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please share your experiences and tips - nightweaning a bf toddler

(14 Posts)
Sleepysally Fri 07-Apr-17 09:19:56

Posting for experiences/advice/solidarity.

My almost 16 month old has always woken every 40 mins - 1.5 hours to feed. I have always obliged, at first because it was needed then because it was the only way anybody would get any sleep.

I've reached the point where I feel worn down by it and need something to change. For the following reasons:

- LO is getting bigger and it fully wakes me every time it come to feeding time
-LO wakes up tired so I'm certain is in need of more sleep
-I'm pretty sure it habit rather than need now
- I'm constantly exhausted and run down and getting ill, it's starting to impact on my ability to do anything in the day time

I'm feeling very guilty about even considering night weaning but I don't really know what else to do.

So my questions to people who might weaned a toddler:

- how old were they?
- did it work? (In terms of, did your they accept other methods of being comforted/settled)
- is there such a thing as 'gentle' night weaning?
- are you glad you did it?
- how did you do it?

TIA

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Fri 07-Apr-17 09:30:42

Hello! I've nightweaned two toddlers, one was over 3 (for various reasons) and one was around 18-20 months.

drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html this has information about nightweaning a cosleeping toddler and this is how I did it. I really recommend reading it through and it is what I'd describe as gentle.

There was some crying for the first couple of nights. But it only lasted 10-15 minutes (although it felt much longer when you're half asleep!). We offered water, which was generally refused but they did lie down and go back to sleep with us. After the first couple of nights all that was needed was a "it's time to go back to sleep" and he did!

I am glad we did it. I still generally feed DS to sleep even though he's nearly 3 but I don't mind that when I don't have to feed him in the night.

Good luck smile

Nottalotta Fri 07-Apr-17 09:57:42

Yes I nightweaned ds1 when he was about 15 months I think. He'd got down to 2-3 feeds, the third one being 5am ish when he got up. Then he started waking earlier and earlier and wanting to be latched on all night and I hated it. I was pregnant at the time and developed a real aversion. I tried to stop, he cried......

Then one night he slept through til almost 5 without a feed. I decided that was my cue and decided no feeds until 5 am. I still got up and took him into bed as usual but instead of feeding, I cuddled him, sang softly etc sitting up. He didn't object at all and that was it really. He carried on waking and being brought into bed for a couple of months, he'd just lay between us and nod off again. A while earlier I had stopped the bedtime feed by offering a sippy of cows milk. He spent a few nights swapping between the two then soon decided he'd prefer the cows milk. He'd always refused a bottle but liked the nuby grip n sip cup. Still uses it for his morning and bedtime milk at 20 months.

He no longer wakes in the night, bed around 7.30 wakes between 6-6.30am. This is a miracle tbh as he's always been a poor sleeper

Nottalotta Fri 07-Apr-17 09:58:38

Yes I'm glad I did it, ds2 is here now and I did not want to be feeding two!

Sleepysally Fri 07-Apr-17 10:22:02

Thankyou for your replies. It's so useful hearing your experiences.

I have done loads of reading on the topic but always good to have realistic expectations .

I think I am going to give it a go tonight and see how she responds. wish me luck!

Nan0second Fri 07-Apr-17 10:30:12

Came on to recommend jay Gordon.
I night weaned earlier than you so used a cutting down technique - that's much more difficult when co sleeping though (basically fed for shorter and shorter times!)

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Fri 07-Apr-17 15:50:47

Take a sippy cup of water to bed with you, otherwise you'll be cursing yourself if you have to get out of bed at 3am!

I'd also say it's better doing it now rather than in a couple of months when it's light at 4am and you have to convince them it's still night time grin

Sleepysally Fri 07-Apr-17 23:44:33

So night one -

I've not gone for 1 method in particular, just a mishmash of a few ideas I have read about.

Today I went and bought a gro clock and we talked allot about how when the sun goes down and the stars come up there will be no more milk until the sun is back.

Bed time came and after milk and story the stars came out and after reading and singing LO fell asleep, WITHOUT a nipple in mouth!!! We have had 3 waking so far, first two we're fine with just a bit of a sing and a back rub, last one LO seemed a bit anxious so I'm going to set the clock for the sun to be up by next wake up. From here I will set the sun up time back half an hour each night.

So far so good and no tears...yet!

Thanks to all who replied.

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Sat 08-Apr-17 07:47:29

Hope it all went well overnight OP.

I think I did a little dance the first time the DCs went to sleep without a nipple in the mouth grin

Sleepysally Sat 08-Apr-17 08:21:47

I was gobsmacked when she went to sleep no fussing.

Rest of the night went well, LO slept for longer stretches than she ever has, I fed at 1.30 and again at 4 , only 2 feeds is unheard of so really feel it went as well as it could on night 1 without any tears. The idea of sun up and sun down has also sunk in.

Hoping it goes as well tonight.

Nottalotta Sat 08-Apr-17 12:27:36

So glad you had a goid first night, it shows she can do it and helps if you have a difficult night or two in future I think. Well done!

Sleepysally Mon 10-Apr-17 21:15:13

Night 4 and asleep within 40 mins without boob and without tears! I have been feeding overnight still but not before 1 am, by night 2 the first sleep extended to 12.59 and just after 1 on night 3, we will see how tonight goes but plan is to put this time back every few nights. I am feeling more rested already and LO isn't needing a nap by 8am!!

Nan0second Mon 10-Apr-17 21:16:40

Brilliant news. Well done!

AllMyBestFriendsAreMetalheads Tue 11-Apr-17 08:10:17

Glad it's working well and that you're feeling better. smile

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