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Hi All - I have a 17 month old boy who loves to nurse. However October 10th (my oldest's birthday) I will have been nursing a child nonstop for 4 years. I LOVE our nursing relationship and I am not ready for it to end but I would like to wean him from night nursing. Our 1st child was older (about 2 1/2) when I weaned him from night nursing. So do ya'll have any suggestions? We are weaning out the first night nursing now - which is easy because it's around 9:30pm and I just rock him back to sleep. I want to eventually have the same set up that we have with our older son... he starts off in his own bed but in the night comes to sleep with us if he wants to.<br>
Thanks!<br>
Kelly
 

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I don't have any answers for you, since I"m wanting to do exactly the sam ething. My boy is also 17 months old, and at best he nurses 3x/night (1,3, 5 am). At worst, he may nurse every hour after midnight. This is defninitely wearing thin! I don't want to wean him completely. I just want a reasonable night's sleep! I'll be eager to hear what kind of suggestions you get!
 

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I like the suggestions by Dr. Jay Gordon, though I have not tried it yet myself. Soon though. <a href="http://www.drjaygordon.com/ap/sleep.htm" target="_blank">http://www.drjaygordon.com/ap/sleep.htm</a><br><br>
What do you think?
 

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I've read the Dr. Jay article, although we are not at the point we are ready to night wean (DD is just 1 yr). But it sounds like a good plan when we're ready to do it.
 

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All I can offer is my experience, for what it's worth. Ds is nearly 19 months now, and has been night-weaned for about 5 months. It was a fairly quick and nearly painless process--for both of us! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Of course, YMMV....I'm not an expert by any means! To tell the truth, I probably just got lucky! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But, in case it might be somehow helpful, here's what we did:<br><br>
One thing: we no longer co-sleep (unless me bringing ds to bed after dh leaves for work so that I can attempt to coax another hour of sleep outta him can be considered co-sleeping! LOL), so this may or may not be of any help to anyone else. I have some cosleeping friends who have successfully done the same basic thing, so it might be worth a try.<br><br>
E was about 14 months when I started nightweaning him. The whole "process" took less than a month...the hard part was over in a couple weeks. It happened with barely a whimper, from either of us.<br><br>
I started because E was waking up 4-5 times a night, and I'd have to go to him, nurse him, then go back to bed. I have a hard time falling asleep, so sometimes I'd have just dozed back off when he was awake wanting to nurse again! It wasn't pretty, and I wasn't a very nice person during the day. (Cosleeping wouldn't have helped me, as I have never been able to sleep through nursing. It would only have saved me the 10 feet up and down the hallway several times a night.)<br><br>
So, anyway, I decided to start trying to offer him an alternative to nursing. I still nursed him to sleep (or nearly to sleep) but if/when he woke up, I'd offer him a sip of water instead of immediately nursing, then try to rock him back to sleep. Sometimes it worked, other times I'd nurse him (when I did, I used the PPO from Pantley's book to try to minimize how long he was really nursing) and then try again the next time he woke up. If he fussed more than a couple moments after I'd given him a drink of water, then I'd just nurse. But, within a couple weeks, he wasn't doing that much at all...just got his drink, then laid his head on my shoulder and went back to sleep.<br><br>
Now that I'm pregnant, he's asking to nurse all the time (go figure--what's up with that??), including those times when he wakes at night (not often, but last night it was 5 times before 3 am!! ). When he does, I simply tell him, "You can't have milk right now. You can have milk in the morning--now it's time to sleep." He doesn't mind too much.<br><br>
The key, for me, was not calling it "night-weaning" while it was happening. I didn't really even think of it as that. I was just trying to help him (and me!) get more uninterrupted sleep! I'm afraid if I'd thought of it as nightweaning, I'd have been less patient with so-called set-backs, and would have felt more like a "failure" when I had to nurse him during the beginning. And, for me, it wasn't so much about the weaning--nursing didn't bother me--it was the sleep that was the issue. For both of us.<br><br>
I'm sure a lot of my "success" was due to E's personality (he is a big-time nurser, but very laid-back about most things, and has a sweet, non-demanding temperment). And, he was eating plenty of solids, so I had no concerns about his nutrition. I just make sure I give him a good snack near bedtime to ward off the hungries.<br><br>
I hope this helps somehow....again, it's just my experience, and I'm sure I'll face a different situation with other children down the road. So, of course, YMMV!<br><br>
Wishing you all peace and good sleep--however you can get it!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
Sarah, SAHM to Elisha (02/28/02) and expecting our second miracle (03/25/04)
 

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I've been trying the Dr. Jay Gordon method, although I haven't been as consistent about it as perhaps I should be. It's been about a month or so since I decided seriously to night wean, and I think there's been some progress. Some nights are better than others, but I'd say most of the time ds wakes up I can get him to go back to sleep without nursing. He will cry some, but I think he's realized it's not worth the effort to cry for a long time, and he's back to sleep in a minute or two. If I do give in and nurse him, I do not let him nurse for more than a couple of minutes.<br><br>
Good luck!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I recently nightweaned dd (28 months). She's older than your child, so it may be different, but the process was relatively (well, almost) painless. I wanted dd to sleep from the time I put her to bed (we cosleep) until at least the time dh's alarm usually goes off (5:20 or so). So if she woke up and wanted to nurse anytime from after she went to sleep (9:30 - 10:00pm, usually) to 5:00am, then I'd tell her gently to go back to sleep. For the first few nights, she'd wake up, ask to nurse, and then go ballistic when I'd tell her to go back to sleep. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> She wanted no consolation other than nursing. After crying at the top of her lungs for, oh, about 10-15 minutes, she'd go back to sleep. I'd offer her a glass of water, but she'd usually refuse it. One time, she woke up at about 3:30 and said she was hungry, so we got up, I gave her a plum and some water, and then I nursed her back to sleep. But otherwise, I was firm on not nursing her when she'd wake up during the "no nursing" time. After a few nights, she'd wake up, ask to nurse, and would complain for about a minute and then fall back to sleep when I'd tell her to go back to sleep. This lasted for about another week. Now she's been sleeping straight through till about 5 - 5:30am. Both she and I sleep so much better now!<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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We quickly and successfully eliminated two out of three night nursing sessions by having DH go in to DD instead of me. We no longer co-sleep, so our situation may be different from others. The first few nights he took a bottle or sippy cup of expressed milk, then switched to water. He would comfort her and put her back to bed. She fussed a bit at first. After about 4-5 nights, she just stopped waking up all together. I assume she figured if she wasn't getting me, it wasn't worth waking up! We haven't pushed giving up the very early morning nursing session, as I feel she still needs that for the nourishment/comfort.
 
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