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Is Nightweaning an aspect of Child Led Weaning? - Page 3

post #41 of 92
I would like some clarification, please.

It seems like several people have said that having night-weaning threads in this forum is helpful because of the different advice you would get from other boards.

But, generally, isn't that advice *against* night weaning? So, perhaps if what people are looking for is not advice on *how* to night wean, but rather on *whether* to night-wean, they could just be more careful with the title? Sound reasonable, or am I missing something?

I also feel the need to clarify something. Generally, when people night-wean, in the *pure* meaning of the word--- withhold nursing for 10-12 hours a night against their childs will, I feel that goes directly against the spirit, if not the "rules" of CLW.

BUT, I do see a large grey area. For example, if a mother enrolled her child in a fun class in the afternoon and they were doing an art project and the child (3-4, lets say) asked to nurse and the mom said, "how about later, lets do this painting" and the child *agreed*--- it seems like most people accept that as in tune with CLW (of course, if the child proceeded to beg & cry and the mother refussed that is a different situation). In the same vein, if a child (3-4, lets say) is asking to nurse every time they roll over in the night and the mom said, "lets nurse in the morning, I'm really tired, nursies are sleepy..." and the child *agree*--- how is that *really* different (of course, once again, if the child proceeded to beg & cry and the mother continued to refuse that is a different situation).

A major issue is that not only do we each have our own definitions of CLW, we also have our own defintions of: nightwean, sleep through the night, child respectful, CIO, etc... When many of those definitions converge I think people are actually more in agreement than they would think--- they are just using different terms to express their feelings.

And I think there are definatley threads we can *all* agree on don't belong here. It makes me want to go start one so the forum members can bond in solidarity
post #42 of 92
Thread Starter 
1st: mom2threenurslings, I loved your post. Thank you.

2nd: Tired, to answer your questions: basically, for me, if my son indicates a need to nurse, I usually nurse unless it is inconvenient; then I ask him if he can wait. If he can't wait, I try to accomodate him. This goes for day or night. Lately at night it's usually inconvenient bc I am woken up and very tired, so I will sometimes (actually, lately it is often) ask him to wait a bit or until Daddy's alarm goes off or until the sun comes up; his usual response is protest, so we nurse.

I'm too tired to elaborate more right now, but that's basically how we are doing it.
post #43 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2
Generally, when people night-wean, in the *pure* meaning of the word--- withhold nursing for 10-12 hours a night against their childs will, I feel that goes directly against the spirit, if not the "rules" of CLW.

BUT, I do see a large grey area. For example, if a mother enrolled her child in a fun class in the afternoon and they were doing an art project and the child (3-4, lets say) asked to nurse and the mom said, "how about later, lets do this painting" and the child *agreed*--- it seems like most people accept that as in tune with CLW (of course, if the child proceeded to beg & cry and the mother refussed that is a different situation). In the same vein, if a child (3-4, lets say) is asking to nurse every time they roll over in the night and the mom said, "lets nurse in the morning, I'm really tired, nursies are sleepy..." and the child *agree*--- how is that *really* different (of course, once again, if the child proceeded to beg & cry and the mother continued to refuse that is a different situation).



:




-Kira
post #44 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShabbyChic
Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but if the child wakes to nurse, then doesn't he need it? I am reading coments saying that when the child was emotionally/physically ready to not nurse at night then he was "pushed" in that direction. How does one know when their child is ready.
One knows by knowing their child and sometimes by trying. If it doesn't work, then your child is obviously not ready for it. In our case, my decision to stop nursing for a period at night was because I knew my son's personality and I could tell that his extremely night-waking was not really about nutrition or connecting - it was about habit. This was verified for me when I tried and met with hardly any resistance (and my son isn't one to not put up a major fight when he feels strongly about something).

When I made the decision to try to cut out night-time nursing (for us it was only for about 5 hours - until he started sleeping longer periods on his own about a year later), I did it with zero intention of interrupting child-led weaning. If my son had protested, I would not have pushed it. My son is still weaning in his own time. That's why I think I belong on this board - I firmly believe in child-led weaning.

And, btw, the example you gave about your daughter waking up because she needed to tell you something or you waking up because you need a drink - totally different. Waking so frequently was affecting my son's health, as well as my own. He still most nights wakes up to tell me something or get a drink and I honor that need because it's not harming either one of us.
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
To me, cutting down on frequency of nursing is a form of weaning. Cutting out hours of the day in which the child is allowed to nurse is a form of weaning (whether it's day or night). Actively getting a child to stop nursing during specific times of day is weaning. Weaning isn't an all - or -nothing thing - partial weaning is still weaning.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I don't see it as weaning at all - and apparently my son didn't either. Probably because he wasn't waking because he needed to nurse.

Quote:
I may ask the child (who can understand) to wait a few minutes, but I'll always fill the need.
So let's say you asked the child to wait a few minutes and s/he happened to fall asleep for a 3-hour nap. Are you suddenly "partially weaning?"
post #46 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
So let's say you asked the child to wait a few minutes and s/he happened to fall asleep for a 3-hour nap. Are you suddenly "partially weaning?"
No...because that would be a one-time thing, or within reason for CLWing because, if s/he didn't protest to being asked to wait and fell asleep on her/his own, it wouldn't be a NEED to nurse, it would be a WANT to nurse.

