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How to Stop Breastfeeding 22 Month Old

my daughter is 22 months old..I still breastfeed and would like to stop. we co-sleep, which both my husband and I both want to do, but she still wakes up every 2 hrs or so just to nurse-I know not for hunger, but Iam like her pacifier.....I really want to stop nursing, so hopefully she will sleep longer at night- Iam exhausted, and would love more then 2 hrs of sleep at a time. I do not believe in letting kids cry it out(more power to those of you who do!) so that is not an option for us. I also have to nurse her for nap time to sleep too.....I would love any suggestions on how to stop, I have so many friends who say that thier babies just lost interest in nursing, but my daughter is not one of those kids, so here Iam.....let me know if you have any suggestions!!! thanks!

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Hi J.
I stopped breastfeeding at night while cosleeping by keeping a bottle of water in bed and I told her I would not be breastfeeding her in the middle of the night anymore. When she would wake up to feed I would give her the water instead. At 1st she was a littel upset but saw I was still there holding her and would drink the water and go back to sleep. That way I never felt I was ignoring her needs instead I redirected them.

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Hi J....I don't have any advice based on personal experience, but I can recommend a book that might be helpful. It's called "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's a very easy and quick read. The author co-slept and breastfed her children, and she addresses the "human pacifier" issue in her book. Good luck.

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My girl was the EXACT same way. I let her self-wean, and she did do that about at around 2 to 2.5 years old. I let my younger child self-wean too. I'm a SAHM, so it was fine... although I did not get much sleep at all. LOL.

Or, change her bedtime routine... let Dad put her to bed. I would to that sometimes when I was just too tired.

Take care and good luck, I know it's tiring. :)
~Susan
www.cafepress.com/littlegoogoo

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I've heard Jay Gordon's book is great. I ended up nursing until we were both done(47 mos) I did start talking to her about sleeping all night and drinking milk in the morning and gave her reasons.Tis was at around 18 mos. they do get it. it was still about 6 months before she actually stopped night nursing. This cut out the night nursing first. I felt much more rested after that. It can be challenging with the co sleeping. I suggest sleeping with your breasts covered if you don't already. There is also alot of support at mothering.com forums. I ended up nursing longer because I didn't want her to feel as if she'd done something wrong and they will natually stop between 2-4 years. Remember you are doing something so amazing for your child. I don't know one single person who is sorry they did it!! A flower for you! H

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Hey there -

Bravo to you! My husband and I co sleep with our son. And I nursed for over two years. So....how did I stop? Oh boy, I was so worried about it. But I got a few suggestions and then mixed and match the advice to suit me and my son. I slowly stopped one nursing at a time. Distractions. Help from my husband. Talking to my son all the time about the exciting changes we are going through. Told him he is a big boy. Slowly I was down to the night nursing. Yes, there a little bit of fussiness stopping the nursings throughout the night. But it wasn't bad. I told him I loved him. Gave lots of hugs. Lots of soothing. No, I didn't allow any of the big crying. I didn't like that. I agree with you. If it was fussiness, than I was ok and he was ok and he went back to sleep. It's a slow process. I had to be patient. So, back to the night time one. We had countdown. I picked a date and we did Six more nights. Five more nights. Four more nights. My son got excited. I didn't want him feeling that something was going to be taken away from him. I wanted him to feel excited. I told him how proud I was him. I thanked him for sharing this experience with him. And then the last night, he said "Big Boy." Oh, I was so proud. I did get him presents. I had them lined up. I didn't go the sugar route. I got DVD's, books, stickers. When he asked for nursing, he got a present. And it worked. Like I said, it takes some time and patience. And you go with your gut what feels right. You've got support if you need it. ;)

Sure hope this helps. Good luck!

R.

