It's time to night wean...what next? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 03-27-2011, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So DS is almost 16 months and is still waking up about 4 times a night to eat.  He is (and has always been) on bottles.  There is a long story behind his wakings, but he is currently off gluten and lactose and his night waking has gotten better, now I think he is just comforting with the bottle at night.  We have been gradually watering down the milk and it is down to 2 big bottles (6 oz....half milk, half water) and 2 small bottles (4 oz....half milk, half water)>  A normal night goes:

7PM-bedtime

10PM Big bottle

12:30  Small bottle

3:00  Small bottle

5:00 Big bottle

6:30  Awake

 

He is in bed with us and we are ready to cut the nighttime feeding I have a couple of options:  ANy thoughts or suggestions.

A.  Cold Turkey-no bottles from bedtime to morning (OK-dont really think this is going to happen)

 

B.  Cut the 12:30 and 3:00 bottles

 

C.  Turn the 10PM bottle into a full strength (more milk?) bottle and cut the 12:30 and 3:00 bottles

 

D.  He has to go 4 hours to get a bottle

 

Any thoughts, what has worked for you.  DH and I need some more sleep.......sleeping.gif

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#2 of 26 Old 03-27-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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I would give a small bottle around midnight and another small one around 5am maybe? And then pretty rapidly get rid of those, too. With my kids the 'rip off bandaid' approach seemed to work best. You could also offer a sippy cup instead of a bottle and maybe stop watering it down so that the volume is reduced. As toddler volume at night meant more peeing which really woke them up. They totally outgrew the ability to sleep and drink overnight!

Trying to stay confident, reassuring, upbeat and offering water for thirst were all good tips for us, too!

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

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#3 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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Will be watching this thread! I am simply amazed when I hear about successful nightweaning or even "cutting out a feeding." DD has a complete meltdown if I even refuse once!


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#4 of 26 Old 03-29-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I've had some success with cutting out a feeding or two a night. My LO is just almost 1 yr, fyi, and was waking & nursing a LOT. So I simply don't offer her the boob if she's has just woken up and eaten within, say, the last hour or two. I just rub her back and say "sh, sh," and amazingly, it's working! If she really gets insistent, I nurse her though. 

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How do you not offer the boob? My son grabs it, nuzzles, fusses, flails, moves my nightshirt- does whatever it takes to get it! I am really curious- because I would LOVE to cut a feeding or two out of our night routine (he is 17m).

 

Maybe I need to start wearing turtlenecks to bed :)

 

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#6 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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My son does the same thing!  He pulls at my nightshirt and sticks his hands down there screaming, "Shee!  Shee!" Which is his word for nursie.  If I try to pat his back he get so mad at me- he knows that trick.
 

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How do you not offer the boob? My son grabs it, nuzzles, fusses, flails, moves my nightshirt- does whatever it takes to get it! I am really curious- because I would LOVE to cut a feeding or two out of our night routine (he is 17m).

 

Maybe I need to start wearing turtlenecks to bed :)

 



 

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#7 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Gretchen_PDX View Post

How do you not offer the boob? My son grabs it, nuzzles, fusses, flails, moves my nightshirt- does whatever it takes to get it! I am really curious- because I would LOVE to cut a feeding or two out of our night routine (he is 17m).

 

Maybe I need to start wearing turtlenecks to bed :)

 


The simple answer is that I keep my pajama top pulled down and put my arm over my boob. I also sit up so we're not in prime nursing position. Sometimes she goes for my arm :) But I think I should clarify a few things. One, I'm sleeping right beside her (although I'm trying to transition her to her own bed; we both sleep better that way (well, she does anyway, lol)) so I can respond immediately. There are two different cries. One is a lower intensity cry, and those are the windows of opportunity. She's still really tired & just wants to go back to sleep. I can then rub her back and shush her back to sleep. Then there's a higher intensity cry & no amount of sitting up, keeping the top down etc is going to dissuade her from nursing.

 

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#8 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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I wore PJ's and generally they weren't allowed to grab at me like that.

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

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#9 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by carmen358 View Post

Will be watching this thread! I am simply amazed when I hear about successful nightweaning or even "cutting out a feeding." DD has a complete meltdown if I even refuse once!


Yes, this is my fear.  In the maybe 90 seconds it takes me to get the bottle (sitting ready on my nightstand) and get DS into "feeding position"  he is throwing a fit.  There have been a few times that he finished a bottle and wanted another one or wanted a bottle an hour after he had finished one, and I refused.  This results in a meltdown!  Screaming, arched back, squirming, the works.  I admit, I usually give in and feed him.  

