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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Nightweaning and bedtime transitions.

Posted by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM
  • 5 Replies

Hoping to get some good ideas or advice.

My Matthew is 17 months old.  Up to this point he has been breastfed on demand and we are bedsharing.  The last few weeks have been quite rough and my husband and I would like to transition him into his own bed and I am hoping to night wean, although that I am not as concerned with.  I personally think once he is in his own bed he won't really be waking up much, I think it's the "all night buffet" right in his face that causes a lot of his waking.

Does anyone have some good tips?  Full on crying it out is not for us, but I am not against a little bit of fussing themselves to sleep. 

His sleep schedule has been messed up the last week or so, but he does have a pretty regular schedule.  He naps anywhere between 11 and 12, and sleeps for an hour and a half to two hours.  Then he goes down for the night between 8 and 9 and besides his half awake snacking he sleeps through the night until about 7am.  He just won't do any of these things without nursing to sleep in my bed.

Help?

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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melindabelcher
by mel on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Night wean OR transition him to his bed. I wouldn't do both at the same time.

You can nurse him to sleep lay him in his bed and then repeat every time he wakes up.

audmom1218
by Silver Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM
This is what we did. Take it or leave it. Every kid is different.

We noticed that dd had stopped nursing to sleep. She would pop off, roll into her crib (side car) and squirm for a bit then settle to sleep. Then she stopped settling. She wanted attention, would head butt and kick me until I would pay attention to her. (Clearly not wanting to nurse, just not wanting to go to sleep.).

I decided it was time to try something different. At nap time I put her crib mattress on the floor of her room (she liked the freedom of that). I nursed her for 10 min, then gave her a lovie, turned in her radio and walked out. She usually cried when I left the room but she always stopped within 2 minutes. If she didn't stop within 2 I would send dh in to rub her back and help her calm down. (She rarely fought naps so that told me she was ready for the change).

Then we moved her crib into her room as a toddler bed. She has the same routine at bedtime except we let her take a book to bed and she will "read" the book to herself for about 10 min. (This stopped her from crying as we walked out of the room). We didn't night wean. Dh brings her to me, she nurses for 5-10 min then pops off and crawls to daddy to take her back to bed. I do think her in her own room has slowed down the night nursing. Teething can cause her to regress but on average she is only waking to nurse at 11pm and 3am. (With a 7pm bedtime).

I'm not a CIO person. But I do feel dd has a tendency to whine at this age. When she's just whining or fussing we won't rush in to her but when she cries were in right away.

Hope some of the tips help you. For us the key was getting rid of the 4th rail on the crib. She never slept in it until we side-carred it, and jmow she loves it!
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SewingMamaLele
by Leanne on Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM


Quoting melindabelcher:

Night wean OR transition him to his bed. I wouldn't do both at the same time.

You can nurse him to sleep lay him in his bed and then repeat every time he wakes up.

I agree.  Do one or the other.   

We started with nightweaning and continued co-sleeping for a while longer before moving to their own bed (just 2-3 months longer with my younger son).   Both changes at once may be hard.

Also... is he getting his molars?   That was a rough age for us. 

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JTE11
by Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

MAke sure he is not in an overtired state when you start or there might be a lot of crying. Let him play in the crib for several weeks during the day. I sat in a chair in DD's darkened room and nursed her to sleep. Then I put her into the crib and left. She slept for about two hours and woke up and cried on and off for about 45 minutes, then she went back to sleep. She did this a couple of times the first night and fewer times in the next couple of nights. Once she wasn't geting up crying at night I started nursing her almost to sleep and then putting her in. There was some initial crying but since she already knew how to put herself to sleep she would stop crying and go to sleep.  We started the sleep training at 12 months. Prior to that she would only nurse to sleep and she had to sleep swaddled in the swing at night or in my lap during naps. We broke her of swaddling and the swing and started the crib all at the same time. It was not a big traumatic event for her. She cried because any change in routine can cause crying but once she got the new routine she was OK.  Then there was the 18th month sleep regression and we had to start all over. That's something worth mentioning-your LO might be on the verge of a regression at this age so if you start right now you might have to do it again in a month or so.

BlessedMammaof2
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 3:17 PM
I would do one or the other first not both. It could be very stressful for the little guy. Just FYI transitioning him to his own room or even night weaning will not gurantee that he'll sleep through the night.

My DS is 22.5 months old and we bedshare and we've successfully nightweaned. He nurses to sleep and sometimes not and sleeps 10-12 hours before waking in the morning and nursing. It was definitely difficult because we bedshare but not impossible.

There were many fussy nights at first. I started by cutting down the number of times he nursed and delaying and distracting as long as possible. It took loads of patience. DS would settle easier for DH than he would for me. Poor DH was like 'just give it to him already.' I'm 25 weeks pregnant and needed to nightwean for my own comfort and sanity. DH would often cuddle with him, sweet talk him, and rock or pat him until he settled. Whereas it was more of a fight with me.
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