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Great job! I know how hard it is. My first stopped around 26mos my second just turned three and is uh... still nursing. But, very infrequently, once every 4-6 days or so. When I night weaned my second, he was about 25mos old. I just told him what we were doing. At first I started with, when Mr. Moon is out we don't nurse. I had to tell him that for several weeks until he finally got it. I never let him cry over it, if he insisted on nursing, I'd let him and just keep it really short, OK, we'll nurse until I count to 10 on both sides, OK? He'd be fine. I'd remind him that very soon, we won't be nursing at night at all, only when Mr. Sun is out. After he night weaned the days became very easy too because he is just busy with so much else. He only asks to nurse once in a while - I think he just wants to make sure I always have milk. (-: With my first, same thing, I just started telling her pretty soon we won't be nursing anymore, nursing hurts Mommies boobies (I was pregnant). With her, it was 3 days of talking to her, on the 4th night, I just assumed I was nursing her to sleep to go to bed and she said, "no more nursing, milk all gone" it wasn't all gone but she got it that we were done. Your daughter understands a lot so just start talking to her and she will get it.
Best wishes,
M.

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Looks like you got some really good advice -from the one mom who did the countdown and presents.

I have a wonderful 2 year old who still loves to nurse-and so we still do once before bedtime. To get to this place:

I put her on a schedule of having breastmilk after each meal, before nap and bedtime and 1st thing in the morning - so that we both knew when to expect it. We talked about it a lot. If she asked for it any other time I offered her soymilk and gave her lots of hugs and kisses. Then eventually I talked with her about the fact that she was getting to be a bigger little girl and that we would just do first thing in the morning and b4 nap and bedtime. And then weaned her of b4nap and first thing in the morning.

Being clear about what I wanted (talking to her about it alot), being very loving and reassuring and helping to meet her need -by offering some other milk/beverage right away & reminding her how much I love her - helped her to make the transition without crying it out - but there were some tears. I also really wrapped up first thing in the morning if she wanted to cuddle- so that she wouldn't try to breastfeed.

Good luck!

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I had to stop at 17 months with my son and he was so mad he cried for two weeks, the neighbors called child services on me because he wouldn't stop. Turns out he was also teething. Have you considered getting her a little bed next to yours? Weaning her so late will be harder because she is more able to express her frustrations and desires and will probably give you a hard time. You may just have to tough it out and find something else to give her instead of your breast for that need. She is still on the schedule of an infant and it is set much deeper since she is older. You're going to have to fight to break that habit and maybe have some sleepless nights. Hopefully someone else can give you better advice.

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Hi J.
I stopped breastfeeding at night while cosleeping by keeping a bottle of water in bed and I told her I would not be breastfeeding her in the middle of the night anymore. When she would wake up to feed I would give her the water instead. At 1st she was a littel upset but saw I was still there holding her and would drink the water and go back to sleep. That way I never felt I was ignoring her needs instead I redirected them.

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ok, here's my thing...i nursed a long time. my son didn't sleep through the night until he was over 3! however, i believe the reason is because he was still nursing. we co-slept also. i can't imagine how to ween and sleep together. i got him to the point that i could just soothe him back to sleep, but it means many nights of longer crying and wakefulness...i couldn't do it. you might have to switch her to another bed or increase feedings before bed (although i don't think that's what wakes them up to nurse...i think it's the desire to be close to mommy). i guess i don't have good advice, i just have sympathy : ) i will tell you that you'll miss it when it's gone (i wanted sleep badly, but i miss being woken up just to be close). it's up to you...yiou might want to sacrifice sleep for a little longer ; )
and congrats to you on such a supportive husband!!!!!! and congrats to him for being so open and awesome!

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Try "bandaging" your breasts and telling your daughter they are broken . You might also consider putting a small toddler bed next to your bed for her to sleep in . Start off by putting her favorite toys to sleep in the bed at night and then gradually ask her if she would like to join her friends in the big girl bed. She can always crawl into bed with you at night if she needs to.

I have a question about not letting children cry it out. I let my son cry out some things ( like separation anxiety when i am going to the mailbox etc..) And I give him a few minutes to self soothe if he is in the crib and trying to go to sleep. He crys less and less because he "learns to deal" with it. I think it leads to developing problem solving skills , like when He wants a toy he can't quite get to and he cries about it. How do you deal with all those instances that kids cry for "no good reason" ?

