If you are Ext. BFing & co-sleeping with your young toddler, does s/he STTN? (x-p in 2 forums) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 07-27-2011, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My LO is 16 months.  He nurses many times during the day and still gets most of his calories through BFing.  He also still wakes about every two hours (give or take...sometimes it's every hour, sometimes I get three hours straight of sleep) at night.  The only way he goes back to sleep is by nursing, period, ever.  The only good part about his nights is that, for the most part (maybe 8 nights out of 10), he goes to sleep fairly quickly after nursing (within 10 minutes or so).  I can't always fall back to sleep, I am a super light sleeper (so his night movements often wake me) and have never ever been able to sleep through nursing. 

 

My question is:  if your child is around this age and still gets a lot of nursing during the day and you do co-sleeping, does your LO STTN?  DH is very supportive of EBF and co-sleeping, but my complaining about being tired sometimes leads to a question about whether my sleep deprivation is reasonable.  Honestly, I know I won't stop EBF or co-sl. regardless, but I would just like to know if and to what extent his night waking is out of the norm.

 

TIA and here's to a good night's sleep one of these years...


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#2 of 28 Old 07-27-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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I think at that age both mine were still waking fairly frequently, like you describe.

 

With dd we moved her to the next room and night weaned around 17-18 months, and it was a miracle for my sleep-deprived self, and I think it really helped dd get the sleep she needed.

 

Ds wasn't having night weaning, and at 22 months I bring him into our bed (from the crib next to our bed) when he wakes, nurse him back to sleep, and bedshare/nurse him the rest of the night.  He now sometimes only wakes once or twice -- he will often sleep until 4am before coming to our bed.

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#3 of 28 Old 07-27-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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The 3 of my kids that are older then that have not STTN until older, 2.5- 3 years old or more. 


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#4 of 28 Old 07-27-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Ds stopped nursing at night around 18-19 months.

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#5 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 03:14 AM
 
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My 14 m.o. sleeps with us and feeds every 1-4 hours overnight.


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#6 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 04:20 AM
 
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I'm probably not the person you want to hear from. We've had great luck and DS has STTN from the very beginning. When he was a wee newborn he would night nurse a few times, but it never woke either of us up, so I consider that STTN, and he stopped needing to night nurse, man I forget exactly but maybe around 6 months? These days (he's 14 mo) he can easily STTN w/out nursing, but often he sort of half-wakes ~tosses and turns and groans~ and as soon as I put my boob in his mouth he settles down and falls back asleep. Sometimes this also includes a good feeding, but not always. Sometimes it wakes me up fully, but not usually. So yes, I am lucky and I count that blessing every day!

 

As for you, I would be considering night weaning. I have read Dr.Jay Gordon's page about it, and many mamas here claim it works well....but I have to admit it seems like a hard thing to do. However, if I were sleep deprived and annoyed and resentful, I would probably do it. Good luck!


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#7 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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We still nurse 3-8 times a day (at 15 months) but we night weaned a little over a month ago (and he now STTN)--because I was SOOOO freakin' tired and miserable.  And, believe it or not, it actually helped both of us (he seems happier during the day because he's not as tired...we were both waking up around 3 times a night for extended nursing).  We nurse at naps and bed but he doesn't fall asleep while nursing anymore.


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#8 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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we night weaned at 18 mos, and there was absolutely no sttn until that point.  but, my goodness, she's a wonderful sleeper now!  for us the nightweaning was a timely move, and i had been really nervous about it until we actually did it and it was NOT an awful experience in the least. 

we waited till she was old enough to understand the concept of dark and light outside and told her that boobies go to sleep when it gets dark but she could nurse when the sun was up.  she actually understood and was only cranky for 3 nights upon waking, but even that tiny bit of fussing was short lived. 

just remember that nutritionally, at that age, they only need to actually nurse around 3 x total per day, and everything else is a habit or for comfort (which is reasonable enough to want to comfort, but at some point the need for sleep for all of you begins to outweigh the comfort that is provided through night nursing)

i think cosleeping REALLY helps with that comfort factor.


