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2 yo nursing 5+ times a night....

(14 Posts)
MakeHayNotStraw Mon 25-Mar-13 13:57:48

I don't know whether this is better here or in weaning.... but i think I'm nearing crisis point. My 2 yo is nursing upwards of 5 times a night - occasionally I am able to persuade him that he doesn't really want it, but not often. I have tried night-weaning him twice (using the Jay Gordon method as it's more gentle and gradual), the first time I was hospitalised (not because of the weaning!) and the second time he got chicken pox, so back to where we started. He eats very little in the way of solid food - I was hoping he'd start eating more and cut back on the milk, but no luck. He nurses 2 or 3 times during the day on average, and to sleep in the evening. Moving him out of our bed is not possible until we get bunk beds sorted out, due to space, and dd doesn't sleep well either (tends to end up with us as well).

Basically, I am exhausted. I don't know what to do for the best - I don't want to night-wean again only to end up back at the start again, and I was aiming for self-weaning with ds but I am sore, tired and now often a bit resentful of his continued bf blush. How can I encourage him to eat more and nurse less?

Please help with any advice (and preferably no flaming/back rod comments etc).

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 25-Mar-13 14:03:02

Is cold turkey an option? He really should be eating and gaining nutrients that way. He sounds like he's filling up on milk and that won't change til you stop the day time feeds.

Sounds very hard sad

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 25-Mar-13 14:04:06

That wasn't a flaming by the way , more a - no ones going to think bad of u for just stopping u have done two years that's fab!!! Xx

Kveta Mon 25-Mar-13 14:06:37

no flaming here - but what we did was get DH to offer water at feed times - so say DS was waking at 11, 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 (which he did, a lot), we started by offering water at the 1am feed, then when he had dropped that, offered it at the 2am feed, then the 4am feed and so on.

it took a bit of effort on DH's part the first few nights, but worked remarkably quickly after that. didn't stop the waking btw, but it stopped me from going postal at the constant feeds.

can you sleep on the sofa sometimes too, to give you a break and get your DS used to being comforted by DH?

MakeHayNotStraw Mon 25-Mar-13 14:10:33

Thank you both - cold turkey is always an option, but he cries bitterly when I say no (I've tried the "boobie's asleep, milk in the morning" etc) and that's just not how I wanted to wean him. kveta that's a possibility - he settles in the evening with DH, so it's possible. DH is on school break at the moment so it may be a good time.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Mon 25-Mar-13 14:13:02

Well if you have the back up mows as good a time as any smile

Don't feel guilty though you are not hurting him by stopping merely giving him the chance to be more independent and try new foods as he might be hungry more smile

megandraper Mon 25-Mar-13 14:23:09

This was me, with my 21-month old before Christmas - she fed about 6-8 times a night and I was shattered. She is now sleepign through (unless ill or teething).

It took my DH to sort it out - we began having him put her to sleep at night, without bf obviously. (I hid downstairs after bathtime and then snuck up to put the older two to bed while DH was in DD's room).
He also went to her at night when she woke, and lay on a mattress next to her cot (often with his hand in the cot holding her).

Gradually she stopped waking, and after 3 weeks was sleeping a sound 11.5 hours a night. A miraculous change for me. Now if she's ill, she'll wake up and want bf, but not otherwise.

Can you sleep on a mattress on the floor in your DD's room while your DH gets this sorted out? The school break sounds like a good opportunity.

MakeHayNotStraw Mon 25-Mar-13 14:28:53

It certainly does - the only catch being that we are going to my in-laws for a few days and I always find myself feeding him the instant he cries there because they don't like being woken (does anyone?!). I will speak to DH - these are good ideas, thank you.

Wallace Mon 25-Mar-13 14:32:30

My 2 year old was like this until two weeks ago. I would put him in his cot having fed hiom to sleep, and he would wake in the night and come in to my bed.

I did it in gradual stages. First I started putting him to bed awake to fall asleep by himself. It only took a few days to get it, and not really any crying, but a lot of sitting holding his hand...

He was still waking and coming into bed and bf.

A few months later I decided I'd had enough of the bf in the night so I bribed him - told him he would get to go skiing if he stopped feeding in the night. And that was that. A few whinges for the few nights, but that was it.

He still wakes and comes in, but doesn't ask to bf. He did sleep through once so I'm hopinh it will come...

Wallace Mon 25-Mar-13 14:34:26

PS I'm waiting for the Easter holidays to start insisting that he stays in his own bed so his brothers aren't disturbed

TerrariaMum Mon 25-Mar-13 15:26:52

I know people have said this, but is it possible that his teething is really hurting him? If he is teething, of course. The last molars to come through have 5 cusps and grind their way through the gums making it the most painful time. BFing provides a natural analgesic so I wonder if he is doing it because then his mouth hurts less. That might also explain a bit of reluctance to eat solid foods as well.

I mention it because DD is 2 and 3 months and this is what is happening atm. She is bfing a lot because her teeth are really bothering her. But I am no expert, am only going by my experience.

MakeHayNotStraw Tue 26-Mar-13 08:02:43

It is possible it's teeth, I suppose - I'm not sure whether he has back teeth still to come through but all 4 fangs are coming through at once so we did have a tricky patch a few weeks ago. They don't seem to be bothering him a lot during the day but maybe at night? He also has eczema on his legs which he has been stratching (tried coconut oil last night, it was a lot better than the things the drs prescribe!). It's hard to know - I don't want to refuse him milk if he's in pain, definitely.

I think we're going to sort out bunk beds this holiday (we had been offered some, but not for a while so I think we're just going to bite the bullet and hit Ikea...) and see if a change of sleeping arrangements helps break any habits.

Thank you once again for your help. Now, if I could just sort out the mystery of why they need to be woken up at 7:30 on a term time day but are quite happily up and arguing awake at 6 in the holidays.....

MakeHayNotStraw Tue 26-Mar-13 08:03:46

wallace I tried bribery with dd....she saw straight through it and carried on anyway! Huh.....

DW123 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:07:05

My twins are 2yo in 3 weeks and I have been gradually weaning (slower than hoped due to illness). The most successful changes have been when DH takes over - he gets them to bed now rather than me feeding to sleep. They are gradually feeding less at night of their own accord but when it was very bad before Christmas DH helped night wean DT1 (the more chilled out one).
That isn't very helpful but it sounds like DH is going to be critical. Can he take some time off work to give it a really good go?

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