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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please say yes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
My DS just turned two. He has always been a restless, light sleeper. I nurse him to sleep (we co-sleep) and he then nurses every few hours all night long. I think the longest stretch he's ever slept was about four hours...and that was a major aberration.<br><br>
In the early morning hours (four o'clock on) he seems to sleep even more lightly, so that he's asking to nurse seemingly constantly until he says "All done!" at around seven. Sometimes I feel trapped in bed, because I know if I move at all (to get more comfortable, or to get up to go to the bathroom, or to turn the ceiling fan off if it starts creaking) he'll wake up and ask to nurse.<br><br>
I'm amazingly NOT completely exhausted, but I'm tired, and I don't even remember what it's like to get a full night's sleep. And it would be nice if I could get up to go to the bathroom when I wanted without trying to figure out if my son is really out or not.<br><br>
I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm considering nightweaning. We're hoping to get pregnant again (doing a frozen embryo transfer next week) and I just can't do this throughout a pregnancy.<br><br>
So...if you nightweaned, how old was your DC, what was your experience, and did it help both of you get a better night's sleep?
 

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I nightweaned DS1 when he was 18 months old. He started 'mostly' sleeping through the night then. If he woke up I would say, "booby is sleeping" and I would cuddle him and he would go back to sleep. He woke up much less frequently than he did though when I would always nurse him back to sleep. I thought it would be a very hard transition for him but it ended up being pretty easy. Hope it goes well for you too!
 

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We gently nightweaned dd over the course of 6 months. Starting when she was 20 months, just trying to get her to sleep 3 hours in a row (prior to this she was waking every 1-2 hours<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ) And slowly increasing the length of time. It went very smoothly, but it also took 6 months. I didn't push her much at any one time. If she cried, I nursed her. At about 26 months, she was no longer nursing at night (until early morning, 4-5 am) but still not sleeping all night. That came about one month later. At about 27 months, she slept through one time! And then it would increase to twice a week, three times, and so on. Now at 29 months, she sleeps from 10-7 or 8 am most of the time. She will still wake up one to two times a week, but it's very easy and quick to get her back to sleep. Just a snuggle or a pat and she's out. So, yes, she is sttn but it didn't happen right away, and it's not every. single. night. I would try it, and if he is ok with it, then great. If not, you can try again later. My main concern was to make it as painless as possible, and not to make her more clingy or afraid that I wouldn't be meeting her needs, yk? Thats why it took so long. I'm sure it could have been done faster, but we are happy with the way we did it and of course with the way it turned out! HTH
 

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We night weaned Anneke about four weeks ago or so. She's 2.5. We told her that mama needed to sleep and that if she woke up that Daddy would cuddle with her and that she could nurse in the morning. She now sleeps from 10 or so when she goes to bed until about 5:00am when DH convinces her that she has to sleep for a little bit longer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> She used to wake up at least twice a night to nurse.<br><br>
Night weaning was totally tearless and painless (shockingly) for us. She was totally ready to give up night nursing. Oh, and with her baby brother around, she still nurses plenty during the day.
 

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One thing that has helped us (we're still nursing at night, so I can't offer help there, but this is about the restless thing), was putting a feather comforter under the fitted sheet. We've got a king bed, and the comforter is queen sized. I folded it in half and put it on our (mine and the baby's) side of the bed. She has slept better since I did that -- she sinks into the bed more than she used to if that makes sense, so she doesn't seem to stir as often, nor does she seem to wake as easily when I shift. If DH would stand for it, now that the baby's older I'd get a feather bed topper, but he doesn't like that much loft, so the folded comforter has been a good compromise since it's just on our side of the bed. Plus it isn't as obvious a gap or whatever in the middle of the bed if I roll off it. It's fairly subtle but it seems to help.<br><br>
I'm hoping to get a wool topper this winter, but maybe something like a comforter (or some other really soft, thick type blanket), or some other soft topper under the sheet might help your little one be more comfortable and possibly sleep better? We didn't have anything when she was little, but for an older toddler, I think having something with a bit of loft underneath is okay.<br><br>
I hope you have good luck with it!!!<br><br>
ETA: I know TJ Maxx and places like that sell the small down comforter throws for pretty cheap. You might try one of those as a mattress topper if you don't have a bed-sized comforter. We've got a couple and they're machine washable. I'm planning to put one on her mattress when we try to transition her later on to her own bed.
 