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I nursed my son till he was 18 months old, he wouldn't eat anything else and I couldn't eat enough it seemed, so we went cold turkey. It may sound silly but I talked to him and explained things, that we were going to have to eat food and no more nursing. I slept with a shirt on so as not to have such easy access and he woke-up fussy (not screaming) I would talk to him and hold his hand and we would both go back to sleep. We didn't do the cry it out thing either. It wasn't as hard or traumatic for either my son or myself as I thought it would be. He continued to sleep with me for 4 months then he moved to his own bed. You did a wonderful job nursing your baby and it is okay to stop now (even though I wanted it I still felt guilty a little)......Good luck

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J.,

Check out this:
http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp

It is called
Changing the Sleep Pattern in the Family Bed. In my book it is really "how to nurse and cosleep without being an all night buffet." LOL

It was a lifesaver for me when I was in the same position you are with my first child.

Good luck to you,
T.

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Lots of good advice, I'd emphasize there's nothing wrong with your choices, there's nothing wrong with co-sleeping or being against cry it out. I used the Elizabeth Pantley book with great success, took several weeks, but saw some progress right away (this was when my son was 11 months old and was waking frequently to nurse). He now is 4 (weaned him at 2 1/2, but his sleep improved much younger using Pantley's techniques) and sleeps great, he's not manipulative, controlling etc., but a very sweet child. The best technique was the Gentle Pantley pull off--it helps your baby learn tofall asleep without nursing and allows you to continue cosleeping. Secondly, I'd suggest Dr. Jay Gordon's website, he has a whole program written out on gentle nightweaning. Good luck!
T.

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Hey J., The spice "sage" will help dry up your milk flow. Mix the powder with water (quarter tsp) and drink it. It does not taste bad at all, taste like tea. With my boys, we went from nipple to sippy cups. We went to the store and made a big deal out of it. "Oh cool, look at this, big boy tractor cup!" They picked out thier own cups and that seemed to help a lot. One lady told you to put bandages on your nipples and say they are broken. I totally laughed, I have never heard of that. I think it is a great idea and worth a try. Kids understand "broken". Good luck.

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Hi J.,

I, too, slept with my daughter and nursed her a long time (4 years). It did ease up eventually, until she just sipped at bedtime and when she woke in the morning. All I can say is, be patient because it pays off in the long run with a very well-adjusted child. If she still naps during the day, take naps with her.

I'm glad to see other mothers who don't believe in letting a child cry. My daughter never really learned to cry because I attended to her needs. She's now 24 and very independent and accomplished, with very high self esteem, but we still have a close relationship. All that lack of sleep was worth it.

V.

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Well.. there are different stages of crying it out. What we did - I asked the Pediatrician how long is it safe to let him cry and she told me when he was a couple months old that 15 minutes is ok without doing harm to him. As much as it broke my heart to do it at first, because of course he cried... it worked. You have to do what you feel is best for you. If the crying got like hyperventalating crying then I would go ahead and get him. Otherwise, I'd wait out the 15 minutes and then go get him. He's only gone to the 15 minute mark once or twice. Usually, by 10 minutes at the longest he'll be done and asleep or atleast able to be in there awake without me soothing him. So there are different stages of the crying it out. My little guy is now 7 months old and he goes to bed great at night! We are now sleeping 10 hour stretches at night before he'll wake up.

I would honestly ask your pediatrician for advice as well. Your little one is much older than mine and much older than most who try to stop breastfeeding. So your Dr may have some great insight and suggestions as well.

Good luck!

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Dear J.-

I think in one of the Dr. Sears books he suggests having mom and dad switch places so that dad is in the middle and next to baby- this way the baby can't just reach over and wake mom at night. Then enlist your husband's help- get him to soothe her back to sleep without nursing. I also remember reading that people would give a bottle of water and the baby would quit waking up for it after a few nights. My baby refuses the bottle so this doesn't help us, but hope it might help you.

Good luck!

