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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice regarding nursing at night.

DD is 21 months old, and an avid nurser, both day and night. I've never discouraged her nursing, she has always nursed on demand, and we have a close relationship as a result. However, I'm wondering about when I can expect her to stop nursing at night, as sometimes it wears me out. Some days she'll go 5-6 hours without nursing, even when we are together, and when I'm at work, she'll go 13 hours (I work 12 hour shifts). I also work nights, and she sleeps with DH (who obviously doesn't nurse!), so I know she is capable of not needing it at night.

I know child-led weaning is ideal, and I don't want to wean her completely. I love breastfeeding, and spending that time with her, and want her to continue for a long time yet. But is there a way to discourage or cut back on nighttime nursing? Have any of you night-weaned your toddlers successfully? I'd just like some experience sharing, please, as well as advice from you wise mamas!

Thanks.
 

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I'm new here, but I bet the breastfeeding forums would have some great advice too!
I have none as I wonder the same thing about my 16 month old! I know he can do it, but if he knows I am here, he wants no parts of dad or anyone soothing him at night, only wants the boob!
Hope you are able to find some answers that work for you and your DD
 

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I've just been feeling the same way lately. I've started setting time limits (they are mostly in my head) but it helps. So at night I never say no but after a couple of minutes or whatever i can handle i pop him off and he rolls over and goes back to sleep. So I know he's not nursing cuz he's hungry, it's just a habit. I don't mind the habit, I just don't want to be up all night till he's 10!! ha ha. DS1 would never have stopped, I eventually helped him off the boob at 3.5 with no issues, but I'm feeling it with ds2. I just need my saggy boobs to myself sometimes!
 

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I nightweaned DS at 22 mos. because I just couldn't do it anymore, and it was the best decision I ever made. He almost immediately stopped waking up so much at night, and I finally got some sleep. He did start nursing more during the day initially, which was totally fine with me!!
 

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We finally decided that we needed to transition dd to a toddler bed....OK matress....in her room....and I am on the floor next to it. But she has slept til 5 am without nursing. I diddn't want to move her out of our bed yet, but she sould not go in the co-sleeper at all, only slept in our bed, so you can immagine how our intamate life was. Anyway, we tried weaning her without taking her out of our bed because on top of nursing ALL night, she was wiggly and would turn sideways and upside down and was tring to deep my breast in her mouth while doing gymnastics. So we dicided that it was safer for both of us to start puting her in her own bed. So far so good. Now I am going to go lay down and actually get some sleep and maybe next week I can sleep in my bed with my husband.
 

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do you have a La Leche League group near you? This is a common topic at meetings so there are likely to be many moms at the meetings who can share their experiences. good luck. we haven't reached this point yet but probably soon so I'll be interested to know how it goes.
 

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I know a lot of people don't approve of night-weaning, but for us it was mandatory - DS has caries and I have a persistent back spasm. Night nursing was making both worse. We used Dr. Jay Gordon's 10 nights protocol. although it took a bit longer for us.

It took a good two weeks of consistently putting him back down with cuddles instead of milk, starting when he was ~16.5 months old. But he now will sleep from ~8pm to somewhere between 4 & 5am without needing to nurse. He doesn't always sleep straight through, but he's always sat himself up (well, since he was able!) when he wakes at night, so we lay him back down and just keep touching him until he falls asleep. Usually between 4&5, when he sits himself up, he also signs "milk" and we nurse. I tried holding off on milks until daylight/sunrise, but ended up being away with a crying baby from 4:00 or 4:30 until the sun came up! It made sense for us to hold onto this one "nighttime" session. I fully expect him to drop that session when he is physically ready.
 

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We did it and am I ever glad! I was just getting too pooped! I know weaning is supposed to be child-led and (respectful) blahblahblah but even the staunchest breastfeeder/APer says that you have to find what works with your family. 15 months of getting woken up several times a night was decidedly not working for our family! I got over the guilt really quickly when I realized how much more fun DD and I were having during the day now that mommy wasn't walking around like a zombie!

We've got a queen matress (where DD and I usually sleep) smushed up to a twin (DH's bed) on the floor. DH and I switched places on the bed, to kind of let DD know something new was in the wind and also to put some distance between us. When she would wake up looking for mama, I could be right there; but when she woke up looking for milk, DH would take over, rocking her and saying, "Mommy's milk is sleeping." We had originally tried this with me sleeping in the other room, but DD freaked out when she couldn't find me. This worked way better for us. Now I feed her when I come to bed, if she wants it and once around 5 am and that's it for the night!
 

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Please don't take this the wrong way, I don't see why a toddler needs a night feed. If they are getting all their meals a day plus BF's then they shouldn't need a feed at night.

Having broken up sleep, is not "restful" sleep. It leaves both you and your toddler tired!
 

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We started the process on Monday, so it's been three nights so far, and things are going ok. We're getting the same amount of sleep as before, thank goodness. Some of you have said things would be really bad before they get better, but so far it hasn't been terrible.

DD has woken up about twice per night, cries a little when I say "no milkies, milkies are sleeping until morning". I rock her and she falls asleep within 30 seconds. I put her down again (we co-sleep) and she's ok.

I think the thing that is really helping us is all the explaining we've been doing. At 21 months, she's capable of understanding that when it is dark outside, milkies are sleeping, and she can have milkies when it is light outside. It seems like a good deal.

Good luck to all of you who are trying this. And I don't find it difficult because I know I'm not just leaving her to cry, but that I'm snuggling and holding her while she's upset.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by atpeace View Post
We started the process on Monday, so it's been three nights so far, and things are going ok. We're getting the same amount of sleep as before, thank goodness. Some of you have said things would be really bad before they get better, but so far it hasn't been terrible.

DD has woken up about twice per night, cries a little when I say "no milkies, milkies are sleeping until morning". I rock her and she falls asleep within 30 seconds. I put her down again (we co-sleep) and she's ok.

I think the thing that is really helping us is all the explaining we've been doing. At 21 months, she's capable of understanding that when it is dark outside, milkies are sleeping, and she can have milkies when it is light outside. It seems like a good deal.

Good luck to all of you who are trying this. And I don't find it difficult because I know I'm not just leaving her to cry, but that I'm snuggling and holding her while she's upset.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=847974

Here's another thread that might help!
 
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