Not wanting to nightwean, but... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 05-28-2009, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Wasn't sure whether to put this in breastfeeding beyond infancy and clw, because we qualify for both situations.

DD is 3.5 years old. I am happy to continue to nurse her to sleep as long as she needs to. I'm also completely ok with waking up once or twice at night to nurse as well (we cosleep).

But when 4am rolls around, and she's asking to nurse again, and then she usually ends up permanently latched on until we wake up, and I'm totally exhausted and starting to feel frustrated, I do think that something needs to change.

I'm thinking about having a snack and water available on the nightstand for her to munch on at 4am. Has anyone done this, and if so, what kind of snack?

Again, I do not want to completely night wean at all, and I'm committed to nursing for as long as she would like, but mama needs a bit more sleep for mental and physical health.

Thanks in advance!!
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#2 of 2 Old 05-28-2009, 02:31 PM
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I understand your pain. It's tough to night nurse an older toddler. My DS night nursed longer than my DD and was much more attached to it than DD. For some reason, I can easily fall asleep w/ a little babe nursing but not so easily w/ a big toddler. *shrug*

Breastfeeding is a relationship between the 2 of you. Just as you respect your child's needs and try to generously meet them, YOU also have needs. I do not think CLW needs to eclipse all of the mother's needs. YOUR NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT TOO!!!! Sometimes, just telling yourself that can make dealing w/ the situation easier w/o even changing it and sometimes THAT relaxation actually brings about a positive change in the situation. For example, when I was getting frustrated w/ my DS's night nursing, I gave myself permission to night wean if necessary (gently though). That actually made me relax about the night nursing. I didn't attempt weaning...instead, DS nightweaned on his own!!! Now, he's weaned completely at 3.75 years.

Anyway, if night nursing becomes a huge issue for you, give yourself permission to set limits. It's not against the spirit of CLW to set limits when you really need them. This is a good example to your child too. Your LO experiences you being so generous w/ her but also that you are a person that has needs too. It gives her an opportunity to also learn to respect your needs.

Hang in there!

As for specific nightweaning advice...I think Dr Jay Gould (correct name?) offers some techniques. If your LO is waking at approx the same time to nurse, you could try to wake her just before she naturally wakes. Eventually, her body expects to be woken to nurse and then you push the time later and later. She'll start to sleep through entirely. I think that's how it goes anyway. I haven't tried it. W/ my DD, I was pg w/ my DS when I asked her to nightwean. I explained that I was very tired and needed lots of rest to grow the baby. The "nursies" needed to rest too. She could have her last nursing at bedtime and again first thing in the am. She went along w/ this very easily. Once or twice, I let her nightnurse b/c she was sick, but otherwise there wasn't even a fuss. Explaining could work w/ your LO too.
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