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Night weaning, working mom, and 2 weeks apart

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm torn about night weaning. My 14 month DD still nurses right when I get home from work, before bed, 1-2 times at night, and once in the morning before work. She nurses more often on weekends or whenever I'm around (she asks for it). DH has stayed home with her since I went back to work when she was 3 months old. She starts nursery school next week, 8am-12pm for 4 days a week.

In November, DH will travel with DD back to the US (we live in Austria) 2 weeks ahead of me and then we'll all be there together for a month.

Usually when DD wakes up at night I nurse her back to sleep. Lately, though, we've been trying to have her go back to sleep on the first waking with DH and a bottle of expressed milk. It's not working. She cries hysterically and throws the bottle. I lay awake in bed cringing and wanting to run to her. Last night I let them go 15 minutes before I came in. She has her own room right next to ours and has been in her own crib since she was 4 months. We've kept her in our bed sometimes, but she doesn't sleep well there, maybe because so much light comes in from the outside (her room has blackout shades, not an option for our room because of how the windows are built.)

Any advice on the night weaning or the upcoming separation? I'm wondering if we should just stop with the night weaning, but I don't want her to go cold turkey when they travel together without me. I don't want to wean her completely- I plan on pumping again during that 2 week separation, hoping that she remembers when we see each other again.

post #2 of 6

I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I am bumping this up for more attention.

post #3 of 6

I have a couple of thoughts:


1) I don't think it is necessary to nightwean her before the trip.  Likely, she knows you are home and gets so upset b/c she knows you're there and wants you.  During travel, she's going to be in a whole new place.  I think she'll do ok.  To wean my middle guy, I went away for a few days and my sister came and stayed.  She said the first night was rough, but after that it was all downhill.


2) You need to be prepared for her to wean in the 2 week period you are apart.  I left my middle guy for a week and it was done (he was about 13 months old); he never asked again and before I left he nursed all.the.time.  For my youngest guy, it took 4 days (he was 16 months old).  She may see you and remember and it'll all work out, but 2 weeks is quite some time, so just mentally prepare yourself, just in case.

post #4 of 6

I wouldn't night wean before the trip either. Everything will be different and she very well might react entirely different there. Daddy and her will figure out a new night time routine. 

post #5 of 6
I would recommend backing off on night weaning and try again in a few weeks or so. I would make DH part of your night time routine if he isn't now so she is used to him being part of the comforting routine, but yes some babies "know" you are there and if they know they will keep crying for breastmilk. Does your DD normally take a bottle? If not, I would try introducing a bottle from DH when you are not in the house during the day and see if you can coax her to that, ignore if this doesn't apply. I don't have much else to offer, I was lucky that my DD didn't resist night weaning.

And yes, be plan to keep BFing, but I too would be prepared that your baby might wean with that long of a separation. Some do, some pick right back off like nothing happened.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. We've tried a few nights with DH and DD and the bottle. On those nights she usually wakes up twice instead of once- once for the bottle and then once for me.

I'm not ready to wean and neither is she- she's just so darn cute about it and really seems to enjoy it. We'll still send DH in first during the night wakings with the bottle and I'll plan to pump just once at night while they are away in case she remembers when she sees me again after the 2 weeks. The trip is still 2 months away and that is a long time in toddler-time, so things may change.

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