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Extended bfing - 2.3yr old dd driving me nuts - is night weaning the answer??

(12 Posts)
wegottagetouttathisplace Sat 04-Jul-09 08:49:09

Would love to hear the voice of experience with some good advice! My dd is 2.3 and a real boob fanatic. I always said I wanted to bf her until she was 2 but she is still showing no signs of wanting to wean.

I really don't mind feeding her in the daytime. I also don't mind feeding her to sleep in the evening and feeding her 1st thing in the morning. I really want her to self wean in her own time (if only to prove my mum and mil wrong!)

But my big problem (and dh's problem) is the night feeding. We all share a bed and dd sleeps brilliantly from about 8pm until about 4 in the morning. Then she starts her waking - feeding - dozing - waking cycle, wanting a BIG long feed to go back to sleep each time. If I try to limit her time at the breast she wakes right up and starts yelling at us. Then she's wide awake and one of us has to get up with her. At 4.30am!!!

If I don't limit her time at the breast she just takes the p**s, feeding for such a long time that I am totally awake by the time she's done. And there's still no guarantee that she'll go back to sleep at the end of it.

At the moment it's not so bad because we're both out of work but I'm planning to go back to work full time soon and so we really need to get this sorted.

I read this article and I'd really like to give night weaning a go. Has anyone else done this and with what success? I'm a bit worried about the 'hell on earth' stage of this, for obvious reasons. But maybe it's the only answer?

My mil is telling me we need to get dd in her own room asap. I can't see dd wanting to do it but maybe it's worth a shot too?

lljkk Sat 04-Jul-09 13:28:10

I Night weaned mine at 12-18 months. Hard at first but she'll accept it. DS3 has to wait until after 6am.

ineedalifelaundry Sat 04-Jul-09 13:45:10

I don't have any wise words of experience for you, but I wanted to say I do feel your pain - my 10 month dd is exactly the same from 4am onwards. I try to doze while she feeds so I'm not missing so much sleep. Do you feed her lying down?

Regarding interfering mil - it's none of her business. Bed sharing and extended on demand bf is the norm in most of the world and for most of human history. It's only the last couple of generations in western culture that this has become unacceptable. Do what's right for you and your dd, don't be dictated to by anyone!

Good luck smile

StealthPolarBear Sat 04-Jul-09 13:52:51

I sympathise - haven';t co slept with 2y2 DS for a while as he's too fidgety and I also found I can't doze any more when he feeds (used to be able to!!)
He is in his own cot, and about half of the time it's fine. We've had some wonderful sleeping through nights, some awful early wakings (4.30 as well but i gave in and went to bed at 9 ) and some nights like last night where he wakes for a feed during the night but then goes back to sleep.
Does she ever feed before 4? If so, does she go back to sleep then? Personally I think you have an early morning problem rather than a bf problem iyswim.

pigletmania Sat 04-Jul-09 15:59:25

hi wegottagetouttathisplace, I ff my dd who is the same age as your dd, but I have very similar experience. Until say a few months ago she would want milk ever 2 hrs through the night and in the day too, not eating food at all. I was soo tired and walked around like a zombie half the time until something snapped, i could not go on like this for my sanity. Someone recommended giving water at night and telling dd in a firm voice that it is bed time now and you will have water at night. For a week she was not accepting, but now she does and no fuss at all, which means a somewhat peaceful sleep, though the early morning sun wakes her up and she thinks its tine to get up.

