19 answers

Night Weaning a 15 Month Old

My son is 15 months old and still nurses about 3-4 times at night! I am desperate for sleep! How can I wean him at night so that we can all get some sleep! Currently he goes to bed at about 7:30 pm and then wakes anywhere from 12-2 and so on until he gets up in the morning at about 6ish (which is new too!)
He sleeps in his own crib and when he wakes I get up nurse him and put him back down...most of the time he falls right back to sleep but sometimes he fusses and then I have to repeat the whole thing again! He does wonderfully at going to bed (goes to bed awake) and at naps (goes to bed awake as well)
We have tried having my hubby go in to soothe him and it works 50% of the time...but he has to get up at 5:30 for work! I am not against Crying it Out but my hubby is! I am physically ill from the lack of sleep, I am cranky and taking it out on my 5 yr old! Please help me before I have a nervous break down!
I am at my wits end...last night he was up 5 times!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone who responded! After many discussion with my hubby (who doesn't support CIO) we have decided that he will be the one to get up with DS in the middle of the night! We are hoping that eventually he will realize that mommy isn't coming in to feed him so hopefully he will stop waking. So far he is still waking at least 2 times at night but seems to go back to sleep quickly after DH comforts him. Thanks again for all your responses~!

Featured Answers

I modified this technique with my son who sleeps in a crib and it worked after a week or two. Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful

Try The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I'm not done reading it yet, but it seems good.
Good luck.

More Answers

I hope this doesn't sound mean (I was up at 4 with my little one today, so I'm also a bit cranky!) but if your husband is the one against CIO, then at this point he should be the one doing the soothing. Not fair to have you do the waking with him doing the "deciding." Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It's really tough being sleep deprived! And yes 15 mos is a long time to be sleep deprived but I think we were designed for that. We evolved to have babies and nurse them day and night, so I think our bodies are somewhat adaptable to the sleep deprivation in the fist couple years of a baby's life. But when it gets to the point that it is impacting your life like this, of course you need to do something about it.

It makes me sad to read all this advice to leave the baby to cry it out. It's no wonder so many older kids have sleep issues. It is not a choice of permanent sleep depravation or CIO. There are gentle ways to get the babies to sleep without waking to nurse. It won't be a one or two night thing, like any habit it will take a bit of time and a lot of consistency.

You could try cold turkey and offering water, with your husband comforting the weekend nights at least. (I wouldn't exchange cows milk for breast milk, then you are just creating another habit with implications for dental health). Of course DS will object strenuously at first, but if you are consistent he will get the message eventually. And if you or your husband are their to comfort him while he is crying, it won't be so traumatizing. To just stop night nursing and leave him alone to cry it out would be very confusing to him. He won't understand why you are suddenly not responding to his needs but he will eventually understand it is futile to ask for your help at night.

I know it seems easy for your DH to say you shouldn't CIO when you are the exhausted one but he is right (and he needs to help you with this!). I like to put myself in my DD's place. How would I feel in her shoes? If my husband ignored me and closed the door leaving me powerless and went back to bed when I was crying, that would just be mean and it would definitely impact the trust I have in him. So I would never do that to my baby.

"No Cry Sleep Solution" by Pantley as another person suggested is a good book. She gives gentle methods for getting them to STTN. I think Dr Jay Gordon also has a helpful book and maybe check his website, I've seen others recommend it. Again it is gentle, no CIO. I'd try that before resorting to CIO.

1 mom found this helpful

I modified this technique with my son who sleeps in a crib and it worked after a week or two. Good luck!


1 mom found this helpful

God bless you for doing this as long as you did! You must be a saint.
NO child that age should be waking up that often at night. He should not be nursing overnight. He does not need nutrition when he should be getting the long stretches of sleep he needs for proper growth and brain development.
He should be sleeping 9-11 hours at night- with no waking episodes!
If hubby is against cry it out.... why are you the one getting up with your son???
Make your breasts off limit during sleeping hours and stick to your rule.
It's sleeping time- not eating time. Your son is definitely old enough to understand a simple rule.
"It's sleeping time now"- has always been a mantra for me with my girls. I tell them that- if they need something at night and it completely stopped them from waking me.
15 months is way too old for night time nursing. He needs to learn to get himself back to sleep without assistance.
Good luck with this one!

I can't really help but I can supply tons of sympathy! I am right there with you! and am also at my wits end! You would think with two older children I would have weaned a bit earilier but it just has happened! My other two where weaned at 14 months and this one we will be lucky if she is weaned by 18 months! Just be patient it will happen. Cry it out ( which I don't like ) but have given it a try, does not work with this one! She will cry for longer then 45 minutes and gets very worked up and doesn't go back to sleep! I am not mentally ready to try the next step but hopefully soon. Try giving a sippy cup of milk at bed time, then brush teeth etc.. And then when he wakes see if he will take a sippy cup. Also, just try reasoning with him a bit- no milk it is bed time lets put our head down and go to sleep- I don't know- I think i am at a loss as much as you are (however, our daughter comes into bed with us starting at 2 am) so tha t I can get some sleep! Good luck , I will be reading the responsing you get. Hopefully they will work for the both of us!!!

No more nursing at night!! The baby is old enough to understand what you tell him. You could offer him a small bottle of water at night. He will cry and that is okay. 15 months old cry when they don't get what they want. But it is okay for kids to cry. He is no longer an infant. You can sing to him, rub his back, etc. But keep putting him back in his crib. just go in there, and put him back down. keep doing this. After a few nights he should be sleeping better because he knows he will get nothing when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I did this at 11 months and my child now sleeps 12 hours every night. It was easier than I thought it was going to be. The last few nights (of sleep training) I just ignored him and he cried for a few seconds and then went back to sleep on his own. It was like magic. It will happen, but you have to be consistent and not give in. Just close the shop. Say no more milk at night. It is night night time. Back to sleep. You have created this habit and it will take about a week or so to break it. You may have to start with pacifying him by rocking him to sleep. Then just start putting him back to bed when sleeping with no milk. Then when he wakes up, just keep putting him back to bed. Some kids get a sippy cup of water just for comfort but that may create another habit. I would just let my son for that week sip some water and say that's it. night night time. you can do it!!!

I would suggest trying a bottle at the midnight-ish feeding. He may be hungry, so mixing a bottle of breastmilk (assuming you have some frozen) with whole milk might just add enough fat to keep him feeling full. Even though your husband has to get up early, I would have him do that feeding so your son gets used to the bottle instad of you! The breastmilk in the bottle hopefully will make it easier for him to take. Little by little increase the milk component so you gradually switch him to just cow's milk.

Good luck.

take him to bed with you! honestly this is the best option all around. why torture yourself and the baby waking up that many times a night? my daughter and I almost never wake up fully during the night, my baby nuzzles next to me, we latch, nurse and sleep. listen to your baby first and foremost, sound like he needs your comfort at night and does still need to nurse. my opinion is bed-sharing is your best option. Good luck!

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