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Bed transferring/night weaning *sorry kinda long*

Posted by on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM
  • 12 Replies

Ladies! Hello and good morning! :)) 

My toddler is 2yrs and 4 months old .. He been BF'd since birth, and we also co-slept since birth (against my husbands wishes cause he thought he would smother him). 

Now I am pregnant with B#2 and still nursing at 22 weeks. I've gotten through the sore nipples and occassional engorgement. But Hubs says hes getting to old and needs to be weaned (basically he needs out of our bed, because the only time DS nurses is for a nap or at bedtime and during the night .. hardly at all during the day)

Honestly I would love to go ahead and wean him, but we have been slowing cutting out feedings to this point, but he will not sleep alone ... I love bond that we share and when we nurse and I look into those blue eyes and see so much imagination and comfort and securness, i dont want to loose that! Especially with the new baby coming, I dont want him to feel that he's being replaced!!!

I guess Im asking, do I need to wean him completely to get him out of our bed? Is there any way to transition him to his own bed and keep nursing him?? 

by on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM
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gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:28 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Dragon.Momma86:

Ladies! Hello and good morning! :)) 

My toddler is 2yrs and 4 months old .. He been BF'd since birth, and we also co-slept since birth (against my husbands wishes cause he thought he would smother him). 

And obviously hubs was wrong....

Now I am pregnant with B#2 and still nursing at 22 weeks. I've gotten through the sore nipples and occassional engorgement.

Good for you! Most toddlers have self-weaned at this point in mom's pregnancy.

But Hubs says hes getting to old

SInce hubs was wrong about the smothering,. disregard him in this case too, unless YOU want to wean. (Secret of my mom's 53-year-marriage... ignore my dad when he didn't know what he was talking about! It's worked here for 21 years. **smile**)

and needs to be weaned (basically he needs out of our bed, because the only time DS nurses is for a nap or at bedtime and during the night .. hardly at all during the day)

Honestly I would love to go ahead and wean him, but we have been slowing cutting out feedings to this point, but he will not sleep alone ...

Yeah, weaning and sleeping are two separate issues. I will post Dr. Jay's transition info for you. Tell hubs to expect this to take one month, no sooner and quite possibly longer. (This is what they call "managing expectations.)

I love bond that we share and when we nurse and I look into those blue eyes and see so much imagination and comfort and securness, i dont want to loose that! Especially with the new baby coming, I dont want him to feel that he's being replaced!!!

Heh heh... he will feel that anyway. Be warned!

I guess Im asking, do I need to wean him completely to get him out of our bed? Is there any way to transition him to his own bed and keep nursing him?? 

Yep. Indeed, do one or the other but not both at the same time. And tell Dad he will play a MAJOR role in comforting. If he's not willing to handle nighttime duty, then he needs to be quiet.


gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:29 AM
2 moms liked this

THE BEST INFO IN THE WORLD on what you're trying to achieve:

Sleep, Changing Patterns In The Family Bed

  •  Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

I can only imagine a mom and dad who are as tired as anyone can be, eager to see this article on sleep, and finding that we had made it unavailable for a little while!

We had to do that because I didn’t write the article clearly enough and need to clarify some very important facts.

It would be hard to find as strong a proponent of the family bed as I am. Yet, I have received email commenting that there were sections of this “plan” which were easy to misinterpret as being just another angle on “sleep training” for young babies. It is not meant to be that. Not even close to an endorsement of the benefits of getting your baby to “soothe herself to sleep” during the first year.

Here’s what I really want to do: I want to offer an alternative to Ferber and Weisbluth and the Whisperer. I never want to see my ideas applied to a four month old or even a seven month old baby. As a matter of fact, I am not too excited about pushing any baby around at night but I know that sometimes it will be done and I’d like to offer a gentle, supported plan for after the first year.

Before I go any further, let me express my overriding concern. Babies do better when we answer all their questions as best we can and meet their needs as best we can.

Most of the families I have taken care of in my pediatric practice sleep in a family bed.

Their babies tend to breastfeed for more than one year and they don’t sleep through the night any better than most of us would if we napped and cuddled within inches of the best restaurant in town and knew it was open 24 hours a day.

