Time to wean 18mo off the breast? Help please!

(13 Posts)
eversomuch Thu 01-May-14 21:30:50

DS is 18mo, still BFing several times a day: usually a short feed after waking in the morning, a longer 30-60min feed before his pm nap and another long feed before bed, plus a few "snacks" during the day and at least one to two feeds during the night, sometimes more. 

He's always been very acrobatic (lots of on-off-on-off & switching sides) despite efforts to get him to be more mannerly, and he's never been a great sleeper -- he didn't take daytime naps until after his first birthday and still skips them many days. As I said, he usually wakes at least once or twice a night -- both for milk and for comfort feeding. He never took a bottle, and was EXBF so every single feed has been my full responsibility for the past year & a half and I am still the only one who can put him to bed (he usually feeds to sleep). We've tried having DH go to him during the night to try to comfort him, but DS just goes crazy and works himself into a frenzy until I go to him.

DH and I are exhausted and although I really love BFing, I'm feeling ready to stop. On the bad nights, when he's up a lot, I get resentful and angry towards him, and I hate that. If there were some signs that he was starting to self-wean and cut back and even sleep through the night (something he's only done a few times), I would be happy to keep going, but there haven't been many signs of him heading that direction.

I just don't know what to do. DD was so easy in comparison -- she self-weaned at 16mo when I was pregnant w/ DS and it was a completely painless, stress-free process for us both. 

DS is my last child, so this will be the end of BFing for me. I mostly love our time together, but something has to change.

Is it possible to somehow help steer him gently towards self-weaning? Or is there something else I could try? DH and I are at our wits' end.

Purplevi Fri 02-May-14 02:12:59

Co sleep so no one is getting up to him and you all sleep.

eversomuch Fri 02-May-14 07:17:54

He thinks it's party time whenever he gets into bed with us.

feekerry Fri 02-May-14 08:40:54

I forcefully weaned dd about 16m. She was well and truly addicted to the boob. Never left her till that point and if dh went into her she wouldn't have it at all.
So, i went away for a few days. I actually had to have a 3 night hospital stay so used this. The 1st night dh said dd woke once and instantly knew boob wasn't there. After that she never woke again. I still saw her in the day briefly but just made sure boobs were not available and she was distracted.
I returned on the 4th day. Dd asked for boob that night and we just distracted quickly and she never asked again. She slept thru from that day onwards!
So...
Consider going away for few days!!

GoogleyEyes Fri 02-May-14 20:52:42

Is this a night weaning issue or stopping completely issue? Because I'm wondering if night weaning (however you choose to do it) but keeping the wake-up, nap and bedtime feeds would work best for you?

For mine, a Groclock from about one year helped - blue moon=no milk seemed to make sense to the toddler mind (with lots of reminders and a whole 'blaming it on the clock' thing going on).

eversomuch Tue 06-May-14 21:44:20

TBH, I'm not really sure what I want right now -- other than some sleep. Sometimes I get so frustrated with the night feeds and the multiple daytime feeds that I just want to stop completely, but other times, I think it would be fine to carry on if he would just sleep through the night more consistently.

In any case, I definitely feel ready to reduce the amount of feeding, while DS seems more determined than ever to keep going. Eighteen months in and I still haven't gotten my period back, which I think is probably a pretty clear indication of how much he's still feeding.

And ... there he is, waking up again right now, 2 1/2 hours after being put down for the night. sad

Raxacoricofallapatorius Tue 06-May-14 21:48:54

You could night wean instead of weaning completely.

eversomuch Tue 06-May-14 22:04:14

I guess I need some help figuring out how to night ween. Sending DH in only results in panic & screaming. He won't take water, won't be satisfied with pats & shushes. I hate leaving him to CIO. What else can we do?

eversomuch Tue 06-May-14 22:05:15

I guess I need some help figuring out how to night ween. Sending DH in only results in panic & screaming. He won't take water, won't be satisfied with pats & shushes. I hate leaving him to CIO. What else can we do?

puddock Tue 06-May-14 22:12:38

Even if you're not cosleeping, this on night weaning might help. (Get past the chirpy American tone in the early paragraphs.) This worked very well for me with DS2.
drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

eversomuch Tue 06-May-14 22:13:01

I guess I need some help figuring out how to night ween. Sending DH in only results in panic & screaming. He won't take water, won't be satisfied with pats & shushes. I hate leaving him to CIO. What else can we do?

puddock Tue 06-May-14 22:13:02

Even if you're not cosleeping, this on night weaning might help. (Get past the chirpy American tone in the early paragraphs.) This worked very well for me with DS2.
drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

leedy Tue 06-May-14 22:52:49

Seconding the Dr Jay Gordon, worked very well for us. Involved a lot of daddy cuddles and some squawking, but within a couple of weeks he just wasn't waking up for milk any more. I ended up keeping the day feeds for quite a while afterwards as just getting unbroken sleep made such a big difference.

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