Night Weaning my 13 month old DS (EASY) and my 2 3/4 month old (So HARD I have delayed it) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 10-07-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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My DD had tooth decay, and when my DS's teeth came in at 4 months they already had bit bites out of the edge of the two top front teeth. Predictably they started to decay at one year old (I am surprised it took that long to start given they were already compromised).


Night nursing and cosleeping two has been driving me a little crazy. Just not enough sleep. As far as cavities go my DS switched from nursing a couple of times a night to about 10x a night over the last few months. Whether this is related to pain from cavities starting or caused the cavities is unknown. With my DD I believed strongly that breast milk does not cause decay. There is lots of evidence out there to support that. But there is also mention that if the child has bad enamel or already has decay that it can be a problem. I am so hoping we can hold onto DSs teeth until they are fixed.


So I decided to night wear both of them. Obviously not considering both of them in the same bed! The first night I had talked to my daughter and she had agreed no milk at night and told everyone she talked to about it. Come the middle of the night though she was desperate.. and VERY LOUD!!! She wanted just a little milk.. and screamed for it when it didn't immediately come. So I caved in and decided since he was the main one I felt urgent about I would focus on him that night. The next day we tried again with the same results. So we decided to delay her a few weeks until DS is happy with being night weaned. That will let us focus more on him, and keep her quiet at night. She nurses to sleep, and at least 2-4 times before she wakes in the morning. One good feed at 6 or 7 am will get another 1- hours of sleep from her too which I love.


Okay on to our experience with DS.


The first night he woke once an hour. He didn't cry terribly. It was more a sad "where is my milk... I want to go to sleep. Why am I awake?".


Here is the log I kept that night (I moved to another room to rock him to sleep each time):



Bed 830

First waking 940 - 7 minutes rocking and humming and he was asleep. Not full out crying just an I don't want to be awake cry. Transfered to bed at ten thirty (I wanted him to be really asleep).

1108 Awake. Rocking in the chair.  Cried harder, pushed away lots (trying to get down to nipple level for milk). Asleep at ten minutes then startled awake,  then asleep again at fifteen minutes.

1135 Woke him putting him down (darn). Asleep in five minutes in chair.

1220 Woke. Carried crying to chair. Asleep in one minute lisa l... Sorted and cried on an off just once our twice to six minutes.

1220 DD woke to. Was happy to just cuddle, but up and crying because I left with DS. Tried to follow. Now what do I do? Put DS to sleep in the bed here? Obviously I can't carry him to the room she is crying with. DH with her but she is crying for me.

1231 DD quiet. DS still asleep.
1233 DD crying for me again.

135 DS wakes up, asleep in 2 mins
152 DD nursing to sleep

244 DS awake in chair quiet. Said yes to water. More awake and trying to get my breast out. 14 minutes still very awake only occasionally crying. Asked for water lots of times.408 sleep. Was mad at me this time (talking at me and seeming to be telling me off for not giving him milk).

415 DS went out with DH (for the rest of the night), awake for about thirty minutes but quiet in his arms. Went in to get mom/blanket and he woke up. Then fifteen our twenty to get back to sleep. Woke after ten, five minutes to sleep again. Both DH and DS went to sleep.. Fairly long sleep. He woke again but was awake enough they came downstairs. Played for a but then asleep in ten minutes once they went upstairs, then slept until 745

745 DH and DS downstairs playing

I slept in until 845 with DD (probably my longest uninterrupted sleep in a year - I felt great)


When I held him to rock him to sleep he was comforted by skin contact. I often held his face against my neck. And it helped to hold him in a way that would make putting him down easier.
I held him for at least five minutes to make sure he is really deeply asleep before putting him down. Transition slowly in steps so I don't wake him.



He also woke about once an hour, but didn't cry and went to sleep in minutes each time. He only occasionally asked for milk. Drank lots of water about 3am. A couple of times I was able to just hold him in bed and he went to sleep. I have to admit here though my husband took him at midnight, and didn't realize I expected him to come back when DS was asleep. So they spent the rest of the night in a different room. DS slept most of it, but DH didn't as he couldn't figure out how to put DS down and held him most of the night. I had a great sleep!! Except that DD woke more than often, I think from the stress of trying to not give her milk at the start of the night.



Only woke twice. Rocked to sleep in minutes each time.



Only woke twice. Rocked to sleep in minutes each time.



Only woke twice. Rocked to sleep in minutes each time.


All in all it went incredibly smoothly. If I give him to DH he complains a little more at the transition, but still goes to sleep just as fast. He almost always wants water near the end of the night. I have to keep a shirt on or he finds my nipples REALLY FAST. After day 2 he stopped asking for milk at night, but does start looking near the end of the night. Another bonus is he stopped doing the 4 am poo that always woke him up. It's now coming about 10 am which is much better for his sleep. I think he is happier and more rested in the day too.


If he had been heartbroken about no milk at night I would not have continued. I am glad it went so smoothly though.


Now I feel very conflicted about DD. She is so attached to milk at night. I am not sure I have it in me to stop with her. But it feels unfair to give her access and not him! Something I still need to think about.



I know with DS being second, he hasn't got as immediate attention as my daughter did. I don't think she cried until she was almost a year old because I always held her and she got milk like 20 times a day whenever she wanted it. With DS I am juggling so much that I have accepted sometimes he will cry and I can't help right away. He also is not one for milk when he is hurt, and just wants to express himself and move on. He also feeds exactly what he wants and pulls off. She would feed for hours as a baby and would still like to.


Anyhow that is my experience... I hope it helps. Maybe I will be back in a few weeks with the story of night weaning DD. Or maybe not. I have no idea!

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#2 of 2 Old 10-07-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention I am using what is described in this article.


Meaning: nursing to sleep, but never nursing him on waking in bed. In the morning I take him downstairs and we have milk on the sofa. 


The main downside is that there is a conflict between him wanting to go down for milk in the am, but my daughter needing me in bed to get back to sleep... still working on that. Today my husband come down with him for 5 minutes while I got her to sleep but he wasn't very happy the first few minutes. Some morning though he is so excited to start the day it takes him 20 minutes to want his first big feed.


Another positive with delaying DD - no big night engorgement, and she will help keep my supply high (not that I have had a problem with that).

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