Weaning from breastfeeding and co-sleeping

Stacy - posted on 02/17/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My husband will be back from Iraq in 4 months. I need our son off the boob and in his crib by then! Please help I need all the advice I can get.

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Atina - posted on 02/21/2010

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Start by cutting out the feeding at nap time. Make sure you feed your son a filling lunch that includes a glass/ sippy cup of milk (add ovaltine if he doesn't like the taste yet). I gradually took ovalinte out of my sons milk as well. Make sure you stick to routine..example: eat, wash-up, book, nap. I had to sit in the room with my son in order for him to fall asleep at first, but gradually I moved my presence out of the room. When you have mastered the naptime move on to the nighttime feeding. It's the hardest, but it's so worth the effort. My son was almost two when I moved him to his own room at night. A crib was out of the question..what worked best for me was a toddler bed. They are used to an open bed and I think the toddler bed was a good transition. The first thing I did for the nighttime feeding I started a new routine and stuck to it: dinner/ snack, bath, no feeding him in his new bed (bf before laid him down), book/music.

No matter how you decide to do it..be consistent and you will succeed. My son was older and I did have to resort to a final attempt that kept him form coming in my room during the night and that was about 2 mo after he turned 2...which was I told him that if he didn't stay in his bed I would have to shut the door to his room. I only had to follow through with that once and he must have realized I was serious and I haven't had to do it again! (I always stayed calm and patient and would give him hugs and let him know that I was there for him and loved him, but still showed him I was serious bout the new rules.

Stephanie - posted on 02/20/2010

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I nursed my son until he was 16 mos, and I also got stuck into the routine of having him come into bed a night, nurse then we would all fall asleep. I had to break the bed habit first, Mommy, Daddy and son were suffering. (Daddy is a Drill Sgt. and needs all the sleep he can get). I cut out middle nursing during the day, gave him more milk. (honestly I even used 1/2 a tsp. of chocolate syrup at first) Then slowly we got him accostumed to having a sippy cup of water around bedtime and a soft lovey. I would even lay with him in his toddler bed until he fell asleep.

Weaning from the BooJu (as we called it, lol) was the hardest thing I ever did. I did it one nursing at a time, cut out all the little ones, until eventually it was only morning, naptime and bedtime. Then I cut out morning, then naptime, and combined with the new bedtime routine he was just happy to have mommy lay with him until he fell asleep. How you wean your baby is up to you, find whatever works for the two of you. I would suggest a structured routine though...babies and young children thrive on routine. Good luck!

Lori - posted on 02/19/2010

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Unless your husband is a total jerk, he isn't going to mind having your son in bed with you guys. At least, my husband never has. We just have to get creative with "us" time, if you know what I mean. If you are determined to wean your son from breast feeding and/or cosleeping, I would suggest you start with a toddler bed or crib in your room. Try getting some fun bedding that has a favorite character. You can also try sleeping with his lovey or some other small item (or wearing it under your shirt for a few hours) so that it gets your scent on it, then having him sleep with it. I've seen loveys that are actually designed to hold scent longer, I want to say at One Step Ahead or somewhere similar. Babies are big on Mommy's scent. My boys have always known when they are passed to Daddy, they could have been asleep for hours and within a few minutes of being passed to Daddy they wake up wanting Mommy. Good luck!

Jillian - posted on 02/18/2010

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i have nothing against co-sleeping at all but my daughter was having a lot of trouble and didn't want to sleep in her crib anymore at about 8 months, it was really rough because when she slept with us none of us got well rested at all, it was affecting her appetite, behavior and starting to affect her development too. she was exhausted all of the time and so was i. i got really worried and decided i had to do something.
i would nurse her to sleep and then try to put her in her crib but she would spring awake right away and scream. we would do this over and over again until i would give up at 3-4am and put her in bed with us. i didn't want to let her cry it out, and i didn't want to wean her either. so i modified the cry it out, i was against letting her cry all alone in a dark room until she fell asleep so i turned on some quiet music and sat in my rocking chair next to her crib and read her a book, when i finished her book i read to myself, i didn't want her to feel abandoned but i wanted her to understand that i couldn't hold her and rock her all night, this momma needed sleep too. it was rough the first night or two, not picking her up but the first night she whined and cried for 45 min, and woke up at 5am when her daddy got up, the next night she only cried for 20 before she fell asleep, and slept until 7am. after about two weeks she wasn't crying at all anymore and would be asleep within five minutes of laying her down. she also slept a little later every morning. now at ten months she is sleeping about 11-12 hours a night with one long nap or two short naps during the day. she improved all other aspects too, her behavior and appetite improved immediately, and about a week or two after starting this she started hitting milestones again. this way i got the best of both worlds, my husband and i got our bed back, and we didn't have to stop nursing, though i will warn you the first few nights she started sleeping all the way through i was sore in the morning, it will take your body a few days to adjust to your baby's new sleeping schedule. if your son will be 11 months when your husband returns i would start doing this at about 8-9 months if it is something you want to try. around this age they don't need night feedings anymore, and he should be on track sleeping well by the time your husband comes home. just remember that every baby is different as is every situation, this worked for us, but it may not be right for everyone, if it is not something you want to try, don't, it is only a suggestion. but i wouldn't recommend weaning completely yet, getting him off the nighttime feeds is what you seem to really want to do.

Stacy - posted on 02/17/2010

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Well,when my husband returns our son will be 11 months old, so it will be about time anyways. Since I have been co-sleeping with him and the only way he falls asleep at nap time or night time is nursing I thought doing away with that vice first would help aid in him sleeping in his own bed (crib). So, to answer your question he really doesn't have to be done BF I really just want our marital bed back by then and thought if he was less reliant on the boob it would be easier for him to sleep in the crib. This is my first child and I am learning, plz don't judge. I again can use all the advice I can get.

Courtney - posted on 02/17/2010

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Just a question.. Why does your son have to stop breastfeeding because of your husband's return home?

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