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#9 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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My son held on to one middle of the night feeding until about 20 months, when he suddenly dropped it of his own accord with absolutely no drama. We still co-sleep and he's a huge snuggler. He likes to sleep literally in the crook of my arm, with his head on/near my chest. So my experience has been that co-sleeping and nightweaning aren't necessarily incompatible, but your kid might not be ready to do it without a fuss yet.

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#10 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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My 24 month old still nurses to sleep but we cut out middle of the night feedings about 2-3 months ago. He sleeps in his own crib and comes into our bed when he first wakes up. That could be anywhere from 1 am to 6 am. If it is still dark out, I tell him that "the nurse" is sleeping and he sometimes still fusses a little but usually goes back to sleep while cuddling me. We nurse 1-3 times between first light and when he gets up for the day which can vary from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

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#11 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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My 20 mo DS still nurses in the night. It varies depending on how much solid food he ate during the day, activity level etc. Some nights he will only nurse once in the night, some nights its almost constant nursing, and he will awaken if not latched on. I just try to be patient with him when we are having a rough night, but it is hard sometimes, and I do miss out on a lot of sleep. I just keep telling myself, it will pass, just be patient and enjoy it, because I will probably miss it when he weans! I think some LOs need it more at night, and my LO does, so I  just roll with it.

 

He has only STTN once in his whole life, and it freaked me out!! I totally woke up in a panic that morning and had to check to make sure he was ok!


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#12 of 28 Old 07-28-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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My son is 21 months and nurses 1-3 times per night. We day-weaned at 13 months and so I've been waiting to see if he night-weans on his own. At 16 months, he was a much more frequent nursing--every 2-3 hours at least; and he'd been that way pretty much since he was about 4 months old. At around 18 months, he started to do a bit of a longer stretch; he cut out the 1am nursing, and now often can go 5 hours or so without nursing. He doesn't really wake up to nurse, though--or rather, I pre-emptively shove the nipple in his mouth before he wakes up, and that works for us.

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#13 of 28 Old 07-29-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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We're not EBF, but my co-sleeping DD (16 months) still wakes for 1 - 2 feedings each night.  She IS capable of going to sleep in other ways, though, and she's pretty clear about when she really really wants that bottle.  Do you get the impression that he needs all of his nighttime feedings for hunger?  Probably not, I'm guessing.  Does he scream and protest if you try to get him to sleep without nursing, or will he just not get sleepy? 

 

BTW, I've read some of your other posts and think we should probably get our two LO's together to have some non-sleeping, non-eating fun :)

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#14 of 28 Old 07-29-2011, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Newmamalizzy:  I LOVE your new avatar.  In response to your question, I am pretty much 100% sure the "feedings" at night are not hunger-related.  It's just that he wakes up and nothing other than nursing gets him back to sleep.  I have to say that I sometimes really wish he took a pacifier.  I am lucky, though, in that he does not have to have me in his mouth to sleep.  I have read of moms whose babies have to be actually latched in order to sleep.  I know some moms can sleep through nursing, but I have literally never been able to do that.  Also, I have tried to pat his back and that kind of thing to get him back to sleep, which always results in his getting more awake and more upset.  I think I am reaping the results of having always used the quickest, easiest way to get him back to sleep, which is nursing. 


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#15 of 28 Old 07-29-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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All  of that (the stirrings waking me, the inability to sleep-nurse, etc) was the primary reason I had to stop co-sleeping.  I simply needed more sleep to live a normal productive life.

 

Now she sleeps in her own bed one room away and sleeps 8-11 hours a night straight (except in periods of teething) and then comes to bed with us in the early am.  I am there when she falls asleep and there within seconds when she wakes up.  And I don't want to chuck her out the window, which is a HUGE bonus and makes me feel like a much better mom.

