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Has anyone had a child-led night weaning?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been contemplating night-weaning my 21 mo DD. She has been a nurse-aholic...you know, the 5-6x/night nursling! When she sleeps in her own bed, she sleeps much better (unless something developmental seems to be going on). She's been in her own bed since about 15 mos and is very happy there.

Lately, she's just been waking up once a night and I feel like I can live with that. Sometimes I bring her into our bed (*I* miss having her next to me), but it usually turns into that 5-6x/night thing and, in the morning, I feel like a truck has run over me.

I'm wondering if night-weaning is always mom-led. Is it possible for my DD to night-wean herself while maintaining our daytime nursing? I would be so happy if she would continue to wake up just once a night. For me to consistently get 5-6 hour stretches of sleep would be heavenly!

post #2 of 16
Both my daughters have weaned themselves at night.

My first did so at 18 months when I was pregnant. She was nursing 4 to 6 times a night, and one night, all of a sudden, she just slept through the night, and she's never gone back.

My second did so gradually. She was an all-night nurser, gradually went down to 2 or 3 times, then to 1 or 2, and then at about 2 1/2, started sleeping through the night, first just every few nights, and by the time she was 3, she was sleeping through the night just about every night and still is.

I can't say though I haven't taken her lead and encouraged it. For example, on the rare nights she does wake up now, I encourage her to have water and I pat her back rather than nursing her, even though she might ask to nurse. If she showed that she was really upset by not being nursed, then I would do it.

FWIW, she still sleeps in my bed.
post #3 of 16
I had never heard the phrase "night weaning" until I started reading this forum. My daughter started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks. I was advised to wake her up and nurse her! Ugh! She moved into her own crib (with very little protest, and NO cio) right after her first birthday, I just couldn't get a good night's sleep with her squirming right beside me, and I couldn't get up to pee or anything without disturbing her (we both are very light sleepers). She is now 15 months old, and sometimes wakes up once after about 6-8 hours of sleep, wanting to nurse, then goes back to sleep for a couple more hours.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know it is possible and doesn't have to mean the end of your nursing relationship. Though, I have no idea how to make it happen, it just worked out that way for me!
post #4 of 16
YES! Thank goodness!!!

Her feedings started to dwindle I say about 3 months ago, and she has been totally sleeping through the night for about a month. It happened so naturally that I could be totally off on the dates. It really seems like longer than a month. She stil lwakes in the mornign for a nunrsing though and is a frequent(or should I say constant) day time nurser. She is 17 months old Duh, as if y'all didn't know that by now
post #5 of 16
My dd needed a lot of nudging and was night weaned at 2 1/2 years of age. She went on to nurse for over 5 1/2 years during the day and that was child led
post #6 of 16
HIYA! Firemom!

This is MyNurslingKailey from bf.com How are you?
post #7 of 16
It can be so hard when they are getting older and still it seems they need to nurse all night! My daughter was one of those, and then around 2 1/2, she gradually tapered off and then stopped at night altogether, and I was thrilled. I didn't push her towards it at all, and it really reinforced our belief that they do things on their own time when they are ready.
post #8 of 16
Well hello there diaperdiva!
post #9 of 16
My ds was about 2-3 and nursed a lot, especially at night. I worked and decided that he needed the connection with me thru the night. It was really hard sometimes, but he stopped nursing thru the night at about 3 and a half. He continued to nurse at bedtime until 4 and a half. He is a very self assured independent happy six year old, and I really believe that he is who he is because I let him decide this time schedule. It is so hard though, and I realize that everyone is different about being woken up, etc. My friend used the phrase, "Nursies are sleeping now" and just held her ds. Soon she stopped asking to night nurse.
post #10 of 16
That's basically what I did too. I told her they were sleeping and filling up for her morning drink. She slept right next to me and at 2 1/2 she comprehended that they were empty until the sun came out
post #11 of 16
I don't think this really counts because my 17 month old is so not nightweaned but I do notice that she occasionally nurses less at night - like when she's not teething (which is almost never!), etc. I am taking this as a good sign and letting myself believe that this means she will nightwean when she's ready. I may be deluding myself but it helps after the really bad nights :
post #12 of 16
With all three of mine the night weaning began by putting them in the bed sidecar. When they bump into me all night they want to nurse, when they are next to me but in a good bit of their own space they start sleeping thru.

With #3 I had the crib sidecar (the twin was better but in use now down the hall) and it recently broke - so he is back in between us but has not started waking up (he's 3 so he was in the sidecar for 1+yrs).

Good luck.
post #13 of 16
Mine did. Between the ages of 2 and 3 she would only nurse at night sometimes. By age 3 she usually slept through the night.
post #14 of 16
DD didn't nurse through the night for months & months. Then DS#2 showed up, and I guess she's regressing or something, wakes up repeatedly to nurse. And not wanting to let her get started with screaming or waking anyone else up, I'd just fast latch her on so she'd quiet down. But it seems I've "created a monster," because now she's waking up several times a night.


- Amy
post #15 of 16
Firemom, I found your first post very encouraging. I really feel the need to night-wean my dd (who's 2.5), but I really DON'T want her to wean altogether--neither of us is ready for it. So I'm soooo happy to hear that your dd went on to nurse for several years after you night-weaned.

I've always intended to let her lead the way in all aspects of nursing, but I'm just getting so tired and so resentful of always having to be the one to put her to bed and never, ever spending a moment alone with dh. I think, for my sanity and the mental health of our family, I have to "nudge" her toward night-weaning.
post #16 of 16

I think it's happening

I sleep through most of Dd's night nursing. I move her from side to side in my sleep according to how she wiggles and what other signals she gives. I hardly remember in the morning.

I do remember she used to nurse much of the night. She started sleeping longer stretches. The past few months, I've had a sense she's nursing less at night, and some nights not until it's light out. Again, it's hard to say - I once couldn't sleep in any position but my stomach, not I roll side to side and nurse with barely waking.

I suspect I'm correct that the night nursing has dropped, though, because my period came back early this week I'm a little sorry because with my low supply, the best milk was at night; I've been known to jostle Dd in her sleep to nurse, should I wake up enough to do so.
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