Help! Newly pregnant! — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Help! Newly pregnant!

Ds2 is 20 months old and we bed share. He still nurses around the clock and generally wakes 3 to 4 times a night. I've just recently learned that we are expecting baby #3.

I'm tired. I feel really bad for DS, this pregnancy came as a surprise. I'm not ready to sleep train or to wean DS, but something's got to give.

Can anyone offer suggestions to help this mama get some more sleep without traumatizing DS or myself?

Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Help! Newly pregnant!

  • When I was done with a particular stage, I looked at what I needed most - for me, it was better sleep, which meant not nursing as often in the night.  We still coslept, but she only got to nurse once in the night from 16mo or so.  It made a surprising difference.  But I also made a decision to change one thing at a time, and re-evaluate after that change "stuck".

    Good luck!
    You sound like you're in a tough position, and it isn't easy to sort out what's the next thing to change.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • No need to sleep train or wean (those sound like pretty big extremes to me), but if you need to be getting more sleep, sounds like you need to make a change.

    Night weaning (or partial night weaning) can be done successfully while cosleeping. We did it when I became pregnant because night nursing was painful for me. I began by limiting each nursing session, so that I didn't ever refuse him when he woke to nurse, but I would count silently to myself and cut him off at some point, or I would nurse as long as I could stand it (like 10 seconds, lol), and then I would unlatch him and say it was time for snuggles. If he fussed or resisted, I would say "ok, one more and then we snuggle," and I would repeat with the other breast. I also told him that the bees (what we call breasts) need to go to sleep too. If the bees were sleeping, he needed to wait a bit until they woke let's snuggle and when the bees wake up, we'll nurse.

    I also keep a sippy of water next to the bed and offer that if he wakes up thirsty.

    Now I'm 25wks pregnant and DS is night weaned. The result of limiting him during the night was that he woke less often, and when he woke, more and more he accepted snuggles back to sleep as an alternative to nursing. He still nurses 2-3 times per day, but has lost a lot of interest with the natural reduction in my supply, and he has found other ways to connect with me. We snuggle A LOT, and he likes to lift up his shirt and ask me to do the same so that we can snuggle our tummies together.

    Sorry this got so long!! Here are some tl;dr ideas for you:

    1. Get SO involved in managing bedtime and some night wakings. This will be good for his relationship with DS but also will help give you a break...good planning for nighttime parenting your newbie.

    2. Consider partial night weaning if nursing becomes painful or if the frequent wakings to nurse are keeping you up.

    3. If you SAH, even though the loss of personal time is super hard to take, consider napping when DS does. It can really make a difference.

    Best of luck and congratulations!
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