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While you may not be comfortable with letting her cry it out, you are the parent and can let her know in a firm, but very loving way that she is no longer going to nurse. If she cries, you can comfort her by holding her hand, giving her a cup, singing her a song, or cuddling with her. She will get over it and find other ways to soothe herself to sleep. Just make sure you don't abandon her so she knows that you love her and are there to comfort her, but you also are not going to give in. After a few very hard tries of this, she will get it and be okay. More importantly, though, she will know that you love her and are not going to stick her in a room to let her "cry-it out." My daughter also had a hard time weaning and this is what I did with her. It took four long nights, but it did work and I never left her side. She definitely cried, but I was right there to comfort her through her sadness. Good luck....I know it's not easy.

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The great thing about breastfeeding a 22-month old is that she is rational. when I needed to stop breastfeeding my oldest, at 23 months, I told him it was "all gone". He knew what that meant, and accepted it. The hard part was sticking to my statement, because going "cold turkey" hurt! With my other two children it was easier because I anticipated that I would stop at about the same age. When they were about 18 months I started talking about how nursing was the food for babies, and that soon they would not be babies, and that when they were no longer babies that the breast milk would be "all gone". Then, at 23 and 22 months, respectively, I stopped. You actually could begin the same process now. The important thing is to be matter-of-fact about it, and not to give in. I'd say give it 2 weeks of preparation, and then stop. Maybe you can establish some other intimacy/comfort ritual that doesn't involve breast feeding. I did a lot of cuddling with my kids during the transition...kept it up afterwards, too!

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I nursed my now 4-year old daughter until 3 1/4. By this age she nursed to sleep for naps and bedtime, to "heal her wounds" when her feelings got hurt, when she was sick, or when she got physically hurt.

She also was waking up about 75% of the time at nights, and always wanted to nurse back to sleep - it took an hour or more to get her down each time. I was also exhausted.

People told me that I should stop the nursing to sleep thing, but I couldn't figure out to justify to her that nursing in general was OK, but not to sleep.

In the end I decided to just stop completely. I made a little chart and told her that she could choose the last 3 times that she could nurse (our word was "moof"). She got a sticker for each time which she put on the chart, and then after the third time I gave her a stuffed animal as a "goodbye moof" present. Sometimes she asked about it and I would say that moof was all gone now and that she was so big.

She was surprisingly at peace with the whole thing. No complaints really, just an occassional question. She slept GREAT for the next 2 months, then started waking up again. But she goes back to sleep much quicker now and I'm not nearly as exhausted as I was back then.

I NEVER thought that she would nurse as long as she did. I was also waiting for her to stop on her own, but it just wasn't happening. I feel for you! :)

Since you have a family bed, if you decide to try this approach you could always have that cuddly goodbye present near both of you and grab it for her to hold onto each time she tries to nurse.

Good luck!

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You could try reading 'Good Nights' I think by Jay Gordon, MD. He had some good suggestions for people who want to co-sleep, but are ready to start weaning. He suggests offering her a cup of water at night, and lots of cuddles while they go back to sleep.
You could also tell her that they are sleeping too. My daughter is a year and accepts that sometimes. =)
Good luck with the good night's sleep.
R.

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Have you tried keeping up or out so long that when she goes to sleep she sleeps straight through? Both of my older children stoped nursing at 21 months. My daughter who is now 4 and a half got a cold and had to sleep sitting up. She went two nights with out nursing so we just called it quits. She was still nursing once a night. My son who is now 29 months old got his first hair cut and that night did not wake up to nurse. He did the same the next ight so I decided thaqt was it. Now my son still loves to rub skin for comfort and sometimes asks for Numnums as we called it but we do not give in. I am hopeing that my new little one who is 3 weeks old will stop just as easy. I also could not do the crying it out as others had done. I did try giving a sipper cup with water. which did not work until they were 21 months old. Please let me know how it goes as I know that it can be difficult. If you have not tried the sipper cup with water it would not hurt to give it a try. I hope that some of this heps you to get thruogh this ruff time.