 

If co-sleeping is really really important to you, perhaps you could use your DH as a buffer zone, get some ear plugs and perhaps get an additional twin bed to put next to your bed so that her movements don't disturb your sleep.

 

I am sorry.  I know the feeling.  Whenever we go on vacation and we are forced to co-sleep...well let's just say the sleeping part is very one-sided...DH's side that is.  My side of the bed feels more like an all nighter at the boobie buffet and I pulled the red-eye shift.  Inevitably I wind up screaming on the third day that it is DH's turn GD it and storm off to bathroom or the livivng room or anywhere I can get some sleep.


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#16 of 28 Old 07-29-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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I BF and we co-sleep with our 12-month-old (in a side-carred mattress on the floor) and he STTN most of the time, sometimes waking once in the early morning and then sleeping in after I get him back to sleep.

 

Sometimes when he wakes up it's just because he has lost his little teddy bear, so I make sure he has it and sometimes that is enough and he goes back to sleep right away.

 

Other times he wants to nurse.  I first offer him the potty (we EC) which he usually refuses and then change his diaper, then nurse him with him in my lap, then when he is done he reaches for his teddy bear and I put him back in the bed.  I used to just nurse without the potty/diaper change, and he was waking up all the time.  After I started doing this (along with a few other changes) he started sleeping long stretches.  Typically he gets at least a 7-8 hour stretch but last night he slept almost 12 hours straight!


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#17 of 28 Old 07-30-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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First Child- (now 8years old) I breastfed her for 4 years.. She coslept with us or coroomed with us (depending on her season) till just shy of 2 years then would only cosleep during illiness and such her choice.. She however begain STTN at around 4 months and by 9 months was basically putting her self to sleep..

 

Current child (16 months) starts nights in her own bed in her own room.. I c room with her  sine DH is an awful snorer shy.gif  still wakes 2 times pernight on average first I get her nurse her and ussually lay her back in her bed.. (ussually around midnight) second I bring her in with me.

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#18 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somegirl99 View Post

Other times he wants to nurse.  I first offer him the potty (we EC) which he usually refuses and then change his diaper, then nurse him with him in my lap, then when he is done he reaches for his teddy bear and I put him back in the bed.  I used to just nurse without the potty/diaper change, and he was waking up all the time.  After I started doing this (along with a few other changes) he started sleeping long stretches.  Typically he gets at least a 7-8 hour stretch but last night he slept almost 12 hours straight!


Okay... I'm just looking through this thread and I'm intrigued by this response.  We EC also, but I've never taken her at night b/c I didn't want to wake her all the way up... I just change her diaper once between midnight and 2am.  But, if I understand this correctly, by taking him out of bed and nursing him in a chair and changing the diaper or offer the potty, he's actually waking less?  Maybe b/c he knows he won't just be nursed right back to sleep?  I have never heard of anyone doing this.  

 

I have more questions! :)

 

1. Does he fuss when you put him back down to sleep after diaper/nursing?  Is he groggy when you put him down?

2. What other changes did you make?

 

Some background-

 

My 11.5mo sleeps on some blankets next to our bed for naps and part of the night.  We made a lot of progress with her sleeping recently and she was taking two two-hour naps without waking and sleeping for 3-4 hours for the first "shift" at night.  But then she wakes every hour to nurse.  Sometimes I bring her back to bed with us, but I try to nurse her back to sleep on her "bed" because she tends to sleep better there (or is it me who sleeps better? hehe.)  I can't seem to stretch her out longer than that.  And to make matters worse, she's just started walking and has just started teething, so she's regressing.  *Sigh*

 

But I am comforted by others who say that their children wake as much as mine does.  I'd like to night-wean, but it sounds like a painful process and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.

