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Frequent Night Nursers OLDER than 3 Years - Page 3

post #41 of 71

ds 4

Hi, I wanted to introduce myself. I've two kids, one 4 and one 21 months and both nurse at night. The older one has alot of allergies and nurses two or three times a night. The younger one was blessed without the allergies and nurses just once. I know he wakes up because of allergies because it is more often when he is inflamed in some way. During the good times of the year he will typically go to just once a night (that is HEAVEN).

My solution to the night waking is to give him medicine for the allergies. It sometimes helps. I wish I could get him to see the chiropractor, but he's not comfortable with that idea yet and I don't want to make it something he fears or dislikes.

Also, another thing that has worked (sorry if you've heard this before) is that when I just want to get back to sleep and he keeps on and on and on... I tell him "we need to sleep now, so we're just going to nurse for another 60, 40 20... seconds and then we're done. He agrees and then I count very softly to whatever I think will do the trick, we stop and he rolls over and falls asleep. This doesn't work EVERY time, and if it doesn't, I try not to get upset, acknowledge that he needs more and count again for a little longer time. This usually does the trick and the two minutes that it takes to go through the exercise is much less tiring than the lingering nursing/sleeping interlude.

Sweet dreams!
post #42 of 71
Hello!

I hope it's okay for me to peak in here

I have only a few minutes and haven't read all the answers but I would like to quickly share that what you describe STRONGLY reminds me of my son, who was also a frequent day/night nurser PAST three.

It didn't seem like anything was wrong, he just LOVED to nurse. I did too but it was really hard some times never getting more than a few hours of sleep or time away from nursing.

What made it easier for me (or harder?!) was that I had no idea if it was normal or not. I did not know a single mom who had nursed her child past 18 months and I just wasn't sure what people called "sleeping through the night". We just did it... I didn't night wean.

The craziest thing is that my new baby, who is four months old, won't nurse very often! She can wait up to 5 or 6 hours between nursing sessions, that only last 2 minutes!!!!! so I get worried!

And I miss my son's non stop nursing: crazy crazy, heh???????????

So I don't know if there's anything I can help with, but if you have questions or need support, I'm sure there are others here who can help too.
post #43 of 71
To be honest, I haven't made it through the entire thread ... but will ask anyway ...

How long has this been? Is this just what he's done his whole life? Or is it getting more intense the last month? My recollection is there are some major teething things coming out at this age, like molars. Is that so?

I would never suggest nightweaning, but does your DS have any sort of 'lovey' or something like that? Like my DS#2 sucks his thumb and is into rubbing ribbons, if you know what I mean, so we keep a particular bunch of bears nearby that have good "rubbing ribbons" around their necks, and if I either can't deal with nursing him at that moment (like the baby is up at that moment, or I'm in the bathroom, etc.) he reaches for a bear and latches on to his thumb and hopefully falls back to sleep ...

The other thing is during the day sometimes he knows he has to wait to nurse, and I've got a way to tell him that where he knows there is absolutely no negotiation, he just has to wait. And if I have to, I can tell him that at night and he'll roll over (grumpily, admitted) and will go back to sleep.








For background, we have in the past nightweaned before 3 (DS#1 weaned totally at 3; DD#1 weaned totally at 3.5; but with DS#2, who is 3, we're entirely CLW)
post #44 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk
To be honest, I haven't made it through the entire thread ... but will ask anyway ...

How long has this been? Is this just what he's done his whole life? Or is it getting more intense the last month? My recollection is there are some major teething things coming out at this age, like molars. Is that so?
His entire life - since birth. It has been getting better, but at a snails pace. He finished getting all his molars before he turned two.

