Night Weaning

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Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529
Night Weaning

I'm trying to make a decision on this and would like advice.

I would like to cut out one of Jordan's night feedings. She nurses at bedtime and then wakes to nurse anywhere between 11:30-1:00 and then again around 4:00-5:30. We cut out one of her night feedings rather easily before and I'm hoping it will be the same this time around. I really think her body is so used to waking at certain times and it's just a matter of resetting her clock so to speak.

We don't bed share so I nurse her in a rocking chair next to her crib. I'll be hones that sometimes it is reaaally hard to drag myself out of bed, especially if I go to bed before the first nursing session and I'm getting up for the second time that night. I don't know HOW I used to get up three times a night for so long.

Last time we did this I sent DH in to rock her. She didn't really like it but it was better than me going in there. If I try to rock her then she gets very angry if I'm not nursing her. She will not even let me hold her as she pushes and squirms all over. It's just hard though b/c my husband works and I would like to try and let him sleep.

Any advice?

Joined: 05/23/07
Posts: 88

Hi Kayla - I started to respond before, but got distracted...so I'm back. Every baby is different, but I would think that at 14+ months, waking to nurse is psychological, rather than physiological (a learned behavior, rather than a need for sustenance). That said, doesn't make it any easier to "reset" the clock. We had that happen with Mady around 15 months - she basically forgot how to self-soothe, so that when she woke in the night, the only way she would get back to sleep was to nurse. Honestly, via the use of a modified ferber method (5, 10, 15 maximum minutes of letting her cry - checking on her and soothing, but NOT picking her up), I was able to help her re-learn to self-soothe in a few nights. Not pleasant by any stretch, but I think she benefited from it in the long term and now she is (once again) a great sleeper. Good luck - this is such a tough decision for parents to make - I hope it goes smoothly for you and you find peace with whatever method/decision you make!

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

I have started this as well. Naya was doing really good as you know and then had some bad nights with a high fever and molars. She is back to waking twice or maybe 3 times now. What does jordan do if you dont go in there? I mean will she cry for a few minutes and go back to sleep or does she cry and cry and cry? Naya use to cry non stop but for the last 2 nights after the first time waking i am done so i just let her cry. She only cries for like 5 or 10 minutes and is right back to sleep. I dont mind a few minutes of crying in the middle of the night so this is working for us now. So i nurse her at bedtime and once around 12-2. Then she sleeps until 6:30. Now if jordan is crying and wont stop after a few minutes then i would send dh in to rock her if it was me. Or you go in and pat her and tell her its ok but dont pick her up. I always find its worse when i pick naya up but dont nurse her. Keep us posted.

am_leigh79's picture
Joined: 04/25/09
Posts: 23

Does she have a lovey? Isabelle does better with me telling her "enough" if sh has her blanket. If Isabelle gets super tired then she wants to nurse forever..... so I have to say "enough" at some point....

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

I agree with what Liz said. And a lovey is a great idea too.

Give a modified Ferber method a try and see how it goes. For me with my DS#1 when he was still waking once a night (for attention) I did similar to what Liz suggested and it took about 2-3 weeks for him to really start getting the idea. It was hard but well worth it. Now all my kids are good sleepers.

GL - I hope it goes smoothly for you and sweet little Jordan gives you some rest!

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