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At what age did you night-wean (if at all)?

  • under 12 months

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • 12-18 months

    Votes: 12 26.1%
  • 18-24 months

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • 24-30 months

    Votes: 12 26.1%
  • 30-36 months

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • over 36 months

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • never did it (please explain)

    Votes: 9 19.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy--<br><br>
I'm pg with #2, and I have an almost 28 mo. ds who is still nursing. My nipples are fine, but the morning sickness is pretty terrible at *night* (and I'm exhausted, too). So we decided to nightwean (he was still nursing 1x ~2 a.m., and often ~5 a.m., too). I feel guilty, like he's already having to give up to his future sibling, but dh and I are both definitely ready. I'd love to hear when and how others did it...<br><br>
Thanks--<br><br>
Kristine
 

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Congrats on your pregnancy! I just wanted to explain that I attempted to nightwean my dd at 14 months and was successful in that she slept at night, however, she became really clingy during the day and nursings increased in the daytime also. So we went back to night nursing for about another month. Then when she was 15 months I was so exhausted I had to try agin and was finally successful. She slept through the night and was herself during the day! I became pregnant shortly after and about 10 weeks into the pregnancy I completely weaned her. She was down to only a couple of times a day on her own accord and I just sped up the last part of the process! It was the right thing for all of us and dd adjusted fine but I did feel guilty a little. Like you it hurt to think about any sacrifices for the baby already!Good luck to you!
 

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but I nightweaned dd at around 4 mos. when she got her first tooth, and was sleeping 4-6 hours in a stretch. She was bottlefed expressed breastmilk and I didn't know how long I would continue pumping. I didn't want to have her drinking formula on her new teeth all night long for fear of cavities.<br><br>
It went very smoothly. I gave her a big feeding at around 10 PM when she went to bed, then I just offered her a bottle of water when she woke up for milk at night. After a couple nights of that she stopped asking because it wasn't worth her while to get only water, and started sleeping better too. I never let her go more than 7-8 hours without feeding, and did give her the bottle at night during growth spurts because it's hard to sleep when you are starving! I just tried to distinguish between her needing the bottle for comfort or actually being hungry.<br><br>
Of course at almost 3 she still doesn't sleep totally through the night all the time yet! I don't do well on no sleep, and so I plan to night wean this coming baby quite early too.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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I never did night wean my kids, but it became a lot harder to nurse the older 2 at night when Nadia (relatively high needs) was born, so I started asking them to get a drink of water or just cuddle my back if they woke up at night. Tthey had both started "sleeping through the night" 90% of the time while I was pregnant with Nadia and didn't really have milk anyway. They both do OK with that usually. Occasionally, Eva will really need to nurse, and I'll nurse her at night, but usually, it's not an issue at all.
 

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I nightweaned dd over a period of about 2 months, starting at the age of 16 months. I got pregnant just before she turned 15 months, and I just had to do it for my own sanity. We cosleep and it used to be that I could latch her on then go back to sleep, and not even be aware I was doing it. Once the pregnancy hormones set in, though, I realized just how many times I was nursing at night, because each time woke me up completely and I had a hard time getting back to sleep--I was a zombie and a crabby mother during the day, so I knew something needed to change. She was nursing 4 to 5 times a night, so I gradually cut back, eliminating one nursing at a time, with a "just say no" policy. I'd comfort her in other ways but not give her the breast. There was even a period where I had dh sleep beside her instead of me, so she wouldn't be upset when I wouldn't nurse her (cause obviously dh can't give her "boos" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> ). It was a little bit rough at first, but she adapted wonderfully, and now sleeps until 7:00 every morning with no more night nursing, just nursing to sleep and nursing when she wakes up for the morning. It has transformed our relationship into a much more positive one. Now that I'm getting enough rest, and not irritated so much anymore I feel better about continuing to nurse during the day for as long as she needs to, which may mean tandem nursing, but now I feel good about it instead of burdened. I totally believe in child-led weaning, but in some circumstances, it's better to initiate a change to be able to continue in your overall nursing relationship in a happy and fulfilling way. Remember that your needs are important, too.
 

