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okay, my son is 18 months old and an AVID nurser. all day and all night.<br><br>
amazingly enough, i got my period back and we are going to start TTCing when he is 2 yrs old.<br><br>
here is my problem. i am fine w/the amount of nursing that is happening at night; i sleep through most of it. i want to cut back on his night-nursings before i get pregnant so that i can do it gently and gradually and not while i am in the midst of nipple pain.<br><br>
we've been trying some gentle nightweaning for the last 5 months or so. honestly, nothing is working. i've tried all the methods, but he screams and cries, and i don't want this to happen like this. it is not gentle!!<br><br>
we are finally down to every 2 hrs, maybe 3, and every 30 min (or more) during the 2 hrs before he wakes in the am.<br><br>
so i'm wondering (developmentally) will anything change in the next 4-5 months that will make cutting back on the night nursings less traumatic than it is now??<br>
anyone who has btdt, i would LOVE your advice.<br><br>
thanks<br>
amy
 

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My first suggestion is The Baby You Already Have still needs you. Hold off on the TTC and take care of him for now.<br><br>
If you are unwilling to do that, check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fexec%2Fobidos%2Ftg%2Fdetail%2F-%2F0071381392%2F" target="_blank">The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night</a> by Elizabeth Pantley and this article (<a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/ap/sleep.htm" target="_blank">Changing The Sleep Pattern In The Family Bed</a>) by Dr. Jay Gordon.<br><br>
And, having nursed through 2 pregnancies, one thing I've learned (yes, you'd think this would be OBVIOUS, but sometimes it's hard to see the forest for all the trees) is that you have to wean from the breast TO something else. That means you have to meet his nutritional needs with other foods & drinks if you expect him to stop nursing in the night. You will also have to meet his need for night time contact & comfort in another way (cuddling, back patting, etc).
 

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I might not be much help since I just nightweaned my 20 month old DD with nary a wimper, but I also tend to agree a bit with Ulrike - your DS still needs you a lot a right now. Now, I'm not saying to put off TTC - it's a very personal decision on when to TTC. However, I would really sit down and think about how important it is to you to nightwean vs how important it is for the process to be gentle. Sometimes the two are not compatible.<br><br>
That said, I, too highly recommend Pantley's book. It offers gentle weaning methods, some of which you may already have tried. You might also check out The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning - some good tips in there, too.<br><br>
You will have to replace nursing with something else, and don't be fooled into thinking that just because you nightwean, DS won't get up as often and ask for nursing. He will. The difference is that once fully night weaned, he will accept some other form of comfort in lieu of nursing (cuddling, holding, massaging, singing, etc). My daughter now accepts my cuddling and rocking her back to sleep instead of nursing. But she still needs comfort and reassurance in the middle of the night.<br><br>
I wish you the very best of luck - I hope that you find a solution that works for you and DS.
 

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My 20 month old nursed allll night for hours at a time, and being pregnant with my fourth babe this was not my idea of fun. Nobody was getting any sleep and if I ever finally refused him after an hour of nursing he would cry and throw himself around in bed and we would all wake up tired and grumpy after going through this 2-3 times a night. I was always uncomfortable and lying in awkward positions to accomadate him and everyone else in the bed.<br>
So I finally got the strength to wean him, instead of just trying to say no at night. This was hard for me as I am a big beleiver in child led weaning and long term breastfeeding but our whole situation was just not fun anymore. So since Sunday (5days ago) He hasn't nursed once and guess what after the first night he has been sleeping through the night all night untill i wake him up for the first time ever. I had to come up with different ways of getting him to sleep since i always nursed him to sleep but now i just sing to him and rub his back and he is happy. Overall he seems like a much happier guy to because before all he did was nurse more than when he was a newborn and I always felt like thats all he wanted from me. Now he wants lots of hugs and kisses and i can finally just hold him without him just wanting to nurse. My energy level is way up and I have a little breastfeeding vacation untill February!! (I have spent 7.5 years of my life full time breastfeeding so far) So I totally appreciate it!
 

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Different things will work for different babies/toddlers. It is much easier to nightwean or completely wean a 2 1/2 yr old than an 18 mo. they just have a better understanding, and more interests to distract them with.<br><br>
Most APed kids start sleeping much better/longer naturally at age 2 1/2.<br><br>
When you are pg, your milk will gradually start to dry up in the 2nd trimester. Less milk will probably=less motivation for yr toddler to nurse.<br><br>
tanjarine, my 2nd dd was like yours. She was highly spirited and was at age 3, better off not nursing at all than only being allowed to at certain times, which drove her crazy. She also weaned in days and never looked back, once I got the courage to do it while pg.
 

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I know this sounds crazy but it is worth a try...we eat dinner early and then feed ds a yogurt right before bedtime. He then nurses to sleep. This has cut his waking to 1 time a night. Don't know why it works - discovered it by accident. May not work for you though.<br><br>
I am in the same boat with weaning though! My ds is loves his boob more than anything!
 

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Hi AmyD,<br><br>
I have a DD who is almost 21 months and we have been tring to gradually nightwean, too. (For the same reason, BTW) We are only to the point where I nurse/massage/ beg her to sleep after 2Am. Before that, DH is in charge of helping her get back to sleep. We are also having a tough time of it. She begs me not to bring him into the room to hold her until she falls asleep. She much prefers nursing. I know she would be perfectly content to rely on the almight nums-nums to help her back to sleep, but I need to start gettingmore sleep. Especially if we get pregnant sometime next year. Not much in the way of advice. Although, I had to stop nursing her until 2am because I had a cold a month or so ago, and finally gave in and took some cold tablets at night. I really didn't want her getting that throught my milk.<br><br>
I'm considering trying to start letting her know that we won't nurse until it is light outside. I've heard that that works with some kiddos.<br><br><br>
Hang in there! PM me if you want a to exchange any other strategies or just vent with someone who is struggling, too.<br><br>
Gretchen
 
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