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Need some advice about night weaning. Poppy is now 16 months and wakes at night for feeds. She can and does go without feeds in the day although if unwell or unhappy she does feed. She feeds to sleep at night and is put into her cot…. Some nights she sleeps better than others and wakes at about 2.30, feeds and then gets put back down and then can sleep till morning….
This is quite a rarity though and more recently wakes a few times during the night. Also, she used to feed for a short while and go down, now she can feed for a long while but not settle and I end up getting up with her.
She has a good diet during the day… In fact some days I wonder where it all goes and I feel that the feeding at night is purely comfort and habit. I’ve been back at work since January and the sleepless nights are asking is toll and its getting me down so I’m thinking about weaning her off breast feeding. What I find difficult is that she obviously doesn’t fall asleep just in her cot, and also when I go into her if I try to just put her on my shoulder she does this very determined wriggle to get herself sideways to be fed and ges very upset if I don’t feed her.
And for example - tonight she went to sleep at 8.30…. She started crying at 10 and luckily dad is here so he bought her down and pushed her to sleep… She will not accept cuddles to sleep from him. Also he is not always here at night because of work so I struggle with not having someone here consistently to help me through this..
So lovelies - some thoughts, some help…
Our experiences - may help? :
DS was 16 months when I night weaned and he’s still BF at 5 yrs. He was the same, waking for feeds randomly, often quite a few times and I couldn’t function anymore. I read the no cry sleep solution and tried to put in to practice ideas from that. In the end I told him that when he wakes in the night that mummy milk was asleep. The when he woke I cuddled him and kept calmly saying milk was asleep. I took no more than 3 nights and he was done. He struggled and cried (well more moaned than full on upset, it wasn’t bad) for no more than a minute each time and over the 3 nights he gradually woke less. Infact it may have been 2 nights. I was amazed how easy it was.
However…DD was a different matter! I had 16 months as a milestone and hoped she’d be sleeping all night too by that point. But oh no!! She is much more vocal! I tried the same thing around that time and she actually nearly screamed the house down. I couldn’t do that to her so kept on with night feeds. Over time I always picked her up when she woke, said ‘little bit then sleep’ and unlatched her before she was completely zonked. This didn’t always work and I would carry on feeding her to sleep but the wakings got less over time. She eventually slept reliably through the night at 21/2 yrs. She is also still BF and usually wakes early (around 5am) and crawls in for milk.
I was recommended the Dr Jay night weaning method (details online) and I know others who it worked easily for. It is very gentle too as is the No cry sleep solution. But DD wore me down and cried so much even with the mere mention that milk was asleep that I just carried on.
Everyone’s children are different, so hopefully you’ll find a way to make everything easier
Mummy to DS born March 08 and DD born July 2010
GP Lets No 119
http://drjaygordon.com a link to Dr Jay Gordon. We used it but only after Neddie had finished teething. I’m not sure it would have worked for him before that.
If you are at work during the day, she may be catching up at night. Ned got so much from milk, nutrition, comfort, learning to breath through night asthma…
Have you ever co-slept with her? We put ours into beds when they could walk. That way, Neddie could get himself out of bed, toddle into our room and come into bed for milk. So I got disturbed most nights but didn’t have to get out of bed, which made the world of difference. And as he’s got older, he just went to climbing in around 5 am or later. Also means that when he has a bad dream, I don’t always have to get up, he’ll wander in to me!
Many Thanks for your advice…. I think it’s just a case of trying something and sticking to it for a bit… Last night was much better… She went back to sleep at 10. Was murmuring at 1 but I left her for a while and she dropped back off and then she woke at 5 when I fed her. I feel so much better today, and positive that I can take steps to night wean her.
We did co sleep with her but over the past few months she has been much better in her cot and even when I’ve tried to bring her in in the middle of the night so fights to escape so I’m happier settling her and putting her back in cot.
I think if we can just have a good week where I try to not feed and break the cycle then I think we will be taking good steps.