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Hi J.,

I thought that I had invented the "band-aid" method of weaning but after reading some of the responses it looks like other mom's used it as well. We also co-sleep with our almost 3 year old daughter Cassidy and I nursed her on demand until she was 29 months old. We also don't believe in letting Cassidy cry it out and feel that co-sleeping is a very special thing we do with her. I got serious about weaning her at 2 years old and it took a while to figure out the best way for both of us to wean. I think it was harder for me than it was for her. I really missed the closeness and downtime of nursing during the day. What worked for us is I kept our days super busy. So busy that Cassidy wasn't asking to nurse during the day and even if she did try to nurse she wouldn't nap any more. Unfortunately when we gave up day time nursing she gave up her naps at home.
At night I kept nursing her on demand but I would lesson the minutes we spent nursing every few days. We started with 3 minutes on each side, then lessoned it by 30 seconds every few days. In the end we nursed down to sleep, then whenever she woke to nurse I would make it kind of uncomfortable for her by not letting her nurse on my side and made her and I sit up to nurse for just 30 seconds on each side. Then we would spend time cuddling and she would drift off to sleep again. (most nights)
One evening while getting ready for bed I somehow got a scratch on my neck and put a band-aid on it. My daughter said, "oh poor mommy, you have a booboo". I said yes I do and please don't touch it because it hurts. She seemed so sympathetic that I told her I have a booboo on my nipples too and had to put band-aids on them. We also put a band-aid on her hand and pretended she had a booboo. The rest of the evening we played and read books. When we laid down for the night I wasn't sure what she would do because she had NEVER not nursed down. She laid on my lap and got in the position to nurse. I pulled up my top, she saw the band-aids and said "mommy has a booboo, and Cassidy has a booboo," then pointed to the band-aid on her hand. She then nestled her head under my chin and went to sleep. I couldn't believe it! For the next 2 weeks we put band-aids on every night as part of our getting ready for bed ritual. Whenever she woke up at night and tried to nurse I would let her put her hands in my top and feel that the band-aids were still there. That seemed to work for her because she would just want to cuddle after that and went back to sleep after a while.
I wish you lot's of luck and sweet dreams!

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J.,
I recommend a gentle transition especially since you co-sleep and the chld will know that you are accessible.

I recommend telling your little girl that you will feed her in the morning when the sun is out. Take her outside and show her the dark. Say that you will feed her to sleep, but not again until the sun is up and it is light. During the day, tell her the sun is out and it is light.Make sure that she knows the difference. Talk about the concept of morning.
If she wakes up, repeat this, " no nursing at night when it is dark. We will nurse in the morning"...in a cheerful way. Wear clothes that will not allow her access to your breasts.

Step two: limit the amount of feeding. Do not nurse her to sleep.

I used the nursery rhyme: one,two, buckle my shoe. I told my children that I would nurse them while we said the rhyme, and at the end I said,"9, 10, that's the end, time for sleep!"

They, to this day, tell me they hate the rhyme, but it worked.

They were able to nurse a bit but not to sleep.

From there it was easy to say that it was time to stop completely.
Good luck.

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Unfortunately, I don't have any advice. Just support. I'm going through exactly the samething with my 20 month old. I would love to stop bf by 22 months. But she's definitely too attached for it to be an easy wean. Also, crying it out...doesn't always work. We tried that for 2 weeks and it made things so much worse for everyone. Hang in there I understand what you're going through I too am up every 2 hours or so. I hope to learn something wonderful from people that post advice to you. Good luck! T.

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My daughters were the same way. You might consider just night weaning if you otherwise don't mind nursing. Once I nightweaned, both daughters easily weaned on their own. Both were about your daughters age, one a little older, the other a little younger and I too needed my sleep. There were some great suggestions in Elizabeth Pankey's No Cry Sleep Solution- you might look at that first. In the end I found cold turkey worked best for me. I told the girlies that nanas go to sleep when the sun goes down and when it comes back up, they wake up. One daughter took a week and a half to stop asking at night, the other took 3 days- and she was the younger one! Both girls began sleeping through the night once they were night weaned and we were all better for it. They needed their sleep too. We also co-slept.

