When to wean? If to wean? Confused mama... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 03-21-2004, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD will be 2 next month. She is still very attached to nursing, especially at night. We mostly now nurse for nap during the day, and maybe 1 - 2 times more.

The fact is i am getting tired of it, especially at night. Some nights she will literally nurse ALL NIGHT LONG, which drives me insane. I feel selfish for wanting to wean her because I know it will be a painful process for her. Other friends' babies have weaned piece of cake - I know DD will be different.

DH is also pressuring me to wean.

I want to do what's best for Ellerie, but at what point do I honor what I feel is best for me? I am just really feeling taxed out by her lately. She has always been spirited and she is such a joy as a toddler, but she is SO much - she requires my attention all the time, and by night I just want to shut down...do you know what I mean?

I need advice. In many ways I think nursing her longer will actually help keep her calm and happy because she is getting what she needs, but again, it goes back to me also getting what I need. I feel selfish.

mamas?
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#2 of 12 Old 03-21-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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I'm not quite in your shoes yet but I think she's probably old enough to night wean, at least - that sounds very tiring! Check ot the family bed forum and run a search on Gordon for threads about his nightweaning method, or check out Dr. Gordon's site - www.drjaygordon.com - a lot of mamas have had success with that.

As for day weaning, nursing is a relationship and it has to work on both sides for it to work. Personally I would work on night weaning and then see how you and she are doing - getting enough sleep might make you feel recharged and able to nurse during the day. Also take a look at www.kellymom.com 's section on weaning (under breastfeeding) for helpful info and advice.

Good luck, mama!

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#3 of 12 Old 03-21-2004, 11:44 PM
 
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I think weaning when she is that attached would be very hard on her IMO. But I definately think she is old enough to have some limits put on. She is old enough that she can wait or nurse less. Also if it is really stressing you out you could gently night wean (I don't have the link but Dr. Jay Gordon has a good plan for that). I don't think a 2 year old NEEDS to be nursing at night. Good luck to you and no matter what you decide you've done a great job nursing for 2 years!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#4 of 12 Old 03-21-2004, 11:45 PM
 
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Oops, I must have been posting at exactly the same time!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#5 of 12 Old 03-22-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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we were in the same shoes as you. i started telling DD that she could only nurse 1 time a night, there were a couple of hard nights where she got mad and refused even her sippy cup, i just held her and cuddled her, then DH hugged and cuddled her, we were up most of the night with her, she wasn't crying but was MAD. i felt really bad but was at my breaking point, i couldn't handle the constant wake ups anymore. anyways it took a couple of days and she is now pretty much night weaned, she is sick right now so she is getting to nurse nights. if she wakes up we just tell her nursies are sleeping. it has helped us all so much, i actually feel rested in the mornings again, though we still seem to have several night wakings a week for a variety of other issues sigh..

good luck

tara
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#6 of 12 Old 03-22-2004, 01:08 AM
 
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I know how you feel mama It's certainly not selfish of you to want a little bit of a break. Maybe you could start slowly and put limits on nusring.

At my last LLL meeting one mom talked about the "milkies light". She told her DS that he couldn't nurse until the "milkies light" came on. She set her night light to a timer and it wouldn't go off until 2:00 am. When her DS woke up to nurse she would say "Is the light on yet?" Her DS learned to wait until the light went on until he could nurse. Eventually she set the timer later and later and he was sleeping until 5:00 am within a few months.

I plan on trying this in a few mos. DS is getting molars now and I feel guilty denying him nursing.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#7 of 12 Old 03-22-2004, 01:33 PM
 
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My dd is 3 now......I just weaned her shortly after her birthday.....but I bet she would have nursed until she started kindergarten. I tried to nightwean at 2, but she was getting her molars in and she had a really hard time with teething.

At 2 1/2 I nightweaned her.......and it made such a HUGE difference in MY feeling so overwhelmed with her constant nursing. I would have liked to completely wean her......but instead I aimed for her bday and started slowly cutting out the extra feedings until by her birthday, she was down to 3 five minute nursings. (i was also limiting the time of each feeding) When it came time to wean......it went pretty smoothly. Though I miss it sometimes and so does she........our relationship is still loving and close and I love that too! And I feel not so overwhelmed by nursing and being up all night.

I think if you do whats right by you......you are also doing right by her. Try the nightweaning first and see how that goes. SOmetimes just having that time makes a big difference.

You should feel really great about nursing for sooo long, btw! I thought Id go a year..........and it turned into 3! ANd I had tinges of guilt ending it there, though believe me......I WAS SO READY!!!
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#8 of 12 Old 03-23-2004, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mamas! I feel better about it. I have tried the Dr. Gordon method but this child gets hysterical if I don't allow her to nurse to sleep. It's awful and i can't let her cry. But maybe it's time - I know she's crying because she's angry, and now that she's more verbal it would be a little easier. We'll try again and I have will just trust my instincts.

I like the ideas suggested.

Thank you again. :-)
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#9 of 12 Old 03-23-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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I nightweaned my ds at about 22 months. He had been a night nursing feign and at some point I quit sleeping when he was nursing. I was reluctant to attempt nightweaning because I thought it would be horrible for everyone. The first night was bad, but after that he quite attempting to nurse until he woke up in the a.m. My point is not that you will necessarily have as smooth of an experience, but that sometime our little ones will pleasantly suprise up. BTW I told ds that mommy's breasts are sleeping and he could have milk in the morning.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-23-2004, 09:24 PM
 
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I want to say that I think the suggestion of night weaning is a great one. Just having your body to yourself for an extended period of time may help you feel better about nursing. And if not, you will have begun a gradual shift towards weaning entirely.

Rainbow.gif ~ Molly
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#11 of 12 Old 03-24-2004, 10:39 PM
 
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I just wanted to add- It sounds like you're sharing a bed. What helped me was to start putting DS to sleep in a differnent room. I still nurse him to sleep, and I'll get him or go sleep with him and nurse if he wakes up, but mostly he sleeps through the night. He just sleeps much better without me right next to him, and even some space between us helps so that he won't want to nurse constantly.

I am not against the family bed, and me and DP dearly loved having DS sleep with us, just it drives me crazy now having someone attached all night. Anyway, it might help.
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#12 of 12 Old 03-28-2004, 12:17 AM
 
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We were in your position and nightweaned in February (DS was 21 months) and it improved DS's nighttime sleep immensely. I didn't feel at all guilty because his sleep was so horrible. Plus, I knew he would "understand" more milk in the morning.
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