Quote:
I would never suggest nightweaning, but does your DS have any sort of 'lovey' or something like that? Like my DS#2 sucks his thumb and is into rubbing ribbons, if you know what I mean, so we keep a particular bunch of bears nearby that have good "rubbing ribbons" around their necks, and if I either can't deal with nursing him at that moment (like the baby is up at that moment, or I'm in the bathroom, etc.) he reaches for a bear and latches on to his thumb and hopefully falls back to sleep ...
I'm his lovey! He's never had anything else, even if I encouraged it. He never sucked his thumb; he never took a pacifier; he doesn't have a strong attachment to any blanket or stuffed animal. I'm his one-and-only!

Quote:
The other thing is during the day sometimes he knows he has to wait to nurse, and I've got a way to tell him that where he knows there is absolutely no negotiation, he just has to wait. And if I have to, I can tell him that at night and he'll roll over (grumpily, admitted) and will go back to sleep.
Yes, often ds has to wait during the day. We do this, too. But, at night, he is much more insistent, and better to nurse than have the whole family lose sleep.

I've once again started to count to 10 or something like that to give him a chance to nurse briefly and then roll over when I reach 10. Or, I'll say "just for a minute" and tell him when the minute is up. He wasn't able to do this until very recently. Also, holding the breast is comforting to him (see, I am his lovey!) but this is annoying, too, since I can't always get completely comfortable (I like to sleep hugging a pillow).
post #45 of 71
Thread Starter 
Bump!

DS is almost 3 1/2, and still wakes me often during the night.

We go through occasional brief spurts of long stretches of sleep... like the other night when he went 5 or 6 hours (but I think it's bc we had a very busy long day with lots of activity and no nap).

The norm still is waking several times a night, no matter whether or not he naps or doesn't nap (and he seems to still need the nap, and so do I so, he does when he crashes easily, which is just about every day); and no matter how much or how little he eats; and no matter if he has a nice lavendar bath or not; etc. etc. etc.

I still dream of the day I get to sleep 6-8 continuous, uninterrupted, alone hours!!!
post #46 of 71
UrbanPlanter, we are still right there with you. It's not an issue for me anymore (except after a particularly bad night). I'd say about half the time ds gives me a 5-6 hour stretch and the other half of the time he's up at least 3 times to nurse at night. Just letting you know you're not alone!

Allison
ds 5/8/02
post #47 of 71
Still here, of course

I'm not so focused on his 4th birthday at this point.

He is still waking several times during the night, but the duration has gotten shorter each time and he is generally willing to let me roll over *eventually* and just go back to sleep (after nursing, but he is not yet all the way asleep).

I can see the light from here
post #48 of 71
Still here, too. When there's pollen and his allergies act up it's a non-stop night.

I did "snap" the other night and refused to have him gnaw on me for an hour to fall asleep. His latch is terrible at times and he would stay attached for an hour at a time if I let him. That was fine at 2 1/2- but now his latch is so "icky" I can't take it. When I have plenty of milk (as in- he hasn't nursed for 2 hours) his latch is fine. When there isnt much milk (ei- he just nursed 15 minutes before) he has this bad latch that honestly feels like I'm being molested and I have to latch him off.

Dd had a good latch the whole time I nursed her (3 years)- I don't know if it's an individual thing or older kids get a bad latch.
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMonica
I did "snap" the other night and refused to have him gnaw on me for an hour to fall asleep. His latch is terrible at times and he would stay attached for an hour at a time if I let him. That was fine at 2 1/2- but now his latch is so "icky" I can't take it. When I have plenty of milk (as in- he hasn't nursed for 2 hours) his latch is fine. When there isnt much milk (ei- he just nursed 15 minutes before) he has this bad latch that honestly feels like I'm being molested and I have to latch him off.
MamaMonica, did you see the other thread about bad latches in older nursing children? We are going through that, too. It's better now but I have had to be very diligent about making ds open his mouth wide before latching on and also ask/tell him to "come off me" when his latch is getting bad. After having much pain and cuts/sores around my nipples I no longer tolerate this. I did for a long time but it got to be too much and got so I was dreading when he'd ask to nurse and I HATED that. I think just being diligent with the latch for a week or two really helped and now it's no longer an issue. But I'm sure it'll come up again. It happens especially when he is tired but I make him "come off" now, even if he gets upset. It's usually just a matter of re-latching.

