October 17, 2008,
S.M. asks from Clovis, CA on October 15, 2008
Trying to Wean My 16 Month Old.
My 16 month old son is still breastfeeding, how can I wean him?
I am only nursing him at
but we sleep in the same bed and I think that
may be causing the problem.He has never slept by himself. He will not sleep in any other bed but ours.I dont want to stress him out.
M.M. answers from San Francisco on October 16, 2008
Here we go..I have a different optinion. i think 16 months is a great age to wean and. I am not an advocate of nursing to much longer than that at all! I had 3 friends who did, and all had some difficult times later with thier children not beibg able to self sooth, ad being clingy. I feel it's great to be there for your child of course and there are so many ways to prvide what they need and bea great ahnd on Mommmy! Breast feeding at an age when they can feed themselves and there is no additianal nutritional I think is unnecessary and more for theparents benefit of stil feeling needed and close to thier little one. Co-sleeping is a personal choice, but I beilive that at 16 months a child needs to feed themself and sleep in thier own environment. The longer you stay with them needing to be with you and not self relient, the harder of a "habit" its going to be to break. Again, you can still love and play and nurutre and be a great Mom, whiel they sleep in their own bed and drink from a sippy cup and feed themselves. I know it's a hard choice and it feels like you are letting "go" of your baby a little, butI beleive it's the best for the child as hey grow and become more independent. whtyer you breadt feed fo r3 months or 2 years or co-sleep or dont..you are no better a mother or no more loving and your child will still be happy and possibly more well adjusted. There may be a few hard nights during the transistion, but it will be at no matter what age you decide to do it and the longer you wait the harder it will be. Plus I am sure you and your hubby would love to have some one on one time at night to sleep, cuddle, talk, etc., in your room! Good luck wih your desicions and dont worry, your little one will be great..even if they arent happy at first and not getting their way! :)
2 moms found this helpful
S.B. answers from Redding on October 16, 2008
My goal for each of my children was to nurse for 18 months and then be done. Due to health reasons, I didn't make it that far with either, but my son was 15 months old when I had to stop. He was sleeping in his own bed well by that time and although he didn't understand why he was losing the booby, he did just fine.
Co-sleeping is a personal choice, but you have to realize that it will be difficult to keep your son in your bed and have him understand that he can't just roll over in the night and lift your shirt up.
Nursing is also a very personal thing. I swear, I'm making no judgements, but my daughter was in pre-school at 2-1/2 then kindergarten at 4 years old. I can't even imagine nursing a child when they are potty trained and big enough to take their little lunch box off to school.
My kids always knew they were welcome in my bed if they had a bad dream or didn't feel well. If my husband had to go out of town on business, the kids and I would have a slumber party. But they always had their own beds. Beginning with their cribs.
That's where I usually changed their diapers and laid them down for a rest. The crib transition was no trouble because they were already used to it.
As a result, my kids would sleep anywhere. In hotels, at other people's houses. Camping.
I would try getting him in his own bed first, then the weaning.
Just my opinion.
Best of wishes.
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M.F. answers from Salinas on October 17, 2008
I weaned my daughter around the same time, and I was pregnant so the milk was almost by the time when I finally got her weaned! We share a bed with her too, and that didn't change when I weaned her, but what worked really well as a transition was introducing a specific fall asleep bedtime song that cued her it was time to sleep, then moving on to the song with a cup of water. It also helped to have my husband do it a few nights to ease the transition so bedtime was no longer associated with nursing. Once she'd made it a few nights without nursing it was a smooth transition, she sleeps better now too, and rarely wakes up at night for more than a sip of water we keep in bed with us. It seems endless at first but it won't take too long once you start the daunting task.
E.V. answers from San Francisco on October 16, 2008
if you want to co-sleep and not nurse it may be a hard transition. maybe try moving into his own bed first and still nurse him and then slowly wean him. this is my opinion, but i think it is harsh to cut your kids off cold turkey from nursing. most children will self wean. my son stopped nursing during the day when he was about a year old. then we went to just early mornings and before bed. slowly the early mornings are dwindling and then the nights will too. my son is 16months old as well and can feed himself with a spoon but still nurses those 2x a day and i will continue to nurse him until he is done. he is a very secure boy and if he is not done by around 2 or so i will start to help him wean. my son coslept with us until he was about 9 or 10months old and then we transistioned him to his own crib. once the crib happened the night feedings stopped. he slept better (as i did too).
you had a lot of good advice from different people but it comes down to your own feelings about it all. do you want to be done nursing for any particular reason? are you attached to having him in bed with you or would you be ok having him in his own bed? i do think it will be really hard to wean him while he is still in bed with you (he can smell you and out of pure habit) but i am sure their are moms out there who have done it. maybe you will hear from them ;) good luck!
K.B. answers from San Francisco on October 15, 2008
I would first try transitioning him to his own bed. Nurse in yours for a while, then when he is asleep, move him to his own bed so that he can wake up in it. After a few weeks of this, nurse him in his bed for a few weeks. Make sure he is comfortable with this routine before you start to wean.
To wean, decrease the nursing time by one minute a week. Use the remaining time as "snuggle time" Once you've reduced nursing time to zero, you can work on reducing snuggle time down to a hug and a kiss good night.
Unless it is disturbing your sleep schedule too much, though, there really is no reason to wean right away. I nursed my 5 year old (at night) until she was 27 months old. I plan to do this with my 16 month old as well.
C.K. answers from Stockton on October 16, 2008
S., I nursed my little girl until she was 15-months old and we slept in the same bed. She actually still sleeps with my husband and I and she is now 19-months old. What I did was just told her before we went to bed one night that she was not going to get any "tee tee." It was hard but I did not give in. She cried for a good 45-minutes before she fell asleep that night and woke up about three times pretty whiny. It was hard for me to let her cry, I rubbed her back and kept telling her that i loved her and she would be ok. Next week my husband and I are going to try to transition her into her own bed. She does sleep in a playpen at daycare, so we know she can do it, but she has never tried it at home. Nap time at home is usually her falling asleep on her own, always around the same time, but in the front room on a blanket. Anyway, the weaning only took three nights, it was a very hard three nights. I am guessing the nights to come with putting her in her own bed will be a little rougher. I have heard it will take me 9 to 14 nights....