Anyone night weaned while co sleeping

(17 Posts)

Am currently feeding DS (8 mo) to sleep at night and back to sleep every time he wakes in our bed.

It hasn't really been much of a problem but he has always woken every hour at least. When he wakes at night it's not too bad as he's sleepy and drifts back off fairly easily usually.

However, getting him to sleep is a nightmare, he is very fond of acrobatic nursing and sleeping on his tummy. He has now decided he would like to feed lying on his tummy, it hurts as his latch is rubbish at the best of times and in this position I don't know how he hasn't actually taken my nipple off with him on his journey to a comfy position. He just can't stay still!

Anyway, my milk supply had a sudden drop recently, and that made feeding to sleep initially very hard but through the night he didn't seem to mind there not being any milk. This has got me thinking that he could cope with fewer night feeds if I didn't have milk available. Not sure how to go about this though as I don't want to stop feeding in the day.

I have tried sshhing, patting etc.. It just escalates into a fully awake hysterical baby!

Anyone night weaned a co sleeper?!

BimbaBirba Sun 24-Feb-13 19:44:56

Hmmm, it's a difficult one Snow! Generally, it's the dad that tries to help when a baby is night weaned precisely because it's much harder for mum not to give in and just put him on the boob when baby starts screaming at 4 am!
Personally, I moved him out of our bed around the same age as your DS and nightweaned at the same time. First I tried to get him used to sleeping in his bed during the day, then got DH on board when we moved him out and he woke up during the night. It was hard but after a couple of nights he stopped refusing DH and would fall asleep with him. Then rather quickly he stopped waking up and slept through - must have thought daddy's chest wasn't worth his time grin.

Thanks bimba! Poor dad and his chest, I'm sure he didn't mind the rejection wink

DP could get involved, but we've tried before with him putting DS to sleep and it just turns into an almighty battle with lots of crying for me and I just decide it's not worth the tears! I think it probably would work if we stuck with it but DS is very loud and gets really worked up within minutes if I don't respond to his cries so I would have to give in.

Was your LO waking much in the night prior to making the changes? And what made you decide to go for it at that point in time, were there signs he showed which made you think it was the right time?

NippyDrips Sun 24-Feb-13 20:46:48

Watching with interest. Ds is 7 months and goes down without a feed but wants feeding 3 times during the night!

Sorry no advice. Lots of moral support though.

Tieni Sun 24-Feb-13 21:22:20

Snow we are in exactly the same situation as you with DD 10 months but we also have DS 2.11 in the room next door who will be woken if the screams are too loud!

I have no advice to offer but we are starting to consider me taking DS away for the weekend in a few months time (want to bf for a year as I did with DS) and DH staying with DD to start the night weaning process. Not ideal but we need to do something!

At 10 months DS was on a morning and an evening feed only and was fully weaned by 12 months (he just stopped being interested) so I know it's possible in theory, it's just putting it into practice this time! I'm due back at work soon so DD will no longer bf in the day, so am guessing my supply will start to dwindle too.

ruthyroo Mon 25-Feb-13 03:27:11

Hi op

What. Makes you think your ability to produce milk has been reduced? If your baby is nursing often night and day it would be very unusual for you to have any supply problems.

For night weaning and cosleeping have a read of the no cry sleep solution book. Jay Gordon also has a method for nw older babies over a year while cosleeping.

Hth

Victoria2002 Mon 25-Feb-13 04:22:11

I was in the same situation, co-sleeping ds 7m and feeding him back to sleep every 2hrs. I moved him to his cot then sleep-trained him. The first night he woke 6 times but I didn't feed him, just tried to comfort him. The next night he slept 8.5hrs, the 3rd night 9hrs, 3 more great big sleeps after that...it's going well he now drinks loads more in the day, he was definitely filling up at night. We really want to wait till he is sleeping through consistently then move back to sharing a room (ideally a bed), but I suspect it can't work when I am still b/f.

BimbaBirba Mon 25-Feb-13 10:43:44

Hi Snow. Yes he was waking up loads, probably every one or two hours but going back to sleep easily and without even sucking much.
I guess exhaustion and the fact that he clearly wasn't hungry (he would pull away as soon as I had a let down of milk) made us realise that it was just a habit for him.

ruthy had a definite sudden drop in milk supply, think it may have been reared to periods returning. Have also suffered with low milk supply in past due to very bad latch due to tongue tie...will take a look at jay Gordon, thanks

victoria thanks, how did you sleep train him? I wouldn't be able to let DS cry and I am yet to find a solution where he is not fed but doesn't cry, which seems to be the problem!

bimba that's exactly what DS does, might give the dad comforter another try, I'm sure they change with age as to the comfort they will take. It's just he seems to view dad as just the ultimate play machine and nothing else! My own fault I know, but he was very high needs as a baby and I had to do whatever I could to calm him and I was the only one who could do it so we just went with that!

tieni you are braver than me! Guess it comes with experience if you have another DC. Sounds like it could work, I might be inclined to try DP settling with me in other room so he thinks I'm out and then come in if he gets too distressed..good luck with it!