 

The few times I have not, I eventually distracted him with a game or a "toy" (thermometer, extra paci, book light, whatever is around the bed) until he calms down, gets sleepy and goes to sleep. This is all in the bed, in the dark....The patting, rocking, shushing just doesnt work, he is squirming out of my arms, and crawling out of the bed.  

 

That is why I have been slowly watering down the bottles, getting him used to not eating at night....or eating less.( we are down from four  full strength 5-7 oz bottles night, so this is an improvement)

 

Carmen-he is a Dec '09 baby too

D_ yes-we are changing 1-2 diapers a night, which is another problem.  Maybe I will try a sippy cup of milk and a bottle of water.

 

So the last 2 nights he has slept a 5 hour and a 4 hour stretch...nothing changed, he just did.

 

We have set aside a week to do this.  My work load will be light so if it sucks and no one gets any sleep I can take a half day and we can take naps.  DH is a SAHD, so we will be in it together.  It starts a week from Sunday and I am a more than a little nervous....

 

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#10 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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The fits are part of it. Toddlers aren't great with change. It's OK. They're allowed to be pissed off. You're the mommy and you're allowed to make a decision that you know is best for everyone in the long run!

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

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#11 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Ds1 was bottle fed as well, and I was able to night wean him right around 16 or 17 mo.  I did just like you and started watering down the bottles.  I didn't cut out any feedings, but just watered the bottles down to where eventually they were nothing but water.  My main reason for wanting to night wean was that I was worried about ds1 getting cavities, so water worked for us.  I'd say that after about a week of only offering him water at night, he started sleeping through the night without any bottles at all.  It was way easier than I thought it would be!

 

I'm really worried about how I'll night wean ds2 when that time comes.  Unlike ds1 he has never had a paci or a bottle, so nursing for him is so much more than just for nutrition.  It's everything!


Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
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#12 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice on keeping the boob away!! My son is not having it when I have tried thus far. How long has it taken people to night wean??

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#13 of 26 Old 03-30-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverandJulie View Post




Yes, this is my fear.  In the maybe 90 seconds it takes me to get the bottle (sitting ready on my nightstand) and get DS into "feeding position"  he is throwing a fit.  There have been a few times that he finished a bottle and wanted another one or wanted a bottle an hour after he had finished one, and I refused.  This results in a meltdown!  Screaming, arched back, squirming, the works.  I admit, I usually give in and feed him.  

 

The few times I have not, I eventually distracted him with a game or a "toy" (thermometer, extra paci, book light, whatever is around the bed) until he calms down, gets sleepy and goes to sleep. This is all in the bed, in the dark....The patting, rocking, shushing just doesnt work, he is squirming out of my arms, and crawling out of the bed.  

 

That is why I have been slowly watering down the bottles, getting him used to not eating at night....or eating less.( we are down from four  full strength 5-7 oz bottles night, so this is an improvement)

 

Carmen-he is a Dec '09 baby too

D_ yes-we are changing 1-2 diapers a night, which is another problem.  Maybe I will try a sippy cup of milk and a bottle of water.

 

So the last 2 nights he has slept a 5 hour and a 4 hour stretch...nothing changed, he just did.

 

We have set aside a week to do this.  My work load will be light so if it sucks and no one gets any sleep I can take a half day and we can take naps.  DH is a SAHD, so we will be in it together.  It starts a week from Sunday and I am a more than a little nervous....

 


We are not doing diaper changes...we put her in paper at night so we don't have to. Sometimes DD will fall back asleep with just a cuddle but not very often. I have to admit that sometimes when I'm SUPER tired I just automatically offer to nurse and fall back asleep immediately. I take sleep when I can get it! I'm trying to be more consistent with offering hugs first. Last night singing a song actually worked! However, if she really wants to nurse I do it. She's never had a bottle other than a handful of times when I had to be out for a few hours and I pumped and left a bottle with DP. We are also working on an elimination diet right now but that's a whole 'nother thread ;)

 

I'm glad you had a couple of good stretches!!

 



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Originally Posted by Oliver'sMom View Post

 

I'm really worried about how I'll night wean ds2 when that time comes.  Unlike ds1 he has never had a paci or a bottle, so nursing for him is so much more than just for nutrition.  It's everything!


This is DD. She LOVES to nurse...it's definitely not about eating because she rarely nurses for more than a few minutes at night and drifts right back to sleep.

 


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#14 of 26 Old 03-31-2011, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are not doing diaper changes...we put her in paper at night so we don't have to. 