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YES! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I nightweaned both boys at 12-14 months and they both slept thru the night after that.
 

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A no from us on the nightweaning = all night sleep. We nightweaned around 18 mo's (and it took forever!) and we have relapses, i.e. he wakes up and I give in if it seems dire. We got a foam mattress pad in our bed to quell our movements and that did seem to help. The only thing that has really helped his sleep is getting him to spend some of the night in his own room. He still wakes up, though. Unfortunately, we're a family of light sleepers.
 

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My older daughter nursed every 2 hours around the clock (at least) for 19 months. I night weaned her at that point, because i was pregnant and exhausted. By the 3rd night she was sleeping all night. It was heaven. I can't wait to nightwean my 2nd. I hope the same thing happens. She's almost a year now and I think not quite ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So did you guys use Jay Gordon's method of nightweaning? I'm really not sure how to go about it...I don't want to make him clingy and feel put off, but I also wonder if it would be better for BOTH of us if we got more uninterrupted sleep.
 

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We used Jay Gordon's method for DD at 15 months. No tears (she was ready), took 3 nights and she was sleeping through til 5 AM. For my never-sleep-more-than-2-hrs-at-a-time DD, the progress was HUGE! I had been a walking zombie up until that point. And then ahhhhhhhh.... sweet, sweet slumber. FWIW, she's now 3 and sleeps really well. I never thought the day would come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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yes at 18months, the next night. it helped that he was very verbal. i did it for medical reasons (or so i thought at the time) but we did sleep better afterwards. i let him sleep with me. now he is moved out and every once in a while he wakes up and comes into my room.<br><br>
goodnight <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/winner.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="BFSymbol">
 

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I night weaned dd1 when she was 18mo...I was pregnant, had no night milk supply, dry nursing hurt like heck, and when she tried to nurse and no milk was forthcoming she would wake all the way up and get very upset. Nobody was happy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
We started nightweaning around 16mo... we used a combo of a very gentle/slow Gordon method and the ideas in NCSS for toddlers. What we did was move her to DH's side of the family bed and we reorganized her night routine so that nursing happened earlier in the process (bath, diaper, jammies, nursing, teeth, then upstairs for stories till sleep). During the night DH took over all the parenting...he'd offer water and crackers in case she was hungry or thirsty, cuddle her, do everything except nurse. If she absolutely needed nursing we'd go downstairs to the living room and nurse in the dark...I was very boring, and the nursing session (dry nursing) was short.<br><br>
During the day we talked a lot about the "boom-booms" being asleep at night, we discussed other sorts of soothing ideas (a special teddy bear, a special type of cracker, a new sippy cup, whatever she came up with), we talked about nursing during the day.<br><br>
At around 18mo I got very very sick and had to stay in the guest room for a few nights. During those three nights dh and dd came to an understanding...dd was seriously annoyed that I wasn't there, but she was never alone and although what she wanted was to nurse she eventually decided that dh was good enough. She asked to night nurse once after the baby arrived, I said we'd nurse when the sun came up, and that was it. She tandem nurses during the day but is still happily night weaned.<br><br>
Prior to night weaning she would partially wake to nurse 3 or 4 times a night. When my milk started drying up at night she would try to nurse (and wake all the way up) 10-15 times a night. After night weaning she still wakes up but falls back asleep as soon as she reassures herself that we are there in bed with her (she still sleeps on DH's side since I now have the new babe on my side).<br><br>
So I don't know if dd is actually sleeping longer stretches, but she no longer needs active parenting to fall back to sleep when she wakes during the night...she reaches out and pats dh, or she cuddles her bear, or readjusts her blanket or something.<br><br>
good luck mama!
 

