need thoughts: night-weaning, bed-weaning, and bm-weaning... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I think we have decided that we are ready to start making some changes to our happy, but tired little family. We currently co-sleep and Ki is still bf'ing a lot (4-6 times a day, and 1-4 times a night). Our co-sleeping, bf'ing has actually worked out well for us so far...

But, he's over a year now. And I am tired, And I am sick of being sick (I always get sick when I don't get enough sleep). And we want to have another baby. And I don't want to miscarry again, so I need to make some "taking care of me" decisions...

So, we have begun SLOWLY weaning - which right now really just means that I try to always have cow/soy milk available for him to offer him before the breast. Sometimes the takes it, other times he doesn't. But, yesterday we only nursed about twice during the day, 2-3 times at night, and he drank probably 12-15 ozs of the cow/soy milk.

DH and I have decided that our next (or in conjunction?) obstacle needs to be "getting more sleep". But we aren't really sure how to do this in the most gentle way possible... (btw We DO NOT believe in CIO. Fussing for awhile w/someone holding or taking care of him is one thing, crying alone in a room is another to us...)

We can't decide if we should try to "night-wean" while still co-sleeping, or try to transition him into his crib, and hope that the distance between us naturally helps the night weaning. But then, if he is in his crib, who goes and attends to him at night? IF I do it, he's just going to want to nurse - and I'll wind up getting LESS sleep again (like I did the last time we did the whole crib thing a few months ago).

So, we could just continue to co-sleep, but say "no" to night nursing. Or we could move him to his crib and have DH attend to him (providing he'll actually do it!!).

I just can't decide which will be "less traumatic" for him... I'm also a little worried that we are trying to do all these different types of weaning at 1 time - and that its too much.... But, on the other hand, I kind of think that they might all be dominos, and taking care of 1 or 2 might naturally help the other 1 or 2....

any thoughts would be helpful!!!

loving Mama to Killian (6/07) and Breckin (3/26)
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#2 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 05:16 PM
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First, I totally hear you on the sleep deprivation! With dd1, I didn't get adequate sleep for 3 years and it really took it's toll. I am determined to get better rest this time around.
Second, I am so sorry about your miscarriage. I can not imagine how painful that is. And, not knowing much about miscarriage, please disregard my advice if it's not medically sound to continue breast feeding.

I would start by night weaning. That would probably help with the sleep, though not immediately, but in a month or so, you would most likely be getting more rest. There are many ways to do it, without resorting to CIO. Dr. Jay Gordon has a quick version (about a week or so, if I'm not mistaken) which involves some crying, in arms. if you aren't comfortable with ANY crying, Elizabeth Pantly authored a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution which has lots of ideas on how to get more sleep AND continuing to co-sleep and breast feed, if you desire to do so.

I really believe that babies NEED breastmilk until the age of 2 years, minimum. IMO, cow's milk, soy, rice, or other substitutes are not as good as mommy milk. If the only reason you would wean is to get pregnant, would you consider waiting until your little one is a bit older?
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#3 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 05:30 PM
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It's really child-specific. DS did best when soothed by me in our bed (but no nursing). Other children magically sleep better when separated from their mothers. I'd just try a couple of things and see what works.

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

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#4 of 9 Old 06-26-2008, 08:08 PM
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He's far too young to be doing any weaning.

I would work on ways to get you more sleep- can he latch on by himself? etc...

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#5 of 9 Old 06-27-2008, 01:48 PM
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My DD also did much better nightweaning while continuing to co-sleep. However, at that age, she was not having it, but she was a much more frequent nurser than yours. We tried nightweaning at 13 mo, and then again at 17 mo, and finally had her done by 18.5 mo. It really did help alot - I felt much better. But, just listen to your child through this and if they're ready it won't go too bad, if they're not - you'll know.
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#6 of 9 Old 06-27-2008, 07:38 PM
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We just recently started night-weaning, we're still co-sleeping. I just tell ds that the 'ninners' are sleeping and we'll nurse in the morning. The first couple nights were rough and he threw a fit once at which point dh moved the two of them into the living room and they slept on the couch together (and once I was out-of-sight he was fine).
But we tried this same scenario two times previously (at 13 months and 17 months) and he just wasn't ready... by the way he's 22 months now. We even tried having him sleep in his own room (13 months, dh was determined to have our bed back, he slept with ds *in his crib* for a week then gave in). During our previous tries there was no calming him down at all... he still needed me to sleep. But I was able to find other ways to get more sleep, first by sleeping topless so he could latch himself while I slept, and later as he was nursing less by sleeping on by stomach.
So my advice would be to try and be patient... I don't know how imperitive it is to concieve quickly but if you can be flexible the least traumatic way is following his cues that he is ready.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-29-2008, 11:50 PM
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Oh momma! I understand where you're coming from!

My LO is 7.5 months old and I honestly feel like I'm going crazy from sleep deprivation sometimes. It's makes me get upset at my sweet one occasionally and I'm thinking of ways to make it work better too.

For me, I think the solution lies in a side car for thebed. That way she;s still right there, but i have some movement (right now, she won't really sleep unless she's pressed RIGHT against my body, which is sweet but also means that I have very little *actual* sleep as I'm aware of every motion and movement she makes).

I would definitely recommend sticking with bfing if you can. even if you start with some other milks and only BF half the time, it might be enough to give you a little break and still keep your LO with the sweet life nectar for a bit longer.

Good luck to you!

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#8 of 9 Old 06-30-2008, 12:43 AM
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I agree that it is different with every child what will work best. Follow your mama instinct. Sleep deprivation is a killer though; I haven't had a good night's sleep in oh over 4 years now!!
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#9 of 9 Old 06-30-2008, 04:57 PM
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We're just starting with night weaning as well. My son is 17 months and it is rough! Last night was our first night of real struggle. We've decided to continue cosleeping and try Dr. Jay Gordon's night weaning strategy, but minus the last couple of steps where you don't pick them up or anything. Maybe by night weaning, your body will be able to sustain itself well enough to continue nursing a little bit in the day, if you choose to do so. It's so hard to do, but it is important to take care of yourself first sometimes! Good luck with it all.

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