Guilty about night weaning, advice please!

Stephanie - posted on 12/24/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My 12 month old wakes 1-3 times each night crying and I nurse her back to sleep. I have tried just laying her down and not nursing, she freaks out. I want to get her to stop nursing at night if I can, I just don't know how. I hate hearing her cry at night, she sounds scared and upset. What can I do to get her to stop nursing at night? Is it normal for a 12 month old to still nurse this much at night?
I would really appreciate any advice or stories about night nursing/weaning.
Thanks

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Lori - posted on 12/24/2012

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http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleepp...

I have only recently started to do night weaning with my daughter. She turned 2 last month. My older daughter (now 4 1/2 years old) started sleeping through the night regularly when she was 17 months old without me doing any sort of sleep training. I didn't plan on doing any sort of sleep training with my LO either, but now that she's 2 years old, I've changed my mind. I'm willing to keep nursing her, I'm just not willing to keep nursing her 2 or 3 times during the night anymore. My daughter doesn't sleep in my bed with me, so I've done a modified version of what Dr. Gordon describes. And now, when she does wake at night, I just go in hug her and say "it's night night time. time to sleep" then I lay her back down and walk out of the room. It took a few weeks for us to get to this point, and there are still the occasional times when she's insistent "I NEED MILKIES MOMMA!!!" Those times I decide as they come if I'm willing to nurse her or not.

So - as to your question "Is tit normal for a 12 month old to still nurse this much at night?" The answer is YES! There is a wide range of what is normal for sleep habits in babies, and this falls well with in the ranges of normal. And if you change nothing, and continue to nurse her throughout the night, she will start sleeping longer periods of time on her own. You are NOT setting her up for sleep issues her whole life by taking care of her needs now. But if you decide you are just too tired, and you're just ready to be done nursing at night, I like Dr. Gordons method. It's much gentler than many other sleep training methods.

Celeste - posted on 12/24/2012

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Ditto Lori :)

I night weaned my twin boys at close to 2. I was exhausted with waking up every few hours with the boys and I was feeling touched out. They'd wake up several times a night and of course, never at the same time. The first year, I felt that they needed those night feedings since breastmilk was their main source of nutrition. During their 2nd year, I felt OK in letting them go without nursing during the night. And I believe that this saved our breastfeeding relationship.

I also used the Dr. Jay Gordon method. They weren't happy, but after a few nights, it got better.

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Christine - posted on 01/01/2013

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It sound like your baby is not ready to wean, but you are. It might be easier if you wait until she is ready too, but if you don't want to do that, when she wakes up, try giving her a pacifier and patting her back for awhile to see if she can get back to sleep that way. As far as if it is normal for a 12 month to want to nurse at night, it is really different for every mom and baby, but they know what they want and she is not ready to wean. Good luck.

Dove - posted on 12/25/2012

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My son nursed 1-5 time/night, every night (except maybe half a dozen random sleep through nights) until he was 2. I started gentle night weaning at 18 months by simply telling him that he was a big boy and didn't need to nurse til the sun came up. He would literally stop nursing and laugh when I said that. lol Took 6 months, but we did it on his time and with no crying.... and he's been an awesome sleeper ever since.

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