Nursing at night.

Caroline - posted on 06/25/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I need help on how to stop my almost 1 year old from nursing at night. She wakes up around 3-4 times to breastfeed. I usually sleep so tired since i have no help and this waking up really disturbs me. How can i get her to sleep through the night?

carol.

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The thing about spacing out her daytime feedings is that it can cause her to want to nurse *more* at night. My daughter woke to nurse at night until 18 months. I know it's rough. When she seemed ready to night wean I started by letting her nurse, but didn't let her fall back to sleep on the breast. I took her off and rubbed her back or laid down and cuddled with her. I slowly transitioned to not offering the breast at night and just rubbing her back and/or cuddling. This worked really well for us and didn't involve any tears, but I also knew she was ready for it. Dr. Jay Gordon has a night weaning method that's very similar:
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleepp...

He talks some about co-sleeping, but you could use this even if you weren't. Good luck!

Hope - posted on 06/25/2011

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I don't think your child actually needs to feed when she is waking up in the night. My daughter is almost 9 months old and until a few weeks ago I was still feeding her every two hours except over night and she was eating solid food. I couldn't figure out why she hadn't spaced out her nursing sessions. I spent a whole morning out and about with a friend and I realized my daughter hadn't cried once for food. I was startled and that was when I realized I was the one who couldn't space out her feedings. I was so used to feeding her in that pattern. She didn't need it. We are down to three sessions a day now and four meals. It's going beautifully and looks like we will be on schedule to wean around the one year mark.

My advice to you would be to introduce solid foods if you haven't already and to space out your feedings during the day. I can feel that my daughter is getting the same amount of milk as she was at two hour intervals as she does at the larger intervals. And she still is growing just fine. She might be a bean pole but she is growing. :) If your child learns to eat at larger intervals then she should start to sleep for longer periods at night. I also agree with the comment of providing her with a soothing item. I have been giving my daughter the same few blankets to play with and cuddle whenever she is upset and now she is soothed by any blanket. It really helps a lot. Good luck!

Claudia - posted on 06/25/2011

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I nursed my oldest for almost 13 months but she didn't need to nurse at night at around 9 months when I started some solids. My suggestion, is to make sure she is not co sleeping in bed with you and is well adjusted to her own crib. After about 9 months, middle of the night nursing typically is just their emotional comfort but is not at all neccesary for their growth or health. Try to comfort her with a favorite blanket every time you cuddle and she may learn to associate comfort in the item instead of nusring. This will take some strength on your part because she will want only you for some time. You will hear lots of crying for some time till she adjust to your new arrangement. You could gradually do this or cold turkey- whatever you feel is right for the two of you. Bottom line is you need time to sleep and she needs to learn to self soothe and comfort herself. Whether it's through a pacifier, blanket, thumb, She can part with those items much easier when the time comes. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you do not need to night nurse at this age. Hope that helps.
Hang in there,

Claudia

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