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We are in the nightweaning process right now with my 2.5 year old, and it is going very well. He wakes up maybe once each night. But then, he wasn't waking up much more than that, if any more at all, before I instituted NightWeaning. I think he was waking less and sleeping harder already, and he seemed ready to nurse less, just needed some encouragement. So, I can't say if night weaning is the cure or if just getting older and ready for night weaning is the cure.<br>
It does seem that it would be less draining to have a nightweaned child while pregnant, even if he/she woke up still and needed some cuddling. Also, if you do get pregnant soon, your milk supply may decrease and night weaning may be more easily accepted by your child. But, that doesn't always happen.
 

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Nightweaning never made a difference for DS. He just finally outgrew it all and started sleeping through the night this year, at age 5.<br><br>
That said, DD, nightweaned, only now wakes once to have a drink of milk from a bottle or sippy.
 

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We nightweaned at about one year (yes, a little before I'm "supposed" to), and it made a huge difference in his sleeping habits. He was a very restless sleeper too! Sometimes he sleeps through, but most nights he wakes once or twice. I still go to him to nurse those times though....however, we had to nightwean completely first, and then work back in a session or two. He was ready, even at one year. And for me, waking up once or twice a night is pure heaven! Good luck.
 

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I have been wanting to ask this question as well. DD is 22mo, we just moved her to own room and I would go in and lay with her and nurse whenever she woke up. OMG, I cannot function on this lack of sleep, by 4am I end up giving up and sleeping with her in her room. We've been doing this for about two weeks, I guess I will take the plunge and attempt to night wean.
 

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yes! For the most part it did. With the exception here or there of course. (Teething is such a be-yotch!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
I know this is probably not the most popular view, but I night weaned around 11months.<br><br>
We haven't been cosleeping exclusively since about 6 months since neither DS nor I sleep well with that arrangement. Sadly we are both light sleepers and kept waking eachother up all night. I was very dissappointed cosleeping had to end so soon... but I digress.<br><br>
Anyway, for night weaning I would nurse DS before bed. Then I'd go in again and nurse him before I go to bed around 11pm. DH and I set a time limit. If DS woke up before 2am, DH would go in and rock him, comfort him, give a sip of water if he wanted it and put him back in bed. After 2am, I would get him and nurse him.<br>
Then we moved the time limit up to 4am after a few days. Then up to 6am after a few more days. It was seriously little over a week before DS was sleeping to 6am on his own. He has basically stayed on that sleeping solidly from 11pm to 6am schedule all on his own and we are all so much happier.<br><br>
I got the idea from a friend who cosleeps. She did it by going and sleeping in another room and leaving her DS with DH in the family bed. When DS would wake up, Daddy would be right there to comfort him (without the bbs). After a week Mama returned to the family bed and that was that.<br><br>
I also used some of the NCSS suggestions previously and still go back to that book frequently for more ideas as situations arise. I need to get a copy of the toddler version.<br><br>
Sweet dreams, Mama!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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It didn't help with DS, although he sleeps pretty well at this point. I haven't nightweaned DD yet, but I kind of doubt it would work for her, either.
 

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Yes- and we kept cosleeping part of the time. I was pregnant and really needed more sleep, so we nightweaned at 23 months. It was really easy because she could understand when I told her she could have milk when the sun came up. She still wakes up during the night to drink a little water and crawl into bed with her dad (who sleeps on another bed in her room), but it's not a big disturbance.
 

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We nightweaned our first at about 14 months or so and it went very smoothly. We've done it again with our 2nd and he is almost 16 months...it's been about a week or two and it's been wonderful.<br><br>
Both time, we had the baby sleep with dh and I wasn't around after the last nursing (whenever he woke first, I would nurse and then not again until morning). So now, he nurses around midnight or 1ish and then not again until morning. And since he's with dh, when he wakes up in the morning they just get up and have breakfast. So he'll sleep until about 7 or 7:30 some mornings whereas ds1 always nursed at about 5 for the longest time.<br><br>
I thought we'd try jay gordon, but simply having me out of the picture did the trick. We're all MUCH happier now as I was horribly sleep deprived.<br><br>
Good luck with it! By the sounds of it, for most of us it made a significant difference.
 
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