Nighttime Weaning

Nighttime Weaning 1Our daughter is almost thirteen months old. Although she doesn't nurse at all during the day anymore (her choice as much as mine), she still nurses throughout the night. Sometimes she wakes a few times to nurse and then dozes off contentedly. Other times, she loves to lie next to me and vie for a prize in an all-night nurse-a-thon (that's rare). More commonly, she nurses just a few times a night.

Facts:
(A) I know she probably doesn't need the "nighttime milk" for nutrients (although she is not a big eater during the day).
(B) It may be that she is nursing for comfort and I suspect that she sometimes nurses to combat teething pain.
(C) For the most part, I don't really mind her wake-ups because she goes right back to sleep, she doesn't cry, and she sleeps from 8:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. without complaining.
(D) I would (sort of) like to wean her so that I have more freedom. Example #1: I could attend an overnight getaway or conference without worry...well, at least not the same kind of worry.
(E) I would rather wait for her to stop nursing on her own, but I'm not willing to wait forever. Maybe until she's 1 1/2 or 2.

How did you wean? Did your baby self-wean? Does your baby still wake up at night to nurse? Share your stories.

(Photo by: katiek2)

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7 comments on “Nighttime Weaning”

  1. I am still nursing my 6 month old at night...my husband calls it the all night nurse fest...we co sleep and I would really like to get him out of my bed because I don't sleep as well...I'm not sure what to do yet...we'll see how it goes when I go back to work...

  2. I was never able to sleep well with my daughter in bed, plus I strongly believe that for the sale of your marriage the master bed should be off limits during the night because parents need their own space too. It did wonders for our marriage just moving my daughter out of her bassinet in our room to her own room and crib at 4 months. So I would suggest getting rid of co sleeping first and then if you feel you need more sleep start vutting out one night feeding at a time. I couldn't handle nursing at night so I had my daughter weaned of night nursing at 4 and a half months. Until she was 11 mpnths I would still do it if she was sick or teething though. Now we just nurse before she goes to sleep at night and first thing in the morning. This works well for now because it doesn't interupt my sleep or schedule at all.

  3. We stopped the co-sleeping first, moving our little guy to a crib in our room. Then used the Ferber method to help him sleep through the night. But, if you want to continue the co-sleeping & just cut back on the nursing, I hear that Dr. Sears' "Nighttime Parenting" book is an excellent resource.

  4. Our son stopped nursing at 18months. He first started weaning himself during the day. Every now and then he would want to nurse if he got hurt or was tired. Night time feedings were totally different. He would cry out for me several times a night to nurse. He nursed for a few minutes and then fall back asleep. I knew that he really wasnt hungry, but instead he wanted to nurse purely for comfort. After many sleepless nights, I started telling him that he couldn't have "boobie" but he could put his head on my chest. It worked after a few heart breaking nights.Even now when he is hurt or comes into our bed in the middle of the night, all he wants to do is sleep on my chest. Do what works for you and your daughter. Good Luck!

  5. Mine is 27 months old and still nursing - during the day and at night. She coslept with us up until a week ago, but she still walks into our room at some point during the night to get into bed beside me. She nurses purely for comfort - when she's tired or hurt. She's my last, so I am letting her "tell" me when it's okay to stop. We never nurse outside of the home, as she is preoccupied with other things. And she can go most of the day with never wanting to nurse. I've never had a problem with sleeping while she is nursing. I've got three kids, so I am pretty much exhausted all the time. We're making progress, slow and steady!

  6. I find that I don't truly sleep deeply with the baby on my breast. I've experimented a lot and determined that we're all better off if I put her back in a separate place after nursing, so that we can return to a deep sleep. I guess I'd suggest working on that first, knowing that you'll have to go to her to nurse a few times at first, but keep putting her back in her own space. I truly believe that it's not just about the baby being ready; it's about mom being ready, too. So do it when you are ready for it.

  7. My daughter is 7 months old. I nurse her full time-she does not even get rice cereal-purely a breastmilk diet. I also wake up to feed her. Until last week! my dr. said to move her out or my husband and I out of the room. She can cry it out a LITTLE. Every night got better and better because I did not feed her. Now-only a week later-she sleeps from 7-6:30!

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