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night nursing.... When did you stop?

2443 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  pacifica
My girls are soon 10 mnths, we co-sleep, and Im very very tired of breastfeeding them continuosly through the night, I feel like a human pacifier! The girls sob their little harts out until i give them the breast. The thing is, they dont really need milk at night now, do they? Of course they need love and comforting, but as we co-sleep, I would think that is taken care of even if i stop breastfeeding through the night. When did you stop BF/night? why and how? I try to stick to AP ideals, yet I dont see how having a hopelessly tired and grumpy mummy is better than no milk at night? any thoughts? ideas on how?

love, twinmum.
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Oooo, I hate to break it to 'ya, but in my LLL group, the leaders were always citing some study or another that said some babes actually have a biological need to eat/nurse at night till about 18 months.

While I have known of some who nightweaned earlier, 12 months would seem the absolute miniumum to me. (Only my opinion . . . you know your girls best.)

Mine have been high frequency nursers since birth and it has taken a toll on me in terms of severe sleep deprivation. We tried nightweaning for the first time around 23 months and dd did fine, but ds began exhibiting some behavior problems, so we laid off. (That time we did something similar to the Jay Gordon method.)

We finally nightweaned again (cold turkey) around 28 months and things went more smoothly.

Also, be aware that just because you nightwean, it does not mean that your babies' sleep will improve. While I have seen some improvement in my terrible sleepers, they still wake 3 times per night on average at nearly 2 1/2 years old.

Good luck (and congrats on nursing twins - it's crazy huh?)
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i know that children are supposed to wake up at night, that its very normal.
it is not so normal, nor is it good for the children to be up every 30-45 mins all through the night. I dont want to stop entirely, I just want to decrease the number of times per night, as I am sure its not good for them or me.

I was hoping more people could tell me about their experiences on night weaning?

what is the Jay gordon method?

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I wish you a lot of luck. Weaning in general is not a fun thing to have to think about. My DS weaned on his own which, although it was too early for me, was MUCH nicer than where I am now trying to navigate weaning DD when I KNOW she is not ready or willing. Although it makes me sad, I think is needs to happen which leaves me kind of where you is the best way to do it? My DD is almost 13 months old and for the time being while we are working on night weaning (which is where we decided to start) she is sleeping out of our bed. When she wakes up, DH puts her back to sleep instead of me. Usually he can rock her or sing her but at around 2:00 most mornings he gives her a bottle...simply because again, I don't think she is ready to be weaned so we don't want to leave her without anything if she is looking for milk. I know every baby is different but she is waking up less often than when she was nursing in the night. IT is more work for DH but I have been waking with her for the last 13 months so I don't feel bad. As she gets used to the new night routines, we will have her back in our bed like usual to work on not nursing when I am in the picture. So far I don't have the heart to say no when she wants to nurse during the day so I hope it progresses well on its own.

I do have to say that the first three nights that I was not nursing her at night I was VERY engorged having been used to her nursing in her sleep for hours at a time. I used warm compresses and massage like when she was a newborn to help that. has some good info on nightweaning. I know it is not something that a lot of people like to think about since it is not fun but nursing is supposed to be mutually beneficial. If you begin to REALLY resent night nursing, you might be more likley to stop nursing all together. So make sure that you make your nursing situation unique to your family and something that will definately work for you. You sound like you want to be sensitive to your babies and they are lucky for that. Good luck finding your way!


DS 4 DD 1, 12 wks PG with twins......
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Here's a link to Dr. Jay Gordon's book excerpt that's online (I haven't read the book, it may have additional information that would be helpful):

We roughly followed this approach when my girls were about 19 mo old. It was very important to me that the nightweaning process be something they could understand so we waited until they were old enough that I felt they could understand when we explained that the num nums (our word for nursing) needed to sleep at night & they could have more in the morning. We used an alarm set to play soft music to signal when it was time to nurse. So if they asked to nurse too early in the morning we'd say "not until the music plays" and remind them they had to be quiet to be sure to hear the music. Sometimes they'd go back to sleep, other times they'd lay there quietly until the music started & then be all excited that the music was playing so now it was time for num nums. Overall it was alot less painless than I was anticipating, BUT I do think waiting until they had a better understanding of things helped alot.
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sweetpeas, what a wonderful way of doing it!
sounds very harmonious!
I first nightweaned at 18 months. My twins had previously been nursing pretty much constantly through the night. I weaned them cold turkey, and it was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. We were still cosleeping, and I just said, "you can nurse again in the morning, but right now it's time to just snuggle." They cried, but not in a horrible way, and it felt okay to me. They did start night nursing again when we got to the sickness season (around 21 months), but it wasn't as constant and felt fairly manageable. I finally fully nightweaned them when they turned two and started sleeping in their own beds.

gotta run, more later,

My boys are 2 1/2 years old and still night nurse. I have had MANY wants to stop, but it's the easiest, fastest way to get them back to sleep! They do sleep much better the older they get, but nursing works so well for night awakenings. I totally understand your desire to stop nighttime nursings, please keep posting if you decide to wean.
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