Trying to wean and get child out of the family bed . . . any suggestions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm gradually weening my one year old son. We have almost completely eliminated day time nursing (except for the occasional melt-down or illness, etc). We can get him to take naps by taking him on walks in a carrier or stroller or drives in the care. Occasionally, family members and friends have been able to rock him to sleep. But since I'm the mama, I've only been successful getting him to sleep by nursing. We co-sleep at night and I've been working on getting him into his own bed (his bed is in our room close to our bed) but he always ends up in our bed because he wakes to nurse and instead of getting out of bed, nursing him, and putting him back in bed it's easier to just bring him into our bed.
So how do you get your toddlers to go to sleep without nursing them down?
A tandem question is how to transition from family bed to solo bed.
(BTW, I tried doing a search since I know I am not the first mom to ask this question but the search only showed articles. Any tips how to search forums or past threads? Thanks!)
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#2 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Can you wait a little longer? If your LO is a young 1 YO, then that may be too young for night weaning and it can be a tough time to move them out of your bed. It can be hard for them to understand what you're asking of them.

An older 1 YO, though... here's what we did:

We put DD in her own bed around 18 months - she was just old enough to really get excited about having her own big girl bed and it was an easy transition.

I started out by laying down with her in her bed, nursing her to sleep there. Then, a few months later after she was used to being in her bed I worked on night weaning her. At that point, I gently told her that she could have boobs in the morning when the sun came up, but not during the night. She woke up a few times and I reassured her, but there were no tears. If there had been, I would have known that she needed more time before night weaning.

Best of luck to you!

ETA: Even when we night weaned DD and put her in her own bed, she still came into our bed in the middle of the night each night. Now, at 3, she still comes into our room but sleeps on a crib mattress on the floor.

SAHM to DD (6/07) and DS (10/09); happily married to DH since 2/04 .
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#3 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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I think that you shouldn't do both transitions at the same time. The best order is probably to get him into his own bed, and then nightwean (so he still has some wake-up comfort when he's by himself). The transition may be hard for you (getting up to nurse), but after he is comfortably sleeping in his own bed you can start limiting nursing. For us I tell DS (14.5 mos) that milk is night-night if he wants it too quickly after his last nursing, and he accepts that. I tell him Mommy will pat your back, and he lies down and lets me stroke his back until he's asleep.

Moving DS to a crib helped his night wakings a lot, though he still wakes up 3 or 4 times (this is MUCH better than ever 1.5 hrs). To transition you can do a couple of things. Since I was sleeping in DS's room with him on a mattress on the floor I would put him down for the night in the crib, pretty much nearly asleep, and then would bring him to bed with me after his first waking. Then I would start to put him back in after the first waking (after nursing in the rocking chair) to get another stretch in the crib. It gradually got to him sleeping most of the night in the crib. I stayed in his room for many weeks so that if he woke I was still "right there," but now that he's sleeping 3-4 hour stretches I have gone back to sleep with DH each time. I use a monitor so I am there very quickly when he wakes, and he seems fine with it. I still bring him to bed with me around 7 AM to try to get another hour or 2 of sleep, but our system is working out well.

Good luck!

Happy mama to our miracle son Benjamin - 3/09 after a long road of infertility
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#4 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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My children were both older.....I waited til about 2 to night wean. I first transitioned them to their own bed and would sleep with them there...then once they were comfortable with that I would start limiting the amount of nursing or sending dh in instead. For both it went really smoothly, especially considering they were both very big nursers. I still nursed them down most nights but not quite all the way. My dd completely weaned just before 4 and my son is still nursing...but by right around 2 we weaned from bedtime til sunup nursings.

I wouldnt do both at once, and honestly 1 is young to wean unless there is a medical reason.

eta: we actually started with dd a little bit before 2....around 18 months I started putting her on a mattress on the floor and sleeping with her there, then cut back on night feedings...she was 21 months when ds was born and I didnt want her nursing all night long. At 22 months she asked for her own room...

