Nursing at night — The Bump
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Nursing at night

My son is 9 1/2 months old. Is this too early to start weaning him off his night nursing sessions. He is still waking up every 2 hours or so. When do most moms eliminate the night nursing?
happily married since 2009, SAHM
diagnosed with unexplained infertility, regular cycles
Baby #1: ttc naturally for 3 years, 6 yr old daughter
Baby #2: ttc naturally for 2 years, 2 yr old son
Baby #3: ttc naturally since August 2016

Re: Nursing at night

  • I would try to cluster feed before bedtime, in the hopes that LO would go longer sleeping at night.  I never actively night weaned....since I was lucky and my LO did that herself.  They do need to get in the same number of ounces per day, so if you can up the number of daytime feedings, they can potentially go longer at night without eating.  GL!


    **DD1 - 7/9/98**

    **DS - 11/9/00**

    **DD2 - 4/30/13**

  • 9.5 months is definitely not too early to start to night wean.  (or at least spread the feedings out much further than 2 hours!)  
    I used a method from my sleeping book (I think it was the Sleep Lady Shuffle)-- where I tracked LOs feedings and what time and for how long they ate for a few days (I did this on my phone while LO was nursing in the middle of the night), then dropped/spread out feedings, dropping just one at a time over about 5 days.  if you can quickly identify a feeding where they are eating for a very short amount of time, that is likely just comfort (rather than nutritive) nursing, and is the easiest to drop and something that your partner can rock baby back to sleep for, and then they will chow down next time they wake up. There was also something where I gradually shifted the time between feedings to spread them out.  I ended up going down to just one MOTN feed using the above method around 7 moths, then continuing doing one night-time feed until LO was about 10.5 months when she dropped that herself.
    You basically have to encourage LO to shift when they are nursing and getting all their calories.  And at 9.5 months, complimentary foods can be part of the equation, too.

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  • I just kept nursing and she slowly night weaned on her own around the same age your LO is. It was about the time I thought I was going to wake up every two hours for the rest of my life. I was working full time and she nursed less at night on the weekends so I knew part of it was just that she wanted to be with me. Making sure to get in a couple of really good nursing sessions before bed did help get a longer first stretch of sleep sometimes but not always. I honestly didn't try any other sleep training or night weaning tactics and just kept nursing when she wanted to nurse. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep but I don't regret it. I read the no cry sleep solution and that was helpful because like AmyG said, nursing isn't just about eating so maybe there are some other sleep tactics you could try.
  • I waited for both girls to reduce their nightly nursing sessions on their own. It didn't happen. Turns out 16 months is my breaking point. With #3 I'm hoping for a better sleeper and would love for her to self night wean. But if she doesn't, I might do it around a year. Because I'm really bad with severe exhaustion for that long :-)
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