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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this over in the Family Bed forum but thought maybe you all had some suggestions! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Can you share your experiences with night-weaning?<br><br>
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Hi everyone,<br>
I am just wondering if you can share your nightweaning experience. What age was your dc, what did you do, how long did it take, how did your dc respond, etc. I am seriously considering nightweaning my 16 month old dd. I have tried in the past and usually it worked, she started sleeping 7-8 hours stretches. But I noticed that she was very clingy in the days following and I felt that she wasn't ready. Plus, she got a few ear infections and I just went back to nursing her through the night. I think, looking back, that the clinginess was due to the ear infections. My dd is a lovely, independent, full of life kind of child. I would never want to break her spirit, even if it means nursing her all night.<br>
For the most part, she has only woken up 2-3 times during our co-sleeping experience. But we are moving in a month and my dh has already left, been gone for a month, because he had to start a new job. With just me taking care of her I just don't feel rested enough. I want to be able to have the energy to do more with her during the day.<br>
I also feel that she is somewhat ready. Whenever she nurses, she always rolls back over and falls asleep on her own. I think she is just waking and looking to nurse out of habit. I am thinking about starting this tonight. I plan on just rocking her when she wakes up. Last time I just kind of pretended I was sleeping and she did go back to sleep after a few minutes but I kind of feel like I was being mean by ignoring her.<br>
So, I would love to hear everyone elses experiences. Even the negetive ones. I also don't plan on continueing with this if my dd seems at all different during the day!<br>
Thanks!<br>
Robin <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/slinggirl.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Slinggirl"><br>
Momma to Paige Elisabeth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/baby.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="baby">girl: 2-2-04
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I also just want to add that my dd no longer seems "rested" in the morning which is the main reason why I want to make a change.
 

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We nightweaned between 17-18 months. He slept 9 hours straight for the next few glorious months. then got a bad cold about a month ago and I started nursing him again once or twice a night. A few weeks ago, he started waking more like 3-4 times (we no longer co-sleep), and we were all cranky and tired every day, so we went back to nightweaning him. First time, I was so anxious about it. But, both times we used his day time behavior as the barometer, like you are smartly doing, but found he was only cranky and clingy after nights of waking up too much. Days after nightweaning, however, he was happy. I think it's easy to project our own anxieties on our babes, at least it is for me. So, I was happy to have this way to see that I was helping him and not harming him. Here's what we did:<br><br>
First time, I went in there (again, he doesn't sleep with us anymore), told him to lie down, and patted his back until he fell asleep. The first night he was pretty upset about it, but he only woke up that once. At times, that first night, I leaned in the crib and hugged him, but I never picked him up. Second night, he woke up a few more times. Each time, I did the same thing, telling him to lie down, time for night-night, and patting him. That night he cried all of 10-20 seconds with each waking. By the third night, he was sleeping long stretches. But he continued to wake once every few nights for about a month. I would always do the same thing and he would settle very quickly with barely a peep.<br><br>
Second time, my husband took over. DS was pretty upset the first night (very clearly angry that he wasn't getting his way) and woke up twice. DH mostly did the same thing I had done a few months before, but he also picked him up once since he wouldn't expect to nurse DH. Second night and beyond (we're on the fourth night now), he has woken up once and settled within 20-30 seconds. Two of those nights, though, he's woken up for the day at 5:00, which is rough. But he's been much happier now that he's getting better sleep.<br><br>
I told my nightweaning story in the family bed forum a while ago and some people were outraged that I allowed my child to cry when he wanted to nurse. But, nightweaning will involve some crying. Otherwise, it would be CLW, right? Personally, I don't think it's inhumane to let your child have angry or sad feelings when you're doing something that will help him (like getting better sleep, which is pretty important for their health and growth - and for mom to get better sleep so she's a better caretaker). Inhumane is letting your child have angry or sad feelings and not helping them learn to handle those feelings so they can feel safe.
 

