should be nightweaned or any tips on at least helping him wake up just 1x/night, which is totally tolerable?  Also, any tips on "rough" nursers at night?  



post #2 of 3

Honestly, I'd say your lucky and you should be thankful....I know that's not what you want to hear but my ds has always wakened 2x a night to feed except when teething, which was 5-6 times a night of crying and refusing to feed because of the pain!!


Your breastmilk isn't going to rot his teeth, but now is a good age to teach him not to fall asleep at the breast.  You simply remove him from the breast when he is practically asleep and allow him to finish falling asleep in your arms as a start.  If he fusses right away, put him back on again until the feeding slows and again remove from breast....gradually (sometimes quickly) they learn to fall asleep without the breast.  We had to make sure we had a better nighttime routine to make this work but it didn't take long.


You didn't really indicate how long he is sleeping at night....just how often he wakes up.  If his total hours are small, then the waking up is a problem....but if he's still getting his 10 hours or so in....then the waking up is normal.  In that case, the reducing it to one time may be a possible goal with patience and training him to fall asleep without the breast each time is a step in the right direction.  When we started that I would nurse till he was almost asleep and then turn him over to my dh.  Being with dh made it less of an expectation for babe to have milk and gave them some nice bonding time while my dh rocked him and hummed or 'shhhhushhed' him.


I wouldn't look to totally nightwean him though.  I think our little ones still need that once a night feeding.  They will know themselves when they don't.  It's not really up to our desire for sleep to determine that....as tempting as it is sometimes.  :)  hope this helped in some way.  I feel your frustration...I do....but do be thankful that it's not worse than it is!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  He sleeps 10-12 hours/night, so I guess that's ok.  Why will breastmilk not rot his teeth?


I guess now I need to look for a way to work on the teeth problem....ouch.

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