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What age did your toddler stop nursing all through the night?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi there

For those mamas you did child led weaning, I am just wondering what age did your babies stop nursing at night?


My DS2 is 27 months old and is still a very avid nurser, all day nursing and several times each night at least. My DS1 weaned completely around 17months when I was pregnant in my 2nd trimester so I am just wondering what is the average age a child will stop night nursing on their own if i let him stop on his own? Thanks.
post #2 of 17

Mine never would have stopped if I didn't make some suggestions to them around the same age you are dealing with. I'm sure others will say something more helpful to you!

 

I felt the need to set some gentle limits around 27 months. We would talk about how the sun was going to sleep and they were going to sleep and mommy was going to sleep and they could nurse again  just as soon as the sun woke up in the morning!! All three of them were o.k. with this arrangement as it was done lovingly and with full support. They would wake up in the wee hours and look for the sun eagerly. As soon the they could see a little bit of light out the window, they were allowed to nurse. With all three, they began to sleep contentedly through the night after we worked through this. It took very little time to make the shift.
 

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

Mine never would have stopped if I didn't make some suggestions to them around the same age you are dealing with. I'm sure others will say something more helpful to you!

 

I felt the need to set some gentle limits around 27 months. We would talk about how the sun was going to sleep and they were going to sleep and mommy was going to sleep and they could nurse again  just as soon as the sun woke up in the morning!! All three of them were o.k. with this arrangement as it was done lovingly and with full support. They would wake up in the wee hours and look for the sun eagerly. As soon the they could see a little bit of light out the window, they were allowed to nurse. With all three, they began to sleep contentedly through the night after we worked through this. It took very little time to make the shift.
 

 

While I don't want to imply that you were wrong *in any way* for night weaning at that age, I really dislike that statement.  It's totally great that you decided to night wean, but do you *truly* believe your child would have night nursed to adulthood if you hadn't weaned?  I only point this out because that theory (that a child will not _____ without pressure from a parent) is the same one that insists on early weaning, not letting a child into bed with you, etc...

 

That said, you *really* don't want to hear from me, OP.  With DD we partially night weaned (for one 4-5 hour stretch) when she was around 25 months old.  She slept "through the night" around 3.5.  With DS we didn't night wean and he was around 4.5 before he was doing the 5 hour stretch.  I think most children are much younger than that when the start going significant lengths while sleeping.  For kids who don't do it young (under 18 months) there seems to be a big leap around 2-2.5 (I'm assuming when teething is done).

post #4 of 17

My 21m stopped night nursing shortly before he self-weaned abruptly at 22m. I was pregnant. He didn't routinely sleep through the night (required some comfort measure or crawled into bed with DH) until 3.5 His sleep didn't really improve for at least six months. I was engaged in no weaning behavior whatsover.

 

At 30m I night weaned my DS using the Dr. Jay Gordon method. It was super easy which left me feeling kind of annoyed. Why didn't she stop if she didn't really need to nurse? Answer: didn't have to. She immediately started sleeping much better which was again, kind of annoying. She still climbs into my bed at some point during the night and snuggles me and then falls aslepp.

 

At 35m she is pretty close to being fully weaned with some very minor adjustments on my part (took her cue and stopped offering at night, twice she has asked and I say yes but she needs to be sleepy first and have to have her eyes shut for a little bit first but she doesn't ask again and goes asleep), get out of bed a few minutes before she wakes up to skip morning session. I am pregnant and my milk supply is totally gone. She'll now go 2-3 full days and nights without nursing now but if she needs to, we do.

post #5 of 17

Still nursing my 2.5 y/o many times a day but I did nightwean her at 24 m/o due to pregnancy
 

post #6 of 17

My DS is almost 25 mo and has just recently started going most of the night without nursing- ie. asleep by 9, maybe nurse once at 4 and then at 6 and then wake up around 730 or 8... I had finally gotten used to every 2-3 hours though, so I still wake up pretty often! Soon I hope to learn to sleep through the night myself:)

I don't think there is anything wrong with some gentle night weaning if you need it though... the breastfeeding relationship is about both of you and it is really okay to take your needs into account as well! I just wanted to post our experience to give some hope it could happen soon all on its own...

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrabbitfly View Post

My DS is almost 25 mo and has just recently started going most of the night without nursing- ie. asleep by 9, maybe nurse once at 4 and then at 6 and then wake up around 730 or 8... I had finally gotten used to every 2-3 hours though, so I still wake up pretty often! Soon I hope to learn to sleep through the night myself:)

I don't think there is anything wrong with some gentle night weaning if you need it though... the breastfeeding relationship is about both of you and it is really okay to take your needs into account as well! I just wanted to post our experience to give some hope it could happen soon all on its own...

 

I've heard many stories like this!

 

Has your DS finished teething?  Eating more?  Anything other changes/differences you've noticed?

post #8 of 17

We tried night weaning  a couple of times, and failed spectacularly.  Both times were right around 2 or 2.5 years old.  She finally sort of tapered off and quit on her own just before she turned 3.  Which was followed by a gradual tapering and quitting of all nursing right before she turned 4.  

