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Help me night wean my 19 month old before baby #2 comes.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Can someone tell me what to expect? My 19mo DS1 feeds 3-4 times throughout the day and twice at night. He sleeps in a crib. I am 16 weeks pregnant and my supply seems stable at the moment. I enjoy our bf relationship. I don't feel the need to wean completely... hopefully just night wean. 


I've been able to disconnect the milk from his nap and bedtime routines by moving it to sometime before the bedtime routine. My husband is now sharing in the bedtime routine activities, which is a big plus for me. But my son demands his milk at night when he wakes up. Nothing else will do (cuddles, songs, rocking, water, etc). He does not drink alternative milk yet due to allergies. 


For those whose babes slept in cribs, did they night wean on their own or did they need encouragement? Sending in dad as a replacement has not worked. Also, would you wait until they were night weaned to move them to a toddler bed?


Any thoughts would be great!

post #2 of 3

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  You are still early enough along that a lot can change between now and when the baby comes.  One thing that happened to me (and to a lot of other women) is that my milk changed at 5 months into the pregnancy and my supply dropped.  When this happens, your little one might not only lose interest in night nursing, he might lost interest in nursing all together.  This is what happened with my first son.  He weaned when I was five months pregnant (he was 3 at the time and said that the milk had "gone yucky").  My second son, however, did not wean during my third pregnancy (he was also 3 and thought that the milk was just fine).  So, I can't say that there is a guarantee that your night-nursing situation will solve itself as your milk supply drops.  But there is a chance.  In any case, it is great that your husband is taking over the night duties.  The more he does this, the more your baby will get used to him being the one to address his needs at night.  If you are sleeping in the same room as your baby, it will probably make it easier for your husband to console him at night if you move out into another room.  I had to do that during my 3rd pregnancy.  My second son (the one who wouldn't self-wean at 5 months) was still night nursing and got very angry if I didn't nurse him.  I was too tired from the pregnancy so I just moved to the guest room. There were some screaming fits at night as my husband rocked him and scratched his back and told him that mommy was not coming.  It was hard, but it only lasted a couple days.  He soon accepted that he had to wait until morning to find me and nurse. OF course, he was much older than your baby and so we knew for sure that he understood us even if he didn't like what we were saying.  But at 24 months, your baby will probably understand enough to figure out that you are simply changing the routine and not abandoning him. 

I do encourage you to consider tandem nursing.  It has been a wonderful way for my 3 year old to bond with the new baby.  We have had no issues with jealousy or rivalry.  It also makes it easier to nurse the newborn too since the older one can get the letdown going if the newborn is too sleepy or disorganized with his suck. It is also nice to have the older child there to give you feedback on your milk supply. It takes away those moments of doubt or uncertainty about supply issues. I never imagined I would end up tandem nursing a 4 year old and a 7 month old. But that is where I am today.  It really is great!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

I posted this on another thread and thought that I should post it here too! Thanks for your advice =)


Update: We've been weaned for 2+ weeks. One day I faced him out on my lap as I read books to him and gave him a sippy with water. Then I skipped the nursing portion of the routine, and he didn't notice. I copied this routine for nap time. For a week or two, he would nurse once a day, usually after the nap for comfort. Then, I began having a fun snack ready for him after his nap. Having family stay with us for a few days helped distract him and completely day wean. He started to only wake up once a night, then not at all. After a few STTN days, I declared him night weaned. Now I offer him a water bottle and recite a book from memory to him or sing him back to sleep when he wakes up, about once a night with teething. He accepted it without tears. I cannot, however, put myself or him in nursing positions, or he will ask for milk. If he is grumpy, this can cause a problem. But by changing our habits, there has not been a problem. Best of luck to all! I'm so happy that we were able to wean peacefully. I said good-bye to nursing my 21 month old son and I am looking forward to nursing our daughter this fall

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