Night weaning your co-sleeping toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-30-2012, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to hear your success stories of night weaning and co-sleeping. How old was your LO when you night weaned? How did you do it? How are nights now? I have a 14 month old who I love co-sleeping with, but I am tired of nursing him all night long. Thanks in advance!!

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#2 of 10 Old 03-30-2012, 02:35 PM
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I nightweaned DS a few weeks ago, at almost 18 months. It wasn't really something I was planning on doing, but I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy and he's got teeth coming in, so the increased nursing + exhaustion + discomfort just got to me, and I think reality hit about nursing him 3-4 times a night plus a newborn...


Anyway. I'd always planned on using Dr. Gordon's method for gentle nightweaning, but didn't think he would quite understand why one hour he could nurse and another he couldn't, so I decided to go cold turkey and nurse him to almost asleep, then tell him "boobies are ni-night," and not nurse again until he was up for good in the morning. The first night he woke up twice wanting to nurse and was MAD- hit me, yelled at me, pulled at my shirt. I rubbed his back, gave him the pacifier (we do use one for sleeping only- he usually spits it out once he's asleep), and just kept repeating "boobies are ni-night, it's time for ni-night." The next night he protested loudly at first, but accepted it a lot faster than I'd anticipated. It's really helped me set limits on nursing in general, which I assume will be helpful when this baby comes.


It also helped with wake-ups for a bit, until these eye teeth got the better of him- now he's waking up just as much, if not more, but settles back down much faster and usually all I have to do is rub his back or pat his butt.

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#3 of 10 Old 03-30-2012, 02:42 PM
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My daughter was 19 months and I was 5 months pregnant and just tired, with serious nursing aversions. 


I used a similar tactic as holz....nurse to sleep as usual, but when she woke in the night I told her "boobies are sleeping, lets snuggi instead".  She was unhappy about it the first couple of nights and cried (but after the first time, not super hard, but I think it was literally night three when she just didn't wake up until morning!   It made me wish I had done it sooner.  Good luck!  

Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#4 of 10 Old 04-04-2012, 09:00 PM
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We night weaned around 15 months, modified gordon. Nursed as often as he wanted until around midnight, then not until 5. In practice this was nurse when get home around 5 or so. After dinner, at bedtime, then around 10, & midnight, or 1 if we slept through. Yes, it was more frequent at first.

Started dropping the after work sessions because it was easier (busy toddler), & getting him used to eating more solids at dinner. I think he started sleeping through the 10pm, then i just started patting his back & sushing around 12.

I just dropped the morning session in the past week, so only nursing to sleep now. He never had a word for nursing so that made it harder i think. Each transition took a week or 2 & the initial start took 3 or 4 tries because of teething & illness.

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#5 of 10 Old 04-06-2012, 01:27 PM
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We started nightweaning DD at about 22 months.  I was ready to get more sleep and more importantly to me at the time we were thinking about TTC #2 and I hadn't gotten my period back yet.  I waited until DD seemed old enough to talk to about it and "get" what was going on.  I started by waiting until 3am to nurse and after a week or so then moved it to 4, then finally 5am which is where it stayed for a long time.  "5" was the first number or letter she learned.  :)


We did the Jay Gordon method.  It was hard on everyone but DD did go from waking up many times a night to just once or twice and I didn't have to have a toddler attached to my boob all night long.  It was tough on DH because he was the one who would console her at night.  I tried but she got really upset when I would try to console her but not nurse.  She got used to him rubbing her back, though, and he was stuck doing that for a long time.


At 23 months I dropped my first PP egg with no prior AF and when DD was 32 months old DS arrived.  :)  DD started nursing at night again after DS was born since we were all in bed together.  It was really hard on her to see DS nursing at night right next to her and I guess I felt bad about it and gave in (wish I hadn't).  But it was too much and after a couple months I told her no more night nursing and when she woke we told her to go get DH and go sleep in the guest room with him.  (The reason it took a few months to do this is b/c DH was really resisting sleeping in a different bed than me, but he was so happy once he made the change since he didn't get woken up every hour or two by DS!).  DD continued to wake once or twice a night until she turned 3, when I "let" her drop her nap.  She started STTN a couple times a week and just started doing it more and more until she was STTN most nights.  Now at almost 4.5 she sleeps from about 8pm to 7am.  Wow!  I would have never thought it possible 3 or 4 years ago!


Now DS is 19 months and we are talking about when we will night-wean him.  He doesn't seem nearly ready, and since he is probably our last baby I am not in any hurry to get my fertility back.  It will be nice to sleep more, and without a baby attached, though!  It may be harder for DS b/c DH lays down with him at the beginning of the night to get him to sleep, and we "made" DD go to sleep on her own in her own crib/bed at the beginning of the night (which I really regret, BTW).


Bottom line, I was satisfied with how the Gordon method worked for us and I don't have any regrets using it to night-wean.  I am glad I waited until I could talk to DD about it, though.  I don't think she would have been nearly ready at 14 months.  If you can, I would try to hold off a little bit longer.