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

 

I've heard many stories like this!

 

Has your DS finished teething?  Eating more?  Anything other changes/differences you've noticed?


I would say he is eating a bit more... he is not currently teething but we are waiting on the 2 y molars, so maybe they will ruin our run of good sleep when they show:(... Also he is napping a bit less, so it is a trade off- better sleep at night, less "time off" during the day...

post #10 of 17

My 18 month old has started sleeping 8-12 hours a night without nursing, not every night but more than half. He wakes up and nurses once a night now, if he wakes up. He went down to one nap a day and started sleeping longer at night. A month ago he was still waking and nursing multiple times a night. 

 

My older son was about 21 months when he stopped waking and nursing at night. 

 

We started giving him a water cup at night and that seems to help. 

post #11 of 17

My son is 31 months and nurses several times a night. From what I understand healthy, co-sleeping, breastfed children usually nightwean around 3-4 years of age.

 

More info:

 

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html

post #12 of 17

All this makes a lot of sense.  My daughter is now about 32 months (age 2.75 or so).  And her night nursing has been decreasing very gradually over time.  She now nurses only 1-2 times typically during the night, and frankly, I barely notice it anymore.  It seems like forever she has been "sleeping through the night," at least for my purposes.  I'm happy.  We've always co-slept, and she goes right back to sleep after nursing, so it has never bothered me much. 

 

I'd like to say that I've neve done anything in the way of mother-led weaning, but what is more accurate is that I've neve done anything intentional in the way of mother-led weaning.  For example, I've never limited her access to nursing, but as she grows older, I have asked her to wait while I go to the bathroom, or rubbed her back for a moment when she wakes at night to see if that will settle her first, and so on.  This seems to be happening very naturally, as a natural consequence of our needs gradually shifting.  (For example, my need to pee in the middle of the night is often greater than her need to nurse immediately).     

 

I'm sure that my daughter will ultimately wean even if I don't expressly set limits on her nursing.  It's clear to me that is where things are heading.  The good news is that feels really gentle and gradual, and well, natural.  Some of the nursing sessions are being replaced (without us even meaning to) with cuddles and back rubs.  The closeness and bond is still there, it's just evolving.

 

Babygirlsmama 

post #13 of 17

OP - My news is not good news.  We just partially night weaned DD1 one month ago at 50 months!  And, it was totally mommy-led.  I couldn't take night nursing all night with both a kid and a baby.  Now she's only nursing to sleep and once at night.  She said she thinks she'll give it up before she's a teenager!

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

OP - My news is not good news.  We just partially night weaned DD1 one month ago at 50 months!  And, it was totally mommy-led.  I couldn't take night nursing all night with both a kid and a baby.  Now she's only nursing to sleep and once at night.  She said she thinks she'll give it up before she's a teenager!


Ba ha ha! What a sense of humor your sweetie has!

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

OP - My news is not good news.  We just partially night weaned DD1 one month ago at 50 months!  And, it was totally mommy-led.  I couldn't take night nursing all night with both a kid and a baby.  Now she's only nursing to sleep and once at night.  She said she thinks she'll give it up before she's a teenager!

 

But don't hold her to anything winky.gif  She only *thinks*--- anything could happen, lol.

post #16 of 17

I don't think there's anything wrong with mommy led weanning. Mom's needs also need to be taken in to consideration.  I mean I'm all for extended breastfeeding and its great benefits. If a mom wants to bf until college good for you. But I'm currently breastfeeding an 19 month old and honestly sometimes I just wish she would wean. I don't have the heart to wean her myself though. I feel guilty, but I need my sleep back. I feel like I dont sleep at all some nights She won't even let me get up to pee sometimes, she just starts screaming like a two month old. For her to go to sleep sometimes I have to lay in bed for an hour cause if I get up too soon she'll start crying. Meanwhile my husband waits for me to watch a movie that usually we dont get to see. Every two hours for her age... i just think its too much. I try feeding her cereal or something like that before bed but she usually refuses. I totally understand moms that wean or partially wean. Most mamals do it, and abruptlly too! My cat used to hit and hiss at her kittens when they were old enough to eat on there own. IMO, If baby has all her teeth she can eat on her own, then bf is for other reasons which could be provided in other ways. Anyway i'm setting the 2 year limit. Hopefully i will get my nights back soon.

post #17 of 17

"She won't even let me get up to pee sometimes, she just starts screaming like a two month old. For her to go to sleep sometimes I have to lay in bed for an hour cause if I get up too soon she'll start crying. Meanwhile my husband waits for me to watch a movie that usually we dont get to see."

 

Ha ha!  This sounds like my life!  My poor bladder!  And yes, we DON'T get to watch a movie way more often than we DO.

 

I feel lucky that I do ok (for the most part) on broken sleep.  Even before kids, I would wake up several times a night.  Guess that prepared me.  I'd love to be able to get up and pee when I need to though....

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