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How to Wean from night time nursing?

Hi Ladies,
I have a one year old preemie who is quite needy. Since all I could do when he was in the hospital was hold him for hours on end, he is clingy. He has only has breastmilk, but will take either breast or bottle. The problem comes in that he wants to nurse all night. It started out that he nursed every 2-3 hours, and since he was only 2lbs 5oz at birth, I let him nurse as often as he wanted so that he would grow. Now he is a year old, weighs 17lbs and eats finger foods too. He uses me as his pacifer, since he refuses a plastic one. During the day he will take a bottle, but at night time he throws a fit if I try to give him one or a pacifer. He is nursing all night long. If he falls off he wakes up crying. I am up like every 45 mins to hour. I need my sleep back!! My husband has agreed to take night duty for the next three nights and we are going to try to wean him off the breast and into his own bed. Any suggestions?

Answer Question
 
mikeysmom0408

Asked by mikeysmom0408 at 12:18 PM on Apr. 10, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • patience patience patience!!!

    woobie102

    Answer by woobie102 at 12:23 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Sounds like its going to be a rough transition but he truly doesn't NEED the breast all night long. Especially if he is growing and healthy, I had to let my son cry it out to wean him from the bottle but I am not sure this is the same situation.
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 12:34 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • You're doing exactly what is needed...but let me throw this out there..consider his adjusted age. You may be doing something a bit too early for him.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:46 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Oh, memories! My son was a preemie and weighd 3.2 lbs and he ate every 1-1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs. Preemies become even more so attached to their mommies than regular term babies so it makes it so much harder to wean them!!! At 8 or 9 mos old i stopped feeding him at night, he had reached a good weight and my pediatrician said he did not need a middle of the night feeding anymore and i was so exhausted I was like Hallelujah!!! But my son of course did not agree with that plan. It took a little over a week but he finally got the picture. I did the intermittent cry it out, went in every 10-15 mins and just rubbed his back a little and laid him down and said , go night night. I know it seems like torture but it is also for his own good. Just think, your son isn't getting a good nights sleep either. It's just like taking away the pacifier, they hate it at first but in a week or two they are over it. But you HAVE to be consistent.
    GMR

    Answer by GMR at 1:06 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • cont. if you give in even ONE time, you have taken two steps back. Good luck, and yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel:)
    GMR

    Answer by GMR at 1:07 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Plus--- I know i keep rambling.... you want to start getting him into good sleep habits early. If you set the foundation now, you will reap the rewards later. I NEVER thought my son would be a normal sleeper. But he did sooooo good. And even now, at age 13, when it's time for bed.... he goes. He knows that I will not give in (on a school night) and he just goes to bed. Yay!!!
    GMR

    Answer by GMR at 1:09 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Thanks for the encouragement and advice. His adjusted age is 9.5 months, and his pediatrician told me months ago that it was fine to break the bond. I just wasn't ready yet. At times I feel that I should wait until his adjusted age of 12 months, but I don't think I can continue that long if he is going to keep waking up all night long. I feel bad, and know that if I am involved in breaking him, I will cave in. Plus if he sees me he wants me. So it is all up to my husband.
    mikeysmom0408

    Answer by mikeysmom0408 at 1:40 PM on Apr. 10, 2009

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