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Well, it's been awhile for me, hummm 16 years! But, I nursed my daughter until she was 2 years 2 months old. FULL TIME... morning/noon/night and whenever she wanted at night (she slept with us until she was 18 months old). I wanted to stop nursing, but, wasn't sure how to go about it. I tried everything! So, one day a friend told me to put band-aids over my nipples and tell her I had boo boo's. I thought what the heck, it's worth a try. I couldn't believe it, the next time she wanted to nurse I told her I had a boo boo and she was so sympathetic, she wanted to see it and kiss it. Later that evening I did have a boo boo, I was engorged! When I read her a bedtime story she asked if she could have a little sip. I thought, oh my gosh that would really relieve me so, I let her. Although she just sucked a second and she was happy! After that it was a piece of cake. Enjoy it while you can, but, do what's in your heart. I was told to nurse until she was 5! I just couldn't do it. I hope this helped. GOOD LUCK!

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My girl was the EXACT same way. I let her self-wean, and she did do that about at around 2 to 2.5 years old. I let my younger child self-wean too. I'm a SAHM, so it was fine... although I did not get much sleep at all. LOL.

Or, change her bedtime routine... let Dad put her to bed. I would to that sometimes when I was just too tired.

Take care and good luck, I know it's tiring. :)
~Susan
www.cafepress.com/littlegoogoo

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Hi J.,
I have a 2yr old & 4mos old, and I have a friend who's son did the same thing and she put pure aloe vera on her nipples, her son hated the taste and stopped nursing in a couple of days! She finally got to sleep an entire night and so did he. Good luck!
P.

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I hear you. What helped us was for me to sleep in a different room for a weeek, and my husband handling our toddler when he woke up wanting to nurse. Surprisingly, there was little fuss when I was not found in the big bed. A bit reassuring from Dad and back to sleep they both were. And I thought he might die from the experiment... but it worked! :)

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It is more than likely the suckling that she is hooked on & therefore, she needs a pacifier that she will excahnge you for. It took looking for quite a few different ones in my case, and after many were purchased, one finally worked (and it was in a two pack). The soothies seem to work the best. A lot of hospitals give them to new parents also. They are at Target & Wal Mart. They work. Good luck & God Bless You!

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Wow, you got some great advice already. But I was going to suggest cold turkey. Or giving her a bottle of water or sippee cup of water instead. I love the bandaids, aloe vera, "milk all gone" and only when the sun is out ideas. My little guy is almost 11 mos and nurses like your daughter, I'm afraid I will be in the same boat when he is 2 also! I will keep these suggestions in case I need them one day. Good luck.

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You have a lot of good advice here already, but I did this and it might work for you, I gave my daughter a sippy cup of plain water. This she could have if she was thirsty, but it wouldn't necessarily fill her up. I don't know if you want to stop co-sleeping yet, but it might help the issue. If you are right there, you are available in her eyes. I never co-slept, but had a close friend that did, and when she moved her son into his own bed (around 2 1/2) she have his a t-shirt that she wore that day to sleep with, that way it smelt like her still, she said it took a few trys of her going in several times a night to pat him back to sleep, but within a few days he was out of there room (come to think of it within a month pregnant too!). It will be a big transition for her, I am sure there will be crying involved, however don't confuse this with crying it out, at nearly 2 its not a cry it out, its a I will cry till I get my way. And if she does get her way at night, the next night she will do the same. She is so close to 2 that you don't want to confuse her, if you give in on this, then you should give in on the candy bar in the store, or the toy at the store etc. Hence the terrible 2's you hear about! She will be fine re-asure her that you are still there and you love to hug and cuddle her, but the boobie is not available. Your question does not say if you plan on contine nursing during the day or not, but if you do tell her after breakfast or somthing, and leave it at that, don't give in early, or she will manipulate you into going earlier and earlier. Stick your ground!!! (what ever ground you choose to make). I can't enfasize this enough! This should hold true on all things not just the boobie. Good luck and Gods speed!!!!

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Have you read the "no-cry sleep solution" by Elizabeth Pantley? She has some suggestions on both night nursing and napping. It takes lots of perseverence to "stick to your plan" at 2 AM. I found that most difficult to stay on the plan when I was so tired..... I know you don't want your daughter to cry, yet I wonder if you change what your pattern is, if she will protest (cry) about the change. Not that she needs to cry it out, yet she may protest, especially if she knows you'll give in. Just some thoughts to consider. I hope that helps.

