First thank you for all your comments on last week’s post about The End of Our (breastfeeding) Journey. I am slowly responding to all of you and hope to by the end of the week but for now lets discuss our night weaning process.
Edith’s night nursing changed from really nursing to just comfort nursing around 14 months. Despite her not ‘needing’ to nurse through the night any longer I still went with it because she wanted to and since we co-sleep it wasn’t a huge deal to me, however, when I became pregnant again that all changed.
I had read pretty early on about nursing while pregnant and how many children wean themselves because of things like taste of milk. For the first few weeks of this current pregnancy I kept going with our normal night time nursing routine because I didn’t want to do anything to interfere with our nursing relationship. However, the problem was that I was super sick the entire first trimester and being sick all day and then not sleeping well at night was making me out to be a bit of a cranky monster. Something had to give.
Finally, in late December when I was about nine weeks pregnant and Edith nearly 18 months I decided that we needed to stop nursing at night all together. I just couldn’t do it anymore and Edith was simply nursing out of routine and to but herself back to sleep. It took about a week to fully night wean and for about a month she would ask to nurse in the middle of the night about once per week but otherwise she was fully night weaned in just one week.
- New bedtime routine: dinner, bath (3-4 nights per week), quite play if not a bath night, brush teeth, new diaper, PJs, books, nurse (to sleep), lights out.
- During book reading time we tried to read Nursies When The Sun Shines* most nights aka when Edith would let us.
- Midnight wake ups–> Edith would wake up whining/crying and crawl over just like she usually did but instead of nursing I would gently tell her that we were not going to have nursies right now and that we could have them in the morning while placing her back in her bed (her crib is side-car to ours). Edith would continue to whine and cry while I patted/rubbed her back and shh’d her. The first few nights she whine/cried for 3-5 minutes but after the third night she was down to 1-2 minutes and by the seventh night she was down to 30 seconds max.
- For morning nursies I started with no nursies until at least 5am and eventually pushed this out to 6am.
- While the week of transition was a bit challenging after that week things were great and night time sleeping has improved for all of us since.
- A friend of ours suggested the book Nursies When The Sun Shines* . This book is geared towards parents of toddlers who are looking to night wean. The book includes beautiful illustrations and simply tells the story of how at night we sleep and that when it is dark out we sleep and nursies sleep and that when we wake in the morning that is when we can nurse again. I loved this book because the family co-sleeps as well so it was completely relevant to our situation and Edith loved reading the book. The best part of the book is that the last two pages are for you, the adult, and includes tips on how to approach night weaning. I recently passed on our copy to a friend but I plan on getting another copy if/once we reach a point of night weaning with #2.
What was/is your approach to night weaning?
*Amazon affiliate link
Thanks for the book rec!