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#19 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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DD wasn't completely weaned until almost 2 or a little after. from about 18 months on she really only BF'ed when it was time for nap, bed, or in the middle of the night. i worried for a long time how we would wean her from nighttime feedings. she usually only woke up once, we brought her to bed, she had some milk, then back to sleep till morning. eventually and gradually we were able to just give her a paci and she'd stay asleep, without milk. however, she's been doing that for a long time and she STILL doesn't STTN consistantly. every so often, maybe 1/week, she will. but to her, STTN is sleeping in her own bed till 5am, then sleeping in until 8 in our bed. so still not what some parents would consider STTN, but to us it is. so really i think it depends on your parenting style. but i think it's completely normal for a toddler not to STTN. even up till almost 3 i feel it's not out of the ordinary.


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#20 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
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But I am comforted by others who say that their children wake as much as mine does.  I'd like to night-wean, but it sounds like a painful process and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.



I thought night weaning DD would be this awful experience, but when we moved her to her own bed in her own room she simply didn't wake up for it.  From the very first night she slept 6 then 8 now 10+ hours straight. When she does wake up some time between 4 and 6am she comes to our bed and nurses and there is a 50% chance she might go back to sleep.

 

Night weaning while in the same bed seems like an totally unfeasible concept.  Even my three years fully weaned 6 yo will root for the boobie at night when we share a bed (no he doesn't nurse, but the instinct is there and I think it's just something some kids will always do if they have easy access.)

 

IME Your best bet is to get your partner between you and the baby or sidecar a separate bed.  That has always been the only way I can get more than 3 hours straight when sharing a bed with the baby. (ETA: under 1 yr is really too young IME to night wean, and at this age your LO is probably  cutting some serious chompers and will need to nurse to soothe the aches and pains.  I wouldn't reccomend trying to night wean or stop co-sleeping IME until after their first set of molars are fully through at least.)

 

I know you didn't ask me, but I started ECing with Emily when she was a few days old.  Nowadays (at 18 mos) she wakes up dry at about 5 or 6 and has a pee in a potty under her as I nurse her.  When she was small I did the same.  It never woke her more than nursing did.  I use nappies as back up that are pretty easy to undo and redo. 


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#21 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Your little one sounds just like my 15 month old. We're still breastfeeding exclusively, my son nurses to sleep, and still wakes up every 1.5-2 hours to nurse. We've tried getting him to go to sleep using different techniques, but no luck--he's dedicated to his boobies! I don't really have any advice, just wanted to lend an ear and let you know you're not alone. From what I've heard, frequent night waking is pretty normal for breastfeeding, co-sleeping babes--some moms are just lucky enough to be able to sleep through it! Since catching up on sleep during the day isn't an option for me, I've been trying to recharge in other ways so I don't get totally bogged down by sleep exhaustion. Here's hoping that longer stretches of sleep are in the future for both of us!


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#22 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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My babe was sleeping through the night at 6 months.

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#23 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 01:39 PM
 
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DD2 is 14 months and wakes at least every 2 hours through the night. I would night wean her in a second, because I know she is not waking from hunger, but she is so tiny! I worry about her getting enough calories every day. She's been slowly falling off of her curve, from 20% to 5% and I need to get food into her by any route. When she shows more interest in food during the day I will wean her at night... but my question has always been... Why in heck does she wake up so much? Putting her to sleep is no problem. First time down at night she takes a bottle from DH and plays around a bit to settle down and go to sleep. No complaints. We go to bed about an hour later and DH sleeps next to DD (she is in a twin with rails pushed right up next to our king). We use white noise, room temp is consistent, no binding clothes or blankets to roll up in, very dark... what is waking her all night? Luckily she goes right back to sleep with a short nurse, sometimes DH can rock her back to sleep but not often. Man I'm tired.

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#24 of 28 Old 08-01-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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Okay... I'm just looking through this thread and I'm intrigued by this response.  We EC also, but I've never taken her at night b/c I didn't want to wake her all the way up... I just change her diaper once between midnight and 2am.  But, if I understand this correctly, by taking him out of bed and nursing him in a chair and changing the diaper or offer the potty, he's actually waking less?  Maybe b/c he knows he won't just be nursed right back to sleep?  I have never heard of anyone doing this.  

