Reducing (but not stopping) night nursing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-11-2011, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I need some advice on reducing my 17-month-old’s night nursing. Between 01:00 (when I went to bed) and 06:00 (when I got up) this morning, he woke 4 times to nurse. I would estimate that he nursed for 20-30 minutes each of those times. I try to sleep through the nursing but it is vain; I’m just at the point in my pregnancy where I CAN’T. This nursing pattern is pretty typical, since my return to school.


I know there are some compounding factors: I am in a very rigorous school program that requires me to be gone most of the day, so I know he is reverse cycling. I am also almost 17w pregnant, and think my milk supply is very low (and KNOW that it tastes terrible). We co-sleep, most nights he starts the night in bed with his brother. If he awakens before I’m in bed, he and my husband cuddle (sometimes I will nurse him back to sleep, and sometimes he is satisfied with Daddy cuddles).


I don’t want him to stop night nursing. I know he needs it still. But, I also need some sleep. So, I would like to cut back his nursing (and possibly duration). However, for me at least, that is easier said than done!


His older brother had stopped night nursing at this point, on his own and spontaneously. I tandem nursed them for a year, but Carter just never needed to nurse at night after 16-months-old or so. So, I am hoping someone can over suggestions! Please!!!

Rebecca, mama to C 11/07, H 11/09, H 09/11, E 10/13, and someone new - coming 02/16.
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#2 of 4 Old 04-13-2011, 08:18 AM
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Subbing. I have a 2-1/2 year old who, during the week, nurses at night almost exclusively. He's in daycare during the day and does fine with no nursing. But weekends he tries to make up for it, and at night he's a fiend. I'm wondering if there's any way to just cut back slowly. I don't necessarily want to wean him completely, he's not even 3 yet. But cutting back would be... nice.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-13-2011, 08:23 AM
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I never found a magical way to do this. Just strict limits. Refusing unless it was 'time' (whatever time I had decided). Lots of hugs and reassurance. Both of mine adjusted v. quickly.

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

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#4 of 4 Old 04-13-2011, 12:14 PM
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We co-sleep with our 19-month-old and he's a big fan of night nursing.  I am 8 weeks pregnant and decided I wanted to night wean.  Last night was night 6 or 7 (I can't quite remember) and it's finally starting to go better.  He's very verbal so I told him that "nursies" were going "night-night" and when he asked in the middle of the night I told him nursies were sleeping.  I'd speak reassuringly about mama sleeping, dada sleeping, nursies sleeping, baby sleeping, the doggies sleeping, etc.  I'd rub his back and tell him he could have nursies when the sun came up, in the morning, etc.  


He's been upset and crying a bit, and even waking up a little bit more often, but it seems like it's starting to sink in.  He understands everybody sleeping at night and as long as he knows when his next nursing session is, he seems okay.  I tried "cutting back" in a less serious manner before but he just didn't understand why he could have it sometimes but not others.  This seems to make more sense to him.


I've been so exhausted I had to try this for (1) the hopes of getting more sleep, and (2) so that he is adjusted to not nursing at night by the time I'm nursing a newborn all night.  So far I have not gotten more sleep, but we're still in week 1...


Oh, and I thought co-sleeping and nightweaning would be awful but he really asks for more cuddles in the night and I feel good being there for him still.  Good luck mamas!



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

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