I totally agree that if Mama can say "How about I rub your back instead?" or "Would you rather have a drink of water?" or something similar and the child is receptive and doesn't protest, that it goes along with CLW. But I don't agree that limiting nursing to only specific hours of the day (when the sun is up ... from 8am-10pm .... from 8pm-8am...whatever) is in tune with the concept of CLW.

And btw...what is a 3 hour nap?!? My kids never went that long without nursing when they were of napping age! :LOL
post #47 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
No...because that would be a one-time thing, or within reason for CLWing because, if s/he didn't protest to being asked to wait and fell asleep on her/his own, it wouldn't be a NEED to nurse, it would be a WANT to nurse.
Exactly. And this was my experience with asking my son to wait at night. And this is exactly the sort of advice that women who want to continue to practice CLW but feel that they need to set limits at night could probably get on this board that they might not get on others.

Quote:
But I don't agree that limiting nursing to only specific hours of the day (when the sun is up ... from 8am-10pm .... from 8pm-8am...whatever) is in tune with the concept of CLW.
In general, I agree. But I also think it depends on the child. If the child is absolutely fine with only nursing during the day - say he nurses at 10, wakes up at 12 and mother asks him to wait; he's fine with that and falls asleep again until morning - then that long period of not nursing is still compatible with CLW, IMO.

Quote:
And btw...what is a 3 hour nap?!? My kids never went that long without nursing when they were of napping age! :LOL
I know. I've heard tales of kids who do that but I had the anti-napper. :LOL
I was just throwing it out there as a comparable example where a CLW mother might put limits on her child that could have the same result as night-time limits.
post #48 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
No...because that would be a one-time thing, or within reason for CLWing because, if s/he didn't protest to being asked to wait and fell asleep on her/his own, it wouldn't be a NEED to nurse, it would be a WANT to nurse.
BTW, just to address this difference between "needing" and "wanting" tp nurse - I'm not sure how you were meaning this, but I think it's important to say that I don't feel comfortable with distinguishing needs and wants where nursing is concerned. I tend to think that if a child wants to nurse, then s/he needs to nurse.
post #49 of 92
For my NEED / WANT comment - I guess I was just trying to find a short way of distinguishing between a need to nurse (which can include simply wanting to nurse) in which case the child would insist on nursing and asking to nurse due to boredom, habit, etc. in which case the child doesn't really particularly have his/her heart set on nursing and just sees it as something to do (and can take it or leave it). Sorry!
post #50 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2threenurslings
Yes, some nightweaning threads are appropriate in the CLWing forums - for me those would include (but not be limited to) posts looking for nightnursing support and ways to avoid nightweaning, posts looking for information on the alternatives to nightweaning, posts looking for suggestions as to how to get through the night/day when night nursing becomes too difficult and demanding, etc. It's the help me to nightwean and support me in nightweaning and how do I nightwean posts that I think belong in one of the other breastfeeding forums.
That all sounds reasonable to me!
post #51 of 92
I was trying to avoid this thread altogether because of another thread just like it a couple of years back that left me feeling needlessly guilty. But today I peeked and got sucked in :LOL.

My dd weaned over a year ago but I really just want to chime in and say that I nightweaned my dd years before she weaned herself. It was not done cruelly, I did not abandon her and leave her to soothe herself. I held her in my arms, in our family bed. But I don't feel that I have to justify nor explain myself to feel validated as a one who practiced "child-led weaning". My daughter decided when it was time for her to fully wean from the breast, and that was over half a decade later. If I would have allowed her to continue nursing at night I don't doubt that she would have nursed at night til the end (as bedtime was the last nursing session to go). When she nursed, she could nurse for hours (literally) and very strongly to the point that there was no way I could sleep through it. This child ran on very strong instincts. And my sanity played a huge role in my ability to be a good mother.

That doesn't mean that I advocate night-weaning and encourage other moms to do it. It just means that it is what worked for us and allowed us to continue until dd was ready to wean. When a mother posts for advice on night-weaning, in whatever forum, I leave it be. I think she gets very caring advice in this forum. I also think a mother should do what's best for her and her child (what feels right), not what others tell her to do. And if that entails letting her child ultimately decide when to wean, then I think she fully "belongs" in this forum.

I've said this before, but putting too stringent of a definition on child-led weaning is defeating the whole ideal (and perhaps not understanding) the base idea that children will ultimately fully wean in their own time, gentle limits and all. Those who try to be perfect, from start to finish, are setting themselves up for failure, imo. And expecting other mothers to do the same would be excluding a lot of mothers who can give and receive a great deal of much-needed support here.

post #52 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother_sunshine

I've said this before, but putting too stringent of a definition on child-led weaning is defeating the whole ideal (and perhaps not understanding) the basic idea that children will ultimately fully wean in their own time, gentle limits and all. Those who try to be perfect, from start to finish, are setting themselves up for failure, imo. And expecting other mothers to do the same would be excluding a lot of mothers who can give and receive a great deal of much-needed support here.