Just wanted to let you know we have that, too!

Allison
ds 5/8/02
post #50 of 71
Thread Starter 
glad I'm still not alone

MamaMonica/katiecat - re: bad latch - I could have said exactly what katiecat said!

So... I can now, almost every time he wakes up, suggest that he only nurses for one minute (since putting it off usually doesn't work) and so he'll nurse briefly and allow me to roll him away. Except around 1-2am and after 5am, when he needs the looooong nurse.
post #51 of 71
Thanks for the latch info. It helped so much.
post #52 of 71
DH and I went away overnight for the first time since having ds last night. We left him with my mom - the only person we would ask to keep him overnight. I am glad I waited until I was very comfortable with leaving him overnight before I did. I was pretty confident that, even though he nurses with me at night, that he would be ok with Gramma. She did sleep with him in our bed and he was fine. My mom said he woke up once and said "I want to find my mommy" but not crying and my mom said that I would be back tomorrow and that he was sleeping with Gramma tonight. He said "ok" and went back to sleep until morning.

Sheesh! I am sure tonight we will be back to same old same old!

Allison
ds 5/8/02
post #53 of 71
Thread Starter 
hmm I have been wondering about this myself - whether or not ds could spend a night away from me, even tho he is still nursing.

My dh thinks he can - and my MIL is visiting in CT - far for a day trip - but dh&ds drove out anyway and then back in one day. I wonder if ds would have been able to stay with dh overnight there.

I asked him, and he said no. I asked "could you stay overnight in CT with Papa and not nurse bc Mama will be at home?" or something like that, and he said no.

hmm but man-o-man if he could manage a night away from me, I'd go to a hotel and sleep 24 hours straight! :LOL
post #54 of 71
Well, DS *has* spent the night without me (when he was still nursing more often, even) and DD also spent the night without me before she had weaned. It was both of their choices and both went well.

The last weekend in August they are going to camp with their grandparents for TWO nights so we'll see how that goes.
post #55 of 71
Well, ds also said "no" when I asked him a couple of times if he wanted to "sleep with Gramma" one night. But he is fickle (aren't all 3 year olds?). I know that I can ask him any question, he will answer, and I could ask it 2 seconds later and he'd give me the opposite answer. LOL I think when I phrased it that way he just thought "No, that's not right, I sleep with Mommy and Daddy NOT Gramma". He is also the type that the bigger of a deal you make of something, the less likely he is to be interested. I think he gets scared off. So I only mentioned it casually a few times before we went. I didn't really make it his choice (although if he had indicated to me that he was very against it and had gotten upset when I mentioned it, I would have re-thought the whole thing).

I think he would have been ok to do this earlier, too, but it was only around February that I began to think we could do it this year. I had been planning to try next year, when he was 4. But just got a feeling he'd be ok. I know dh wants to take him camping but he has been deferring to my judgement about it. I just strongly feel that ds would put up more of a fuss with dh, at night with out me there (I can go camping, too, but I know dh wants to do the father and son thing sometimes also). With Gramma I didn't think there'd be a fuss.

The logistics are a tad difficult for us to work out and we won't be doing this often. My mom lives a 6 hour drive away so we only see her about every 2-3 months. Which means basically that for dh and I to get a night to ourselves we leave ds with my mom, either at her place or ours and dh and I have to go somewhere. Which involves money. Which we don't have much of! :LOL

So we won't be doing this often but it's good to know ds is ok with it.

