weening my 15 month old

Maggie - posted on 03/10/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )




my daughter co sleeps with us...she still nurses around 4 times a day. I would really like to ween her and especially get her to go to sleep at night without nursing. I stay at home with her during the day and Dad and I trade off, I work part time. I admit I've been bad and haven't got her in routine (bedtime, get up time etc.) I don't know how to get her to ween, she's always wanting to nurse, especially at night. I've tried to not nurse her and its a screaming crying fight for hours until I can't take it anymore and nurse her. Please anyone go through this and have good tips? I truly think she nurses for comfort. She is drinking out of a sippy/cup.


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Ashley - posted on 03/10/2010




Keep nursing of course during the day until she is ready to wean on her own. But, also try to get her into a routine. Try this, give her a bath, and then nurse her in a rocker or on the couch. When she falls asleep, put her in her crib. If she wakes up, have your husband, and only your husband get her. He can try rocking her to bed or singing or reading books to her. Let him offer her water at night if she wakes up, but dont bring her back to your bed. She knows your there and she'll only want to nurse. This will be hard for her to get used too, but if she's never slept in her crib before, start letting her take naps there during the day or play in the crib while you watch her. She will learn that its not scary and its her special bed. Also, get a specific blanket or stuffed animal to let her nurse to sleep with and keep it in her crib everytime she sleeps there. If she does wake up, this familiar object can comfort her too. My son was this age when he finally stopped nursing all night and slept in his own bed, its a relief, but you have to work hard to get there!! Good luck!

[deleted account]

My 15m old nurses only a couple of times during the day, and all night long as well. We have no routine either ;-) At this age, they do nurse for comfort. I let my older daughter self-wean and am going to do the same with my baby, but it seems logical to me to cut the daytime nursing out first b/c during the waking hours, you can divert her attention to something else- not really something you want to do at 3 am.
Something that does happen around here sometimes, is that I get her bathed and ready for bed, and I lay her down with her loveys, and if she's tired enough, she'll go to sleep waiting on me to get into bed- they're generally our super-busy days when I'm trying to get stuff done and have been running errands all day, and she's not gotten her naps out etc. I'm a light sleeper anyway, but parenting and co-sleeping have made me so much more so- that when she does fall asleep without me, I'll sleep on the couch right outside my bedroom door, and when she starts waking up, I go get in the bed with her. It's not worth it to let them cry at night- you're gonna lose more sleep anyway.

Marcy - posted on 03/10/2010




You have two things going on here...co sleeping and nursing. They are intertwined but can also be seperated and looked at. First off, let me preface this by telling you I co-slept (and still do sometimes) with my son until he was just over 2. He also still nurses a few times per day. So congrats on your accomplishment so far!

Here is what we did and it worked for us....I would nurse my son to sleep and then put him in a pack and play which I put right next to the bed. Up until that point he was co-sleeping with us and getting up every other hour. The first night he slept 4 hours, got up in his pack and play and I pulled him in to bed with us. I nursed him back down and then put him back in his pack and play. This went on this way for a few weeks and slowly, his length of sleep increased (although not by much).

At 2 1/2 we put away his pack and play and put him in his room. I still nursed him but he slept in his own bed for 6 hours. I never realized how tired I was....

As for the nursing. I would go slow and don't take away her night nurse...its the most important one. I am not a fan of schedules/routines but some kind of consistency seems to help. I find that with my son we can do bath, snack, milk and lots of books and he will typically pass out while I am reading to him. other nights I still nurse him to sleep. Yes, in answer to your question she is nursing for comfort....think of how amazing that is. One day soon she won't want that anymore and you will look back at this time and think why did I worry so much. She will figure it out. Hope this helps....

Allison - posted on 03/10/2010




Sounds like she's not ready. My daughter was older (19 months) when I nightweaned. It was hard, we all cried a lot, and my husband was ESSENTIAL in getting it to work. If she woke up and wanted milk, he had to take her until she was asleep or she just wanted milk too badly. We let her nurse before bed then told her not again until the sun came up. It worked, but took several weeks and we did cosleep during this and afterwards as well.

HOWEVER, that didn't help her sleep all night. She was still up every 2 hours (those pesky teeth!) and, instead of being able to latch her on and go back to sleep, I had to rub her back, rock her, etc. It sucked! I got much more sleep nursing all night, and so did both my daughter and husband. She started sleeping all night once her 2 year molars arrived.

I did not nightwean my middle child. He started sleeping all night at 20 months, also once his 2 year molars came in. Much easier, no tears, everyone got better sleep.

As for general info on toddlers nursing, I HIGHLY recommend the book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" by Norma Jane Bumgarner. It's great! It talks about how nursing is different for toddlers and their moms past infancy, how to set boundaries so that you can continue to be comfortable with nursing, and how weaning can/does occur. I love that book.

And don't worry too much about routines :-) They'll come when they are needed.

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