Advice needed on night weaning an almost 3yo(6 Posts)
DS will be 3 in a couple of months and I've finally decided to knock the breastfeeding on the head altogether. He was always a total milk fiend, and fed quite a bit in the day until recently when I made the decision to stop.
I'd always hoped he would self-wean, but realised that he just isn't going to - at least not on my timetable! I'm just tired of breastfeeding now, and have just found out I'm pregnant again, and definitely do NOT want to be feeding 2 in the night!
We tried to night wean when he was just 1 year old, and it was a hideous nightmare - we gave it 6 weeks and by the end he was still waking in the night to cry for up to an hour at least twice, sometimes three times. We just couldn't hack it any longer and gave up. We tried again when he was 18 months, and 3 days in we all came down with D & V, so gave up out of exhaustion. Since then DH has been studying part time in addition to working, and we've all just been much too knackered to contemplate it, which I now think was a bit of a mistake - you don't need to tell me it's a bit late to be night weaning! I won't be doing the same with the next one!
He now has milk to fall asleep 5 times a week (twice a week I work late, and daddy does bedtime), then usually feeds once just after midnight, and once at about 5am.
My boobs were quite tender this morning at 5am, so I told him he couldn't have any, although I did cuddle him - he was quite upset at first but got over it quicker than I expected.
My loose plan is to refuse to feed at 5am for a while (maybe a couple of weeks, so he gets used to it), then refuse to feed after bedtime, and stop the bedtime feed last. Any advice? I think this is going to be very noisy at nighttimes for a while, but really want to get it done way before the baby comes (in about 8 months), so he doesn't associate the two things in his mind.
I think it would probably be easier to just stop altogether. It's quite hard for a 3 year old to understand the difference between 12am and 5am, it's all just 'night'. Allowing him to feed sometimes in the night and then other times he is refused will be more upsetting than a blanket ban I would think.
I would explain that it's going to stop. You can make up a story about running out of milk/he's a big boy now/fairies or any old nonsense you think will appeal to him. I'd take him out to choose a very special night time cup that will have his night time water in. Then just go for it. When he wakes up he gets cuddles and you offer him a drink from his special cup. I'd give it a week or so to settle in and if he is still waking/crying in the night, I'd do a reward chart and work on getting him to sleep through/self settle.
The most important thing is that you stick with it. He doesn't need the food aspect of it now, so don't worry about him being thirsty/hungry. He will probably need the comfort for a while, but a cuddle is sufficient. Any screaming/crying is just protest and is completely different to a baby crying for milk.
I know this is a tad old but I wonder if you know the name of the LLL book you used?
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