About a month ago, I broke down and put him in disposable overnights (12 hour).....I huge step for me. I hated doing it.  But he still soaks through 2 at night!  aaargh....but that is a whole different thread.  

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#15 of 26 Old 03-31-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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I haven't bottle fed but I would probably start with getting rid of the 3:00 am bottle first and then see how that goes.

 

With ds 1 I nightweaned at 18 months and before refusing I had been reducing the amount of nursing time ie: Pantley pull out and binky replacement. By the time we really got down to nightweaning dh took over 100%. Yep there was some crying but alway with dad right there. We had been telling him "nursies are night night" for .a while and then I'd give in half the time. But it really helped to not have the boobies near him and let dh take over.

 

Ds 2 is now 16 months and I'm thinking we'll nightwean here in the next couple of months. He's working on his two other 1 yr molars and so I probably won't attempt it until they come in. I think he'll be easier than his brother because I've already been able to get him to skip a nursing occasionally. Plus he's just a better sleeper all around.

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#16 of 26 Old 04-02-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yup-4 molars and 4 canines (?) have been coming through for about a month now.  That doesnt help, after a few good nights in a row, we had a terrible night last night, it had to be teeth.  He just woke up really upset every 45 min-an hour.  I finally gave him Tylenol and he slept for 3 hours, then woke up crying and upset again.  But, he didnt drink that much milk, so that was  good thing...I guess.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

The fits are part of it. Toddlers aren't great with change. It's OK. They're allowed to be pissed off. You're the mommy and you're allowed to make a decision that you know is best for everyone in the long run!



This is generally how I've been dealing with my son (18 mos)--I'm trying to take him down to the going-to-bed nurse and waking-up nurse, with nothing in between except perhaps some water from a sippy cup. Boy, have we gotten some tantrums! But I just treat it like I do any of his daytime tantrums; I keep saying no and enforcing the no with an arm across my breasts, and wait until he'll accept his pacifier and cuddle back up against me to go back to sleep. It's actually working, though yes, it does wake me up and wake my husband up. I'm praying that our poor upstairs neighbors can't hear too much . . .

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#18 of 26 Old 04-06-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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I just found this thread today. 

 

I would love advice for night weening for my son.  He turned 1 year last week.

He's up 3x's night waking and wanting to nurse.

I'm so tired.  I can't see myself doing the ferber method...seems to harsh for me.

 

a little background about our situation:

I'm a full-time mom and he's with me all day, my husband helps when he's home from work.

I only nurse my son and he nurses on demand.  he's only had a bottle a handful of times.  He does take a sippy cup now with a little water with meals, mainly to "wash" the food down.  Other than than, I"m it!  which I don't mind at all, except the bed time situation is getting to be a little bit much!

He's never been a great sleeper, always up 2-3x's night. 

 

We tried the family bed but, my husband snores, so he got the boot.

But then my son, is a super light sleeper and so am I.  So, he was waking up way too often in our/my bed.  So, we transitioned him to his own room at 6 months.  Occassionally I'll bring him into bed with us, if he's sick but, It's never a great sleep so, once he's better, he goes into his own room (which he doesn't mind at all, i think I had a harder time with it :)

 

So, he goes to bed at 7:30, sometimes 8pm.

he wakes up at night usually around 11:30 then 1:30 then 3:30 (sometimes he'll cry for a little then fall back asleep at this time then wake at 5:00am)

I'd love to drop the 1:30 adn 3:30 feedings OR the 11:30 and 1:30 feedings.

I'd feel much better if he only woke 1x/night to nurse.

 

I do all the night feedings, since I nurse.  Dad only helps if the diaper leaks since, I am my son's primary source of comfort (ie breast feeding).

 

Should I make a water sippy cup and offer that instead of my breast?  He will throw a fit and never go back to sleep unless I nurse him so, I"m not sure this will work?

Should I have dad get up and offer the sippy cup at the first wake up?  He will not be comforted as much by dad, so dad may get frustrated but, he'll have to figure it out!

 

I really think that both my son and myself need a better nights sleep, for health reasons alone.  He's 1 year so, I think he should be able to go through the night with only nursing/waking up once. (of course I know all this goes out the window when they are sick b/c I feel strongly about nursing heavily when he is sick...that's another discussion)

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

H & babyB

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#19 of 26 Old 04-09-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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We've just night weaned our 20 month old using a method I am sure I read here but cannot now find.