This arrangement is not just adequate and tolerable, but actually feels easier to moms who can just roll over, nurse a while and fall back to sleep with their babies rather having to get out of bed to nurse or, alternatively, refuse to nurse and get their babies back to sleep some other way.

Lots of parents continue this pattern through the first year and well into the second and beyond, but some get tired of it — or just plain tired — after a while and are looking for a way to change things. Saddest of all, some moms and dads think that total weaning from breastfeeding is the best way to get more sleep. They choose not to look into nighttime weaning as a good option instead.

There are dozens of confusing books and magazine articles implying that there can be some quick and easy way to get your baby to sleep or to not nurse through the night. I have yet to read one which told parents the complete truth: It’s not easy, it’s rarely quick and it’s usually a little loud and heartbreaking for a few nights . . . or more. I have seen too many families needing help and getting offered choices they didn’t like at all.

I have a better alternative to completely weaning or to letting the baby cry it out. Babies wake up for the optimal interaction with their moms, breastfeeding back to sleep. If we offer them a little less than that for a few nights and then a little less and still less in the ensuing nights, gentle behavior modification will lead them to realize that it might not be “worth it” to knock on the door of a closed restaurant, so to speak.

I don’t recommend any forced sleep changes during the first year of life. Probably the only exception to this would be an emergency involving a nursing mom’s health. There are many suggestions in books and magazines for pushing “sleeping through the night” during a baby’s early months or during the first year. I don’t think this is the best thing to do and I am quite sure that the earlier a baby gets “non-response” from parents, the more likely he is to close down at least a little.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the family bed, child-led weaning and cuddling all through the first, second, third year or more if it’s working well and if the family is doing well. Don’t let anyone convince you that this is a harmful choice or that there will be “no way” to get him out of your bed if you don’t do it now. Don’t believe anyone who says that babies who cuddle and nurse all night long “never” learn to self soothe or become independent. This is simply nottrue but it sells books and the myths stay in our culture.

Some moms just don’t want to do this after some months or years and there should be a third choice to the dichotomy of crying it out or giving in to all-night nursing. Again, I support the family bed and frequent night nursing for a long time and even attempt to pull some parents along “just a little farther,” but I often have to switch tacks and support and help families with difficult choices.

Here’s what I recommend for older babies:

Choose the most valuable seven hours of sleep for yourselves. I personally prefer 11p.m. through 6 a.m. but you might have a slightly different idea.

Change the rules during those hours and be comfortable that a “well-built” family bed baby’s personality can withstand this rule changing and the mild inconsistency of getting everything he wants all the time . . .oops, almost all the time. That’s the word we want to show this baby. The word “almost.” If only we could explain to him that “tired moms and dads take their children to the park a little less and that children of well-rested parents get to go the zoo and for hikes a lot more than children of exhausted parents.” If that explanation only made sense to kids somewhere before the third birthday (and it doesn’t!) they would simply roll over, say, “See you in the morning,” and let us get the sleep we want.

I try to do this in three- and four-night intervals.

I’m assuming that you have a wonderfully healthy 12-, 15-, 20- or 30-month old baby who still loves to wake up every 2 to 4 hours to cuddle, eat or . . . whatever. I’m assuming that you have thought this through, decided you want to make changes and alerted the neighbors that it might be a little noisy for a week or so.

I’m assuming that both parents agree — or almost agree — that this is the best thing to do. And, most important assumption of all, you are willing to go “in a straight line” to the goal of seven straight hours of sleep.

The reason for that last statement: If your baby learns that crying, squirming and fussing (euphemisms, let’s just say “crying” . . . sorry) for an hour will get him fed you will set yourself back quite a bit. This is the best program I have seen but it’s far from easy. And now, to say it again, I really like what you’ve been doing. Cuddling, nursing, hugging through the night. Don’t change this with my program or any other if you’re happy doing what you’re doing. But . . .

The First Three Nights

At any time before 11 p.m. (including 10:58) nurse to sleep, cuddle and nurse when he wakes up and nurse him back to sleep, but stop offering nursing to sleep as the solution to waking after 11 p.m.. Instead…..