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My advice is to cut down gradually. Is she still nursing on demand throughout the day? If she is, stop that right away. Explain to her she's a "big girl" now and no more nursing during the day. Does she still nurse in the AM when she gets up? If so, stop that in a few days. If she's still nursing on demand throughout the day, it will take her a few days to adjust to that. Once she does, give her a day of two of AM nursing, then tell her "no more in the morning, you're a big girl now----only to sleep". But it's important that you stick with it!! Maybe you can plan to do it when your hubby is home and you can be gone when she gets up for the next two days? Go to the gym or for a run, grocery shopping, etc., so you'll be gone for a good couple hours. Same thing for when you stop "on demand" nursing during the day. Go out to lunch and shopping, leaving her w/daddy or a good friend. So you should have it down to just going to sleep. And, I'm so sorry to say, she's going to have to learn to cry a little to go to sleep, or how are you going to stop nursing? There's a difference between crying, and crying herself to sleep. I recommend Richard Ferber's "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" (you can go on Amazon and read about it and order it!)to see if that is a program you can live with. I used it with both my sons and nursed my 2nd one to age 2. You don't let your children "cry it out", but there is crying involved. He gives you lots of info about it, and why it's important to teach your child to learn to go to sleep on their own, and why it's not good for your child to nurse or take a bottle throughout the night. And the reality is that at 2, your "baby" isn't a baby anymore, but a small child. Here's a good analogy that might help---your child will sometimes cry if you tell her no more cookies, but you stick to it because you know more cookies isn't good for her. Well, it's not good for her to nurse thoughout the night, either. She might cry, but you're a good parent and want to do what's best for her. That helped me a lot!!!! Focus on those kinds of things and here's another one---milk pooling in her mouth is bad for her teeth....breastmilk or formula, doesn't matter. Buy the book and try the routine. You might have a few sleepless nights, but within 2 or 3 days, she'll be sleeping on her own, you'll be a new mom, more rested and up to the "terrible two" challenge!! P.S. You might need to move her out of your bed or it will be even harder and your husband's sleep will also be resolved. I think Dr. Ferber addresses this in his book, too.

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I actually don't have any advice for you, but just wanted to let you know that I am in the EXACT same boat as you. My son is 19 months old and we co-sleep and nurse as well. He still wakes up every 2-3 hours and I am also exhausted. To add to this, my husband and I want a second child soon, and I am unable to conceive while I am still breastfeeding so frequently. I thought that he might sleep for longer stretches of time if he were to sleep on his own (I think that I usually wake him up when I turn over in my sleep or something), but I don't think that he would be able to sleep if I were not next to him. Needless to say, I will be reading all of the responses as well, and just know that you are not alone!! Good Luck, and please let me know if you figure out anything that works!!

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My sister forwarded this to me. I am in the exact same boat. My daughter is 20 months old and still wakes up every two hours. About three months ago, I did stop her from feeding at night. I would hug her and rock her and tell her no more for the night. She would cry a little, but she would play with my hair and snuggle up to me and fall back to sleep. In about three days, she quit asking for it, however she still woke up to say,"mama?". i would reassure her that I was here. Well, I was so proud of this, but soon after she got the flu and only wanted to nurse and we were back into the feeding at night!! All that work for nothing. And now I have tried it again, but she is stubborn. She will try to rip off my shirt at night and scream, so I am so exhuasted at night that I give in. I have to wake up early for work and my husband is out of town for work on the weekdays, so it is just her and I. I don't mind the daytime feedings because those only happen at nap time and if she gets an boo boo and needs that comfort. I just want to sleep at night!!! And I want her to sleep at night, I know she needs it! So, I will be seeking teh same help as you! Good luck!
N.

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Hi J....I don't have any advice based on personal experience, but I can recommend a book that might be helpful. It's called "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It's a very easy and quick read. The author co-slept and breastfed her children, and she addresses the "human pacifier" issue in her book. Good luck.