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We are in the process of nightweaning ds 15 months. He was clingy at first. I think it was because he wasn't getting the rest and just was unsure of what was going on. The days that he slept throught the night for the first time he was fine and back to normal. He does cry and get mad at night when he asks, we have had a few really rough days, but over all it is going better then I thought. I have posted in the MLW thread. Other then that I haven't seen a change in his behavior. I am pregnate and really needed the rest, and let me tell you sleeping a solid 6-8 hours will do wonders for your body.<br><br>
Aggie
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">: Will be watching this one. We just started. She got down on her own at 20 months to 1-2 times per night for nursing. Now I'm trying to eliminate the 2nd waking. Going fairly well with just being reassured back to sleep. She doesn't ask to nurse. I learned the hard way to not pick her up. It only makes her more mad. So I stroke her hair and a leg after resettling her with her blanket and bear and say, "shhh, it's ok I"m here, shh, go back to sleep." As she calms down I stop the stroking and back away. Her crib is in our room so it makes it pretty easy for me to stumble back in bad while continuining to reassure her.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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We nightweaned around DD's second birthday, backslid a bit and then redid it at about 26 months. I wish I could remember exactly how I did it....I think I let her nurse for shorter periods first, and then told her the milk was going to sleep until the sun came up. (She sleeps with us.)<br><br>
The first few nights we spent a lot of time talking about all the people and animals that were sleeping (listing them one after the other after the other after the other....). For about a month after that she would wake up and ask for milk, and I'd remind her it was sleeping. She wasn't always happy about it but went back to sleep pretty quickly anyway. Then it got to the point where she would nurse at bedtime, pull off, say "Milk go sleep now" and roll over and go to sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I didn't notice any changes during the day (good or bad). Her nap stayed about the same length as it had been. Mostly what I noticed was that i got to sleep through the night for a couple of months! (Now that I'm pregnant, I'm the one doing the nightwaking, lol.)<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Nancy
 

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I nightweaned DS last month (he was 23 1/2 months).<br>
I posted my night-by-night experiences.<br>
Here's the thread...<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=274069" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=274069</a><br><br>
As an update...<br>
It is now over a month later and he is doing great.<br>
He now nurses to sleep around 9pm.<br>
He stirs a few times (maybe three times) during the night and I can usually put a hand on his back or shhh him back to sleep. About once a night, he still asks for "nursies" and I remind him that "nursies are sleeping." Sometimes that's enough. If he can't get comfortable, I offer him milk from a sippy (which I keep in a cooler bag next to us). If he says yes, I hold the cup and he takes a couple of sips and then rolls over and goes to sleep.<br>
Usually around 5 or 5:30 am, he wants "nursies" and won't accept the "nursies sleeping" thing -- so we usually nurse in bed and then he sleeps for another hour or two -- nursing whenever he wants to.<br><br>
This has worked pretty well for us. And I am sleeping much better. the other night, he went over 5 hours (9:15 to 2:30) without needing any assistance at all. I don't mind the brief wakings when I know we won't have to nurse all night.<br><br>
He's still nursing like crazy when we're home during the day. That's our next project, I guess -- but I'll be posting separately for "gentle weaning" help soon...<br><br>
Anyway, good luck to all. And follow your mommy instincts -- they are good!
 

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Hi Robin. Our experiences are different for each child. The older the child was, the easier it was to get off night nursings. Etan (now 4 1/2 yrs) was 3 1/2 yrs and it was as simple as just asking him to not nurse at night. The others, ranging in age of night weaning from 18 months to 2 1/2 yrs was more of a struggle and I weaned (for night nursings only) 2 of my kids under 2 yrs because they were getting cavities behind the upper front teeth where the milk was pooling at night. Although this isnt suppose to happen from nursing, I personally felt it was related. I rocked them, talk to them and tried to put them back to sleep another way besides nursing. This was for my now 6yo ds and my now 8 3/4 yr old dd. They both cried and it was difficult but it really depends on the temperment of the child. My now 10 1/2 yo dd would never have weaned from night nurisings very young. She would have cried too much and it would have been too traumatic. She was about 2 1/2 (closer to 3yrs). I would say, know your childs temperment and how much distress is ok for her. If she seems way too upset, I wouldnt wean. Thats just what I do- I wait until they are a little older.
 
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