IMO you just have to be firm with her with a consistant message and carry though what you say. DD was sleeping with us util 1 year, got so fed up fidgity all though the night, when we put her in her own room peace for all of us including dd. I was dreading putting her in her own room thought that she would not settle but she did and loveed it. You will be surprised, give it a go. I hope that i am not rambling or boring, I am not a professional just another mum with some i hope helpful advice which you may or may not choose to follow.

pigletmania Sat 04-Jul-09 16:02:48

In her own room she did sleep better but would wake up every 2-3 hours demanding milk so i just did what i just described before. I was told that they wake up expecting milk so if there is no chance of milk they will not be as keen to wake. At that age they do not need milk at night its more of a comfort thing. If they are thirsty offer water, i put mine in a bottle so that she could have it in her arms and take it when she needs it and it does not spill everywhere.

wegottagetouttathisplace Sun 05-Jul-09 10:48:53

Thanks everyone Actually I do think she needs to learn to put herself back to sleep without milk, so I've decided to night wean her. Last night was quite good actually, she woke at 10.30pm but I told her milk had gone to sleep until Mr Sun came up and it worked! She rolled over and went to sleep with only a light grumble!

She did wake at 4.30am this morning, but I explained that she needed to lie still and quiet until Mr Sun came up, then she could have her milk. She did moan a bit but basically stayed still, talking a bit to herself, until I gave in just after 5am and got up with her.

It was definitely less painful than normal as I was able to doze a bit between 4.30 and 5 which I couldn't do if she was bfing, even though I do bf lying down (I just find it too ticklish to doze through).

I'm quite surprised by how easy it has been to reason with her at this age. I'm sure she wouldn't have dealt with it so well a few months ago.

Thanks again everyone

pigletmania Sun 05-Jul-09 12:11:40

Good for you wegottagetouttathisplace, they will learn in time. I used to do what i thought was easy and give in to her, at night too but it worked against me, I ended up with a broken sleep every night. I did the same as you, i told her that the milk was for bedtime or naptime only and goes to sleep in the night so just gave her water. I did the same as the dummy too that it goes to sleep in the day and just comes out for the night. Works though lol.

mrsfossil Tue 07-Jul-09 16:47:36

You have done great to suceesfully bf for this long many women struggle and drop out along the way, but after 2 shouldn't children be getting all they need from food? Maybe you could offer supper before bedtime to make sure she is full. Now its hotter its understanderble that she might be thirsty during the night.(i am) I don't mean this to sound rude but why does she sleep in your bed. Its nice for a cuddle/lyin at weekends but i would struggle to sleep every night with my kids ihn with us. Also its nice to get your sex life back.

mawbroon Wed 08-Jul-09 21:57:50

mrsfossil - you seem to have a classic case of misunderstanding about toddler nursing.

There is more to it than food and drink. Nursing is very important to a toddler, it is often the most important thing in their life, so night weaning can be very difficult for a toddler who isn't ready to take that step.

Just because you couldn't sleep with your children doesn't make it wrong and sex doesn't have to happen in bed!!

wegotta - I had a couple of attempts at night weaning my ds at around the same age as your dd. It seemed to go fine to start with, but after three weeks, his behaviour became uncharacteristically terrible and he became quite withdrawn with it. I went back to night feeds and instantly he was back to normal. I concluded that he wasn't ready and waited a bit before trying again. He hasn't fed in the night since about Easter time (he's 3.8yo now) and seems to be ok with it, so I am glad I waited because it was much easier to do when he was ready.

My DS has been in his own room for quite a long time, but he sleeps in a double and I climb in and cuddle him back to sleep if he wakes in the night. Often though, I conk out too and we co sleep until the morning. It is a bit of both I guess, and I will miss it when he and I stop bedsharing.

pigletmania Thu 09-Jul-09 14:21:27

I guess we all have our experiences. However I needed to night wean for my own sanity, waking up every 3 hours for a feed at night a definite no no for me as i was wrecked and could not take anymore.DD just didnt like our bed, kicking fidgeting etc. I tend to go with Mrsfossil on this one, mabey i sound like an uncaring mother, but i just wanted dd to be able to self soothe at this age and to gain more independence especaially when we are trying for a baby and dont want to be up in the night trying to comfort both at the same time.

pigletmania Thu 09-Jul-09 14:22:47

This does not only apply to bf, i ff and i think that dd was waking up in the night for a bottle because it was comforting.

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