Night weaning

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
Night weaning
8
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:48pm

So I think the time has come to night wean Barrett. He typically nurses 2x at night. We've tried having DH go in to him, but when he manages to get Barrett back to sleep, Barrett wakes up again in less than an hour. When he nurses back to sleep, he usually goes a good 3-5 hours before waking again. I'm pretty sure he is hungry at least some of the time he is nursing, but I figure at 13 months he doesn't need to be nursing 2x a night! Also, I'm headed out of town for three days at the beginning of July without Barrett, and I would rather gently night wean him now than have him go cold turkey then.

So... any words of advice, experience, or just encouragement would be greatly appreciated! I know we aren't going to leave Barrett alone to cry, but I haven't quite decided how drawn out I want to make this process. Thanks!

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Lilypie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
In reply to: h2ofilter
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 5:32pm

I don't really have any advice unfortunately. James is night weaned, but he just weaned himself...

I ave read a lot on the board of people limiting the amount of time they nurse at night. So if he wakes up and nurses for 15 minutes, start cutting it back a little at a time until they aren't nursing at all anymore. I don't have any experience with this method but as far as being fairly gradual and not just letting them cry, it seems to be a method that has worked for people. I know I saw a thread about this on the TTC Grads board a while ago, if you ever read that board.

Good luck!

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Lilypie
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
In reply to: h2ofilter
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 6:27pm

I have heard that a really good method is to slowly cut down the times he can nurse--what I mean is, say his first waking is at 11pm. So you say to yourself, okay, I won't nurse him before midnight but if he wakes up after midnight I will. So if he wakes up at 11:30 pm, you tell him the babas (or milkies or whatever) are sleeping right now. But then if he wakes up later you nurse him like normal. Then the next night, you push it back to 12:30, then 1, etc.

This way he gradually gets used to the idea instead of it being all at once.

Another thing you could try--at the same time if you want--is a "midnight snack"--give him a sippy of water that he can have with him (no spill kind, hehe) and when you go to him in the night, give him the sippy and you could also try giving him actual food (like a banana or something else fairly quick and simple). He might just be thirsty and not need actual food, but if he is really hungry that might help him sleep through the night. Ideally he would learn to drink the sippy on his own and put himself back to sleep if he is only thirsty.

These are both tips I've heard many times from nursing Moms that seem to work really well--I lurk on the "Extended BFing" board like it's my job so I've read a lot of this stuff over the years, LOL.

KUP on how things go!

Silly Expecting Siggy


pregnancy due date

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
In reply to: h2ofilter
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 7:00pm

I'm still just a lurker (we start TTC next month!!!) but since we just night weaned Evan last month, I thought I would share my experience. I should start by saying that Evan is and always has been a very stubborn, headstrong little guy (takes after me:), so we couldn't offer him any substitute (water, bottle, etc) because he not only refuses them, but it gets him more upset. He also woke at least 5 times per night to nurse and would not sleep for more than a few hours in his crib-then he would wake hourly until I brought him to bed with me. So, unless Barrett is of the same mind set, it shouldn't be as difficult for you!

I used this article as a guide: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

I started out by limiting the amount of time Evan nursed. I chose a time that I didn't want him nursing until (for me, it was until 6am) and I started with cutting it down to 5 minutes per feeding. Then, I cuddled Evan, and told him it was "time to sleep" which is the cue I've used (with limited success) since he was a newborn. He was not happy about this and usually fussed (sometimes screamed and even punched me a few times!) for about 5 minutes before settling to sleep. I basically took the abuse but kept cuddling him, rubbing his back, etc. By the end of the week he was pretty much ok with only 5 minutes. (DH slept in a different room for at least part of each night)

The next week, I cut it to 1 minute per feeding-same reaction, etc. Same amount of wakings, possibly a little more frequent.

The 3rd week, I cut him off completely, and after about a week, he not only was ok for most of the night, but he wakes up much less frequently. In fact, he slept through the night for the first time ever about a week after night weaning! He also spends the entire night in his crib now, but comes to bed with us when I nurse him at 6.