YES!
post #53 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother_sunshine
I was trying to avoid this thread altogether because of another thread just like it a couple of years back that left me feeling needlessly guilty. But today I peeked and got sucked in :LOL.
I forgot all about that thread! And here I am starting it all over again! : I remember your story, M_S. Your post, as usual, is beautiful .

I have been in such a crappy, sleep-deprived mood lately. My posts reflect this!

My body actually has started to fight back at me not sleeping. Yesterday I couldn't keep my eyes open and fell asleep while ds was playing at home alone with me (several times). I was practically non-functional all day. When dh came home there was no food for dinner, the dog was not walked, the house was a mess.... actually, this happens a lot, but yesterday to top it all off I was just a lump of lead, unable to move.

I actually wish I could nightwean! (I guess I said this already). I'm starting to see a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel - but the long stretches of his sleep start at 8 or 9pm, and I can't get myself to sleep before 11 or 12, and he inevitably wakes to nurse at 12 or 1. Then, every hour or two after that, and then constantly from sunrise (which is now 5ish am) to getting up (around 7 or 8am). Every. Single. Night. And this is an improvement over six months ago!
post #54 of 92
My son is 2.5 and still nurses at least 10 times a day (although he's probably nursed 20 times already today- he's NAK now), and I fully believe in CLW and expect to nurse him until at least 4 or 5. I night-weaned him shortly after his first birthday.
I have scoliosis and all sorts of back problems, and my son was latching on when I got into bed and not unlatching (although I tried every trick in every book) until we got up in the morning. This continued for over 6 months. I was in such severe pain I could not sleep and was having trouble walking during the day from being stuck in the side-lying nursing position all night long.
Also, when my son turned 1 he started spending a night a week at his dad's house and had no problem getting to sleep or sleeping through the night there, so I knew he was physically capable of sleeping through the night with no fuss.
For 3-4 nights, there were a few tears as I gently refused to nurse at night. Within a week, he had completely stopped waking during the night. We both felt much better during the day (and he went from the 1st to the 80th percentile in weight, with no other changes) and I was able to walk again! My son occasionally needs to nurse in the night if he wakes up and has trouble sleeping, which I am fine with.
I am pregnant with #2 and hope that this baby will not get into that terrible habit- I could handle nursing 4 or so times a night for 2-3 years, I'm sure.
I think night-weaning can be an incredible thing in situations like mine, and I don't think my dedication to CLW is any less because I could not handle overwhelming amounts of physical pain day in and day out after my son reached the point where I knew a little nudge would end it.
post #55 of 92
U.P.
post #56 of 92
Mandy, your story is a great example of a CLW, yet nightweaning mom. I had my own compelling medical reason for nightweaning as well. However, we shouldn't have to justify ourselves to people who label us (mother-guided, nudged, forced etc.) without knowing us. I am glad you guys are doing well and wish you a happy healthy pregnancy.
post #57 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanPlanter
actually wish I could nightwean! (I guess I said this already). I'm starting to see a glimmer of the light at the end of the tunnel - but the long stretches of his sleep start at 8 or 9pm, and I can't get myself to sleep before 11 or 12, and he inevitably wakes to nurse at 12 or 1. Then, every hour or two after that, and then constantly from sunrise (which is now 5ish am) to getting up (around 7 or 8am). Every. Single. Night. And this is an improvement over six months ago!
Any chance you can wake him up right before you go to bed and try to get him to nurse so he goes a few hours *then*?

I'm sorry you're getting worn down. Perhaps you should take my user name cause I'm, for the first time in close to 7 years, getting a fairly consistent 5 hours.
post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
Nightweaning is not clw- the mom is initiating it therefore I see no backing for calling it clw.

But that's not true. At least not for me. My baby who is four mos old...stopped nursing at night, even though she sleeps in the bed with me and DH, and doesn't have a crib. I don't know what's brought it about...she just doesn't nurse at night anymore. I didn't do anything to initiate that process..she did it herself. I can't make her nurse if she doesn't want it. I do keep her close so it's there.

Not every mother who has night-weaned makes that choice...sometimes babies actually might know what they want.
post #59 of 92
Glad you popped in Mother Sunshine! You are the "CLW role model" I referred to in my post a few pages back.
post #60 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momo7
But that's not true. At least not for me. My baby who is four mos old...stopped nursing at night, even though she sleeps in the bed with me and DH, and doesn't have a crib. I don't know what's brought it about...she just doesn't nurse at night anymore. I didn't do anything to initiate that process..she did it herself. I can't make her nurse if she doesn't want it. I do keep her close so it's there.

Not every mother who has night-weaned makes that choice...sometimes babies actually might know what they want.
But it was your baby who stopped nursing at night. You did not initiate it.

And, she may start nursing at night sometime again, during a growth spurt or developmental change. She is still very young.

There is an enormous difference between a child stopping the nursing at night and the mother stopping the nursing at night. Since the child stopped nursing at night, that was child-led.
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