What to do after night weaning?!(15 Posts)
DS is 17 months. I have been ill for the last 10 days so DH has been doing the night settlings which means that DS hasn't been BFed in the night. He has actually started sleeping a lot better (coincidence?) during this and so I'd like to continue not feeding in the night now I'm feeling better (was hoping to night wean around 18mo anyway).
What I don't understand is, how on earth do I settle him back to sleep without BFing? DH can pat and jiggle him and he goes to sleep OK, but if I try to do that DS hits me in the breasts and shouts "mik! mik!" If I don't feed him, he then cries hysterically. I don't know what to do - I need to take my turn on the night wakings as DH is shattered but I just can't seem to settle him without BFing.
What makes it worse is that we usually bring DS into bed if he wakes after 4am or so, as he's a nightmare to get back down in the cot - and of course if he is lying next to me he just expects to feed. I really don't want to go back to BFing in the night as his sleep was so much worse. Help! How do you settle a breastfed toddler without milk?
Sounds like he's hungry. I breastfed for ages BUT always made sure my son had a full tummy before he settled down. Have you tried freezing any milk you can thaw out and warm up? At least you'd have a bottle ready.
Hope this helps.
My memory's a bit hazy but we night weaned around 18 months and I think we relied a lot on Daddy to do settling back from night waking for a few weeks after, just to get DS1 completely used to the idea that night time service did not involve the milk bar. Eventually we tried me just shushing him and stroking his back etc. and at that stage I think the association was broken enough for it to work. I know you say your DH is shattered but if your DS is still shouting and crying for milk in the night if he sees you then you may need to rely on him for a bit longer - think of the long-term gains!
BTW, DS1's sleep improved dramatically shortly afterwards anyway (not sure if the night weaning was entirely responsible) - there's a big developmental/language spurt around 18 months and I think a lot of kids really improve sleepwise once they're through it.
I night weaned at about 14 months and sent in Daddy every time DD stirred! She only took 3 nights though and then slept through.
I'm not sure if you can do this though without him getting upset - you could try making sure your boobs are well covered up and saying there isn't any milk until later, but he might be too little to really understand that.
I'd try and keep DH on the task until your DS is sleeping through more reliably.
I really don't want to start giving him a bottle now (he's never had one) and I genuinely don't think he can be hungry - he settles just fine for DH so I think it's just an association of sleep/comfort with me.
He's sleeping so much better as well - he's slept through 3 or 4 times since we started, which he's almost never done before, and the other nights we've had just 1 or 2 wake ups instead of 4 or 5, which is so much more bearable.
The problem is that DH is so tired! He has to get up early as well. Did it really take weeks, Leedy? I was hoping it might just be a matter of days as he is really struggling doing all the wakings.
It really can be a matter of days! My DS (bit younger than yours) surprised us by sleeping through after less than a week of no night feeding and daddy settling him back to sleep. Now he almost always sleeps through and if he doesn't he either cries 2 or 3 minutes and then goes back to sleep by himself or if the crying goes on longer than that he's happy for either me or DH to settle him back to sleep with some shushing and patting. I think he's genuinely enjoying sleeping alone and not waking all the time. So there is hope! Just try to get your DH to carry on getting up for a while longer and you should be fine soon.
Am following with interest as I have a 17 month old DS2 who is still waking a lot in the night to b/feed. DS1 was fed expressed breast milk by bottle so my supply ran out by 8 months. This extended b/feeding is new to me. I simply cannot imagine DS2 sleeping through the night and also can't imagine DH helping!
You're half way there OP, don't feed him now!
I followed the Dr Jay Gordon method.
Simply, pick 7 hours of your choice to not feed. During that time, you offer water in a beaker, lots of cuddles, sing, read or do anything other than feed him. I saw big results within 2 days and really felt that it worked without it being CIO or CC. It was a much gentler method. I found explaining and using sign language helped too - so "milky all gone until the sun comes up" was kind of a default line of mine!
I did a thread on it back in August, PM me if you want the link as I was a different name back then we regressed a little back in December because of teething but another 2 days last month of refusing and she's settled back and knows "no milky till morning" now, she's 18 months.
Hope you are feeling better
I night weaned babies 2 and 3 on my own, and DH only did the first night with no. 1 - wear a big jumper :D
No. 3 still doesn't sleep though (nowhere remotely close), even though I don't BF at all any more (at 21 months) I sit by his bed and hold his hand to settle (and then in the night re-settle) him now - sometimes it takes hours, sometimes minutes, but he doesn't cry as long as I am there and holding his hand, he does chatter though...
I cuddled them to sleep til about 18 months but night weaned at 11 months. They do start to accept it after a couple of nights - and I don't have babies you could leave to cry for 5 minutes and expect to fall asleep, but as long as I cuddled them with clothes that made my breast inaccessible not feeding at night was easier to establish.
It was probably only two weeks of daddy doing the settling - but it wasn't a case of multiple wakings per night after the first couple of days, more like one or two, and not waking every night. Persevere!
Oh God, am persevering but I think teething has struck... just to make matters more complicated! He's sleeping through roughly every other night, which is wonderful progress, but DH is knackered beyond belief from the other nights and early mornings. Doesn't help that I'm starting to feel poorly again (damned tonsillitis).
Thanks for all the suggestions. We tried a dummy ages ago but he very definitely did not like it. I will have a look at the Jay Gordon method, thanks! My worry is just how I will settle him if he does wake, even after the weeks of DH doing it. Jiggling him on my chest (DH's method) is not ideal when my boobs are temptingly right there!
TandC, you can't imagine DH helping? That doesn't sound good.
I don't know though about your DH being knackered beyond belief - I do all nights, always, DH did one with DD, almost 7 years ago, and 5 with her when D1 was born, and another 5 with the odler 2 when DS2 was born - DS2 wakes every 2 hours, he has done that or more frequent his whole life. I can't nap in the day as I have 2 older ones who are home at lunch time, and DS2 is not ready to nap til they are home. I have to be up at 6.15 to get the eldest to school. I try to stay awake in the evening to continue a relationship with my husband, who is out 12 hours a day. I work 3 evenings a week. I function. Women do. Men like us to know they are knackered beyond belief... Mind you I am probably jealous, as my husband doesn't do night waking, owning to having a 140km driving commute Monday to Friday (but he could do a weekend night, and won't, saying we should ignore the screaming...)
Wow, MrTumbles, you have it tough. Combining small kids and work seems to be especially hard to me - I am finding it so difficult being back in a stressful full time job (with a horrible commute) as well as looking after DS. I certainly couldn't cope with any more children at the moment! Both DH and I do work in the evenings when DS is in bed too. I'm sure overwork and stress is why I keep getting ill. But least I do have a very useful and supportive DH! Yours not doing even weekend nights must be difficult.
Hi everyone, my husband's not so bad Jacques, but thanks for your concern. I was comparing him to your very hands on husband and felt a twing of envy. I'm a SAHP so always feel night time activity is down to me and I don't like troubing him. Let us know how progress is going with you.
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