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  1. #1
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    Default Night weaning for 13 month old, help me please!

    Ok, so ive been trying to be a gentle, responsive parent to my DD from day 1; breastfeeding on demand and co sleeping when she needs it (currently part time co sleeping for second half of the night). I've struggled her whole life with her sleep though as she just loves comfort sucking and at 13 months old still wakes multiple times a night wanting me and my boobs. I've been waiting patiently for her sleep to naturally improve but it hasn't.

    Frankly, I've had enough.

    I've been considering night weaning using the Jay Gordon approach but I'm concerned that 7 hrs no breastfeeding is too long to start straight away. She's never gone that long before and if she sleeps say 4-5 hrs I'd be happy to feed her. Less than that I'd try cuddling her back to sleep but I know she will go insane and scream and thrash around. But anyway.....

    Do you think doing a smaller stretch ruin the process and sabotage my efforts? Has anyone done this before?

    Still so torn between waiting for her to grow out of it and night weaning now!

    Bit more background....In the last month she's stopped feeding to sleep for her naps, just wouldn't fall asleep anymore so only way to get her down is in her pram. Goes insane in her cot. Still feeds to sleep at bedtime though.

    Also, she's become more fidgety during the final few hours of the night, tossing and turning next to me and keeps crawling up onto me but can't get comfortable on my chest, so cries and I have to feed her again. She settles, falls asleep but a minute later starts fidgeting around and the cycle starts again. She was doing this for two hours last night, wanted to sleep but couldn't, not upset though, and ended up in her pram. Where she only slept for 45 mins. She's really tired. I wonder if I'm missing something

  2. #2
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    Sounds like my 12 month old

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  3. #3
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    Bond girl I recently weaned DD3 at night. I just couldn't keep it up. She wasn't feeding all night but when I did feed her wouldn't resettle for hours. I would be up with her for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch and it was killing me.

    DH and I went hard core. He slept in her room for 5 night and resettled her. Yes that meant sometimes she grizzled for hours. It was hard and I felt awful but each night she got better

    Within a week she slept 7 to 7. Now she generally does 630 to 630. I don't know myself. It's great and the best part is she is much happier.

    You've done a long stint and been very patient. Would your DH step up now?

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  5. #4
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    We night weaned Dd at 14 months-ish , unfortunately the only way was to go hardcore. We had a couple of cr@p nights but she suddenly "got" it, and then literally overnight her day sleeps suddenly improved too! (She went from having 2/3 x 20 minute sleeps to 2 x 1.5 hour sleeps). We did get some help from a hospital mother baby unit as well.

    Personally I think once they're 12 months, provided they're eating well and getting enough drinks in the day (we went from formula to cows milk without any issues), then they should be old enough to go for a good stretch overnight without a feed . Plus I think you need it too, for your sanity!

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  7. #5
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    Hi OP,

    I really feel for you- I had the same issue with DS3 and at 13 months went into a sleep program at a private hospital as I could just not keep feeding him every 2 hours overnight. How is your DD’s solid intake? My DS’s was terrible, and they explained to me that this was part of the problem. He was filling up on my breast milk overnight then not having the solid intake he required during the day to sustain a longer sleep. They also explained that at 13 months the calories from my breast milk were just not enough, so basically he was filling up on empty calories.
    They did the gentle “shoosh, pat” technique in there and I stayed for 6 nights. I would stay in his room and say shoosh gently as I patted his side in a rhythmical pattern, then leave the room once he was calm. I would let him grizzle for a few minutes but as soon as it escalated I returned to do the same. The first few nights I pretty much got no sleep as I was in his room calming him yet each night it got easier until night 6 he slept through from 7 until 6 and has been pretty consistent ever since (he’s now almost 3). Basically I went cold turkey on the night feeds – so tough for me but honestly, he was fine and the results in terms of eating more during the day were almost instant.I didn’t want to do the cry it out thing either so I found this a more gentle approach. The only thing OP is I don’t know how it would work if she is still in your bed as she still may want to try and snuggle you and will then be smelling your milk – might be easier if she was in her own bed?I really hope you get her sleeping longer stretches soon – it’s amazing how much better you feel when you are getting a proper sleep.

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  9. #6
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    I never night weaned my kids, so feel free to ignore me but when I weaned them all they went from constant day and night feeding to zero with only a few days and nights of crankiness. You may find that the seven hour stretch of no feeds goes better than you expect.

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    Bond Girl  (21-09-2014)

  11. #7
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    How is your supply at night? We bed share full time. I've noticed on the nights dd breast feeds only she's attached most of the night. My supply is low at night so I know she's not getting a large amount.
    On the nights she has a bottle she'll sleep 6-8 hours
    We mix feed with cows milk so what I do now is let her comfort feed for 10 minutes or so, until she's really sleepy and just wants milk to knock her out and then detach her and give her the bottle.

  12. #8
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    BondGirl, my 12 mth old was similar, needing a feed every 2-3 hrs. I found 3 things helps, and now mostly we have 1 b'feed in the middle of the night with a heavenly 5-6 hr stretch each side.
    1) don't react to her straight away, maybe 1 in 5 times she'll fall back to sleep herself
    2) try patting first, I found she mostly dropped her 2am wake up as I patted her for that one
    3) if she wakes up early morning and I need another 1-2 hrs sleep, I offer a paci. I don't offer it earlier in the night as I find it promotes night waking, but if I just want 1-2 hrs more in the early morning it helps.
    Let us know how you go!

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. All helpful.

    I think I'll just have to do it. Have read there should be significant results in three nights. I'm just nervous as whenever I try not to feed her and cuddle her instead she goes mental and it's hard to even hold onto her!!! It's going to be extremely difficult.

    Her solid intake varies. Sometimes great sometimes terrible. I do worry she's hungry at times so waking to feed. Hopefully night weaning will get her eating more!

    I have considered having DH do it but she's very much a mummy's girl, only wants me for sleeps (probably due to boobs I know!) and same during the day when awake, so I fear having him go in to her instead will stress her out even more. Have tried patting and shushing but she really just wants a cuddle. Will try the Jay Gordon approach exactly as it is and will let you know how it goes!

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    Night one update!

    So last night she didn't even wake up until 02:20 which is incredible for her. First three nights on the Jay Gordon approach you feed them but don't allow them to fall asleep on the boob. She resettled easily with a feed then a pat, then woke again at 0445. Well this time she cracked it when I didn't allow her to fall asleep feeding. And basically never went back to sleep though she was so tired, bless her. I walked around cuddling her and she was drowsy but couldn't quite get there. So her morning nap was very early. But all in all not too bad. I'm sure tonight will be worse! After 3 nights you stop feeding them at all between 11pm- 6am. Hmmm!

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