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#5 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses. Co-sleeping isn't that comfortable for me and DH and we do it because it's the easiest way to breastfeed and also the healthiest / safest for an infant, but the older DS gets the more motivated I am to get him in his own bed. I just assumed that night-weaning and sleeping solo would go hand in hand, thanks for suggesting to do them separately. I had intended to nurse longer but my milk is drying up and this is creating frustration and tears for my little boy (he will be 1 in a few weeks). He's fine to go without nursing in the day so by bedtime I have enough milk for two feedings (usually wakes about 1-2 hours after bed). Like clock-work he wakes around 2:00 am and I am often out of milk so he alternates between nursing relentlessly and squirming. I've started bringing a sippy cup of water with a splash of juice (he rejects formulas & milks) and that helps, but I'd just like to be able to sooth him back to sleep without the boob.
Maybe I will try getting him in a bed / crib first, and not worry about trying to wean.
Thanks mamas! Keep your thoughts coming, I'm all ears.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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sounds like a plan

(though I have to point out, even though it may not apply here as I dont know your situation, that the less you nurse the less you make so if you are not wanting to wean offering more during the day may help)

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#7 of 10 Old 06-08-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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I did both at the same time when ds1 was ~18/19 months old shortly after becoming pregnant w/ ds2... We moved him into his own room & bed and started a definte bedtime routine (something we'd never had previously...) of reading stories and then saying 'goodnight' and leaving. Sometimes hed cry for a second but almost always he'd just roll over and goto sleep... Goodluck!!

ETA: I mean night wean... ds1 nursed during the day till shortly after ds2 was born ~29-30 months...
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#8 of 10 Old 06-09-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Thought I'd suggest an idea for getting a LO to sleep without nursing to sleep.

DS likes to have his butt pat vigorously when he's laying on his tummy in the crib. The mattress has a little give, so it bounces him to sleep as I pat his butt.

We do this when he wakes before it's time to nurse (we nurse bedtime, 2AM and about 6AM), b/c otherwise he nurses and there's very little milk and he's frustrated.

I'm in a similar boat, in that I'm drying up, too, but DS won't nurse during the day and I decided to stop pumping at 13 months b/c I'd had it! I will keep up the 3 feeds at night as long as he wants them and my milk stays. I think he's prob only getting about 6 oz total, but it prevented him from getting a bad cold when I was sick a few weeks ago (just a runny nose when I was laid up for 2 weeks), so we'll keep it! Anyway, it definitely helps to have some alternative means of soothing him to sleep, as now DH can do it, too, when he wakes up between nursing sessions. Try the bouncing mattress -- I swear it works!

Happy mama to our miracle son Benjamin - 3/09 after a long road of infertility
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#9 of 10 Old 06-09-2010, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handsandfeet View Post
DS likes to have his butt pat vigorously when he's laying on his tummy in the crib. The mattress has a little give, so it bounces him to sleep as I pat his butt.
Ha! That is so cute! I'll definitely try it. There've been a few times when I've been able to get him to sleep while lying down with him and cradling his but while I bounce it vigorously, but I never thought of a way to do it without being on me. It's also nice to hear someone in the same bout re: drying up. I spent hours on Motherings site trying to learn about weaning but all I could find was articles telling me to continue nursing or how to wean an toddler.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-10-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Yeah, this age is pretty young (for AP) to wean, and I was not trying to, but DS stopped being interested in daytime nursing starting at 10 months. I pumped every 4 hours up until about 6 weeks ago to keep up my supply, but obviously my boobs relied on the frequent stimulation, because it dropped quickly once I stopped pumping. It makes me sad to give him a bottle of cow before nursing at night to make sure he has a full tummy, but I'm doing the best I can. In the grand scheme of things we've made it a lot longer than most women in this country, and we've done great by our LOs nursing this long. Although I hope I can keep up SOME milk for several more months, as I kind of had 18 months as my short-term goal.

And yeah, you won't find much about weaning at this age on here. I haven't run into many whose LOs stop being interested in daytime nursing, either. At first I called it a nursing strike, but I don't think a nursing strike lasts 5 months!

Oh, and as for searching for old threads, you want to avoid putting your search term(s) in the top white search bar -- that's how you get the articles. To get threads, look about 2 rows down from the white search bar (the row starts with User CP if you're logged in) -- look in that row for "search". Try that!

Happy mama to our miracle son Benjamin - 3/09 after a long road of infertility
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