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Who has experience with "Don't offer, don't refuse" for night nursing?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We're having great success with the "don't offer, don't refuse" strategy of getting our nursing relationship on better footing. Which got me wondering how I can apply that idea to night nursing. I'm a big "stick a boob in it" night parent, which has the consequence of frequent night nursing - a kind of vicious circle.  I'm thinking that if don't offer and kind of wait till she either asks or really inches down if that would help get night nursing to a more manageable place. 


I realize that to a more mainstream crowd that this would seem like a rather obvious solution. Sheepish.gif  But I know you all will understand. love.gif

post #2 of 7

I haven't had great success with it, mainly because when nursing at night I don't even realize I'm doing it. I'm half asleep. Sometimes dd just stirs in bed and I nurse her. Funny story: when ds was 3 I moved him to his own room and in the morning I told dh how happy I was he didn't call me to nurse. Dh said: oh, you nursed him, he just came to our bed and went back to his room afterwards.


I hope you are more successful at it. Good luck!

post #3 of 7
You have my support, even though I don't quite understand. I always woke up for night nursing, so I opted for a pacifier at around 11 months at night, and substituted a 3 hour on and off nursing nap in the afternoons. It worked for us. He seemed to need that kind of nursing sleep, and I could handle it better during the day when I was awake. That wouldn't work for working moms, or possibly not even moms with older children.

On a side note, I always envied moms who could nurse in their sleep. Now I see that that has it's own drawbacks.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I definitely do some "dream feeding" where I am nursing in a sleep state but I also have quite a few feedings where I'm awake. Not wide awake but plenty awake enough to wait for DC to ask to nurse and/or clearly indicate with her body that she wants to nurse. I think I'm going to give it a try and see. Anyone else have some experience with this to share? 

post #5 of 7

Little Miss and I did the "stick a boob in it" nighttime strategy, but we, within the past month, nightweaned with the "don't offer" method.  I decided to wean because the "stick a boob in it" strategy wasn't working anymore, and she had already slept through the night on her own several times, and I'm ready to be done nursing, and so on.

I did find that because I was the sort to wake up with my top off and no idea how I got like that, I did have to move Little Miss to her Arm's Reach, right next to me, for the nightweaning to work.  If she woke up, I'd retrieve her, but the act of standing up and bending down to get her would wake me up enough that I wouldn't just whip out the boob and call it done. 

I sang to her instead.  She seemed completed unperturbed by the entire process, and doesn't ask to nurse at night at all anymore.

We did nurse at night once when she was hurt and how on earth are you going to tell a child that's crying and begging for nunnies "No."? 

Towards the end, she did wake up one night and ask for nunnies, I did say "Not now." and she did not care.  She hugged me and went to sleep.  I think she was just checking to be sure we were night-weaning?  This was the only refusal.

post #6 of 7
This is what I have done with my 4 oldest and am currently doing with my 1 year old. Started this around 1 year. It was so natural for me and all of them night weaned naturally in their 2nd year and then gradually weaned during their 3rd year. No trauma, all very gradual and gentle. When they wake during the night I let them wiggle around and settle. Sometimes I pat them and soothe them a little and often they go back to sleep. If they're crying or ooching down I let them nurse. Gradually, they seem to nurse less and less at night and I find they don't even seem to want that, just a little reassurance that I 'm there. They seem to gradually sleep longer stretches too. We did this during the day too and all of mine just gradually weaned on their own sometime between 2 and 3 years old. I did it because it felt right and worked. I highly recommend trying it if it feels right for you.
post #7 of 7
I'm in the minority probably because I don't cosleep in my bed. DH has epilepsy and disturbed sleep is just not an option for him. I sleep with DH with the baby monitor right by my ear and DD is in her own room. I wake up for every little moan and I've started using a ten second rule. If she cries/talks for less than ten seconds then i wait. Usually this means she is turning over or entering a new sleep cycle and settles right down without help. If she cries longer or sounds urgent, I go to her and lay down next to her and sometimes that will be enough. If she's upset or asking, I will absolutely nurse her but I wait and see. On rough nights we cosleep in her room - often with me being the mattress. I interpret this as a form of don't offer don't refuse and it works well for us in our situation.
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