DD 12/07 DS 9/10

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#6 of 10 Old 04-06-2012, 06:00 PM
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With my oldest DS I started trying to night wean him when he was 14 months. I didn't have a real plan, just tried to discourage him from nursing at night. It did not go well. I was pregnant with DS2 and nursing HURT. There were tears all around. It was months before he finally stopped wanting to nurse at night. (I gave in a lot)


With DS 2, I used the Dr. Gordon method. He was 22 months old and he night weaned in a week! And was fine with it! I would nurse him to sleep and then when I got in bed a couple of hours later. Then when he would wake up to nurse I would tell him he could nurse when the sun was up. The first two nights he cried and I took him into the living room and rocked and cuddled him until he fell back to sleep. After that he would wake up and I would say wait until its sunny out and he went back to sleep with some gentle pats on his back.


So... Having a plan is key. I was too wishy washy with DS1 and it was hard on both of us. Also, try to be as calm as possible. With DS1 I was in pain and often irritated when he wanted to nurse (not my finest moment) with DS2 I had just found out I was pregnant again and I wanted him to wean before it started hurting again so I was as gentle as I could be about it. I also think it helped that DS2 was older and he understood what I was saying and knew he could nurse when the sun came up.


Hope that helps!

love.gifSara, mom to J (10/06) H (10/08) and E (5/11) love.gif

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#7 of 10 Old 04-09-2012, 08:40 AM
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I just started nightweaning my 27-month-old after several previous failed attempts since he was 18 months old. I kept giving in because I was sleep-deprived and it was just easier, but I decided to do it over the long Easter weekend. It is going well this time, but the first night was the hardest.


I bought the "Nursies when the Sun Shines" book and read it to him a few times, changing "Baby" to his name and "nursies" to "milkies." He really liked the book at first, until he realized it meant that he couldn't have milk at night, and then he started crying and hitting the book away when I read it on Thursday night. I made it clear to him that he would not be getting any more milk until morning once he went to sleep. Then I nursed him to sleep as usual around 9:00. He woke at 11:30 and cried for milk. When I said that the milk was sleeping he shouted "No!" and hit me. I said I know he was upset because he couldn't have milk and I offered him water, which he refused. I rubbed his back, and he kicked me away. He cried and screamed on and off for about half an hour, before going back to sleep. When he woke up at 3, he asked for milk again and I told him that the milk was still asleep but I knew he could go to sleep without it because he did before. He whimpered and I hugged him, and he went back to sleep. Then he woke up at 4:30 and I told him it still wasn't time for milk, but I said that if he went back to sleep, the next time he woke, it would be morning and he could have milk. This led to another screaming/crying fit, which ended after about half an hour with his father taking him to bed with him in another room. He was returned to me at 7am, and I nursed him in bed before getting up for the day.


The past 3 nights (fri, sat, sun) were easier: he only woke twice each night and it was more like the 3a.m. waking on the first night. He asked for milk each time and sounded disappointed when I told him that the milk was sleeping, but he snuggled with me and went back to sleep within minutes. I know it is easier for him because he knows now that he can have milk during the day: "Sun is shining, milk no sleep." I don't know how much longer the night wakings and milk requests will continue, but I can deal with them as they are now.

Now mom to DS1 born January 2010 and DS2 born December 2014!

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#8 of 10 Old 04-09-2012, 02:11 PM
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My son was nightweaned by about 22 months.  I think we started the process around 18 months or so.  I started with no nursing between 12am-5am and then gradually expanded that until I had a decent night's sleep.  There was some tears when I had to say no but it wasn't too bad.  I just kept reminding him that it was time to snuggle and he could have num-num in the morning.  He is now 3 and he still likes to snuggle throughout the night.  He also still nurses at bedtime (not every night, we're slowly weaning).

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#9 of 10 Old 04-20-2012, 09:44 PM
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 i have a question for you all,before the weaning process did you nurse to sleep?

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#10 of 10 Old 04-21-2012, 07:16 AM
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My son was a nurse to sleep baby since the day he was born, and it was easy for me so I liked it. Through the night he would wake up every hour or every 2 hours and just nurse right back to sleep.

By the time he was 22 months, he was only nursing at night, (and we had to wean due to certain circumstances) so I just weaned completely cold turkey. The first night was hard. I would tell him Mommy's milk is all gone now. He would hit and scream and kick me. He was so mad that I took it away from him. but the second and third nights were better. He slept for longer periods and would fall back asleep faster. After night 3 he fell asleep and stayed asleep. I absolutely loved how much more sleep I was getting. And I loved that I could continue co-sleeping with no problems!

I was going to do Dr Jay Gordons method, but due to the circumstances, I didn't have the time for that.

Now he's almost 2.5 and he is always sticking his hand down my shirt for comfort and falling asleep. I don't even remember when it started, but it must have replaced nursing. But now I'm looking to wean him of that! Haha. Sounds silly..

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