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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We love the family bed and my 18 mth old son still nurses. I'm 4 mths pregnant, and there's no more milk. Often my toddler will hang on the breast 80% of the night without gettin milk satisfaction. Is there a gentle way to nightwean while keeping him in our bed? I don't want to force several changes on him at once. Since we only have a queensize bed, and my husband is tall, it would make sense to get our son out of the bed, so there'll be room for the new baby. But I love having our toddler there! How have others handled this (aside from buying a bigger bed)?
 

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Of course you can <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I night-weaned both of my kids during pregnancies (as the milk ran out, I got touched out and overtired, etc). The family bed is still the secure, loving place it always was. Nursing isn't a requirement.<br><br>
DD did move out of the family bed a while after DS was born - we had a queen size bed and she just felt crowded (my DH is a big guy, too, 6'3" and a not-really-fat 270lbs). For the couple weeks she stayed in bed with us (and when she joined us after that) we'd just keep an adult between her and the baby, no biggie (she was 22 months when DS was born). She moved to a toddler mattress in our bedroom, not far, but with her own 'space'. She moved back into the family bed when we moved and got a king size bed.<br><br>
I really feel like the family bed is a huge source of emotional security for my kids and really dislike the idea of forcing my kids out of it, especially while withholding another source of emotional security (nursing). And even moreso when there is a new baby and the potential for feeling replaced. I feel like the contact we have at night in bed, the security of all being warm and safe together, makes up for the nightweaning. I wouldn't want to give that up, I don't want my kids to have to feel pushed out or unloved.
 

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my daughter was 15 months when her sister was born, and although i did manage to nurse her in our family bed during most of my pregnancy, my partner and i began trying to just snuggle her back to sleep when we could. now she's almost two, still in our DOUBLE bed with the rest of us and pretty much night weaned, except for the infrequent bad teething nights (like last night, molars coming in)<br>
i was surprised how well and how naturally she adjusted once the baby was born
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you ladies!<br><br>
HOW did you do it?<br><br>
I tried turning my back on my son or I lean over and just cuddle him, but he cries until I plug him in. Did your husbands do anything special when your kids woke up in the middle of the night? Did you prepare your kids verbally before withholding nursing? I honestly don't know how to do this. Is it best for mom to sleep in a separate bed away from the toddler for a few nights (I would hate that)? I've never let him cry longer than maybe 2 minutes and only if there was no other way. So, the thought of letting him cry while I turn my back seems cruel.
 

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one of my friends started by telling her DD that her *whatever word you use* were "asleep" or "went night night" or whatever word you use for going to sleep and that they'd wake up with her/him in the morning. the first time it was jarring and upsetting but she was able to walk/rock her to sleep...the second night it went much more smoothly and now she's almost nightweaned, i think...it's only been a little over a week now...
 

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It was different for my two kids.<br><br>
My first, DD, was under 2 yo, actually I think right around 18 months when we night-weaned. Her daddy started doing the cuddling. She looked around for me a couple of times but didn't have a real problem with it. Took about 2 nights before she stopped looking for me, 2 weeks and she wasn't waking at night at all (that I noticed).<br><br>
My second, DS, was 2.5, somewhat verbal. He understood I was pregnant and could acknowledge that, understood about my morning sickness and mommy needing to sleep extra. I just told him "the nummies are tired, like the rest of mommy they need extra sleep now for the new baby". He night-weaned after 4 nights of reminding him this (he cried the first time, even tried to hit me, but fell right back asleep - no problems after that, he just kept asking for around 4 nights but fell asleep when I told him the nummies were tired). He actually weaned entirely about a month after that, but it wasn't really pushed too much by me (I encouraged it, but didn't cut him off or anything). Oh, and it helped to cut down on nursing when I got him used to rolling over so that his back was to my belly, instead of his front to my front. As soon as he got used to sleeping like that, night-nursing dropped dramatically, so by the time we actually 'night-weaned' he was really only waking once, maybe twice.
 

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My guess is that it depends on the babe.<br><br>
I just nightweaned my thirteen-month old ds, and it only took one night <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> .<br><br>
I'm pregnant, twenty weeks along, and the waking was REALLY taking a toll on me. I started with Dr. Jay's gentle weaning method. The first night you're supposed to offer the breast only for a few minutes, then comfort them back to sleep. He woke up twice that night, nursed then fussed for five minutes or so. The next night, no waking at all, from 10pm to 7am! It's been like that for the past two weeks.<br><br>
So yes, it is possible.<br>
Good luck.
 

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Hi,<br><br>
Some time ago I posted almost exactly the same kind of post. Here are two links, the first one is a thread I started myself, the second is a thread of another mom who had a similar problem.<br><br><a href="http://mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=202208" target="_blank">http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=202208</a><br><a href="http://mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=217496" target="_blank">http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=217496</a><br><br>
The point is, we share a family bed, and I too am pregnant. At some point, the frequent endless nursing could really freak me out. I first worked on learning her to fall asleep without boob (counting to 10-rule) for naptime. And after a couple of days I introduced it for the night: I would give her her cup of water, tell her that we don't drink now, that we're sleeping. Obviously, she was not happy with this new setting, and the first two nights took a bit of comforting from me: rubbing her back, saying comforting words... but she did accept it at some point. Since these times, nights are no-nursing-times.. we nurse in the morning, or before sleep, but not in between...<br><br>
Hugs,<br>
Fiikske
 

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Dd is 21 months and sort of night weaned. I tell her that there's no milk now its night time and time for sleeping but its nice to snuggle. I put her face right by mine (and far away from my boob!) When I started doing it she grumbled a bit but went back to sleep. So far she has not had any all out screaming demanding times and I don't think there will be any.<br><br>
She falls asleep being snuggled by dh or me then I don't feed her til about 6 or 7am. Wehave a Brio bedside cot at the same height as our double bed which makes the bed a bit wider. Most of the time she sleeps up against me but lately she's been rolling into the extension and staying there which is a bit odd but gives us more room! Maybe an extension would give more room for all of you and the baby too.
 

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DS had to have minor surgery about a month ago, and we weren't allowed to give him anything after midnight except clear fluids. Breastmilk isn't considered a clear fluid. Anyway, he was one of those all night comfort nursers, and we were dreading the night without nursing. It ended up not being as bad as we thought. He was 19 months, but very verbal. So I just explained that "boobies were having a nap until morning"--he understands nap, he understood that meant no milkies. Anyway, there was some fussing but it wasn't too bad. So I decided to start it after he recovered from his surgery (took about 5 minutes!), and so we just started telling him every night when he woke up that "boobies are napping", and now he only wakes once or so. He also understands "morning", so if he wakes any time after 5, then I tell him "okay, it's morning, boobies are awake", and we spend the last hour in bed nursing.<br><br>
It's not perfect, he still has bad nights, but hey, most nights we sleep quite well until sometime around 5. I didn't want to give up the family bed, it's been so good for our staying connected even though I've had to go back to work fulltime. We had the crib in a sidecar arrangement until last month, and now we have the toddler bed pushed right up agains our bed. It's about 6 inches lower, maybe less, and so he starts the night out there, and climbs in with us when he wants to. Usually around 5, and talking away as he does it "morning, boobies, please, morning boobies"!<br><br>
It can be done, it just takes time, you don't need to have lots and lots of crying, although there might be a little bit. I did have to spend some nights helping him to resettle when he woke up though, he's never been very good at that. He seems to wake easily, and he doesn't want to be awake, so his reaction is anger!<br><br>
Alison
 
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