Night weaning?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2007
Night weaning?
5
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 2:06am

Hi-


I am really hoping you all have some feedback for me because I am just absolutely torn.


Nate is now just over 13 months. He has never been a good sleeper, waking several times throughout the night to nurse. We co-sleep, so this is not that big of a deal to me. He wakes anywhere from 3-13 times each night.


Recently, we had quite a few nights when he would wake, but would not go back to sleep after nursing, so DH or I were up for 3-4 hours of walking, rocking, etc. We even caved in and put him in his crib a few times... He cried, I cried. Big mess.


I called the dr a few days ago on an un-related issue, and we got a different dr... not his normal. She asked about sleep and when I told her, she said that he was waking to drink because he was not drinking enough in the day. (I work so only nurse in morning and in PM when I return, and he will take the sippy but never shows much interest). She said to increase his intake during the day, which I said fine. Then she said I need to night-wean him because he needs to learn to take his liquids during the day, etc. She said to give it 2 weeks and she would call back to check on us.


Well, I thought I could do it, but it has been 2 nights, and each time he wakes up I can't get him to go back to sleep. I am exhausted, and I know the nursing will work, so I cave in and let him.


Is this wrong? I was also worried about my supply if I were to night wean because I am not getting up in the middle of the night to pump, and I rarely pump but once in the day because my body seems to have adjusted to accomodate the nursing sessions he does have.


I am not ready to give up nursing until he is ready, and it seems like forcing him to night wean is trying to force him into overall weaning. DH thinks I need to follow the drs advice, but i just can't! I feel awful not letting him have it when I know how much it means to him, especially if he is obviously not ready.


I guess I just thought when he was ready to STTN then he would, but he is just not ready. But there is so much pressure that by 6-8 months babies are, and blah blah blah.


Sorry for the long post, but does anyone have any advice/thoughts?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2007
In reply to: kp1074
Tue, 05-26-2009 - 12:48pm

Hi Carol-


Thanks for the links, and your insight! I think after 18 months (and maybe not even then!) is a better suggestion.


I was quite surprised by the dr's comments -- especially since this office is known to be the most BF-friendly. The interesting thing is that i was not complaining about waking up a few times a night to nurse him. I don;t mind that at all!... I was just concerned about the few nights that he would not go back to sleep after I nursed him. I thought there might be some under-lying issue -- teething, congestion, ear infection, etc.


We go back to his normal ped in afew weeks for the 14mo checkup, and i will be curious to see what she says as she is definitely more on the same page with me in terms of co-sleeping, etc


THanks and hope all is well with your new little one! Congrats:)


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2007
In reply to: kp1074
Tue, 05-26-2009 - 12:40pm

Thanks Teresa-


I really appreciate your input. I think you are right and I am not going to take this dr's advice. I tried it for a few nights and it didn't work for any of us.


I agree there could have been something else going on... I have thought teething for awhile now because he has the excessive drooling, chewing on things, etc... but you can never tell until they pop out and so far nothing. He still has just the 4 teeth... that I can see:)


He is definitely a stinker with the sippy. He likes the straw kind, but he will not take EBM that way. He will take water, but only a few sips at a time. I am lucky to get him to go thru 6 oz the entire day. He will occasionally drink cow's milk, but even less of that. the dr suggested we try the pedia-lyte (or pedia sure, whichever it is -- Iget confused on the 2) but he wouldn;t have anything to do with that... hated it! I know water is good for him, but it does not have the nutrients that EBM has, or even cow's milk to an extent so I worry that it is more of an empty filler...


I'm going to wait until next month when we go back to his ped for the 14 month check-up to see what she says. I know the whole practice is very pro-BF, but she seems to be the one who is the most AP friendly so I am curious if she would advise night weaning. Either way it doesn't matter -- I'm not ready for that much torture!


thanks for the input!!


:)kara

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2004
In reply to: kp1074
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 6:44pm

IMO unless the night waking is bothering the Dr (ie waking Dr becasue Dr is in your house) then I do not see why the Dr is concerned.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2005
In reply to: kp1074
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 9:10am
I see this only as a problem if YOU as the mom think it is a problem.

KristiHannahPiperJackson1.jpg picture by itsirkmr


"Belief is not required.  Once you know this story

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
In reply to: kp1074
Sun, 05-24-2009 - 5:30am

It certainly sounds like he is happy to reverse cycle, and really wants and needs to night nurse. You seem as though you would rather continue, than force him into at least nearly weaning. At this stage and age, I would tend to go with the flow of what he would like, as you seem to be leaning towards. It is actually a big compliment to you that he would rather nurse when he is with you than have the same thing in the sippy while you are gone.

Even if you force him to night wean, there is certainly no guarantee that he will sleep at night. Babies sttn when they are developmentally ready, which varies for every baby. Sometimes they will start sleeping a longer time at might, only to stop doing it when something happens eg teething and so on. When people are really being honest, some parents will tell you that their child did not sttn until the age of 2 or 3 - even if they were night-weaned.

Even if he won't drink much EBM from the sippy while you are at work, he may drink water.

You are also right about your supply; if you night-weaned, you body would adjust and produce less overall in the end.

You say that he has recently had quite a few nights where he would wake on not go back to sleep. This could be caused by lots of things, especially if it has just started recently - nothing to do with nursing or not nursing at night. He may be teething, or uncomfortable for some other reason. What is his sleep like during the day? Maybe he is getting to a point where he needs to be more active in the day, so he will get more tired? But he is still being put down to sleep the same amount during the day, making him more active and restless at night? I don't know, that is a suggestion - and maybe one you will have to work on evaluating by following his cues on the the days you are home with him,. and then advising the DCP.

Teresa