We set up a night light on a timer so that it would turn off for a stretch of time during the night. Initially we set it for a stretch she usually slept through anyway (11-3), but used having it there to discuss the idea that the light off means sleep time for Mama and Daddy and LO and the boobs, light on means that nursing was ok. After a week and a couple of early wakings during which nursing was not allowed we extended the time an hour, rinse and repeat. Now the blackout is 11-5. We may try to push that out till 6 eventually, but she has been having growing pains recently so we are letting it be.

The thing that made is work for us is that the light is something she can understand, as is the idea of Mama and Daddy sleeping, and so she seemed to understand that nursing would happen later. She still fussed of course, but we didn't get the desperate crying that previously ensued whenever I would try to discourage night nursing.

We sleep Dad, Mama, LO in a family bed set up (two matresses), and I still did all the night parenting while weaning, mainly cause Dad is a really heavy sleeper. I wear a high necked snug t-shirt to bed over top of a nursing tank, so that nursing is not easily accessible during the blackout but I can simply take the shirt of at 5 and still be warm enough. One thing I discovered is that non nursing wake ups go better if I don't snuggle her face towards the breast but instead spoon her while singing. I also remind her that it is sleep time whenever we have a wake up during the no nurse period.

I would say we get sleeping through from 9-5 about half the time, and one wake up a night the other half the time.

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#20 of 26 Old 04-09-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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Have a read of Dr. Jay Gordon's method - it may give you some good ideas. smile.gif  (you don't have to co-sleep to use it.)
 

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Originally Posted by newvoiceMOMMA View Post

I just found this thread today. 

 

I would love advice for night weening for my son.  He turned 1 year last week.

He's up 3x's night waking and wanting to nurse.

I'm so tired.  I can't see myself doing the ferber method...seems to harsh for me.

 

a little background about our situation:

I'm a full-time mom and he's with me all day, my husband helps when he's home from work.

I only nurse my son and he nurses on demand.  he's only had a bottle a handful of times.  He does take a sippy cup now with a little water with meals, mainly to "wash" the food down.  Other than than, I"m it!  which I don't mind at all, except the bed time situation is getting to be a little bit much!

He's never been a great sleeper, always up 2-3x's night. 

 

We tried the family bed but, my husband snores, so he got the boot.

But then my son, is a super light sleeper and so am I.  So, he was waking up way too often in our/my bed.  So, we transitioned him to his own room at 6 months.  Occassionally I'll bring him into bed with us, if he's sick but, It's never a great sleep so, once he's better, he goes into his own room (which he doesn't mind at all, i think I had a harder time with it :)

 

So, he goes to bed at 7:30, sometimes 8pm.

he wakes up at night usually around 11:30 then 1:30 then 3:30 (sometimes he'll cry for a little then fall back asleep at this time then wake at 5:00am)

I'd love to drop the 1:30 adn 3:30 feedings OR the 11:30 and 1:30 feedings.

I'd feel much better if he only woke 1x/night to nurse.

 

I do all the night feedings, since I nurse.  Dad only helps if the diaper leaks since, I am my son's primary source of comfort (ie breast feeding).

 

Should I make a water sippy cup and offer that instead of my breast?  He will throw a fit and never go back to sleep unless I nurse him so, I"m not sure this will work?

Should I have dad get up and offer the sippy cup at the first wake up?  He will not be comforted as much by dad, so dad may get frustrated but, he'll have to figure it out!

 

I really think that both my son and myself need a better nights sleep, for health reasons alone.  He's 1 year so, I think he should be able to go through the night with only nursing/waking up once. (of course I know all this goes out the window when they are sick b/c I feel strongly about nursing heavily when he is sick...that's another discussion)

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks!

H & babyB



 

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#21 of 26 Old 04-11-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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THANK YOU!  What a great article!

 

any recommendations on the family bed?  we have a queen right now and its a bit small for the three of us.  when my husband moves, he wakes up the baby!

I've heard that two twins are best on a king frame.  I was also thinking of not using a boxspring and just getting a frame with a built in support and laying the mattress on that, something low to the ground...perhaps something inexpensive at ikea. Also, should we put one side of the bed against the wall or use a guard rail on our bed?  He's one now and moves around alot, when he wakes up, I don't want him falling out!

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#22 of 26 Old 04-11-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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I really like that idea of the light.  Yes, it is something that a child can understand b/c its tangible!  what a novel idea!  thanks for that one!

 

how did you handle the tantrums when you didn't allow the nursing at those times at night?  he squirms his way up to the headboard and kicks me, continuously...hmmm?

i know this transition time will only last for a certain amt of time but, I almost have to hold him down so, he doesn't fall out of the bed or bang his head on the headboard...