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I have not night-weaned and I have no plans to do so in the future (not sure what you'd like explained about it? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ).
 

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I voted 24-30 months because that is when I started encouraging DD to go *at least* 4 hours without nursing. I was pg with DS and just couldn't do it anymore. She continued nursing "an night" (just giving me at least 4 hours) until after DS was born. In fact, she nursed *while* I was in labor, maybe even transition and I finally said she just had to stop after nursing through three 2 minute contractions!<br><br>
Kay<br><br>
Edited to add:<br><br>
Ds is now 25 months and still nurses frequently at night. But I don't have mono (had when DD was almost 2) and I'm not pg, so no plans to night wean. I *can* do this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know exactly what I mean by "please explain", Devrock. I know that a couple of months ago, when I wasn't pregnant (and wasn't sick, and wasn't exhausted), nursing at night wasn't a big deal to me, and I didn't mind it. Now that I *am* pg (and have m/s and am exhausted), I *do* mind. Maybe I'm just asking for that--if you haven't or are not doing it, what your state of mind is (because I see very clearly that mine has changed). I realized that because I feel so crappy now that I *was* resenting night nursing, so nightweaning was probably better than not nightweaning. I feel like I am doing the right thing for us, and it's going well, it's just another step toward his eventual weaning (which I hope will be a *long* time from now)... it just makes me a little sad. But these days, anything can set me off (must be the hormones).<br><br>
On a slightly different note, from talking to my friends, I think that the change in mindset about nursing at night ("doesn't bother me" to "I'd like to nightwean") is something that often happens with extended nursing, and it just seems to be a normal thing. What interests me, though, it that it seems to strike us at different points (ie, kids are different ages) and for different reasons (eg, sleep deprivation, pregnancy).<br><br>
I really appreciate all the feedback. It's good food for thought.<br><br>
Kristine
 

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Then I guess my answer to your question would be that I don't mind or resent night nursing (even though I am pregnant and have had morning sickness and tender nipples). Pregnancy hasn't caused my state of mind about night nursing (or day nursing) to change. I am doing what is right for my daughter and myself, and it is going well. I guess basically the same reasons you wanted to night wean are the reasons I don't want to. I have not experienced any change of mindset from "doesn't bother me" to "I'd like to nightwean."
 

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I voted not weaned. Dd will be 3 in dec and there have been many, many times that I have said "That's it! She's getting night weaned!" But then she slows down or I get over it. Basically, I am afraid of what it would do to her because she is SO attached to Bf-ing. I wonder how much is habit and how much is need. She tends to have food issues, gas can wake her up and then can't fall back asleep without "SNUGGLES!!!" I alos know that it will be HARD for us and I am too "lazy" to even think about how. I assume she will stop at some point.<br><br>
A little wrench is that we are trying to get pregnant and I wonder if the night nursing has been interfering in our 15 month attempt. I go back and forth on this one all the time so I am so appreciative of this thread!
 

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I just have to say for those considering night-weaning that I night-weaned my DD1 at 2 years 10 months, and she is now 4 years 1 month and STILL asks to nurse (even though the answer is always no) whenever she wakes up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it drives me so bonkers I want to morning-wean her, but I am not ready to lose that last hour of sleep.<br><br>
So, whatever anyone decides, don't base it on the idea that the kid will 1) start sleeping through the night, or 2) let dad put said kid back to sleep when s/he does wake up.<br><br>
I'm sure I could have done things differently, but here we are.<br>
Nancy<br>
mom to nurslings Emily (4) and Hazel (14 months)
 