When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don’t put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that’s what you’ve been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off.

Now, he will tell you that he is angry and intensely dislikes this new routine. I believe him. He will also try to tell you that he’s scared. I believe he’s angry, but a baby who’s had hundreds of nights in a row of cuddling is not scared of falling asleep with your hand on his back and your voice in his ear. Angry, yes. Scared, no, not really.

During these first three nights, repeat this pattern only after he has slept. He might sleep for fifteen minutes or he might sleep for four hours, but he has to go to sleep and reawaken to get cuddled and fed again.

These will be hard nights.

You may have decided you’re really not ready to do this. That’s OK. Stop and start over again in a few months if you like. Choosing the right time is crucial and many people choose a time suggested or pushed by friends, doctors or in-laws. This doesn’t work as well.

Is it better to do this in the family bed, a crib in the same room or using a crib in another room? I prefer to continue the family bed even though it might seem harder at first, but it has always seemed harder to me to be putting a baby in and out of a crib. However, a crib or toddler bed in your room may be what works best for you. Another option is to expand your bed’s limits by placing another mattress against your mattress. A bit more space for each family member may help to solve some of the sleep issues. My least favorite choice is a crib or bed in a separate bedroom.

Again, during these first three nights, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., cuddle and feed short, put him down awake, rub, pat, talk until he falls asleep and repeat this cycle only after he’s slept and reawakened. At 6:01 a.m., do whatever you have been doing as a morning routine ignoring the previous seven hours’ patterns. Many babies will roll over, nurse and cuddle back to sleep and give you an extra hour or so. Some won’t.

For me, one of the most reassuring parts of this “sleep plan” is seeing that babies wake up fine, happy and grudge-free about the change in the rules. You’ll see what I mean, even if the first few minutes of the morning are not exactly as they’ve always been.

The Second Three Nights

Again, the nursing to sleep stops at 11 p.m. When he wakes up, hug him and cuddle him for a few minutes, but do not feed him, put him down awake. Putting him down awake is a crucial part of this whole endeavor because it really does teach him to fall asleep with a little less contact and then a little less. Not feeding is the big change during these three nights. One-year-old babies can easily go for those seven hours (or more) with no calories. Theylike to get fed a little through the night, but physiologically and nutritionally, this is not a long time to go without food.

If I could wake my wife a few times each night, ask her to squeeze me a little fresh orange juice (my favorite drink) and rub my back while I drank it, I wouldn’t choose to voluntarily give up this routine. My wife might have some different ideas and get tired of the pattern quickly. Babies rarely give up their favorite patterns and things — day or night– without balking and crying.

I really don’t like listening to babies cry. I actually hate listening to babies cry. Unlike them, though, we adults can truly understand the implications of lack of sleep for a family of three, four or more people. Sleep patterns sometimes have to be changed. The incredible safety and reassurance the family bed has provided, and continues to provide, supplies the best context and location for these changes.

During these second three nights, some babies will cry and protest for ten minutes at a time and some will go for an hour or more. Your toddler is aware that you are right beside him, offering comfort and soothing. It just isn’t the mode of comfort he wants at the moment. It is hard to listen to him fuss, but it will work. I believe that a well-loved baby, after a year or more in the family bed, will be the ultimate beneficiary of his parents getting more sleep. Not coincidentally, the parents benefit “big time,” too.

“Yes, for the past many months we have enjoyed voting “1 to 2″ — non-democratically — in favor of . . . the baby. ‘Anyone want to get up all night, feed and walk the baby and be really tired all day and the next day too?’ Well, the vote is 1 to 2 in favor of the baby.”

Now, what we’re saying is, we will sometimes be voting two to one in favor of the baby’s family. This “baby’s family” concept may be abhorrent to he who considers himself the King of England, or Emperor of the Whole World, but our knowing he has that feeling of power allows us to confidently demote the dictator to a majority-respecting member of the family. His family.