Allison
ds 5/8/02
post #56 of 71
gosh I am surprised that I haven't made it here yet

yes DS was a frequent and marathon nurser

Here is a recounting of different phases of night nursing (sorry it is so long):

at 26 months was the first time he slowed down from nursing every 1 to 2 hours (sometimes more often) to occassionally sleep for a four hour stretch once during the night. I seem to vaguely recall that for a good stretch before that he nursed more frequent especially at night and especially during the hours closer to morning. I don't remember how long it took for that one 4 hour stretch at night to become more regular; maybe around 3. Then occassionally he slept two four hour stretches at night without nursing. By 3 3/4 that seemed to be quite reliable with the morning nursing thing sometimes being quite sustained. Boy oh boy did two 4 hour uninterrupted stretches of sleep help.

The only thing that seemed to work to reduce the length of time on the breast was to say to him 2 more minutes when I could sense that he was more asleep than awake, then 1 more minute then gently unlatch him and put his hand on my breast, I guess I am also his "lovey". But you know, there was a time when I could not even dream about doing that, and then at some point in time not too clearly defined I could!

Then when he was 3 3/4, I got so sick that our whole nursing at night routine was interrupted. I went to the hospital one night and when I returned home I just couldn't nurse at night until I stopped puking so much. DS slept with DH that night. DS did not cry or scream; I think it was too clearly obvious that I was in pain. (I would have NEVER believed that my DS could have fallen asleep without nursing). The way they handled it I got the feeling that DH and DS were genuinely interested in helping me however they could. I had tests which prohibited nursing for 24 hours. After that, for the next few nights I nursed him at bedtime but I could not lie down in bed yet. When I joined them again, DS would ask sometimes at night and sometimes not. Sometimes he asked and fell asleep again before actually nursing. Now at 4 years and 2 months, he rarely asks to nurse at night and if he does he usually agrees to keep it short knowing he can nurse all he wants in the morning.

I know how worn out I was during all that night nursing (I did not sleep very well while nursing most of the time).

I too would nurse to nap and again during the nap. Those little shifts like napping without nursing in the middle start adding up.

I hope you get the rest you need. Just like all other transitions in your little ones life (walking, talking, eating) they happen so gradually over time. I know you are not planning on night weaning but a smaller step of getting a longer uninterrupted sleep can help so much. (Oh I did begin to give my child a regular bedtime snack at about the same age as your child.)

Good luck to you.
post #57 of 71

Hello!!!

Well it is great to be on this website only because my little girl has been nursing constantly at night for 27 months. If I get four hours in a row I'm lucky and if I get six I feel as if I have over slept!!! There is NOONE in my town doing the same thing and I feel like you do - weaning at night is not an option. I tried it - she kicks, SCREAMMMMMS, hits, yells and cries. I will not do that to her. HOwever, like you, I am going crazy sometimes just to want sleep. She has suddenly started going back to 21/2 hours and I was going crazy. Then I:
1. started giving her a glass water before bed - discovered she was thirsty and that helped.
2. I have cut all chockolate, tea (even decaf) and any wine (I was just having 1/2 glass once and a while) and other food allergans. Last night I got 6 hours so I will continue this food route.
3.Two nights ago when she started to wake up constantly I took her back to her bed and nursed her there to sleep. (We have a family bed) It was hard because I had to wake up fully but in the end she slept more soundly and I got more in my own bed. Those are just a few suggestions
Good luck
Mommymary
post #58 of 71

In the same boat

My son has yet to sleep through the night-he does 3-5 hours MAX and don't expect it to change all that soon. He's 15 months now I know that there are lots of other mommies doing the same (I just met someone with a 2 year old who JUST stopped night nursing). Our pediatrician says it's habit and it's bad for his teeth, but I completely disagree (and there's NO evidence that it harms the teeth at all to nurse at night). Anyway, I just wanted to give you some support and tell you that you're not alone. Hang in there!
post #59 of 71
Thread Starter 
MummyMary and Asaalik - it's so great that you are here and that you are recognizing your child's need to nurse at night, and addressing it!

Thanks for your kind words of support!

Please note that this thread is for Mamas with children who are at least three years old and still nursing frequently at night.
post #60 of 71
UrbanPlanter

I hope my post was helpful coming from a mom of a four year old who used to night nurse frequently at three
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