HELP...How Can I Wean My 13 Month Old Son????

Updated on January 10, 2008
A.K. asks from Crowley, TX
4 answers

Okay Mama's,
I am desperate and I need your help!!!! I have a 13 month old DS who LOVES to breastfeed and has REFUSED to take bottles or sippy cups. I am exhausted and ready to wean him, but part of the problem is that he wakes up SEVERAL times in the middle of the night still and ALL he wants to do is nurse. I would like to be able to go places without taking him along or feeling guilty because I left my screaming child with someone. I have tried every bottle and sippy that I could find. I have tried letting him "cry it out". I have tried comforting him with nursing and he practically tries to rip my shirt off. My husband travels 5 days a week and I have a 3 1/2 year old with health issues who also needs his sleep. He refuses to take a pacifier and he is stubborn with that Irish temper! Please help...I will take any suggestions!
Thank you for your help in advance!

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answers from Dallas on

Complete all and out weaning might not help here. What you might try is night weaning. I had do do this with my son. Actually, I had to do it a couple of times since teething and illness would set him back. This is a really good article on night weaning. We coslept and used the techniques and it really helped.

I know how hard those nights can be. A friend of mine would say to me, the nights are long but the days are short. It will be over before you know it. She was right.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

From the age and what you described is happening there is no way he is ready to wean yet. Why not wait a few months and save your energy. You'll regain your independance soon enough. As he becomes older and more curious about his surroundings he will realize he doesn't need to BF for comfort anymore. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my first son was 9 months I started letting him cry in bed after 9pm - I was tired I would turn on a fan so I wouldn't jump up....he was definately in control up till then - he would stand holding onto his rail and cry at the top of his lungs while I would peek...I would cry...he finally would get worn out - he is extremely loving today and successfully married college grad making more money than my husband and I put together. It's important to take of your own sanity! lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi A.,

My younger son also refused a bottle or sippy cup for breastmilk (and I was working outside the home). You don't mention what sort of health issue your older child has, but have you considered that your younger child may have a similar health issue and that the breastfeeding provides comfort. My younger son nursed for a very long time and we only later learned (when he was 8) that he (and older brother and myself) have celiac disese (an intolerance to wheat gluten that can cause a myriad of health issues) and a dairy allergy. You don't mention how frequently you nurse during the day or how busy your day is, but it could be that he's not getting the time he needs during the day, so he's wanting to nurse more at nite. I know it's difficult when you have two, but I found that nursing during the day while reading books with the older child worked well to ensure that both their needs were met. I know it is exhausting being up at nite and what we found worked best for all of us was to bring the nursing baby's crib into our room and put it right beside our bed or just bring him to bed with us. You might also want to consider whether something your eating (e.g., dairy) or drinking (e.g., caffeine) might be resulting in the nighttime wakefulness or causing him discomfort that he is awakening so frequently at nite. For my oldest son, in hindsight it was likely the dairy in my diet that caused him to be a poor nite time sleeper. My second son slept quite well at nite at that age (he would only awaken once for nursing), but I had removed dairy from my diet by that time.

I wish you well - I know it is frustrating, but these sort of demands from your little ones only last such a short time before they're replaced by a whole new set and type of demands. Given that you are feeling so exhausted, you might want to have you doctor check out your thyroid. If you have low thyroid function, that can impact your milk supply and might be why your son wants to nurse so frequently because he's not getting as much in each feeding and low thyroid function obviously increases your fatigue. Also, you might consider getting a mother's helper in (maybe a teen in the neighborhood for an hour or so each day) to give you some time away from the kids even if you stay home and just take a relaxing bath - without your husband there 5 days a week, you are carrying a huge burden. Also, you might dedicate some daddy time on the weekend to give yourself some time alone. It sounds like you also have a daytime separation issue. Your 13 month old should be able to go without you and be given some solid foods/snacks etc. With my younger son, if I was there, he certainly wanted to breastfeed, but when I wasn't around, he would take water or juice from a sippy cup (just not breastmilk). You really need to enlist dad's help on the weekends to resolve these issues. What we did with our oldest son when he was 15 mos old and waking to nurse many times at nite was we had Dad give him water in a sippy cup - my son quickly learned that it wasn't worth waking up for just water. But, I made sure I was available to nurse when he needed to during the day, as well.

Good luck and just feel assured that you really are doing the best you can and that by breastfeeding you are really providing for you son both nutritionally and emotionally during these very important formative years.

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