BimbaBirba Mon 25-Feb-13 17:29:25

Snow, please don't blame yourself! Of course you were the only person to calm him and comfort him, you're his mummy smile
As you say, things change all the time and he may be happy with daddy, you never know. As a bit of a control freak I really thought that he would not settle without me but he surprised me! The important thing is to be consistent whatever strategy you adopt.

Victoria2002 Tue 26-Feb-13 12:27:56

I used controlled crying I'm afraid. I totally understand if it's not for you. Possibly easier for me as I've done it hefore as a nanny. The first night he woke 6 times, 5 times he settled within 10mins, but once at 1am he cried on and off for an hour (myself and dp going in and out every 5/10mins). BUT the second night he slept eight and a half hours, the third night nine and a half, then we had 3 perfect nights where I had to wake him in the morning. It feels awful but it does work. His milk intake in the day has gone through the roof and he's been his usual charming self (no sign of me having traumatised him).

I was in a similar position at roughly the same stage, milk supply dropped due to periods starting again. It only lasted a couple of weeks then it picked back up.

To night wean, I just started offering a sippy cup with water in (to stop spillage) and wore a T-shirt in bed so there was no easy access to boobs. After a couple of days she only woke once in the night for a quick sip and went straight back to sleep.

When she was just over a year she stopped even wanting that quick sip of water in the night, though it didn't really wake me up at that point anyway, I'd just pick the cup up on autopilot, hand it to her and then put it back without really stirring.

javabean Tue 26-Feb-13 12:47:14

I did, but not till DD was over a year. At 8mo she really did need to eat in the night. Also, at around 8mo she went through a difficult sleeping stage (I think becoming mobile and 9 month sleep regression hit at the same time) but she did get through the other side and calm down again at night by about 10mo.

I started by not always feeding to sleep but trying to cuddle her first. If she wasn't calming then I'd feed her, but gradually the cuddling worked more and more. Once she got to a year old, I introduced a water cup at night too. Then, when she was about 14mo I decided to stop feeding her altogether. Still, she often woke hungry and for a while we would often give her a cracker or slice of toast and some water in the night. Slowly this tailed off and by about 17 months she stopped being hungry in the night.

I'm sure that plenty of people wouldn't feed snacks in the night, but it worked for us. It was a long process though, and not a quick fix. DD was also quite high needs as a baby. We still co-sleep with her but not every night.

bimba thanks, very hard not to blame myself, especially with high needs baby as he's sooo different to any other baby I know, so nobody usually understands, thank god for MN!

worldgonecrazy I did try he water trick about 2 months ago, but he was having none of it, really made him angry! Might give it another try, has to work at some point right?!haha

java not sure he still needs to eat as he tends to just suck and fall back off to sleep apart from once where he might actually feed. I guess the mobility thing may be causing it as he's been walking for about a month now, but thought their sleep got worse just before they learned a new skill? There's a 9 month sleep regression?! I seriously don't think it could get much worse!

Interestingly another tooth popped out this morning, and he does seem to suffer with teething quite a lot. I think it's a mixture of teething and habit and learning and reflux and hunger/thirst that keep him waking so much.....sooo.....might take a while to go through all that!

Thanks for all suggestions, I think we'll try a few different things but just take it slowly, he won't allow fir a sudden change anyway! I liked the idea about cuddling and then feeding if it doesn't settle him....now, how do I get him to cuddle me?!

FlyingUmbrella Tue 26-Feb-13 17:39:00

We night weaned DS at 12 months and we still co-sleep. His last feed is at bedtime and he gets a morning feed when he wakes up in the morning as long as its after 6.
To night wean I cuddled, rocked, sang and shushed him when he woke for milk. We offered water but that was just pushed away. I won't leave him to cry alone but he did cry and scream on and off for a good few hours with me and DH for the first 3 nights but he's fine now. It was hard but kept telling him and myself that he wasn't alone and he was ok.
We did set a limit of 5 days and if there was no improvement we'd leave it and try again in a month.
He still wakes about twice but a quick cuddle is all it takes to send him back to sleep. He no longer expects a BF in the night.
I still BF in the day and he feeds more now since the night weaning but I don't mind.
This worked for us but it was tough going (But I am very soft by many peoples standards)

umbrella I am soft when it comes to DS too, the only thing that worries me about thus method is that he will continue to wake every hour for a cuddle/rock/sing etc... Did your DSs amount of wakings decrease soon after he realised he wouldn't be having a feed?

FlyingUmbrella Tue 26-Feb-13 18:01:28

He still wakes but much less than previously, twice from bedtime until morning maximum (unless teething). He is also back asleep in under a minute having a quick cuddle and a shush. I also sleep better as he's not feeding all night or waking every few hours! This works well for us and we do occasionally get nights where he sleeps through and they are getting more frequent. I think he'll sleep though consistently when he's ready (told you I'm soft!). I'm pleased we did it, it's not perfect but definately good enough for us!

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