 

I have more questions! :)

 

1. Does he fuss when you put him back down to sleep after diaper/nursing?  Is he groggy when you put him down?

2. What other changes did you make?

 

Some background-

 

My 11.5mo sleeps on some blankets next to our bed for naps and part of the night.  We made a lot of progress with her sleeping recently and she was taking two two-hour naps without waking and sleeping for 3-4 hours for the first "shift" at night.  But then she wakes every hour to nurse.  Sometimes I bring her back to bed with us, but I try to nurse her back to sleep on her "bed" because she tends to sleep better there (or is it me who sleeps better? hehe.)  I can't seem to stretch her out longer than that.  And to make matters worse, she's just started walking and has just started teething, so she's regressing.  *Sigh*

 

But I am comforted by others who say that their children wake as much as mine does.  I'd like to night-wean, but it sounds like a painful process and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.


I think it helps his sleep in two ways:

- Makes him more comfortable - he might have woken up because he had to pee or was wet, or had gas, or was burpy, or occasionally had to poop, and if I just nursed him, it wouldn't properly help any of those things.  Nursing is comforting so it would help him calm down temporarily but not help the cause of the waking.

- It's not quite so easy for him to nurse, so he has to really want it.  For example, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night a bit hungry, but I don't want to deal with getting up, getting food out, cleaning it up, brushing my teeth, etc., so I don't usually bother, I just go back to sleep.

 

I know a lot of ECing mamas will nurse while on the potty but he refuses to do that.

 

To answer your specific questions:

1. He only fusses when I put him back down to sleep if he is burpy or gassy (in which case I pick him back up and try to get burps out, if that doesn't work I'd take him back to the potty).  He is not always groggy when I put him down and might roll around and play with his teddy bear for a while, but I can just lie down next to him and go to sleep while he goes back to sleep.  If it is early in the night (say, before or around midnight) then he usually goes back to sleep very quickly (maybe 10-15 minutes total waking time, including the potty, new diaper,  nursing, and falling back asleep), if it is early morning (4-6 am) then it usually takes much longer but again it is him rolling around while I lie next to him drifting off.

 

But we have also been mostly putting him to sleep this way (lying down next to him while he plays with his bear and winds down) for months now.  We used to sometimes need a paci at first but most of the time now we don't need it and I almost never need it in the middle of the night (I never let him sleep with the paci in, it was just to help him calm down initially). 

 

2. Other changes we made around the same time included moving him from our bed to a sidecarred mattress on the floor (this helped my sleep more than his but then I was then rested enough to start thinking about taking him to the potty), different white noise (we have a playlist on an ipod that has lullabies followed by white noise), using a humidifier, figuring out the right amount of nightlights, and finding a nighttime diaper that worked for us (trim and comfortable for him, fit well and absorbent enough to avoid leaks, and reasonably easy to remove/put on in the middle of the night).  Also keeping a log of his wakings which really helped to track patterns and figure out what changes helped and what did not.
 

I don't know if it will help anyone else but it works for us.  I think I started to see longer stretches of sleep after a few days and it kept getting better overall after that.  I hope this makes sense but let me know if you have any other questions.  Good luck!  It is very hard being so sleep deprived all the time. hug2.gif

 


Paula, mama to DS M (7/2010) sleepytime.gif and Watson (1998) dog2.gif and welcoming baby Penny (8/1/2013) babyf.gif

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#25 of 28 Old 08-02-2011, 11:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hakeber View Post

I thought night weaning DD would be this awful experience, but when we moved her to her own bed in her own room she simply didn't wake up for it.  From the very first night she slept 6 then 8 now 10+ hours straight. When she does wake up some time between 4 and 6am she comes to our bed and nurses and there is a 50% chance she might go back to sleep.

