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I REALLY want to night wean my baby, have him sleep in his own bed and go to sleep on his own!! HELP

My son is 12 months old and he still nurses 3-4 times a night!!!! I don't want to fully wean him because I would like to make it to 2 years but I'm really, really, really ready for him to not nurse at night anymore!

I'm exhausted. I really do not want to nurse at night anymore and I want him to start sleeping in his crib. He currently sleeps with us but I'm not happy with the situation anymore.

We don't believe in CIO but I'm not sure how to go about it.

1) How do we night wean a 12 month old?
2) How can we get him to go to sleep in his own bed?


Answer Question

Asked by JustMamaNoDrama at 10:32 PM on Jun. 29, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I BF'd and mine never exclusively co-slept, but if I remember correctly I began weaning at night by cutting them off before they nursed themselves back to sleep, if that makes sense. At 12 mos they don't NEED to nurse at night for nutrition. It is more likely a result of a learned behavior for falling back to sleep. So try nursing for say 5 min., then laying baby in own crib before baby falls alseep at the breast. It will take consistency but within a week or two it should resolve itself:) It'll be worth it! Great job on nursing and co-sleeping this long!

    Answer by campeno at 10:37 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • How does your son go to sleep at the start of the night? Is he falling asleep at the breast? We all wake during the night to some degree. Most of us just drift back to sleep. However, for a child (or anyone really) that is dependent on some outside soother to fall asleep in the first place, he/she is going to look for that same thing in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. It's not that he's hungry per se, it's that he's looking to soothe himself back to sleep. Start, as the PP said, by not allowing him to fall asleep while nursing at the start of the night. When he starts getting groggy, unlatch and lay him down. He fusses, rub his back, sing, verbally assure him. Do not start nursing again. Gradually lessen how much you're invovled in the soothing process. After a few days, for example, sing and reassure him but don't rub his back. Then do it all from the doorway, etc.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:43 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Well, first of all - he's old enough to not have to eat during the night and it is time he learned to self soothe. What I did with my kids was start a nighttime routine (bed, book, boob, bed). If I were you, I'd start by nursing him/cuddle him until he's asleep and transition him to his crib. If he wakes up in the night, give him a few minutes. (My rule is 10 minutes...unless they're really upset. There is crying and then there is CRYING). If you don't give him a chance to self soothe, he never will. Once he's doing okay with that routine, switch it to where you nurse, then bath, then book then bed. Cuddle or rock him until he's just barely asleep and lay him in his crib. Once he has this down, start putting him in his crib when he's sleepy but not asleep. Once he has this down, start putting him to bed right after the cuddling. If he can learn to get himself to sleep without your help...he can learn to do

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 10:44 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • cont' in the middle of the night. Make sure you don't wait until he is overly tired...he should be in bed at the first sign of sleepiness (rubbing eyes, pulling ears, etc.). A well rested baby is much easier to get to sleep than one who is overly tired.

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 10:45 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • Reverse the order of what you're trying to accomplish. Getting him in his own bed FIRST is paramount. GREAT article on making the transition on Night weaning usually follows naturally from that.

    HOWEVER...night weaning and his own bed does NOT mean sleeping all night. Broken sleep is a permanent condition of motherhood, I'm afraid! It's always something from here on out, even when they do sleep (and they acheive that when they are ready, despite what you do rather than because of it).

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:14 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I agree with gdiamante, switch this around get him used to his bed first and then night wean. What I do with my son (he;s only two months but the older one is two years) is feed him first during our night time routine. So he nurses, gets a bath, story, prayers, and since he's still young I will help cuddle him until he is drowsy and then I lie him down and he'll fall asleep. So you could start out that way with your son for a week or two until he gets used to it and then when he's used to that lie him in his crib after just a short cuddle not long enough for him to be almost asleep in your arms but just a reassurance kind of thing. After that if you want you can cut out the short cuddle, me personally I still like to give my older son cuddles before bed, it doesn't put him to sleep but it's the only time him and I get absolutely alone together is cuddle time.

    Answer by GigantaursMommy at 11:54 PM on Jun. 29, 2010

  • I'll third what gdiamante says. Definately check out Dr. Jay Gordon's article about nightweaning (just google his name and nightweaning). Also check out the "no-cry sleep solution".

    Answer by lifetimelove at 1:02 AM on Jun. 30, 2010

  • I agree with the other PPs, Dr. Jay Gordon's article on nightweaning is a must read for you!!!

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 1:55 PM on Jun. 30, 2010

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