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My DS 2 is almost 2.5 and I am still loving and happy to nurse him, but goodness I need some sleep. I haven't gotten a full nights sleep since finding out I was pregnant with him 3 years ago and I am ripping apart at the seams.<br>
I don't want to wean him. I weaned his older brother at three and this time I want it to take its natural course. But I need to wean him at night.<br>
Right now he nurses to go to sleep at 7:30 or 8:00 pm. He then wakes up between 10-1, and then at 3 and then at 5am. These are vague times, some nights it is better some nights maybe another one in there. I am just so tired and grouchy, and....miserable. I want to sleep at night. I don't like taking naps and I like to be up early for my yoga prctice....<br>
Okay I am whining here...sorry...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Any advice on how to night wean (or get to sleep longer) a very sweet, strong willed son who I know will cry and cry and cry when I tell him the BA BA"s are night night?<br><br><br>
Thank you !<br>
Kathleen<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/treehugger.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Treehugger">:
 

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i also had a boy who would cry, cry, cry if i said no to nursing in the middle of the night. he also would pitch a fit if daddy went to him instead of mama, even though he spends his days with daddy. i ended up getting <i>the no-cry sleep solution</i> for toddlers & preschoolers, got some ideas, and we night-weaned with truly no crying. i was amazed, because it *had* to be nursing if he woke up at night.<br><br>
i don't know if the details on our approach would help you, because the ncss advice is to really tailor it to your little one, kwim? this was with an 18-month-old (i was about to have baby #2) who slept in his own room and did not nurse to sleep at bedtime. if he is cosleeping, i always hear praise for the dr jay gordon method, but can't say anything about it myself because i haven't tried it.<br><br>
i will say one really big thing for us was communicating about it <i>before</i> the middle of the night. while my guy was nursing at bedtime, i told him that if he woke up when the house was all dark and quiet, that meant mama was sleeping and nursies were sleeping; there would be no nursing until the sun came up. i think because he knew ahead of time, he wasn't surprised and confused in the middle of the night. just a thought.
 

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Oh my, I could have written your post!<br><br>
Subbing so I can get some ideas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hannybanany</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10305427"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh my, I could have written your post!<br><br>
Subbing so I can get some ideas <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"></div>
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same here!=)
 

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Just another exhausted mom of an almost two year old chiming in with support. Wish I had answers for you! I'm so dang tired, I don't even know if I could do anything else at night but nurse. If I try to put Becca off or offer Daddy to her, she screams which is no good because her older sister sleeps in the room with us too.<br><br>
Good luck!<br>
Jill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JillChristina</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10305801"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just another exhausted mom of an almost two year old chiming in with support. Wish I had answers for you! I'm so dang tired, I don't even know if I could do anything else at night but nurse.<br>
Jill</div>
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<br>
I know the thought of night weaning makes me even more exhausted, and i can't believe that is possible.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br><br>
Great to know I am not alone.... but would love some advice. I am going to try and check out the No Cry Sleep Solutions for Toddlers, at my library.<br>
Thanks.<br><br>
Kathleen
 

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Having just night weaned my 31 month old, I'll tell you what I did. I started telling him during the day that he'd have no more mama's milk at night. I'd nurse him at bedtime and then remind him," no mama's milk until morning" and have him repeat it. The first few nights he woke up wanting mama's milk and throwing a screaming, thrashing fit. I held him, told him I loved him, offered him water and just kept repeating that we weren't having mama's milk until morning. I had to be very strong not to give in, but after three years of poor sleep, I was desperate. I would also lie down on his bed with him and hold him until he fell asleep. This went on for maybe a week or two, but then at bedtime he'd tell me, "No mama's milk until morning."<br><br>
He did start sleeping better--instead of waking every three to four hours, he'd sleep eight in a row.<br><br>
Another thing I did was put a digital clock in his room. I told him that we wouldn't have mama's milk until he saw 6 on the clock. (I covered up all but the hour digits so he wouldn't get confused). Now he likes to come in my room in the morning and tell me that it's 6 and time for mama's milk.<br><br>
Honestly though, night weaning does not solve all sleep problems. My son has still only slept the whole night through maybe two or three times. And some nights are worse than others. Last night for instance he was up every three hours.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>littlehoneybee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10306339"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly though, night weaning does not solve all sleep problems.</div>
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yep, that's true! my guy continued to wake up a few times a night, with daddy being the one to check on him, and he would go right back to sleep with dh just saying "it's time to sleep" or patting him a little. then it dropped down to once or twice a night, then sleeping through a few nights a week, etc. now he just wakes up once every week or so - almost always sleeping through - but it has been almost a year.<br><br>
some other things i'm remembering now. we no longer nursed in his room, ever. i think it was easier for him to understand that he wasn't going to nurse in the middle of the night because we didn't nurse in the place where he slept anymore - i took the rocking chair out of his room. (if you nurse in bed, then you might make a rule that you now only nurse in the chair, or on the floor cushion, or whatever comfy place you would like to nurse at bedtime and waking time that is <i>not</i> where you have been nursing at night.)<br><br>
in the mornings i would say i felt so good, since i got "nice sleep" last night, that i was ready to do something really fun with him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>litlwons</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10305887"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I know the thought of night weaning makes me even more exhausted, and i can't believe that is possible.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br></div>
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Oh yeah. It's <i>so easy</i> to nurse compared to the hour I know DD would cry (in the middle of the night when <i>I</i> like to be sleeping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">) if she couldn't nurse. But then I wake up in the morning and regret not just doing it. It's easier said than done, especially when you say it during the day <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Depending on the age of your child, there may be other reasons keeping them up. I think nursing tends to be the reason people think of most because it is something habitual. However, My son has nursed through the night more than the day and he's decreased night nursing on his own as he grew and he's 3+.<br><br>
If you don't like napping in the day, although if you could that would help you, without having to confront the weaning issue... or go to bed a little bit early to offset the hours you're missing? I think a complete REM cycle is about 3 hours. I suggest a gentle transition because of the role nursing plays in their life. Can you consider nursing more during the day to offset the nighttime without necessarily abruptly stopping.<br><br>
For me, there have been times when it's painful... so I have asked my son if he's thirsty for water or if he wants milkies. A lot of the time he was satisfied with the sippy cup of water; then we would snuggle. He seemed to understand that if it hurt me he didn't want to do it, although he was sad about it he was willing to skip it.<br><br>
I also know there are many resources about night weaning. Again, if you can catch up on your sleep either by adding an hour on at the beginning of the night that might get you through another month or so... by then his body may mature enough to sleep more soundly for longer.<br><br>
Oh, and make sure the bedroom is darkened if there's a bright night-light or street light, try one that is dim/soft blue tones rather than yellow/red... nightlights can affect sleep patterns because it mimics the sun's affect on your body... causing wakefulness.<br><br>
sorry for the ramblings, hope there's something mildly useful in there.
 