 

when you spoon her do you hold her so she can't fall off the bed when she tantrumed?

 

9-5 with only one time up/night would be amazing on those healthy days/nights!

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#23 of 26 Old 04-11-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newvoiceMOMMA View Post

I really like that idea of the light.  Yes, it is something that a child can understand b/c its tangible!  what a novel idea!  thanks for that one!

 

how did you handle the tantrums when you didn't allow the nursing at those times at night?  he squirms his way up to the headboard and kicks me, continuously...hmmm?

i know this transition time will only last for a certain amt of time but, I almost have to hold him down so, he doesn't fall out of the bed or bang his head on the headboard...

 

when you spoon her do you hold her so she can't fall off the bed when she tantrumed?

 

9-5 with only one time up/night would be amazing on those healthy days/nights!


I deal with kicking/hitting the same way day or night. You kick or hit me, I'm gone. I would just walk out and let DH deal with them.

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

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#24 of 26 Old 04-11-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont think DS would quite understand the nightlight yet....although maybe I dont give him enough credit.  I will add it into the plan-which starts tonight.

New Voice, we have a queen bed and DS sleeps sideways and kicks!  So, yeah-that got small quickly.  I have a set of bunk beds that I knew I was eventually going to need mattresses for, so I bought the 2 mattresses adn they are stacked on top of each other next to the bed.  Currently it is DS and one of us in the queen and the other parent in the twin (the twin is a little lower).  I hope to move Ds to the twin soon, but right now, he gets upset if he is alone in it and that is a battle I am not willing to fight right now.

FWIW, we put him down in his crib, because he is like yours, squirmy and wiggly and wild, and i dont trust him not to fall out of bed or crawl headfirst out.  And, if he did happen to get down safely, I dont feel safe with him alone in our room.  He comes into our room when he first wakes up.  

 

Like I have said, he has alwyas been bottle fed and DH and I split night duties, so DS doesnt associate one of us with milk and will fight either one of us.

 

 

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#25 of 26 Old 04-12-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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Falling off the bed isn't a huge issue for us because what we have is two futon mattresses on low platforms. If she rolls out of bed she is dropping about an inch and a half onto carpet. However I do hold her snug when I spoon her, so that she will lie still. Otherwise she gets caught in an endless cycle of tossing, turning, dropping the pacifier, finding the pacifier, wanting her doll, not wanting her doll .... 

 

She hasn't really tantrumed throughout the process. Complained yes. Cried a little. But not full out screaming kicking tantrums, which she can have during the day. To be honest if she had had full out tantrums I probably would have concluded she wasn't ready for weaning and stealed myself for a few more months of night nursing. But since we sleep together I am probably not as tired as you. My general response to hitting or kicking is as D_McG said -- if you hit or kick me I leave.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newvoiceMOMMA View Post

I really like that idea of the light.  Yes, it is something that a child can understand b/c its tangible!  what a novel idea!  thanks for that one!

 

how did you handle the tantrums when you didn't allow the nursing at those times at night?  he squirms his way up to the headboard and kicks me, continuously...hmmm?

i know this transition time will only last for a certain amt of time but, I almost have to hold him down so, he doesn't fall out of the bed or bang his head on the headboard...

 

when you spoon her do you hold her so she can't fall off the bed when she tantrumed?

 

9-5 with only one time up/night would be amazing on those healthy days/nights!



 


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#26 of 26 Old 04-12-2011, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So it started last night...And of course-was not at all what I expected.
We made the decision to give him a full strength bottle when he first woke up-usually around 10-11.  Then, when he woke up again, withhold bottle-do whatever we could to get him back to sleep.  No bottle until 5:00 AM.  Then we figured he could have a full strength. 

We put lots of contingencies.  If he really cries for 15 minutes-he gets a bottle.  If we cant do it any longer-he gets a bottle.  We talked and discussed, I was really uncertain about the whole thing.


SO, it was warm last night, and he got up around 9 and was sweaty, so we moved him to our room early (much cooler in there).  But he went right down without a bottle.  Then he slept until 12:30.  Woke up and got his full strength bottle, since it was his first.  Then he slept until a little after 6:00 , which is almost his normal wake up time.  So, we got up-no bottle.  


Ahhh, babies-they always throw you for a loop.  6 hours!    Let's see what tonite brings smile.gif

 

Of course-now I am trying to figure out exactly what we did yesterday to make him sleep well........

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