Breastfeeding dilema

Gail - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hi moms, my 18month old lg is still breastfeeding, i really want to stop breastfeeding as she wakes up during the night and wants "mmm" lol and she does this either 1 or 3 times during the night (always after midnight), she only drinks a bit. Am so exhausted as the times are always different. She also wont drink much milk form a bottle (she never liked any formula so could only breastfeed). Any mom's have advice on how i can get her stop wanting breastmilk??

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My advice is not what you are looking for... just give her time.

I don't actually have any weaning advice. Weaning my girls was easy, but they were schedule fed and 'binky addicts'. They started sleeping through the night on their own at 14 months. I started day weaning them at 13 months, but wasn't done nursing them til 15 months.

My son is 2.5 and still nursing quite a bit during the day, but sleeps through the night MOST of the time now.

Merry - posted on 11/06/2010

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My son is the same age, he nurses about twice a night and five times a day and my milk makes up about half of his diet now.

We won't be weaning until he grows out of the need to breasted, usually around 3-6 years. I don't believe in forcing babies to do unnatural things so I won't be weaning him. Weaning is a part of growing up and it's important not to cut him short on what he deserves.

So I'm happy breastfeeding him, and I am confident it's an important way to ensure he gets the most natural childhood.

Heather - posted on 11/05/2010

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Also i agree that night weening does not mean sleepiong thru the night, my 7 year old is often still up 1 or 2 times at night and i know lots of breastfed cosleeping kids that are responded to the sleep right thru the night...each kiddo is different and you need to be sensative and responsive to your child in whatever way feels right. I really hate the cry it out method i feel like it is really going against nature, undermining a mothers instinct and teaching your child that you don't care and life is hopeless, no matter how sad and miserable they are mommy will never come save them from their misery...sure it eventaully works on most kids becasue they give up and feel hopeless but i think it is a very harmful thing to do...that is just my opinion tho. Do what feels right and whatever makes it that everyone is getting the sleep they need. Both my boys were sometimes satisfyed with "special milk" too...that is organic vanilla soy milk warmed up in a sippy cup or straw cup. I would not bring that to bed tho becasues i would not want that sugar staying on their teeth while they sleep (the sugar in breastmilk also contains a bunch of anti cavity properties so that is different then soy milk, cow milk or juice so as a rule of thumb water or breastmilk in bed only)

Heather - posted on 11/05/2010

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i nursed my 1st son till 31 months and my second son is now 43 months and still nursing at night. My first son was very demanding especally at night (becasue i stopped "open bar"policy when he was about 1 1/2 or maybe closer to 2 during the day so he got it all at night). He was nursing almost all night, very rough with me and i was getting no sleep. I tried putting bandaids over my nipples and telling him his milk had booboos, i wore sportsbras to bed to try make access harder, i turned him away and cuddled him, and it was all a battle, i wanted to let him self ween but really was having a lot of trouble since he was hurting me and keeping me up all night. Eventually after a really hard week or so with the bandaids and sportsbra, and almost no sleep he was done nursing. I think that consistancy was the most important thing. My 2nd son is still nursing 1-4x at night but is much more peaceful and gentle, he wakes up says "milks please" pulls my shirt down, nurses, then rolls over and goes back to sleep. IF he is having a more sctive night and i don'twant him to nurse then i say" its empty you drank it all up, it needs to fill up" and that workds for him, he goes back to sleep adn trys again acouple hours later. I think every kid is diff and a diff thing works for each kid. Once of my friends said to put garlic or hotsause on my nipples but i always thought that would be mean so i never did it. I keep a cup of water in bed so if it is just that he is thirsty then i can give him a drink of water to help. Good luck

Jacquelyn - posted on 11/05/2010

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If I were you I would just night wean - still nurse her in the day or a bedtime if you wna to tbut when she wakes at night help her get back to sleep without nursing and then she will stop waking at night to feed :)

Bridget - posted on 11/04/2010

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I would just stop cold turkey & have her use the sippy cup. I have a couple other suggestions: One, feed her some cereal or something that will "stick with her" at night. My first child was a hungry child & that helped her a lot. Second, if she's not really impressed with milk, try soy milk. It is sweeter (as is breastmilk), that may be less of a transition for her. My milk dried up at 9 months & my poor son wasn't very happy with formula so I started him on half formula, half soymilk & he loves soymilk! It's very healthy too. Hope this helps.

Gail - posted on 11/04/2010

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thanks ladies. She does drink from a sippy cup. Will just try ur tips and see what works. Thanks again :o)

Ashley - posted on 11/03/2010

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She's prob not hungry but looking for a snuggle not ok at 1 am lol. At 18 months she is prob eating a lot of food try giving her a good snack before bed and see if that helps. good lucik

Sarah - posted on 11/03/2010

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I think the main thing is to just stop offering it. I know easier said then done. She is using the nursing as a comfort item. You are probably going to have a few days/weeks of dealing with the crying, as she figures out a different comfort item. But once she figures it out and realizes that she is not getting the breast the crying will stop. Instead of going to a bottle she should be using a sippy cup or regular cup and this may help with the transition. If you give the sippy cup before bed or in the middle of the night (would not recommend, but I also know that at times you have to take the lesser of two evils to stay sane). Only put water in the sippy cup at these times. Milk or juice left on their teeth as they sleep cause them to decay and then the tooth rots.

Christy - posted on 11/03/2010

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you have to do what feels right for you, but night weaning does not equal sleeping through the night. We night weaning at around 15 months using Jay Gordon's nightweaning solution for cosleeping families and my guy still wakes up most nights (at 2.5 yrs.).

Jaiy - posted on 11/03/2010

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I generally follow a cry it out method and it's worked wonders for me on both my babies. Using that, I had them going to bed peacefully and sleeping through the night by the time they were 2 months old. It will be a little harder for you, since you're daughter is so much older, but keep in mind that whatever you decide to do, you are doing for her health as well as your own. A solid nights sleep is what you both need.

As for weening, I'd start by taking one feeding out at a time and distracting her from it with a new treat. For my son, it was toast. We woke up one morning and I'd had a bad nights sleep and gave him his toast before his boob. He was so happy to get his toast, he wasn't upset about the missing boob. I continued that every morning until he forgot the morning boob had ever existed. I did continue to pump until he was completely weened. He was so firmly attached the breastfeeding (refusing a bottle to the point of dehydrating himself at daycare), that I didn't want to take the chance that I'd dry up and he'd have a relapse.

Good luck!

Vicki - posted on 11/03/2010

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There are some great suggestions in 'No-cry sleep solution' by Elizabeth Pantley. Weaning her will not necessarily stop her waking at night. My nephew was weaned at 13 months for this reason and he still wakes at night.

My boy is 16 months and wakes once or twice. We co-sleep though so i don't have to get up and don't really lose any sleep.

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