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What works best for me is to stop focusing on how I need more sleep and to make up in quantity what I lack in quality...i.e., sleep more hours, even if it's interrupted. Also remaining hydrated and calm helps me lots. Also patting dd's back sometimes gets her back to sleep.<br><br>
I DO know that feeling though and have struggled some with tandeming at night and feeling like "but I just want to SLEEP!" My 2 y.o. nurses (younger nursling) what seems like all night long.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for the responses, they have been great. It is great to know that I am not alone. I know that I would feel more comfortable if I didn't have to cut him off completly at night, I would just love there to be longer periods of sleep. If he needs them at night I want to be able to give them to him.<br>
I do agree that he will grow out of it and that even when he does stop nursing at night on his own there will still be wakenings. My DS 1 who is one month shy of 8 still wakes up.<br>
It is just tough when I feel so tired. Although not much of a napper, I will give it a try more often.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
Kathleen <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/treehugger.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Treehugger">:
 

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I just posted this response to another thread in Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy:<br><br><br>
I too have become annoyed with night nursing. Last night, for the first time, I used a suggestion someone mentioned on another thread about using a soft light on a timer. Anytime the light is on, it's ok to nurse, and when it's off, that's when "milk's sleeping, no milk right now".<br><br>
I set the light to turn off at midnight and come on at 2:30am then turn off again at 4:30, etc. Basically on for 2 hours and off for 2 hours and so on. My plan is to gradually extend the off time and decrease the on time.<br><br>
All day yesterday, I told ds what the plan was and what the light meant so he wouldn't be suprised in the middle of the night.<br><br>
I wasn't too optimistic, as ds is very strong willed about night-nursing and has never really took no for an answer, but......<br><br>
It actually went much better than I expected. The first time he woke up it was before midnight, so the light was still on and I "it's ok to drink milk, the light's still on" and let him nurse. However, when he woke up at 1am ish, the light was off and I said "the special light is off, so that means the milk is sleeping, no milk now" he wimpered and asked a couple of times, but then actually rolled over and went back to sleep!!!!! wow.....that's NEVER happened!<br><br>
Anyway, this pattern continued the rest of the night, with a few protests, but I never gave in until the light was on. I was just shocked that he didn't have a major fit like he usually would in the past if I attempted to deny milk in the middle of the night.<br><br>
Well, we'll see how tonight goes. I am cautiously optimistic.<br><br>
HTH<br><br>
Laura
 

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Big Hugs! Been there done that and doing it now. Every year I ask Santa for a full nights sleep. I'm beinging to think he doesn't exsist!!<br><br>
Best of luck!
 

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I tried night weaning my DD back in Oct. at 26 mths let me just say it back fired on me and from Oct thru Dec she was waking to nurse every 30-60 mins. and even when she'd fall back to sleep if i tried to put her down she'd start crying and get out of her bed.<br>
carrying a 30lb toddler around in the middle of the night with a bad back and heel spurs in your feet while sleep deprived is no picnic.<br>
needless to say we still night nurse.
 

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My DD went through a few months of nursing almost as much as a newborn when she was about 2.5. As you said, it'll pass (but it doesn't help the sleep problem!). While she was 3, aside from daytime nursing, she nursed to sleep, again at 11, 1, 5 and then when she got up at 6:30. I could almost set the clock by her! Since DD turned about 4 she nurses to sleep and then again when she wakes up. If she's sick, all bets are off and she nurses almost all night.<br><br>
I still can't sleep through the night though... I guess she trained me too well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Nap when you can, it's a life saver!
 

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Ds1 nightweaned when he was 2y4mo (about 2 years ago)!<br><br>
I realized that I offered whenever he stirred. I woke myself up a little bit more to be aware of what was transpiring and I'd let him fuss a little. It was quickly apparent if he was going to go back to sleep or want to nurse. Nightweaning happened quickly after that.<br><br>
Also the length of his nighttime sleep went down as he was sleeping more soundly. He moved into his own bed about 3 months later.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
PS DS2 was born a few weeks after DS1 moved to his own room right next to ours, so the co-sleeper is still full and my break from night nursing was short.
 
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