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Night nursing challenges

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My son is 16 months old and we bedshare.  For 2 months my partner and I have been working really hard to get him to do a four-hour stretch without nursing (he still wants to nurse every 2-3 hrs), but it's not working.  My husband takes him out of the room once he's had a good nurse and they don't come back for four hrs but he still wakes up after 2 hrs wanting to nurse.  The issue isn't so much that he's still waking up wanting to nurse, but that I can hear him and it wakes ME up.  I've been nursing for 5 1/2 yrs now and really just need to start getting a little stretch of sleep!  I'm not desperate at this point, but at times I feel pretty close to it.  Thanks for any thoughts.

post #2 of 4

I co sleep with my 18 month old AND my DH, and I've found that if I nurse DS until he conks out, then switch positions with my husband so that HE is sleeping next to the baby, DS will sleep more soundly.  Someone told me once that babies are really good at smelling mama's milk.  After four hours or so, DS will rouse himself, but usually realize Dad is next to him and not Mom, and he'll fall back asleep.  At some point way later in the wee hours DS will actually fuss, and that's when DH and I switch places, and I nurse. 

I also notice that if DS is at all over-tired, he won't sleep soundly.  I used to wait until he was rubbing his eyes to go to bed, but now I put him to bed a bit earlier.  It seems to help.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

thanks for the idea.  we have tried that a couple times, but not wholeheartedly, so we'll try again with purpose.  i think we mostly avoided it because my 5.5 y.o. also sleeps with us and can be a bit wild at times, but i think the little one is big enough now where he wouldn't get hurt.  :-)  babies most definitely smell that milk--i have no doubts about that!  and they sense our presence.  so, yes, maybe space will help.  (i certainly hope it does!) 

post #4 of 4

My friend night weaned all three of her kids at about this age in this way:  When the child woke up and wanted to nurse she took him/her into the kitchen, turned on all the lights, put the child in the high chair and proceed to make food, all the while talking about it in a very animated way.  She said all of her kids, invariably, gave her this look which said, "I think Mom has lost her mind!  This is not what I was looking for at all!"  She only had to do this for a couple of days (she planned it for the times when her college professor husband was on break, so she could catch up on sleep during the day), and then she only had to offer them water when they woke up and they soon realized they didn't want that crazy, loud, middle of the night mom anymore.

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