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Of course there are no guarantees in life, but I think each nursing couple has to evaluate what will work for them. Nancy, your experience was that your dd still asks to nurse when she wakes up at night, but not everyone experiences this. I admire people like Devrock who can continue to nightnurse during pregnancy without it bothering them in the least, but, again, not everyone is able to do that. I think you have to weigh the pros and cons. If your nightnursing is making you resentful, and is spilling over into your daytime parenting, then it is in the best interest of you *and* your child to make a change, even if it's just restricting nightnursings and not necessarily nightweaning. Cutting back or weaning at night can be done gently and with love.<br><br>
You want your breasts to be a place your child can turn to for comfort, and resenting the nursings is not sending your child that message. For me, nightweaning was what was best for both of us. Yes, there were some difficult times during the transition, but ultimately dd and I are now happier than we were before nightweaning. Our nursing relationship is still a positive one, rather than the resentful one it was turning into before nightweaning. If I felt in my heart that she wasn't ready or it wasn't what was best, I guess I would have just tried to work through the negative feelings in other ways. But she was ready, and it was what what best for both of us. Evidence to show that is that I found the opposite of what Nancy found: 1. she *did* start sleeping through the night and 2. her dad *can* put her back to sleep. I think you have to evaluate your situation and follow your heart. It's a very personal, individual decision.
 

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I night weaned just last week. My dd is almost 18 months old. She was waking to nurse every hour and a half all night long. By morning my back would be in so much pain that I would get very upset and even yell or cry, and dh would have to take her out of the room and walk her around. It wasn't working for any of us anymore. So what I did was when she woke up to nurse, I would cuddle her and rub her back and let her know that I was there but boobies were sleeping. She was very angry about that, and for two nights she woke up and screamed quite often, quite loudly and for quite an amount of time! But at no point did I ever leave her alone to "cry it out", either myself or dh was right there with her. It was a long two nights, but now she only wakes once or twice a night, crawls over and cuddles up, and goes right back to sleep. She is in a better mood during the day, as am I, my back no longer aches constantly, and she is actually taking naps during the day again.<br><br>
It worked for us, and was in fact a necessity, but every situation is different. Good luck to you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I hope this helped.
 

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I night weaned my ds at about 14 months. Like Mum2Sara, I was resenting the night nursing more and more, (and dh was also getting frustrated by the sleep interruptions) so it was the right time to stop <i>for us</i>. DS didn't like it at first (can't blame him!) but now he sleeps through the night almost without fail, and is even starting to fall asleep on his own at bedtime - woohoo! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana"> I worried a little about how it would affect him, but I decided my resentment was worse for him than night-weaning. I can detect no negative effects at this point. If he had shown signs of daytime stress (like octobermamma's dd did at first) then I would have re-considered my decision. Also, we have allowed night nursing when he is sick. It takes a couple of nights after he is well to get him back on the sleep-through-the-night track, but it's worth it to know that he is getting the comfort and breastmilk that he needs when he isn't feeling well.
 

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"Changing the Sleep Pattern in the Family Bed"<br><a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/ap/sleep.htm" target="_blank">http://www.drjaygordon.com/ap/sleep.htm</a><br><br>
We first read this article when Taylor was around 16 mo old. I have read countless articles on this topic and THIS one I liked the best since it starts out assuming very AP stuff etc.<br><br>
Personally Taylor nursed until he was 26 mo old. By then sometimes (rarely) 1ce in the am before I went to work and 1ce when I came home. He weaned himself so to speak too.
 

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We also just night weaned. DS (26 mo.) was waking 4-5 times a night, sometimes more, and since I have trouble falling asleep, I was frequently trying to make it through the daylight hours on 2 hrs sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/caffix.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="coffee"> Since dh is at school from 8 am to 10 pm, I reallly had to get sleep in order to be any kind of functioning mama to my son.<br>
We had tried to NW a couple of months ago, but it was clearly the wrong time for ds (we had just moved, etc). Last week, things went great, and ds is his normal happy self all day. I haven't noticed an increase in his daytime nursing. And he is sleeping for much longer periods, so I think it really has been a positive development for him as well.<br>
So it was the right time for us, and I do feel it was a good choice for our family. But I do admire those of you who aren't bothered by night nursing!
 

