Pregnant....thinking of night-weaning...but...

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Marite13's picture
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Pregnant....thinking of night-weaning...but...

Hey ladies.... I don't know why it never occurred to me to come over to this board.... I guess I forget that I'm "extended" breastfeeding! Ha! It just seems so normal to me still... I'm just nursing... Wink

Anyway.... DD is 18 mos, and I'm almost 10 weeks pregnant. She still nurses a lot- multiple times a day, and before after every nap, and to sleep, and every time she wakes at night, which can be anywhere from every 1-4 hours.

I'm feeling a little anxious because she's still sleeping with us- well, she has a toddler bed right next to ours. She goes to sleep in it, but usually ends up in our bed by 1am at the latest- usually between 11 and 12. I will say that to date, we have definitely taken the path of least resistance, which was always just to nurse her back to sleep. She's never slept long stretches, but, she's always been the baby who is asleep again within moments as long as you pop the boob back in her mouth.

My issue is that I'm already starting to have pain in my hips from being stuck in one position at night- I would really like to sleep on my back while I still can! And I just worry about her still being in our bed when I have a huge belly and need pillows for support, and of course, when the new baby comes...

But then, I came here yesterday and read that thread down the page about night-weaning and how so many of you did, and your kid stopped nursing at night, but kept waking at night!!! That is my worst nightmare....but I'm starting to have a bad suspicion that she'll be one of those kids. And my first clue to that is that we've been trying for 2 MONTHS to cut out any feedings between bedtime and midnight- so we've been sending DH up to comfort her if she wakes at that time. So she hasn't been able to nurse in 2 months at that time...and she STILL wakes up pretty consistently once or twice between 8 and 12!

Honestly, the only reason I would want to night-wean is if I believed that she would start STTN (even if only by the 5 hour definition). I'm working on sometimes getting her back to sleep without nursing- I've been singing her a lullaby and that works sometimes with a few minutes of crying/screaming.

Anyway.... I'm rambling... but my question then is.... given this whole situation, would you try to night-wean?? Do you think it'd be worth it? I also keep thinking that my milk is eventually going to change in 10 weeks or so.... and will that cause her to change her habits without me forcing anything on her????

I know no one can give me a definite answer....but I guess I'm just looking for some commiserating, sympathy and understanding! What would you do?

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I think she'll change her habits because of your change in supply and perhaps the flavor of milk. Mine all quit nursing while I was pregnant. Unfortunately my last one waited until month 7 to do it.

I like the convenience of an instant soother, especially when pregnant and exhausted. She might take to night weaning, she might not. I suspect you will know soon enough in the process to just go back to the old system if you want.

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"Marite13" wrote:

She still nurses a lot- multiple times a day, and before after every nap, and to sleep, and every time she wakes at night, which can be anywhere from every 1-4 hours.

I'm feeling a little anxious because she's still sleeping with us- well, she has a toddler bed right next to ours. She goes to sleep in it, but usually ends up in our bed by 1am at the latest- usually between 11 and 12. I will say that to date, we have definitely taken the path of least resistance, which was always just to nurse her back to sleep. She's never slept long stretches, but, she's always been the baby who is asleep again within moments as long as you pop the boob back in her mouth.

I could've written that. If I were pregnant, I would have written all of that. My main reason for not trying harder to get DD to night wean is that it just seems so hard and why would I fight her when popping the boob in just puts her right back to sleep. Also, what if it backfires and I can't get her to sleep?! Being pregnant though, that complicates things a tad. She could certainly start to night wean herself as your supply changes. It might not phase her though. I have a few very pregnant friends with 2 year olds who are still nursing. I think it doesn't affect them as much if they're older.

Maybe try taking a few more baby steps toward STTN, like starting her off in another room, and wait and see what happens. If your supply is going to crash its probably going to happen between 12-20 weeks. So, you might know if she's going to self wean before you get so big that you can't stand to have her in your bed. I say enjoy the ease of putting her to sleep while you still can!

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didn't read the other responses, just wanted to say i weaned DS totally at 20mo to try and get him to STTN, and it didn't work. He was just harder to get back to sleep. Sorry to be a downer!

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Thanks for your responses ladies. I've talked a little to DH, and I think we're both on the same page.... it isn't always easy in general, but being able to nurse her is easier than NOT nursing, so I think we're just going to leave it for now. I started singing to her a while ago while I was nursing her to sleep, and now, I am trying to just pat and sing the same lullaby when she wakes up later too- sometimes it works, sometimes not. So maybe we'll do a little less nursing, but I'm not going to night-wean. We'll just have to play it by ear and see what happens when my milk changes. Seriously, the thought of weaning, and her still waking up gives me shivers down my spine. Smile Not going there!

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I am dealing with the same thing. I am not pregnant but i go back and forth on the night weaning. Naya wakes up about 4 x at night to nurse still. I am so tired and have 3 kids to take care of. I am scared out of my mind that if i try to night wean she will still wake up and i wont be able to get her back to sleep. She is also a pop the boob in her mouth and after a few minutes back to sleep kid. I dont know what to tell you because i do the same thing as you but i would love to hear what you end up doing. Why cant these girls just start sleeping all night on their own and we would not even have to deal with this. Good luck with whatever you do.

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I don't blame you for sticking to something that you know works Wink If you decide to try to night wean though, what we did was replace Logan's nighttime nursing with a story. I didn't wean during pregnancy but I nursed him through my whole pregnancy and then weaned him a few months later and this is what worked for us.

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Morgan is still nursing at night. I posted a thread earlier on night-weaning. I got her down from nursing 3-4x per night to once and she didn't sleep any better. She just got up and fussed to nurse and when she did go back to sleep it was only for a short time. Then the cycle would start all over again. So, she is back to nursing at bedtime and usually 2x in the middle of the night. So you are correct in thinking that night-weaning does not mean sleeping through the night. They are two different issues. I have half-heartedly attempted to cut out the bedtime feed and it has failed miserably. She just loves to nurse at bedtime and FREAKS out if I try and divert her attention. I am not sure when she will wean or STTN, but I am tired most of the time and could really use a full nights sleep Biggrin

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Hugs! I hope you can figure out what works for you and that she self night weans for you. I struggled with whether to force the night weaning more with my boys, but thankfully, finally, at 21 mo they started more consistently sttn. Before that, it is just so much easier to nurse them, why fix what ain't broken. Smile Unfortunately one of my twins has recently decided to wake every 1.5 hrs, climb out of his crib, open his door and wander the house looking for me, hopefully that ends soon, but I can now usually put him back to bed w/o nursing him.

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I'm also with Corinne in that night weaning and STTN may be seperate issues. DS2 was a heavy night nurser but started STTN based on other factors that did not revolve around the boob. Well they kinda did (doesn't everything revolve around the boob?) but the boob wasn't the main factor...lol. Even with STTN I am unable to get DS2 to sleep, or back to sleep, without nursing. Though DH can put him down without any BM of any sort.

I do understand your worry about supply during pregnancy. So far at 16 weeks my supply doesn't seem to have changed as DS2 is nursing just as much as he did during my first month of pregnancy. I still have a full let down and pump one night a week (night class) getting the same amount as I did before pregnancy. I honestly am floored as I fully expected a big dip in supply by this point but so far so good. DS2 is still very intersted in his normal nursing as well so things haven't changed enough to turn him off to nursing. For this I am totally thankful.

Anyway, I would totally keep nursing at night if that is what works best for you. Just enjoy those few hours of back sleeping before she comes into your bed.