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I cut my daughter off right about the same age (when I found out I was pregnant with my son) - I told her that the breastmilk was "all gone," and amazingly she accepted it! She was weaned in two days. :o) I let her nurse to take a nap the first day, but I told her it was all gone at all other times she tried - then, on day 2, it was gone all day. She did ask for about a week, and then intermittently (even once after my son was born and she saw him nursing!), but she wasn't upset - she just accepted it and did something else!

My daughter, also, was not losing any interest in nursing - and, in fact, when I stopped nursing her, she also stopped napping (she still won't take a nap during the day), so I just started putting her to bed earlier at night so she'd get enough sleep. I'm with you - I wouldn't let her cry it out either :o)

Good luck! If your daughter understands "all gone" (which I'm sure she does), then you might be surprised how easy it is :o)

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Rub a little vinegar on your nipples throughtout the day with out her seeing. also try and find another comfort for her. stuff bear to hold on to while sleeping or a blanket, etc etc. good luck

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I nursed all 4 of my children until they were 2 and half years old. It does get stressful toward the end because they are "nurse-aholics." Once they turned two I started telling them their time would soon be up and they would be able to buy a new toy when they stopped. They often volunteered to "stop right now" so we could go get a toy. Then 2 hours later when they were tired, nursing was all they wanted and no toy in the world would have done the trick. At two years, if they wanted to sleep in my bed, there would be no nursing, no crying. If they insisted on either I put them on the floor. All your daughter really wants is you and she will choose snuggling with you over sitting on the floor. By 2 1/2 give or take a month I felt they were really ready and I would have already cut out the nap nursing and the morning nursing and the middle of the night nursing. After 2-3 nights the milk is gone, you go to the toy store and make a big deal that she stopped nursing. If I were you I'd go until you think she can understand what you're saying, otherwise there will be a lot of "crying it out." Stand firm with love.

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It sounds like you are not willing to get tough at all, so you may as well get used to waking up every 2 hours for a few more years. That is not healthy at all for you or the "baby" - she's almost 2! You really need to get tough - the older she gets, she will really learn how to manipulate you and it will only get worse as she gets older. I don't know what else to do other than crying it out - you can try other things, but it's a sure bet she will end up crying, and you will then go to her so nothing will work. I think you also need to give up the co-sleeping. Even though you like it, this is probably part of what is making her wake up. If she's in her own crib, she may not wake up that much. A baby even a year old should not be waking up every 2 hours. She must be a light sleeper and you or your husband rolling over, etc. must be waking her up. You just need to get tough and lay down the law - yes, even for a 22 month old.

I really think she is old enough for you to explain to her something to the effect that mommy's milk is "all gone". I would try to transition to a sippy of milk before naps and water at night, so the milk won't get sour at night and to prevent sugars to rot her teeth. Maybe she could get a small reward for sleeping all night. You could read her some little books about sleep. Kids are more versatile than we think. She has never really learned to sleep and to get herself back to sleep when she wakes up. She's using you as a crutch. I'm sorry, but I could never live in that situation. I let my child cry, coming in to sooth him, of course. It took two nights, and it was over. Your daughter is older; you should be able to reason and reward, which is a benefit over infants. There is a book called "On Becoming Babywise" which could help. There is one for infants, which deals with your problem, and one for toddlers, which is great also. In the absolute worst case scenario, I would introduce another "crutch" to replace her current one; maybe a pretty doll or blanket or a pacifier, as LAST resort. Once you decide to change this, DO NOT back down, please. Think of a good idea/motivation for her and stick to it. You are the mom, and if you give in, it will make it harder and harder. She is old enough to know that she won that round.

My son was the same way, but at nine months i got tired of it and tried the cry-it-out method. he is now 22 months he sleeps through the night, but he still breastfeed. it took about a week using that method for him to learn to sleep properly. i really want to stop breastfeeding now its driving me crazy. The only thing you can do is stop breastfeeding, then will stop wakingup to feed.

i haven't read through all of it. but it looks great.

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp

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