Child lead night weaning? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 11 Old 03-12-2008, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A lot of my friends have decided to night wean (our kids are all between 18 and 20 months). I know that my daughter and I aren't ready to night wean yet. What I was wondering is if I decide not to night wean at all, can I expect her to wean herself during the night before or after she weans herself from daytime nursing? The way it works now is great because I don't wear a shirt to bed. Neither of us fully wake up. She just rolls towards me and nurses when she wants to. Right now this seems very natural to us. I'm not sure how natural it would feel to have her still doing this when she is four or five. I was wondering about the experiences of other moms. I am really committed to child lead weaning so much that I'm not sure if I will ever feel like night weaning. I am wondering what other moms who have felt this way have experienced with their nursing children who have already weaned. Thanks.
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#2 of 11 Old 03-13-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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Hi there, sounds like you have a great thing going on with your daughter during the night! I have a son who is nearly 2, and not ready to night wean. I am thinking at this point in time, I will just let it happen when it happens. The more time goes on, the more committed I am to child-led weaning also.

Just wanted to pass on - I know of only 2 moms IRL who had a family bed and did not deliberately night wean. For one of them, the child self-night-weaned at about 2 1/2, and the other, at just over 3 years. Both of them continued to daytime nurse - one is still nursing (the younger), and the other self-weaned at 4 years and 3 months.

I hope to hear others' stories too. Best wishes in your journey.
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#3 of 11 Old 03-13-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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We never "nightweaned" at all.

Dd was always a "good" sleeper for the most part. STTN as a tiny baby, then had wakings off and on developmentally. At 2yrs she was waking a couple of times a night with 2 yr molars (they are BRUTAL IME)

Sometime between 2.5 and 3 yrs (after all the evil molars were in...) she *mostly* stopped waking at night. Now she wakes at night about once a week or so. We still nurse at that point.

hope that helps!

-Angela
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#4 of 11 Old 03-13-2008, 03:20 AM
 
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have you read any of katherine dettwyler's stuff on nightweaning?
it really, really, helped me to read her well researched opinion that the natural age of nightweaning is between three and four years. in fact, i read it like, one thousand times when my daughter was about two and a half and i felt like i was supposed to nightwean and that there was no other way it would happen.
we have food sensitivities that exacerbated insanely short sleep cycles, but just about the time she turned four, sure enough, she was sleeping for longer stretches, usually just barely waking up once a night and is easily comforted back to sleep my my husband. i know she's not the worst lil' sleeper in the world, but with 45 minute sleep cycles the whole first year, and every two hours, at least until she was 3, and many nights of hellish eczema with her waking every twenty minutes, it wasn't easy; and i believe she needed it. i feel pretty confident saying, that if she nightweaned, most little buddies will, infact, follow suit.
she really started sleeping right after her brother was born (4y3m), and with him sleeping lovely, solid, three hour chunks, we're all sleeping like babies.
she still nurses before sleep (about half the time) and upon waking.
hope this helps...
it sounds like you've got a great thing going on. a great thing that goes on so fast.
even though the nights can seem so long, it all happens so fast.
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#5 of 11 Old 03-13-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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I dunno, I think nightweaning...child led...can hapen WAY before CL day weaning. My DD will be 2 in several days and is nowhere ready to wean, but she gave up nursing at night at around 18 mos. She's MORE than welcome to nurse at night, I offered for quite a while. She refuses. She wants to suck her thumb to sleep. Her choice. Definately CL though. And as much as I wished she still would (made it easier for ME to sleep ) with a babe due any second I guess it's for the best!

If you don't wanna night wean, OP - and I can see why... I am a huge fan of night nursing for oodles of reasons - then keep it up! You don't have to decide on the future now. Just go with it.

~Marie: Mom to DS(17), DS(16), DD(14), DD(10), DD(8) & someone new on the way.
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#6 of 11 Old 03-17-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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How did you know it was molars? My 27 month old has been waking up about 4 times a night for the last 3 months and it is driving me crazy. He is not saying his he's in pain, or acting like it. Really, he just seems to wake up and ask to nurse and then go back to sleep, but he used to only do this about once a night. I'm thinking that maybe co-sleeping isn't best for us?? I love to cuddle with him, and our 7 yo still co-sleeps (in our room), but it seems like every freakin time I move, he wakes up and asks to nurse!! Or maybe it is the molars? Your thoughts?

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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
We never "nightweaned" at all.

Dd was always a "good" sleeper for the most part. STTN as a tiny baby, then had wakings off and on developmentally. At 2yrs she was waking a couple of times a night with 2 yr molars (they are BRUTAL IME)

Sometime between 2.5 and 3 yrs (after all the evil molars were in...) she *mostly* stopped waking at night. Now she wakes at night about once a week or so. We still nurse at that point.

hope that helps!

-Angela
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#7 of 11 Old 03-17-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemomma View Post
How did you know it was molars? My 27 month old has been waking up about 4 times a night for the last 3 months and it is driving me crazy. He is not saying his he's in pain, or acting like it. Really, he just seems to wake up and ask to nurse and then go back to sleep, but he used to only do this about once a night. I'm thinking that maybe co-sleeping isn't best for us?? I love to cuddle with him, and our 7 yo still co-sleeps (in our room), but it seems like every freakin time I move, he wakes up and asks to nurse!! Or maybe it is the molars? Your thoughts?
If the molars are not all the way in- I would assume that's what's at work. DD NEVER complained of pain or showed that that was the problem at all. BUT the screaming and waking started/got worse when they started coming in and STOPPED when they were all in.

-Angela
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#8 of 11 Old 03-20-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Teeth were a HUGE in nightwaking with both my DD's, I can tell with DD2 when it's teeth. She will wake up for months before even seeing a tooth. With DD1, it was very hard to tell, but once she has every single tooth in, she slept better.



I also I do not nightwean, it goes against my personal beliefs. DD1 stopped waking up at night to nurse when she was 3, she completely weaned just shy of a year later. With the nighttime nursing, there was no cutting back, she slept a better once her teeth were in, but still woke up frequently to nurse, one day she just stopped waking up and that was it. She never asked to nurse again at night, and she was still nursing very frequently during the day at that point. She didn't cut back until I lost my milk during DD2's pg.

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#9 of 11 Old 03-21-2008, 01:19 AM
 
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Hi,

This is my experience. DS self weaned at three and half. Night nursing was the last thing to go for us. He slowly quit during the day. Then he slowed down at night. He was three and half before he stopped night nursing. Something funny he did was, he stopped nursing at night right after he learned to use the potty. I would recommend keep doing what you are doing. This period goes fast. Kids learn so much at your child's age. Nursing is security blanket. I always thought about nursing as a way for ds to get back to the center.

Jay
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#10 of 11 Old 03-21-2008, 02:11 AM
 
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I let DS#2 nurse at night until he was ready to stop. He was about 3-1/2 at that time. He went from waking every few hours to sleeping through the night like a ROCK ever since. The transformation was astounding to me! And I was so glad since I had been hearing YEARS of BS from family about how nursing him was ruining his sleep patterns, etc. He didn't wean until 4 yrs old and that was because of my pregnancy.
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#11 of 11 Old 03-23-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Yes, likely. unless nursing stops before that 3-4 years age. My youngest (my CLWd) gradually stopped night nursing around 3 1/2 (though he still will on the rare occasion). He's still day nursing though.
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