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Which do I do First, and How? A complex breastfeeding and co-sleeping issue

I only planned to breastfeed 6 mos, but now my daughter will be 2 yrs on July 4, and still breastfeeds. It is a mystery how 6 mos turned into 2 yrs. Perhaps it was convenience, as it became the best way to get her to sleep / stay asleep. Now, here's the deal: she has been co-sleeping with hubby and I since she was abt 4 mos old. It was not the original plan (at all), but the only way for us to get sleep. Now, I am at her every beck and call all night, and I am also the only one holding the responsiblity for soothing her or putting her to sleep, since breastfeeding is the only way of doing either. I am off work for summer break 3 months starting Friday (June 5), and it's action time. What do I do first? I'm guessing I should wean her from breastfeeding first, then work on getting her out of bed, or is there some better idea? Maybe I can do both at the same time, but that could be real tricky! Please help if you can.

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Asked by BlessedMom77 at 2:42 AM on Jun. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • well the breastfeeding association urges women to breastfeed for 2 yrs.
    bad thing about that is that they are so habitied to it its hard to get a good break.
    you can ask her to be a big girl and when she finally gets up the courage the toddler will eat or drink out of a sippy cup or bottle. just do it all at once. It'll be hard but be patient shes not gonna starve to death if you refuse ur boob...she has teeth and can drink from a cup....just say shes a big girl now and make it exciting...

    Answer by Dom123123 at 2:54 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Actually, it will be easier to get he into her own bed first...the weaning will follow from that as she loses the nighttime nursings.

    Dr. Jay Gordon has written a great article on transitioning baby from the family bed. Find it on

    I would NOT make both transitions could backfire and make her more clingy.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:38 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I wore a long shirt to bed, it was annoying & frustrating for my son to move it so he would fall back asleep. After a few days of me refusing and just rubbing his back for comfort, he was night weaned. Then we worked on putting him in his own bed-yet still in our room, just recently we put him in his own room.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 7:04 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I would night wean her, then transition to her own bed, and if you still want to then wean completely. For night weaning enlist SO if needed. I started out by telling them the nanas (what we called nursing) went to sleep too and he couldn't have them from 12-4 am. I would still nurse to sleep, but if they woke up during that time they got a sippy cup with water. Both kids were different in how long it took, but after 3 nights in a row of no arguing, screaming about it I would add an hour so now 12-5 am. I did this until I got to 11-7 am with no nursing. I still nursed to bed and immediately upon waking. As for transitioning to their own bed we willing let our 2 and 4 year old in our room so can't help there.

    Answer by aeneva at 7:11 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • We transitioned our son, 12months at the time, back to his crib first and as a result night weaned. He was nursing every 45mins a night, mainly for comfort, and it was wearing me out as I was also in my first trimester of a new pregnancy. It took about a week to get him to sleep in his crib, but he will ONLY sleep in there now, not our bed, not a pack and play-his crib only. Makes travel hard let me tell you! But our routine was to nurse in the rocking chair until he fell asleep, then transfer him to his crib. When he woke up I would return to the chair and nurse until he fell asleep, then put him back in his crib. Every night the time between nursing got longer and longer until he now goes from 8pm-8am. Another thing I did was put a sippy cup of water in the crib. Sometimes he drinks the whole cup of water by morning, sometimes not a drop...but it helped him when he was thirsty and just needed something little.

    Answer by Pewjumper at 9:50 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I agree with gdiamante . . . transition her to her own bed first. Dr Gordon's method was a life saver for me!!

    Answer by epoh at 11:13 AM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I have no advice really. dd weaned at 18mo & we are still co-sleeping at 2.5yrs... But I just wanted to say good for you for nursing to the 2yr mark!! :D

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 12:58 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • Take her to the store and let her pick out a cute Sigg (or other stainless steel) water bottle; explain that this is what all of the big girls drink from. Past the age of two, water is the only beverage that humans need. After she brushes her teeth at night, water is the only thing that should be in her mouth until morning.
    And a HUGE congratulations to you!!!!!!

    Answer by rkoloms at 3:33 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

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