Failing Miserably at Night Weaning My 2.5 year old, please help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 05-13-2011, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to night wean my 2.5 year old DS and having a really hard time.  I'm so exhausted from over 2 years of waking up multiple times at night.  I've had 2 miscarriages in the past 8 months, and during both pregnancies I was so tired and sick during the first trimester and waking up often at night really made it worse for me.  My DH and I are going to TTC again soon, and I'd really like to wean him at night before we start.

Last night was night #13 of 2-4 hours of crying at night.  I still allow him to nurse to sleep before bed and at naps. When he wakes up around 2:00 am crying to nurse, I move in to his bed to co-sleep and I stay there with him all night, hold him, rock him, talk to him, and explain that the milk "needs to sleep" at night.  I even bought one of those alarm clocks that glow green at the time you set it for, and his glows green at 5:00 am, which means that he can have "milk" then.  He's outsmarted me quite a few nights now, and simply cries and stays up until 5 am waiting for it to turn green. He totally relies on nursing to fall asleep, and I'm not sure what else I can do to night wean him.  I really want to be gentle, since I know in my heart that this is very difficult for him.  This is all he has known for his entire little life, and I feel awful for doing this to him.

Last night we were up from 1:00 am to 6:00 am, ugh!

If anyone has any advice for me, or knows of anything else that I could try please help!

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#2 of 5 Old 05-13-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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We're working on this with our almost 2.5 year old now.  There is no way that DD will let me comfort her without nursing. None.  So I stay in bed while DH checks her diaper and holds her and sings her back to sleep. Sometimes it's quick and other times it isn't.  But he makes no mention of me or milks.  She does  eventually go back to sleep for him.  I think we're making progress :)


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#3 of 5 Old 05-13-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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My boys are 4 and 6 now, so I'm a bit past this stage, but thinking back, I just have a few ideas for you in case you haven't thought of these yet. I never had to actually night wean really, but when ds1 was 2, I was pregnant and glad he was tapering off the nursing.  I did have to help him along to really be done with it though, so there were a few weeks/months where I told him at bedtime he could nurse for a minute but then he needs to stop, etc. Then we eventually got down to literally 10 seconds of so of nursing before bed.  

 

OK, my suggestions.  If he's upset at night and you've already explained once or twice you won't be nursing him, better to just say "this is the last time I will tell you, then I will just be very quiet and lie here to help you get back to sleep" (or something) then go silent and wait sleepily, not keep trying to calm him with words.  Silence always worked better than trying to soothe, for us at that age.

 

Another suggestion is a sippy cup of a little water, in case he's thirsty.  We did this a few weeks I think, then he didn't seem to need that anymore.

 

Restrict fluids before bedtime, to see if he could sleep through better without needing to wake in the first place.

 

Try adding a new routine to the falling asleep - music, noise machine, a new cuddly animal to sleep with.  Then you could use that again in the middle of the night. 

 

Have Dad do the nighttime parenting.   We did this one, at least started to, before ds2 came along, and it reallllllly came in handy to have him take over that.  He got very attached to dh doing it, and to this day dh is still his main go-to guy for nighttime.  

 

 

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#4 of 5 Old 05-18-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post

My boys are 4 and 6 now, so I'm a bit past this stage, but thinking back, I just have a few ideas for you in case you haven't thought of these yet. I never had to actually night wean really, but when ds1 was 2, I was pregnant and glad he was tapering off the nursing.  I did have to help him along to really be done with it though, so there were a few weeks/months where I told him at bedtime he could nurse for a minute but then he needs to stop, etc. Then we eventually got down to literally 10 seconds of so of nursing before bed.  

 

OK, my suggestions.  If he's upset at night and you've already explained once or twice you won't be nursing him, better to just say "this is the last time I will tell you, then I will just be very quiet and lie here to help you get back to sleep" (or something) then go silent and wait sleepily, not keep trying to calm him with words.  Silence always worked better than trying to soothe, for us at that age.

 

Another suggestion is a sippy cup of a little water, in case he's thirsty.  We did this a few weeks I think, then he didn't seem to need that anymore.

 

Restrict fluids before bedtime, to see if he could sleep through better without needing to wake in the first place.

 

Try adding a new routine to the falling asleep - music, noise machine, a new cuddly animal to sleep with.  Then you could use that again in the middle of the night. 

 

Have Dad do the nighttime parenting.   We did this one, at least started to, before ds2 came along, and it reallllllly came in handy to have him take over that.  He got very attached to dh doing it, and to this day dh is still his main go-to guy for nighttime.  

 

 

I think those are all great suggestions.  I nightweaned (fully weaned) 2 kids.  The first he slept with us (as always) and I sang a little song but basically pretended to be asleep.  I mean he knew  I wasn't asleep but I just emphasized 'nighttime for sleeping' and we snuggled and that was it. I didn't make a big deal out of it.  Tried for him to get that it was a happy, normal progression and that he'd be fine.  I wasn't apologetic or emotional or guilty or anything (on the surface).  

 

With DD I had to leave the bedroom entirely for 3 nights and DH took care of it.  

 

With both of them when we were done at night we were DONE at night altogether.  No 'when the sun comes up' or any of that.  In fact IIRC nightweaning was after day weaning so all that was left was nursing to sleep.  It helped a lot that they were both well used to hearing and dealing with 'no' for nursing.  So I don't know how your days look but if you're still very much 'on demand' during the day it might be hard to introduce limits at night.  Because none of us are all that rational at night!
 

 


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#5 of 5 Old 11-22-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Dear alict,

 

I am in the process of weaning my 2.5 year old and I am failing miserably.  I was wondering if you had completed the process and how it went for you? 

 

Thanks!

 

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