Night weaning - why, how, and when?(12 Posts)
My DS is 16 months old. He's bf and we co-sleep. It's going okay, I've gotten used to the interruptions in my sleep to bf him throughout the night, probably on average three times. But I am starting to wonder if night feeding might be keeping him from learning to sleep through, and whether it might be time to night wean him (I plan to continue bf otherwise for as long as he likes).
So I'd like to get a sense from people (1) when they decided to wean their LOs from night feeling; (2) why they decided to do this; (3) HOW they did this; and (4) whether it resulted in your LO sleeping through the night.
Hello I am sure the fact that your boob is avilable for a feed in the night is almost certainly the reason your ds doesn't sleep through but I am guessing as long as you co-sleep that is always going to be the case. So IMO if you want to wean the night feeds you would also have to think about co-sleeping because I imagine the two things go hand in hand. I weaned my dd off the night feeds at about 7 months ish (in hindsite this was no coincedence that this was also the time I went back to work!) she was down to one feed a night by then and I felt she wasn't really that hungry. I didn't co-sleep and just stopped the feed and comforted my dd with a cuddle when she woke up and offered her reassurence. Within a few weeks she stopped waking altogether and to this day sleeps 12 -13 hours a night!!!!
(1) when they decided to wean their LOs from night feeling;
(2) why they decided to do this;
1 - because he was feeding continuously between 1am & 4am & I was getting NO sleep.
2 - I wanted to ttc but was ovulating very irregularly as a result of night feeds (night weaning worked I conceived ds2 on the cycle after weaning).
(3) HOW they did this
ds moved in own room & co-slept with dh - offered cup of water when woke for feed. Took 4 nights of reducing waking until he slept through. Generally followed Dr Newman's night weaning plan. DS was very cross the first night though (screamed a lot).
(4) whether it resulted in your LO sleeping through the night.
Kind of - for the first month or so but now ds (21 months) wakes two nights out of three at 3am (he's asleep at 7:30pm) & dh sleeps with him until 7ish when he comes in with me for a feed. He doesn't want milk at night but a cuddle.
umm at the risk of annoying people...
(1) when they decided to wean their LOs from night feeling; at 10 weeks
(2) why they decided to do this; DD was losing interest in the night feed
(3) HOW they did this; rather than waking DD fully and deliberately for a feed I started dream feeding, which I continued at DD's pace for about 2 weeks - ie she gradually reduced the amount of time she would latch on for until she was just not interested at all
and (4) whether it resulted in your LO sleeping through the night. - well it has beena week now and it seems to be going okay - DD sleeps from 7 till 6.30/7 ish.
we'll see if it continues...
DS2 was bf and we co-slept for about the first 9 months, after his first night waking (usually about 10pm iirc. Gawd, he's only 18 months and it's already a blur!). I decided to night wean him because I was getting practically no sleep latterly as he was waking every hour or two right through the night.
How I did it. Well, I agree that the co-sleeping may not work if you're trying to wean him off feeds - we tried having him in the same room in his own cot, but in the end dp and I decamped to the sofa bed and ds2 took over our bedroom...for months until we moved house a couple of months ago. I usually ended up co-sleeping with ds2 though for the last part of the night, so you might not have to give it up completely, if it's something you like and are happy to continue with. And for the nitty-gritty, we did a bit of controlled crying, with me going in every few mins until he settled - it took about 3 nights I think to improve.
BUT it didn't make him sleep through and we had many months of either me going in to feed him or one of us going in to settle him back to sleep. He's much better now though and does sleep through most nights until at least 5, but that has just been a gradual improvement over time, and a big improvement after about 15 months.
He's still bf, btw, at bedtime, and usually once in the night at about 5 (only because I can't bear the thought of starting my day at 5am, and I can usually persuade him to go back to sleep for an hour or two after that!) and at naptime.
These are all extremely helpful accounts and I think I do see a pattern here.
Anyone out there who continued co-sleeping and stopped night feeds? As I am WOHM, I love the co-sleeping, it gives me some really great time with DS.
Also, we're moving house in a week and I thought perhaps it could be an opportunity to move DS into his own room, but I don't want to complicate the move with some kind of additional trauma/change. Any thoughts on that from anyone?
Well, we moved ds2 into his own room when we moved a few months ago and that really brought our co-sleeping to an end - until then I had usually gone back to our bed (see my comments above) when he woke for the last time (usually about 4-5am) for a couple of hours of snuggling. But on the plus side, the reason that co-sleeping stopped is that since he moved into his own room he doesn't really wake up nearly so much. And we bought ourselves a GINORMOUS super-king size bed in preparation .
RoRoMummy- I agree with you about the co sleeping, I WOH too and that is a major reason why I haven't night weaned...yet!
Ds is 20 months. Feeds through the night (Maybe 3,4,5 times)
Dr Jay Gordon has a night weaning plan (better google, I can't link) that involves co sleeping.
I printed it out and have it on stand by....
DD is now 2 (birthday at beginning of July) and I weaned her entirely when she was 20 mo. I was co-sleeping and would feed her to sleep and once during the night. Had gone back to WOH FT when she was 18 mo so was really tired of the broken sleep. So, early in March, went for a girly evening and stayed overnight with a friend. DH settled her with her dummy and she slept through from 9 until 7. We haven't looked back, although she still occasionally wakes at around 4 or 5am but is easily settled back. We also moved her into her own room and single bed.
With DS, he self-weaned at 14mo and my boobs felt incomfortable for a few days. But with DD she was obviously mainly comfort feeding - I can't have been producing much as my boobs were not engorged or sore at all when I stopped.
Hope this helps and good luck!
Thanks! That's really helpful. Charlie, I've got Dr. Gordon printed out now, as well...if I try, I'll post my experience.
Days 1-3: DS slept with my mum and had no boob from 12am to 6am. This departs from Dr. Gordon's plan insofar as we didn't give boob for a couple of minutes, then pull him off and have him go to sleep without boob; I was too exhausted from the previous week, so my mum offered to help me out.
Day 4: last night DS came back into bed with me and I did not give him boob from 12am to 4:45am. It took him an hour of whinging and whining to get to sleep, then he woke up and I was far too tired to be resolute so I just gave him the boob. He slept until 6:30am.
I am going to keep on tonight, trying to keep him off of the boob from 12am to 6am, and hopefully he'll have an easier time tonight. I do feel my resolve waning, but I think that's just the exhaustion making me emotional (i.e, asking myself if I am really ready to do this, but I really do need the sleep).
Encouragement and support greatly appreciated (and needed!).
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