or Connect
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Nightweaning is HELL

Nightweaning is HELL

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So DD is 20 months and we co-sleep and nurse on demand.  The last few nights, DD has been up at least 5-6 times to nurse.  That in and of itself is unusual.  The real problem is that I have a feeling that my milk either has or is in the process of drying up.  I'm not even 7 weeks along yet, I thought it would happen more gradually.  Anyway, DD switches sides every 30-45 seconds looking for milk that isn't there.  Obviously with her switching constantly, I cannot sleep through it.  It's also starting to hurt.  So the last two nights, we started the slow process of nightweaning. Mostly holding DD, offering her water, a paci, telling her that she can nurse again in the morning (seems to be less of a problem during the day, both because there is more milk and DD is more distractable). She won't stop throwing the hugest tantrum she has ever thrown.  She is sooooo stubborn, this little girl.  It breaks my heart that I cannot give her what she wants. I also know that at this point if I just gave in and let her dry nurse, she would probably pass out from exhaustion, but I don't want to send mixed signals.  How have other mamas done this? It is so much worse than I had even imagined and I am so sad and guilty that I didn't just wait longer to have a second child. 

post #2 of 11

To me it quite honestly sounds like she is just not ready to night wean.

 

I like Dr. Jay Gordon's recommendations for nightweaning, though I never really did nightwean my others. My first daughter was closer to 3 when I got pregnant with my 2nd daughter.... she had a greater capability of understanding time and that it didn't mean forever. I would suggest maybe waiting a little longer and trying again in a few weeks?

post #3 of 11

I did some of the "nursies need sleep" or "there's no milk in the nursies until the sun comes up".  I tried to reinforce the subject during the day with lots of talk about how it's dark at night, and light in day and such.  20 months is probably right on the cusp of understanding some of that.  Mostly I just stuck to the line "yes.  when the sun comes up" when he'd ask if he could nurse.  Saying yes at the start of the my sentences seemed to help.  Saying no with my first just turned things into a fight instead of a negotiation. 

 

 

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Demeter~ View Post

To me it quite honestly sounds like she is just not ready to night wean.

I like Dr. Jay Gordon's recommendations for nightweaning, though I never really did nightwean my others. My first daughter was closer to 3 when I got pregnant with my 2nd daughter.... she had a greater capability of understanding time and that it didn't mean forever. I would suggest maybe waiting a little longer and trying again in a few weeks?

The problem is that I work full time and she is keeping me up all night. I would prefer not to wean her until she is closer to 3 or at least 2 1/2. She is leaving me no choice right now. Last night she was up from 4:30 until 6 and I finally caved and she nursed to sleep.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4-4-10 View Post


The problem is that I work full time and she is keeping me up all night. I would prefer not to wean her until she is closer to 3 or at least 2 1/2. She is leaving me no choice right now. Last night she was up from 4:30 until 6 and I finally caved and she nursed to sleep.


I understand the dilemma... but I feel if we try to implement things before our children are truly ready for those changes, we create more work for us and less sleep. You know? Seeing that when you caved she fell asleep I would maybe try again in a few weeks, maybe she'll be better able to understand then.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
None of us really wants to nightwean. If DD just lets me sleep through her nursing I will totally abandons the effort. If she is doing better a few weeks from now, we will just go with it, if not I will be a total zombie and we will have to reconsider our entire nighttime arrangement. As for tonight, we will try to do our normal thing and pray DD doesn't wake too frequently. It seems that no matter what approach we take I won't be getting a good nights sleep so I may as well make it as easy as possible for DD.
post #7 of 11

My friends who have gone through this have had the best luck having dad be the one to handle night wakings at first. Like, you sleep in another room, and dad does the waking. It was hard, they said, but they also said it only took 1-2 days.

post #8 of 11
OP hug.gif: When I started nightweaning I would tell DS that the nursies are sleeping and will be back soon. He did cry, but I held him and he would eventually settle. He didn't struggle as hard as your DD though, and I only had to discourage him for a few nights, before he just started to snuggle. He was also about 20 months. He now doesn't ask to nurse until after 5 am most nights.
Your DD sounds more determined though, and it sounds tough, sorry.
I think Cecilia's Mama is right about sleeping in a different room. When I had to go out of town for a trip DH didn't have any trouble settling DS at night, and that was way before we actually night weaned.
post #9 of 11

Trying nightweaning again here, DS is 22 months.  DH actually had him in another room last night and it went ok - some whining and snuggling but no out of control crying.  He went 12 hours without nursing - and hasn't nursed all day today.  I can't nightwean with them in my bed - I take the easy way out and just give them the boob.

 

Good luck

post #10 of 11

I nightweaned by lying on my front (so he couldn't see my boobs at all) and just stroking him. Sort of Jay Gordon in the we started for a short period and it eventually meant he was asleep for a longer and longer period. It was roughest in the first week. He was clawing at my boobs and front trying to get through my clothes. Sometimes we had setbacks when I was half asleep and went onto autopilot and fed him. We've been at my parents for Christmas and he had a cold so was caughing. I've been feeding him again to help him sleep after coughing so it'll be another nighweaning again when we get back. When I first tried he was not ready and it was rough, tried again a month later and it was fine. A girl from a previous DDC suggest showing the lightswitch and how things turn off and on, then at night turn off the light and say night to the milk as it's going to sleep.

 

Alternatively sleep in a different room and get your husband to cope for a week.

post #11 of 11

Sometimes we have to make choices to keep ourselves sane and comfortable.  If you need to night ween so you can sleep, then do so!  I had to when my ds was about 18 months.  I had been sleep deprived for almost 2 years at that point (dh broke his back, then we got pregnant, than baby....)  I honestly wish I had done it earlier because my son, who is 3/12 has pretty much never slept through the night.  I can not sleep with him because it causes me physical pain cause he wakes up so much, and that makes me sad, he still manages to make it into our room every night about 2 (been struggling with this for almost a year).  But I have to be the best me to be a great mama!  So don't feel bad about night weening, do what is right for your family!  And I agree having dad do it is so much easier, than you don't have to feel guilty. Good luck Mama!

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: August 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › August 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Nightweaning is HELL