Night weening?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by Katheros, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    Any tips and/or practical advice for night weening a 1 year old?  She typically wakes up 2-4 times a night and nurses back to sleep.  Only one of those being a real feeding, the others are just for comfort.  
  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I find it really depends on a lot of variables. For us, we didn't try night weaning Emmett till he was 2 and that didn't work so well so we waited and tried again when he was 2.5. That mostly worked. We talked it up a lot beforehand and reminded him he could have water if he was thirsty at night and as many snuggles as he wanted. The first few nights he woke a lot and would fuss a bit when I wouldn't nurse him but then we'd cuddle and he'd go back to sleep. He still wakes up between 4-5 and I'll breastfeed him then as it gets me another 2-3 hours of sleep. We use a GroClock so he knows when he has to go back to sleep and when he can have "nas". I've tried moving the time to later in the morning to hopefully get a full night's sleep but so far it's only resulted in extra early mornings. And ultimately, I do not mind the early morning snuggles one little bit so am not really that motivated to encourage things along. ;)

    Have you heard about Dr. Jay Gordon's night weaning approach? His focus is on breastfeeding babies who also bed-share with their parents but I think the idea can be adapted to most circumstances:
  3. FGMH

    FGMH Well-Known Member

    We partially nightweaned our DD a bit after she turned 1 because she was still waking up and wanting to nurse (not necessarily feed) every 2 hours at night and I could not take it any longer after I had gone back to work.
    We figured out that her last real feeding was around 11 pm and DS' (who slept through the night at that point) first nursing was around 5 am. So I moved out of the bedroom between 11 pm and 5 am (we co-slept) and DH took over the nights. He offered milk bottles and we watered those down over the course of 3 or 4 weeks until he was just offering water (so week 13/4 EBM or formula (I don't remember anymore) and 1/4 water, week 2 1/2 milk 1/2 water etc.). The first nights were rough for her and DH with lots of waking and long cuddles for settling her but by the end of the month she had decided that water was not worth waking up for. She really upped her nursings in the evenings and started sleeping for a 5-6 hour stretch regularly even after I moved back into our bedroom for the whole night. SHe was and remains to this day a light sleeper, so learning to sleep for the whole night took her a long time.
    I could not have done this without DH, as refusing to nurse her was very upsetting to both of us.
  4. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    Rachel, I did read that article.  It's the only one I can find so far that actually has a plan.  I was hoping to get some more real world advice or stories.
    I'll have to talk to my husband about me sleeping somewhere else for a while, see if that breaks the habit.   Right now we are mostly co-sleeping with her, so I want to transition her to not waking at night to nurse and then staying in her bed all night.   Should be a fun few months for us!  I don't need sleep anyway.... 
  5. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    I made the choice to night wean Caleb just before Christmas. He was comfort nursing 1-2 times a night and his naps were a nightmare. For us, it involved moving him out of our room. Just that transition helped him cut one wake up. The we slowly let him learn to self soothe. Chris went upstairs to comfort and reassure him when he woke up. Then he'd go back in at 5 minutes, then 10, then 15 minutes. He's only gone to 15 minutes 2-3 times since we did this. He sleeps from 7:30p-6:45 now. And he's able to grab a pacifier if he does wake up.

    The few times we traveled over the holidays and he was in his pnp in a room with us and he could see us, he went back to waking up and needing more comfort. Even in the bed with us a few times he woke up more.

    That's just what worked for our family. I think it's trial and error to see what works for yours. I think the book we read was the Sleep Solution. It did have help for co-sleeping too.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    Gina, I'm just now seeing your response!   
    I was kinda thinking that putting her in her room might be a better solution.  We tried just having my husband deal with her at night but I was still in the room and she knew it.  So we'll try some variation of her in her room or me sleeping somewhere else.  My husband is nervous to co-sleep without me there, ya know the usual fears of rolling over on her and such.    I've been avoiding putting her in her room because she's all the way upstairs at the other side of the house than our room and I'm lazy.   :p
  7. gina_leigh

    gina_leigh Well-Known Member

    Oh I completely understand that! All the kids' rooms are upstairs here too, so that was part of my reluctance in moving him too. I just slept in Reagan's bed (while she was in the bunk beds with Jason) so it wasn't as far. Hahaha. But I ended up only doing that for one night because I don't like her bed much. But like I said, it ended up not being as bad as I thought and I didn't have to go up as much. We also had Chris go up and soothe because he wouldn't get as upset that way. Seeing me would piss him off more.  
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