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i nurse two boys, 42 mos and 26 mos. I just recently nightweaned them as i'm pregnant with baby #3(due March). I debated it for awhile, but some nights i absolutely did not want to nurse (i was having some cramping on those nights which made me nervous about nursing). I did not want to send mixed messages to my boys that you can nurse on this night, but not this night. I also did not want to nurse three children at night considering the first two always nursed twice each between midnight and predawn. I had no problem nursing one, but nursing two at the same time always woke me up. At times the latchings would hurt very bad. My boys had no problem sleeping through the night when they spend the night at my inlaws.<br><br>
It took 6 weeks, i cut out one feeding at a time. It was actually not too bad. I sleep with them, and they were content to hold hands. It was about 6 weeks that i noticed they were sleeping the entire night. I was looking forward to my night of sleep. This was a few weeks ago and last week we were on vacation and my oldest had the Croup (sp?). I had just got my one night of sleep and the next night the seal barking started. Besides a humidifier the only other thing to do for my son was nurse him. And i nursed him whenever he woke to the barking cough. And did that for several nights and then several nights after that when my other son had the same thing. I was still able to night nurse when needed and they got good sleep while sick.<br><br>
They are back to sleeping all night, and they get their morning "ninners" when the sun is barely rising. And then they usually sleep a little longer. as my oldest says when he goes to bed a night "when the sun comes up i get nursings".
 

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We nightweaned by accident during my first trimester, probably when DS was around 29 months old. I was so fatigued DH started getting up to take DS to the potty at night, and he was totally content to cuddle up with his dad and go back to sleep. I never would have tried it if I hadn't been sleeping through it!<br>
I think it has worked out well for us, he won't associate a change in his nighttime routine with the arrival of a new baby. But then again, I have friends who changed absolutely nothing until the new baby came and everything went smoothly.<br>
I know what you mean about the changing mindset, too. I never used to mind when DS would nurse just for comfort, but his suck pattern has changed now that I'm not producing milk anymore, and it is painful to nurse as long as he would like sometimes. It makes me a little sad that my feelings have changed, but at the same time I think it is a natural progression toward meeting the needs of two children rather than just one.<br><br>
Take care!<br>
Steph
 

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My daughter is 11.5 months old and tonight is night 3 of attempting to night wean. She was/is waking every hour and I am so exhausted that I am getting really sick, fainting, can't drive my car because I fall asleep at the wheel, laying on the couch all day and snapping/yelling at my kids. I feel for my situation it is necessary to cut back the night nursings. My daughter does nurse every 15-60 minutes all day and I am fine with that. She has total access (actually a lot of the time I just sit around topless and my almost 3 year old will come by and give 'em a squeeze to see the milk shoot out! LOL). Anyways here's the plan I'm doing, its basically Jay Gordons plan but i skipped the first two steps. I am nursing as normal until 11 pm and after 5 am. But between those hours no nursing and no getting out of the crib. I don't believe in CIO at all so I sit by her bed and pat her back and hold her hand and just be with her. Both nights it has taken 2 hours for her to back to sleep but she is sleeping longer stints when she's asleep. Last night she went to bed at 7:30 pm, then up at 8:30 pm and 10:45 pm. I nursed her all those times. Then she slept a 3 hour stint until 2 am (she hasn't slept a 3 hour stint in ages so I'm hoping this means its helping) and I laid her back down and sat with her. It took until 3:50 am for her to fall back asleep but once she did she was out until 6:30 am and then she nursed back to sleep until 7:40 am. So the two hours awake in the middle of the night has been really hard but I think she is starting to sleep better. She does cry sometimes, quite a bit at one point but I don't think it is detrimental as I am right there with her. I did leave her twice for 5 minutes out of complete frustration but I am trying hard not to do that. I really hope it works!
 
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