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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please give me any advice you have! My dd is almost 20 months old. At this time, she still nurses on demand, except for one huge factor, which is that I work outside the home M-F from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm. When I come home at 4:30, she nurses for about 15 minutes (and since I don't pump anymore, that is alotta milk!) and then nurses about 3 more times before going to sleep. Throughout the night, she nurses like crazy- latches on at 10-ish and nurses straight for an hour, then again for an hour from 12-1 am, and on and off for the rest of the night. I am not getting ANY sleep, am feeling sick and dizzy, and would love to night wean, but here's the problem: dd drinks virtually nothing from a cup while I am at work all day! She is still reverse-cycling and consuming all her liquid from 4:30 pm until 7:30 in the morning. So, I can't night-wean, right? Because then she'd be completely dehydrated. She won't drink cw's milk, would probably drink jice ut I won't allow it, and drinks about 4 ounces of water all day. Of course, she eats tons of fruit which has liquid, but it's not the same. If I night weaned, would that inspire her to start drinking liquid from a cup during the day? Or would it make her dehydrated and sick? Any suggestions? Thanks for reading!
 

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In that situation I would not feel comfortable night weaning. It would really be weaning for all practical purposes... SO much of the nursing is at night, percentage wise. I think your baby really needs to nurse still



hope you find a solution for you.

-Angela
 

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I think with a dc 20 months old and your sick and dizzy with fatigue means something needs to change.

I would try night weaning and see how it goes. It sounds like if she is waking that often to nurse at night, it might be more for comfort than for fluids. If she nurses when you get home, 3 times before bed, then in the morning, that is still a lot of milk. You would only be cutting out two major sesssions, at 10 pm and midnight. You mention she nurses on and off the rest of the night so not sure how many more times that is.

I think she will make up for the lost fluids as needed and its not necessary for her to take cow's milk. And you will know if she is not ready to nightwean, it will just be too hard to soothe her back to sleep the first few nights. If that's the case, you could try again in a few months. You'll also know if she is dehydrated by the dry dipes.

My dd was recently sick and took hardly any solids for a week. My milk supply is dropping due to pregnancy and I was very worried. She usually likes at least a few sips of water with a meal but she really needed more fluids. I put one ounce of grape juice with 5 ounces of water in a sippy and she downed the entire thing. I kept that up while she was sick and am now cutting back on the juice little by little. She got used to taking the sippy more often during the day that week and now takes more water than she was before she was sick. So that worked out well for me since my milk is continuing to decline. I thought I would never do juice too, fwiw. But I plan on phasing it out as she gets used to drinking more water.
 

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Maybe you could cut back the night nursing without entirely nightweaning? Maybe cut out a block of time from when you go to bed until four A.M. or so, so she still gets all that early morning milk, keeps your supply up, etc.

Also, when do you go to bed? I know for me, getting DD to go to bed earlier and having that evening time awake myself is nice in theory, but we both sleep better when she goes to bed a bit later and I a bit earlier. Also, transitioning her to her own room is reducing our night nursing. She'll fall back asleep on her own rather than waking and demanding to nurse if she's in her own room, so gets responded to when she cries, rather than when she wimpers, rolls over, and gropes because I'm right there in bed w/ her.
 

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Unless she has some other illness, etc, I don't think she would die, if that's what you mean. BUT emotionally and nutritionally, your milk is still very important for a 20 month old. Keep in mind too that night weaning won't necessarily solve the problem of you not getting sleep, of being sick and dizzy.

Can you go to bed earlier? Can you roll over and sleep away from her? Sometimes this helps my ds not stay latched on all the time? Maybe she is missing you during the day and needing to reconnect at night.

I would probably try moving my dc to another bed in the same room before I tried nightweaning at such a young age.

Good luck mama...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mamaverdi, she's definitely missing me and trying to reconnect. And I know she needs that closeness, and I want to provide her with it. She really is the sweetest, most loving little girl...


She deserves almost whatever she wants, in my opinion. However, I've been feeling crappy, and I need to change that. Moreover, she has started to fully wake up now when she nurses at night. She has initiated conversation about wanting to read books the other night at 2 am, and at 3, she wanted to see her brother in bed...With me in the bed, even if I roll over, she is awake and ddesperate for nur-nur.

So, we tried this the night of my original post: I nursed her at 7:30, she went to sleep in the crib as usual, and I nursed her when she woke at 10 and then brought her to bed with me. I slept from 11-12, and after I nursed her at 12, I left her with dh and went to sleep with ds in the other room. From about 12:30 until 6:30, she woke up a few times and cried for me, but dh comforted her. At 6:30 am, I nursed her again. She lasted 6 hours at night w/o nursing. Last night, we did the same, and she cried much less (prob. just 1 minute) each time she woke up. This, I think, is a good compromise. Ravin, it's like what you suggested, and it's proving to be a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for checking in, mamaverdi. This weekend, we did very well, particularly last night. Yesterday, we had gone into the city with the kids to see a show, so dd missed her nap (except for 20 minutes on my shoulder). So, when I put her to sleep at 7:30 in her crib, she actually slept there until 12:15 am! That's got to be a record. I nursed her for 15 inutes and then left the bed to sleep with ds. Dd slept from 12:30 until almost 6! I was at the gym when she woke up, and she was easily able to wait until 7, when I returned, to nurse. No complaints from her whatsoever, and certainly none from me.
When we're away for Thanksgiving, I think that as long as we keep up the sleeping arrangement and nursing "schedule" (I hate that word, but it seems to apply here), we should be fine! On vacation, too, she can nurse all day long (as is the case on Sat. and Sun.) so I always have a clearer conscience about limitig her at night during those times.
 
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