By the end of the sixth night, your baby is going back to sleep without being nursed or fed. He’s going back to sleep after a nice hug, a cuddle and with your hand on his back and your words in his ear.

If, at any point this is feeling “wrong” to you, stop, wait some months and start over. Don’t go against your “gut instincts” which tell you that this is the wrong time to get longer sleep intervals from your baby. Your instincts are better than any sleep-modification program ever written.

The Next Four Nights

Nights seven, eight, nine and ten. Don’t pick him up, don’t hug him. When he awakens after 11 p.m., talk to him, touch him, talk some more, but don’t pick him up. Rub and pat only. No feeding either, obviously. He will fall back to sleep. Repeat the rubbing and talking when he reawakens. By the end of the ninth night, he will be falling back to sleep, albeit reluctantly for some babies and toddlers, with only a rub and a soothing voice.

After

After these first ten nights, continue to cuddle and feed to sleep if you like and he wants to, but do nothing when he wakes up except to touch a little and talk to him briefly. This may continue for another three or four nights but occasionally keeps going for another week or more. Then . . . it stops. He has learned that he is just as well-loved, gets virtually everything he needs and wants all day, but must give seven hours per night back to his parents and family.

What happens if you travel, he gets sick or some other circumstance demands a return to more nighttime interaction? Nothing. You do what you need to do (cuddle, nurse, walk, in the middle of the night, as many times as you need to) and then spend a night or two or three getting back to the new pattern the family has established.

By the way, pay the baby. Make sure that he really does get a lot of the benefit of your getting a good night’s sleep. Go to the park more often. Do all those things with him you said you’d do if he ever let you sleep longer. Explain it to him as you’re doing it. He’ll understand in an ever increasing way and will be OK with all this.

Dragon.Momma86
by Member on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:41 AM


Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting Dragon.Momma86:

Ladies! Hello and good morning! :)) 

My toddler is 2yrs and 4 months old .. He been BF'd since birth, and we also co-slept since birth (against my husbands wishes cause he thought he would smother him). 

And obviously hubs was wrong....

-It took a while but we did get it straightened out...it took several months of no sleep for hubs before he was able to sleep through the night with both of us.


Now I am pregnant with B#2 and still nursing at 22 weeks. I've gotten through the sore nipples and occassional engorgement.

Good for you! Most toddlers have self-weaned at this point in mom's pregnancy.

-That's what I thought too!! But if anything I have noticed sometimes he does nurse a lil more, BUT he did that before we got pregnant...


But Hubs says hes getting to old

SInce hubs was wrong about the smothering,. disregard him in this case too, unless YOU want to wean. (Secret of my mom's 53-year-marriage... ignore my dad when he didn't know what he was talking about! It's worked here for 21 years. **smile**)

-True! BUT I mean I respect his opinion too ;) 


and needs to be weaned (basically he needs out of our bed, because the only time DS nurses is for a nap or at bedtime and during the night .. hardly at all during the day)

Honestly I would love to go ahead and wean him, but we have been slowing cutting out feedings to this point, but he will not sleep alone ...

Yeah, weaning and sleeping are two separate issues. I will post Dr. Jay's transition info for you. Tell hubs to expect this to take one month, no sooner and quite possibly longer. (This is what they call "managing expectations.)

-Thanks I'll look into it!!


I love bond that we share and when we nurse and I look into those blue eyes and see so much imagination and comfort and securness, i dont want to loose that! Especially with the new baby coming, I dont want him to feel that he's being replaced!!!

Heh heh... he will feel that anyway. Be warned!

I guess Im asking, do I need to wean him completely to get him out of our bed? Is there any way to transition him to his own bed and keep nursing him?? 

Yep. Indeed, do one or the other but not both at the same time. And tell Dad he will play a MAJOR role in comforting. If he's not willing to handle nighttime duty, then he needs to be quiet.

-That's what I've been trying to tell him, but sometimes he just tells DS to be big boy and that he doesnt need nursies anymore :/ 

gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:45 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Dragon.Momma86:

-True! BUT I mean I respect his opinion too ;) 

Respect him when he's RIGHT. But when he's wrong, go your own way Again, lesson from my mom, who knew a thing or two. **grin** My dad was a very different man in his 70s than in his 40s (my earliest memory) and it was down to my mom not letting him get away with foolishness.

