Extended Breastfeeders: How Do I Night Wean?

Updated on June 11, 2007
S.D. asks from Bell Buckle, TN
8 answers

I have a 18 month old son whom I am still breastfeeding. He has always been a major comfort nurser and never would take a pacifier. The problem is that he still wants to nurse on and off during the night. I wouold like to night-wean him so that maybe he will learn to sleep all night and I might for once get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Any advice by anyone who has had this problem?

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answers from Biloxi on

Start using a sippy cup with a straw or one of the soft sippy spouts that they have to suck on to get the liquid out. I used Carnation Good Starts to wean and then began mixing in whole milk. I began by substituting the morning feeding for a few days then I began working on the last feeding before bed time. I had mine weened by the time she was 13 months. By the end of a week, I would stop nursing at night all together. You may have to endure a few sleepless nights but he will adjust if you stay strong (not mean). Pick him up, offer him the cup, cuddle him a few minutes then put him back down and walk away. If he just will not settle down after a few repetitions of this try rocking him or walking or whatever works instead of breast feeding. By all means, do not give up and breast feed. Getting them weened is good for them because they become independent, self reliant, and self confident.



answers from Montgomery on

i am not the one to give advice on how to ween cuz i am still doing it to my 15 month old son as well. but when you find a way to do so please let me know. you can email me at [email protected]____.com of luck.



answers from Jackson on

Congrats on nursing this long. My dd is 14 months, and I am still nursing her as well; however, she has been sleeping through the night since 4 months (with the excpetion of teething bad nights). A friend of mine went through this, her LC told her that for night time, it is best to stop (or reduce time) nursing. If your ds insist on nursing, cut him short and lay him back down. If you can get by with just rocking, do that. Good luck and I hope it works out for y'all!!!



answers from Johnson City on


I nursed ny now 18 month old dd until she was 14 months, she just kind of weened herself off. She was sleeping through the night at 6 months though with no problem. Do you incorporate solids as well? Maybe give him solids before he goes to bed along with the breastmilk and hopefully that will help him to sleep through the night. Poor thing!! You have got to be very tired of still having to feed during the night. Good luck!




answers from Huntsville on

I have a book by the Sears doctors that is called " The baby sleep book" that has a section about this. It explains how to wean them from night nursing without stress, so that your baby will sleep more peacefully. Hopefully that'll help. Good luck!



answers from Chattanooga on

I myself in the past found that my daughter, now "14" I nursed her for 3 years, wanted to use "me" as a pacifier. I finally had to just let her wimper or cry for a couple of nights, and it worked....It shouldn't take you more than a week to fix that...

Sounds cruel, but don't worry it's harmless training is all.



answers from Memphis on

Hello S.. I wasn't sure that there were other mommies out there in my my situation. Good to hear there is. :) My son Max, now 13 months old, still nurses CONSTANTLY at night time. He sleeps with us and has since we brought him home. I had a pretty rough pregnancy with him. I got kidney stones in my 5th month and had to have a kidney stint. It was AWFUL to say the least and VERY painful. Hince him ending up in our bed. It was easier and less painful and just easier on everybody to have him already there for his night time feedings. Needless to say we both just grew to love his pressence there. So he stayed. Max is also a comfort nurser and has never been able to put himself to sleep. I am having a rather hard time with the whole weaning thing myself. April 27th I was diagnosed with MS. So weaning has become a priority. For I can't start my meds until I wean him. And I haven't a clue on how to do it!!! Seems like there is TONS of information out there available on how to nurse but nothing really on how to wean. lol.... I am mad that I have to wean him because I know he enjoys it so much and right now I still do as well. I know my message has given you NO advice I guess I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain because I'm right there with you!! If you should hear of any "out of this world advice" please pass it along. And I wish you the best of luck in your situation.




answers from Knoxville on

I have a 13 month old and we are working on the same thing. We have gradually decreased the night time feedings. She used to fall asleep, and would wake two hours later to nurse. That is the only time I let her nurse for the whole night, until the morning. When she woke up at night, I would just hold her, and give her a sippy cup with water or milk.
Now, she has gotten to the point where she doesn't even want to nurse every night. She was a comfort nurser, too. I always offer the sippy cup in case she really was hungary, but she's not- which is a comfort. The first few nights might be tough, but you'll make it.

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