Slow weaning, cutting nursing down on day time or night time?

Lucia - posted on 03/20/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 months old girl, I'm actually starting to get tired of my night nursing. When do you start slow weaning your kids? Do you start weaning from night feeds or day feeds? What do you do to cut the feeds? Any suggestions? Thanks

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Lucia - posted on 03/23/2009

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Thanks for the replies. They really helped me, and I've been looking through articles about weaning n night nursling. I'm actually going to continue nursing n just be patient waiting for child-led weaning. It's just that I'm afraid Joy may never wean herself. I hope I am wrong about this. But as I've noticed she day wean herself, reducing her feeds just during naptime.

I tried to let Joy cry the other night, hoping to night wean her, but it didn't work, we ended up having less sleep. I do hope to teach her to fall asleep by herself. I've been nursing her to sleep all the time. I'm afraid this also won't wean her. I really don't know how moms let them sleep by herself, coz most moms I know either give them bottle , which I don't, or lay beside the,.

Joy's not eating regularly also, she refuses to sit on her high chair and it's quite frustrating for me. She'd eat on her highchair at the beginning, but in the middle, she'd ask me to let her go, or else she'd spit all her food out. I ended up half chasing her, coz it's the only way she's eat. I hate to do this too....

Thanks for the book reccomendation Allison, I'll surely look into it. And thanks so much for sharing abt ur experience with ur kids.

Bonnie-Rose - posted on 03/23/2009

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I forgot to say that to cut out night feeds my partner would get my daughter if she woke in the night, at first I would only allow her to feed once so if she woke any other time he would settle her. It took a couple of days to work and she wasn't so easy to settle at first but we persisted and it worked which surprised us because sleeping had been such an issue. If your daughter is waking frequently, every 2 hours or so she is not able to settle herself to sleep so needs to learn to fall asleep on her own (babies have a short sleep cycle so will naturally wake every couple of hours but I child that can put themselves to sleep will just fall back asleep). You can leave her to cry to sleep but I wasn't a fan of this so used tecniques from the book 'no cry sleep solution' to help her. It wont happen overnight but if you can both get a proper nights sleep it will be better for everybody.

Allison - posted on 03/21/2009

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At 19 months I nightweaned my daughter. It was a struggle with many nights of crying from both of us. It sucked. Then when she finally was nightweaned, she *still* didn't sleep all night. I was up with her every two hours rubbing her back or rocking her (her teeth were really bothering her - I wished I could have just nursed her as it would have been easier). Once her 2 year molars came in, she started sleeping 8-10 hours at night.

With my son, I decided not to force night weaning, even though he nursed every 2 hours (or every hour when teething!). At 20 months, he 2 year molars came in and he started sleeping for 6 or more hours a night. I didn't have to do anything.

I honestly think that kids will stop night nursing when it's the right time for them. Until then, it's just a struggle and doesn't necessarily help you or them sleep better.

When it comes to weaning completely, I believe in child-led weaning and letting them decide when they are done. There are things you can do to reduce the length and frequency of feedings, like distracting them with snacks or activities, counting to 20 or singing a song. These work better with a slightly older child, though, who understands this a bit better.

I really like the book Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner. It really helped me to understand how weaning is for a toddler and talks a lot about ways mom can set boundaries so that they are less frustrated with nursing. It also discusses weaning.

My daughter nursed until 3 when I was 6 months pregnant. I had to force it because I was very uncomfortable, but she wasn't ready and until after her 4th birthday she asked me every day if she could nurse. We tried a couple times, but she had forgotten how and it didn't work well. My son is 2 and I'm 33 weeks pregnant and decided not to force weaning again...it's working out really well and I plan on tandem nursing once the baby arrives. I feel like my daughter really needed to nurse longer and that making her stop (even though it was for a good reason) caused her more stress and harmed our relationship to a degree, so I don't want to do that to my other children. Just some things to consider.

Good luck!

Bonnie-Rose - posted on 03/21/2009

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I started cutting back on my eldest daughters feeds at about 12 mths because by then she was having a good diet of solid food. I was due to go back to work so that deternined which feeds I dropped, I started on the day time feeds however if in your position I would probably start on night time feeds (I would leave last feed before bed until last but tackle the ones in the night). Provided your daughter is getting a balanced diet at 15mths she shuldn't need to feed at night, she may be feeding at of habit or for comfort.



I dropped one feed at a time keeping the morning and evening feeds until last. The timing between dropping feeds depended on how well she took to it but I did it slowly, probably one every other week. I found she was feeding on an ad-hoc basis during the day anyway so I actually cut out her snacking on milk during the day in one go so would only offer milk once in the day, plus once in the morning and before bed.



When is your little girl feeding and is she eating a balanced diet?

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