-That's what I've been trying to tell him, but sometimes he just tells DS to be big boy and that he doesnt need nursies anymore :/ 

Yeah... there's where the foolishness comes in. **grin** 


Dragon.Momma86
by Member on Aug. 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Point well taken! thanks! :) 

Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting Dragon.Momma86:

-True! BUT I mean I respect his opinion too ;) 

Respect him when he's RIGHT. But when he's wrong, go your own way Again, lesson from my mom, who knew a thing or two. **grin** My dad was a very different man in his 70s than in his 40s (my earliest memory) and it was down to my mom not letting him get away with foolishness.

-That's what I've been trying to tell him, but sometimes he just tells DS to be big boy and that he doesnt need nursies anymore :/ 

Yeah... there's where the foolishness comes in. **grin** 



Dragon.Momma86
by Member on Aug. 1, 2014 at 10:10 AM

quick question, with the bed change routine, does this mean i can still nurse during the day? I dont have to stop nursing him completely?? 

Quoting gdiamante:


Quoting Dragon.Momma86:

-True! BUT I mean I respect his opinion too ;) 

Respect him when he's RIGHT. But when he's wrong, go your own way Again, lesson from my mom, who knew a thing or two. **grin** My dad was a very different man in his 70s than in his 40s (my earliest memory) and it was down to my mom not letting him get away with foolishness.

-That's what I've been trying to tell him, but sometimes he just tells DS to be big boy and that he doesnt need nursies anymore :/ 

Yeah... there's where the foolishness comes in. **grin** 



isaacsmommy68
by Bronze Member on Aug. 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM
1 mom liked this

The easiest thing for me was to nurse on the couch only. When he was almost asleep, i would unlatch him and place him on MY bed. I would let him sleep for a while. When I was ready for bed, i picked him up and put him in his bed. During the night for a while he would come back to our bed. I would turn my back to him and not let him nurse. It took a few weeks. But he realized he was not getting milkies during the night and would just fall back asleep. He would scream for about 10 minutes the first few nights. Then just whine for a few minutes. Now he sleeps through the night in his own bed. His toddler bed is in my room still. It is a process and will not happen over night. My son was 23 months when he finally night weaned and slept all night. Good luck! :)

gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Aug. 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Sure you can. There's no reason you ever have to stop completely, shy of mastectomy., radiation or chemp. **smile**

quick question, with the bed change routine, does this mean i can still nurse during the day? I dont have to stop nursing him completely?? 

MusherMaggie
by Platinum Member on Aug. 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM
You do not have to wean. Tell your husband the world wide age for weaning is 4-7 years. It's beneficial for as long as it continues. Look up Dr. Jay Gordon's "Changing Patterns in the Family Bed". All the information you'll need there.

My.DH was smart enough to know that he didn't know much about nursing. He kept his opinions to himself. We moved our son to a kindergarten cot beside our bed about a year before his sister was born. He was already night weaned by then but still nursing a few times per week.
cemcnair
by Courtney on Aug. 1, 2014 at 3:29 PM
My second was born when my oldest was 2y7m. He nursed through the whole pregnancy and didn't wean until after his 3rd birthday. My dh made similar comments. I told him that while I respected his opinion, I was the parent who this choice effected. He wanted ME to wean our son, so again, I told him I would at MY pace since it was on ME. I did tell him that I would make an effort to wean around his 3rd birthday, but at my pace.

We night weaned ds1 due to a business trip I took when he was 20 months, using a modified version of the above method :) he did not transition to his own bed until after his 2nd birthday.

When ds2 was about 6 months old, I was very stressed (working full time and nursing both boys-ds1 was only nursing right before bed). I very gently and gradually encouraged ds1 to wean at that point soley because I needed a break. Not because of dh, because I made the decision (at that point, dh had given up, lol).

Night weaning is a great tool.

Ds2 is still nursing full time at 16 months. I have no plans to wean or night wean him any time soon.
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