I will say that night weaning was pretty difficult, and was not pretty at times, but while I am and have always been firmly against using CIO, I think that this was more about Evan dealing with being told "no.", and as hard as it was taking his "abuse," I was still there for support while he was dealing with it. Now, if Evan wakes up, I just have to rub his back and he goes back to sleep. Good luck! It is tough at first, but totally worth it!
HTH!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
In reply to: h2ofilter
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 9:16pm

We are getting ready to night wean Eloise, and I did night wean Desmond around 15 months. I tried with him at both 11 and 13 months, but he wasn't ready then. I basically followed the Jay Gorden method, I decided I won't nurse between 11pm and 5am. I also let DH handle the night wakings. We do co-sleep, but around 15 months DH started going to bed with Desmond in Desmond's room, so I wasn't there. It was far easier for him with me not there, then with the boobs right there.

When we night wean Eloise, we will probably do it over a long weekend, since DH is going to get less sleep then normal. We will move Eloise into her bedroom and DH will sleep with her and calm her in the middle of the night. The first 2 to 3 nights, if it is anything like it was with Desmond, will be bad and she will likely scream and cry, even with DH right there, since she won't be getting to nurse. By night 3 with Desmond at least, it got a lot better, and by the end of the week he was okay with it.

Just an fyi, even if he isn't night weaned before you go away, he might be fine with it and then go back to nursing at nights once you are back. Desmond has been away from me for up to 4 days and still goes right back to nursing when I get back, but it doesn't bother him not to nurse when I am not around.












babies




Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
In reply to: h2ofilter
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 12:11pm

No great advice. I'm in the same boat, and last night was a bad one. Usually Patrick nurses around midnight and 4am (and sometimes 6am). Sometimes we can get away with just one 3am nursing. I keep meaning to night wean him, but I'm just too tired at night to think that hard :P Usually I fall asleep nursing him, so I'm not awake to cut him off.

He has done two overnight away and did fine, though. I think they both gave him one bottle during the night.

This weekend I'm leaving him alone with DH for 48 hours, so that'll be exciting. He'll just do a bottle if necessary. But I won't object if he manages to night wean him. OR maybe it'll at least get us started.

Let me know how it goes for you!

~Lorien





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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
In reply to: h2ofilter
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 1:37pm

Thanks all for the wonderful advice! It's so nice to hear something besides CIO. I think I'll try cutting back the time he nurses for the next couple weeks and then (when I no longer have to teach dance in the morning) I'll try cutting it out completely.

Lorien - Barrett's sleep sounds very much like Patrick's - he usually wakes up at 1 and 5 AM to nurse; sometimes he wakes up earlier but he'll go back to sleep with someone rubbing his back if it's before midnight. And I am totally with you on it just being easier to nurse him than to try and do anything else! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Patrick night weans while you are out of town this weekend :)

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Avatar for sandyc299
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2008
In reply to: h2ofilter
Fri, 06-18-2010 - 8:38am
We're going through the same thing with my son. He's only 6 mos old but the pediatrician and the lactation consultant said he should be sleeping through the night and he's getting up not because he's hungry but because of habit.

David Nicholas 12/5/09
Expecting a GIRL 3/23/13

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
In reply to: h2ofilter
Fri, 06-18-2010 - 10:37pm

Sandy,

I know all babies are different, but when I told our pediatrician at Barrett's 12 month appt that he was waking to eat at night she was completely unconcerned since it was just 1-2x a night and not disturbing my sleep too much.

There are a lot of things other people will tell you that David "should" be doing. If you are well rested, then don't feel there is any reason you need to get david to stop eating at night right now. I didn't think I could last a whole year waking at night, but now it doesn't bother me at all, and I'm a little sad about losing my night time snuggle time with Barrett (although I am sure he will want some night snuggles even once he is night weaned).

My quick update: I tried cutting the nursing down to 6 minutes the last two nights, but last night Barrett was mad when I pulled him off - so I gave in and nursed him a couple more minutes. Ahh, I'm sure I'll get there someday :P

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