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Weaning a spirited toddler

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My spirited daughter is 2.5 years old and I am wondering if I will ever successfully wean her.


I tried nightweaning as she was still nursing 2-5 times in the middle of the night.  We went 3 weeks with my husband helping out in the middle of the night but only taking one wake up on weekdays as I am stay at home and he works full time and didn't think he could handle more.  After 3 weeks of often being up with her for 1-2 hours in the middle of the night (mostly trying to successfully transfer her from my arms rocking or walking to her bed), my husband got sick and couldn't do the middle of the nights and then went on a four day business trip.  I completely crumbled and went back to nursing her at bedtime and nighttime which I hadn't done in 3 weeks but she was still begging for it, though not uncontrollable I just couldn't handle it all on my shoulders anymore (the sleep deprivation was horrible).


Once I stopped, I tried to restart after my husband's return.  I was met with SO MUCH screaming and crying that I didn't last a week before I gave up again.  Plus, Thanksgiving came and I didn't want to subject any of us to that much screaming in a foreign environment (plus I didn't want to subject my parents to it).


So here I am, nursing at naptime, bedtime, nighttime, and mornings.  I wish I had tons of milk and was okay with it all, but sometimes I am so low on milk that I feel my body has nothing left to give.


Most weaning threads I read say, after a week of nightweaning it all gets easier.  I wish it only took a week, but I think her intense, persistent, sensitive personality requires something different.  I am not sure I should be weaning at all some days and other days I think I should have weaned already.



post #2 of 4

I'm sorry I don't have any advice but wanted to offer some sympathy.


My son is much younger ~18 months~ but I feel we're both ready for nightweaning and I am so scared, for all the reasons you mention. He is very strong-willed as well, and I can't see us getting through it without loads of screaming and I don't know if I will cave in after even just one hour!!! But for many reasons I feel it is time and I am just putting it off till after our Christmas vacation when we're back home. I feel similarly confused though as you do, and I know his crying over it will make me even more confused. Ach!


I hope to see some good replies here as I could also use the support!


Good luck!

post #3 of 4

My son is one of the most willful stubborn creatures on the planet (takes after his mama!!!) 


Nightweaning for us, only took 3 days. What we did ahead of time, was a few weeks ahead of time, we started a nighttime routine in which I nursed him until he was almost drowsy and then my husband took over, rocking and singing him to sleep. We used the Jay Gordon method. 


Once we started night weaning, the few days we did it, my husband and I would take turns, soothing him back to sleep. We'd hold him in our arms, say "shhh shh" and rub his back, his arm and his feet- giving him the physical contact but not the milk. 


It worked until I got pregnant. Now he's been waking up at 3 am DEMANDING milk, and screaming bloody murder until I give in around 5:30. :( AND he's nursing all. day. long. too. I'm completely WIPED OUT. 

post #4 of 4

Im in the same boat and hoping someone out there can offer some solid advice. I am so ready to nightwean my 18 mo sprited DS. The problem is his willfulness. I always end up caving to him beacause it's easier... Horrible parenting, I know. DH is not home at bedtime to help and does not have the patience to deal with him during the night.  DS2 is not yet old enough to comprehend "no milk during the night" so I continue to nurse him 2-3 times a night. *sigh*

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