frequent nurser in family bed, help? - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > frequent nurser in family bed, help?
Shami's Avatar Shami 05:27 AM 11-30-2012

We are all in the same bed.  Dh, dd (5), me, and dd (1). My second child is doing exactly what my first did, that is, wake frequently to nurse.  This time I am way more tired and don't think I can make it.  How do I keep the one year old asleep without popping a boob in her mouth?  As soon as she stirs, I nurse her so now she wakes many many times a night.  WHY???  Why don't MY children sleep without frequent nursings?  I have heard of other cosleepers whose children do not wake frequently.  And by frequently, I mean 6 plus times a night. 



tinyhousemama's Avatar tinyhousemama 08:55 AM 12-03-2012

Ha! I was just getting on here to post the VERY same thing.  I am in the exact situation with my 11 month DD.  She wants the boob, dagnabit! And if she doesn't get it, she squawks and fusses and kicks the snot out of DH.   Lately I have attempted to give her a pacifer out of desperation, right after she falls asleep.  And she purses her lips and shakes her head furiously.  We sidecar her crib to the bed, and she usually starts the night there, and sometimes I put her back in there, but that requires more waking up than if I just pop the boob and keep her in the bed.  I feel like she slept better for longer stretches when she was a newborn!  As we approach the 1 year mark, I'd like a little less in the way of night nursings, and I don't know how to do it.  

Zirconia's Avatar Zirconia 09:25 AM 12-03-2012

I'm there with you too!  Also with a 11-month-old.  I'm starting to read about nightweaning techniques, thinking that before too long it'll be time - I checked this thread hoping to find some suggestions!  The sidecar crib really helps us - it's very sturdy, and I scoot over into it to nurse, then scoot away when she's asleep.  That eliminates the need to transfer her.  Slowly, slowly, slowly, she's sleeping for longer stretches by herself.  Of course, by "longer stretches" I mean a couple of hours.  eyesroll.gif

tinyhousemama's Avatar tinyhousemama 11:21 AM 12-03-2012

What are your sources for nightweaning.  I can't seem to find anything?  I have heard many folk say, we need to work on night weaning. but it seems to be very elusive to me, this night weaning...

Zirconia's Avatar Zirconia 02:19 PM 12-03-2012

Well, I've been searching the forums here, and also reading Jay Gordon's website.  That's as far as I've gotten so far.  Every time I look into it, I realize that it will involve a ton of energy that I just don't have right now - either I or DH will have to deal with a VERY unhappy baby for an open-ended number of minutes or hours, possibly multiple times per night.  That makes me tired just thinking about it!

gitanamama's Avatar gitanamama 07:14 PM 12-03-2012

No advice, just commiseration--I couldn't read without posting. My son (now 2.5) woke at least 4 times a night, usually more like 6 or 7, from the day he was born until we weaned at 2 years, 2 months. That level of exhaustion really wears you down! I wish there was some sort of magical solution, but apparently some babes are just more "nursey" than others. Sending restful vibes your way!!


And tinyhousemama-- most people rely on Dr. Jay Gordon for night weaning advice. Elizabeth Pantley also has a book called the "no cry sleep solution." I relied on these MDC boards when I was at the end of my sanity and totally desperate. In the end, none of the "methods" worked for us. I tried them all, but DS would have none of it. We did a cold turkey weaning--- it was ROUGH, but DS slowly started sleeping for longer stretches, and finally sleeping through the night. There is hope!!

Zirconia's Avatar Zirconia 09:23 AM 12-04-2012

It really makes me sad that the more I read, the more it sounds like the solution to nightwaking is weaning.  :(  I'm not ready to wean yet, so lately I feel like the best I can do is to work on ME - making peace with night waking and seeing those midnight cuddles as a gift.  Not always easy!

tracyamber's Avatar tracyamber 10:00 AM 12-04-2012

sorry to hear about your plight. my toddler woke about 12 times a night! eventually we night weaned at 17 months. now he is 20 months. it was sad to wean and i think it was harder for me( i cried for weeks preparing myself) than my baby boy. we(my son and i,talked ahead of time about what was going to happen)he did amazing and it wasn't really that hard. only two nights of extra energy. we followed jay gordan's strategy. anyway ,he sleeps all night and it amazing and i feel great because i am getting sleep. but the best thing is he is getting better sleep and it shows in his behavior. i almost have a slightly different kid. he is so much happier during the day and  loving and hitting different milestones weekly. i think he wanted to sleep more but didn't have the language to say and also maybe he didn't realize that he didn't need wake so often for nursing and it was just a habit and when we weaned he realized" hey momma is still right next to me and i am safe and loved and not hungry"


Shami's Avatar Shami 09:17 PM 12-04-2012

Thank you for all of your responses.  Ugh, I completely forgot about nightweaning.  Now I am vaguely remembering that I night weaned my first, well, I attempted.  I will give it some thought.  I really like that she gets all that extra nutrition at night.  I think it keeps her healthy.  During the day she's so busy she doesn't nurse nearly as much as my first baby.


Actually, this baby will prob. wean easily.  She just isn't as interested in hanging out on the breast like my first.  Maybe night weaning won't be so bad as the poster ahead of me said.  Thanks!


Do you all have funky dreams when your sleep deprived?  Waking every hour or two is giving me crazy dreams.  I dreamed that I wanted to see God and I had to buy tickets.  Everyone who wanted to see God bought tickets.  Then I went to heaven...I think i walked there.  And God asked me for my ticket and to my horror God was my stepsister's evil mother.  Okay, I need some sleep.

Asiago's Avatar Asiago 04:23 PM 12-06-2012

There are plenty of night weaned children though who continue to wake, just as any other child might wake until they are 4 yrs old. My son nursed 6-10 (or more) times per night until 32 months, when suddenly, or perhaps just as 'Kathryn Dettwyler' might say, as naturally, he began to sleep 4 hour blocks. His body was just ready and emotionally he was ready, it was just the next step and it occurred effortlessly.

What position does your nursling sleep in? What do you wear? Is there any way to make it easier for baby to latch on without either of you waking?