 

I know you didn't ask me, but I started ECing with Emily when she was a few days old.  Nowadays (at 18 mos) she wakes up dry at about 5 or 6 and has a pee in a potty under her as I nurse her.  When she was small I did the same.  It never woke her more than nursing did.  I use nappies as back up that are pretty easy to undo and redo. 


Thanks for your insight... it's certainly appreciated! :)  I actually tried moving myself to another room one night just to see if it helped (her room isn't totally baby-proofed yet).  She was still up every hour.  Ugh.  And right now she does sleep on her own little "bed" next to our bed.  Hers is a little pile of blankets with a wool pad to soak up any leaks.

 

I do think I might try taking her to the potty at 5 or 6am, though.  She definitely gets a lot more squirmy at that time and does stay dry most of the night.  And we do nurse while on the potty, so I can do that too.  We'll give that a shot tonight and see how it goes.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by gitanamama View Post
I don't really have any advice, just wanted to lend an ear and let you know you're not alone. 
Here's hoping that longer stretches of sleep are in the future for both of us!


Thanks. :)



Quote:
Originally Posted by cassandraz View Post

My babe was sleeping through the night at 6 months.


Not helpful. hehe.



Quote:
Originally Posted by somegirl99 View Post

I think it helps his sleep in two ways:

- Makes him more comfortable - he might have woken up because he had to pee or was wet, or had gas, or was burpy, or occasionally had to poop, and if I just nursed him, it wouldn't properly help any of those things.  Nursing is comforting so it would help him calm down temporarily but not help the cause of the waking.

- It's not quite so easy for him to nurse, so he has to really want it.  For example, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night a bit hungry, but I don't want to deal with getting up, getting food out, cleaning it up, brushing my teeth, etc., so I don't usually bother, I just go back to sleep.


Huh... this makes total sense.  I'm not sure if I'm rested enough right now to try this, but I think we might try it later.  And thanks for answering my questions.  All helpful and food for thought for me. :)

 

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#26 of 28 Old 08-02-2011, 11:39 AM
 
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Churrl...she's still quite young to STTN, even my DS who STTN at about 2 months (like 8-10 hours) would wake a lot from 10-13 months because of the molars and general sleep regression...I would revisit night weaning when she is closer to finishing her first big molar push.

 


Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#27 of 28 Old 08-05-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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Your experience sounds very much like mine.  We co-slept and breastfed our son until very recently (he's now 23 months).  At 18 months we night-weaned because he still wanted to nurse every 2-3 hours.  He was very verbal already so I could explain it to him and after a tough week, he understood that he wouldn't get to nurse until the sun came up and he did finally make steps towards sleeping through the night.  Night weaning definitely helped us get to STTN, but I wasn't ready to take this step until he was old enough to understand what I was telling him ("it's nighttime.  Mama's sleeping, Dada's sleeping, nursy's sleeping.  You can nurse again when the sun comes up, now is time for sleep.").  I really wanted to continue co-sleeping but was scared it wouldn't be compatible with night-weaning.  Luckily for us, we were able to reach some understanding and continue cuddling.  It made that first morning nursing session extra special too!

 

From 20-23 months, he has grown up so much!  He now sleeps in a toddler bed in his room, most of the time for the whole night (once or twice per week he'll come to our bed before 6am, and every morning comes to our bed for some cuddles before we all get up together).  He is always welcome in our bed, but we do put him to bed in his bed to start each night because we are all happy with this arrangement.

 

 


happily married since 2006 with toddler son (born August 2009) and baby girl (born November 2011).

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#28 of 28 Old 08-05-2011, 10:15 PM
 
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My DD woke up every 2-4 hours to nurse at that age.  She night weaned herself after my milk dried up (due to pregnancy), which was an easy transition.  I'm sure that she'd still be nursing 1-3 times a night at 24mo if I had any milk left.  I think that it's totally within a normal range to nurse all night at 16mo. 


Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11.  We are planning our next adventure to South America in April 2014!
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