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night weaning 11 months, i'm so tired!

(10 Posts)
iccarus Wed 24-Aug-11 10:40:13

Hi Everyone, I need a bit of advice really. My DS is 11 months and we are still breastfeeding. I've been thinking for a while that I might like to stop by his birthday, however, am now wondering how much is me actually wanting to stop and how much is pressure from my Mum, MIL and friends/colleagues. I think I'd be happy to continue until he self weans, apart from the night feeds. I'm back at work now, ony part time but still... and getting up so much at night after 11 months is really starting to get to me. On the odd occasion when he sleeps better and I get more rest I feel like a much better mum with more energy for him during the day and I'm worried that by trying to do the best for him with feeding he's actually missing out on fun mum because I'm so tired in the day. He wakes up anything from 2-6 times a night and is usually wide awake for the day between 5 and 6am. Most of the time he doesn't actually want milk, he just wants the boob and a cuddle. He has a dummy and a teddy but most of the time they don't help. Sorry for the really long post, just want some advice on whether I can just night wean and how to do it, or whether i'd be best stopping feeding all together.

Bigbiiiiird Wed 24-Aug-11 10:49:23

Hi - I'm in the same boat although its 10 months of breastfeeding and night time waking, so one month less knackered!! I'm in a pickle with how to to stop this too. My babs hasn't taken a bottle since he was 3 months, has taken ages to accept solids and is still bf quite a bit too during the day as well as at least once during the night. I'm not finding the hv very helpful on this as they seem to be delighted to have at least one person in the postcode who is still bfing!!! So I'm not being very helpful to you, just sharing the pain!!

iccarus Wed 24-Aug-11 21:02:26

Thanks Bigbiiiiird, it's nice to know I'm not the only one. He's been even worse tonight so far. Wouldn't even settle to go to sleep which only happens occasionally, looks like a fun night for everyone. I really hope you get somewhere with your little one too!I'm reading everything I can find at the moment and hoping for a miracle.x

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Aug-11 21:07:42

Of course, you can just night wean. No need to stop breastfeeding altogether.

iccarus Wed 24-Aug-11 21:25:07

just not sure how to cut it out at night. He screams and screams if DH goes in to settle him instead of me and gets himself really worked up until I give in. Any ideas on how to get him to settle without boob would be brill, i'll try anything at the moment.

HotChip Wed 24-Aug-11 21:25:12

Same here. Feeding DD at 12 and 3.30am and haven't the heart to refuse as she really does seem hungry at those times (a few weeks ago she was feeding every time she woke, which was a lot).

CoteDAzur Wed 24-Aug-11 21:35:13

There aren't many different ways of doing this, unfortunately. You just stop feeding him in the night.

Ideally, pick a long weekend to do this because it might take 2-3 nights for his metabolism to adjust & for him to sleep through. If/When he wakes in the night, your DH waits for a few minutes and then goes in to comfort him if he is truly crying (not just fussing). He sings to the baby, pats/shhs, rocks him, whatever he can to calm him down. This will go on for a long time the first night, less the second night and will be easier by the third night.

The very important thing is not to give in and breastfeed, because that is not only counterproductive to cutting out night feeds but also teaches him that he can have what he wants if only he cries long enough which is a very dangerous lesson to teach a soon-to-be toddler.

Hebrewlass Wed 24-Aug-11 21:39:03

Cote - I second you .

AngelDog Thu 25-Aug-11 13:02:25

11 months is hard because you're in the middle of the sleep regression caused by the 46 week developmental leap. If you can wait till after then, it should be a bit easier (although there's the next sleep regression ahead of the 55 week developmental leap which tends to start at around 12 months).

If the waking is due to the sleep regression, then night weaning probably won't stop it. It's very child-specific and time-specific. At 7 months I stopped feeding DS every time he woke, and most of the wakings stopped. At 10 months I tried not to feed him every time he woke, and he woke just as often, but took 15 mins of rocking to get back to sleep instead of 3 minutes of feeding.

Co-sleeping was what got us through despite 3-5 night wakings every night between 8 months and 13 months. After the 13 months developmental leap he suddenly started waking just once at my bedtime without any help from me.

During sleep regressions though, other methods of getting DS back to sleep simply didn't work. Between sleep regressions, they would work. That's pretty normal IME.

More info on sleep regressions here, here and here, and on the 12/13 month regression here.

organiccarrotcake Thu 25-Aug-11 13:09:09

I find this useful:

www.askdrsears.com/topics/sleep-problems/night-weaning-12-alternatives-all-night-nurser

He sort of assumes you're co-sleeping (he's a very strong advocate of it) and generally the principle is to think about it as ways to cope with a night nurser, rather than trying to change their behaviour (which of course they will eventually grow out of).

You may well not find this "strong" enough if you really just need to stop night nursing, but it may give you some ideas.

Certainly you can just night wean and continue BFing during the day if you wish. That pressure from others can be very strong. I try to think what choice we'd make if DH and my DSs were in our own bubble away from everyone else and go with that, but it's so hard when others don't understand. There are loads of people in a similar situation - if it helps it's worth looking them up - eg your local LLL group or the term breastfeeding thread here on MN.

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