PLEASE Help!! 14 Month Baby and I Need to Sleep Through the Night!!

Updated on July 28, 2008
C.N. asks from Los Angeles, CA
104 answers

Hola dear parents! this is my first time writing on here. I need help especially from those of you who went through something similar.
At this moment I'm in the bathroom and doing everything in my power not to cry. My baby is 14 months and I've been breast-feeding on demand (day and night, as you can imagine- against most people's opinion). I have no problem waking up every hour and a half but now everyone is telling me that it is really unhealthy for my baby to be waking up THIS much (usually he sleep from 8-11 (maybe 12) and then wakes up every hour and a half or two hours). We co-sleep so we figured that before we put him in his own crib (also was told that it's easier for them to sleep more if they aren't in bed with us cause we can wake them up without meaning to from our noises, movements etc..) so we thought that if we can get him to not breast feed at night and still stay with us maybe when we put him in his crib then, it'll be easier.

Well, tonight is the first night. It's 2am and he's woken up TWICE to breast-feed. My husband keeps repeating that I need to be strong and NOT breast feed him that if I do then he'll know that if he just wakes up and cries real hard he can get it again and then it's a vicious circle. What do you think??? Do I really need to do this?? DO I need to be strong and not breast feed him at night? Will he really get used to it and not get up anymore? Do you truly think he isn't hungry and it's just habit? UUUGGHH I'm hating this!!! I know that not sleeping has also taken it's toll on me, but I'd rather not sleep than hear him cry the way he's crying now!!

Please tell me, what can I do for all of us to be happy and healthy????
THANK YOU
Viv

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So What Happened?

First of all THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU all!!! It was overwhelming to see how many of you care and how many are in the same situation! I was hoping that I'd write with a more clear cut situation but it is getting better. Many of you told me to see what Dr. Gordon said (someone in his office is actually our pediatrician!) and everything he said resonated with me. My son started sleeping 7 hours straight after one week!!! it was wonderful but then he got a cold and I breast fed at night again and now we are kind of back to square one! but I'm definitely stronger about not breast feeding at night until it's been about 6 or 7 hours and now he only cries for a few minutes before he goes back to bed. He is still in our bed but we will soon be transferring him to his own room (I think it'll be harder for us than him!) I'll probably have to write again to get all of your support when that happens! otherwise, he is doing SUPER well. happiest baby ever!! and is getting his groove on! loves to dance:) once again thank you all!! and I agree with the ones that say to listen to your gut, at the end of the day, I do believe we know what's best for our children, but we don't know EVERYTHING, so advice is very helpful, what to take and not to take is when the intuition comes in!! we are all just doing the best we can! so cheers moms on the most important job in the world!!!

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E.W.

answers from Bakersfield on

This is what my pediatrician has to say about it:

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

Hope it helps!

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear Cestlavia,

Hang in there!

Keep in mind that babies' stomachs can empty as fully, in just a couple of hours, as an adult's stomach does, in a couple of DAYS! That is why babies cry, their stomachs are totally empty! Withholding nourishment when a baby is hungry is probably not the best solution for the baby's health. Also, your baby may be going through a growth spurt - this can mean a sudden need to nurse very frequently (sometimes every hour) for a few days or even a couple of weeks.

Babies are SUPPOSED to cry when they are hungry! That is what lets us know they need nourishment! And the biggest job of every baby is to GROW.

My personal solution was to perfect the art of sleeping while nursing. I never got up out of bed to nurse my baby, i just rolled over, propped pillows, and went back to sleep, and she could nurse as long as she wanted. It's the practical solution, win-wiin for everyone.

Previously - for my whole life - i had been an unusually light sleeper, waking up at everything, but it didn't take long to teach myself to do this, primarily because I was pretty tired! Some mothers said they didnt want to do this because they were afraid they would roll over on their baby - but that NEVER happened! I am SURE that we are programmed on a deep level not to roll over on our babies, or the human race would have died out long ago. And of course I woke up immediately if my baby cried or even poked me.

Meanwhile, I hope you can get in a nap or too, and good luck! Trust me, it is worth it to give your baby the best nutrition possible.

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K.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am in a hurry but I just wanted to say the 3 Day Sleep Solution. It saved my life and every one in the house. If you have any questions, please email me back. There was an ad on this website and they offer a 30-day.

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C.C.

answers from Reno on

He is "owning" you at this point. Most pediatricians recommend milk at 12 months and seriously...do you want to be breast feeding a toddler? I can't see any reason why he would be waking up if he is being fed table foods as he should be fed at this age accept that you are giving in. I will be honest with you, it's really damn hard to hear your child cry for you and not give in but you need to be strong and look at the big picture. He needs to learn to sleep on his own and go back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night otherwise you will forever be trying to get a preschooler to sleep and that's even harder because they argue and manipulate for more time. You want your child to be a valued person in this world and part of that is teaching them lessons that may not be easy for us as parents but the only way to teach them. Believe me, you don't want him to own you like this when he is 3 or 4 because it will make him harder to handle and you don't know how hard it will be not to curl up in your bathroom and cry once this begins because it's nothing compared to letting them cry it off at 14 months. We let our son cry it off at 1 year and he still has the capability of owning me from time to time and I couldn't imagine it being worse. We do what we do as parents because we love them and want the best for them no matter how hard it is for us in that moment...that's what being a parent is all about and nobody said it would be easy but for some reason we thought it would be and just have to accept that it's hard but we are doing our job. I wish you and your family the best but most of all I wish you strength because it isn't easy to be a good parent.

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L.A.

answers from San Diego on

Been there and done that! Let me tell you what the problem is. The problem is "everyone". Why are you heeding their advice now? You are already doing the right thing, against popular opinion, by breast feeding this long. Keep it up! You are already doing the right thing, against popular opinion, by co-sleeping. You are going to raise a healthier, more confident, and psychologically secure and well-adjusted child than "everyone". All long-term breast feeders know that night feedings are the last to go, not the first. It is as nature intended. Same with co-sleeping. Did you know that many, many cultures around the world consider the use of cribs and separate rooms for children nothing less than child abuse? You are doing a great job! You are doing it right. don't start listening to "everyone" now. It is the biggest mistake that first-time moms make. Follow your mommy instincts. As for sleep - you will have plenty of time for that later. :0) Right now you have a wonderful baby boy - yes, he is still a baby. Enjoy him! Mom of four former baby boys, now 26, 23, 21, and 8.

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C.Y.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi fellow breastfeeding mom! The best advice I can give you is to never tell anyone how much/little sleep you are getting or how much your son breastfeeds. I had 4 children just like yours and I learned not to discuss the issue even to the point of excluding the truth. People are not going to understand. I am still breastfeeding (at night) my almost 3 year old. She only stopped during the day this past week and still has pretty much the same schedule as your son. It is not easy but some children are apparently wired that way. I can reassure you that all 4 of my children are very healthy, intelligent, social, active and well-spoken. if you are okay with this arrangement and your husband will support you, THEN DONT CHANGE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'll start by saying I'm an AP (attachment parenting) parent, and have parented both my kids this way. I have a 4 YO and a 14 mo. old.

I can't tell you how many nights my 4 yo woke me up 8 to 10 times a night, for MONTHS on end between the ages of 14 months until he was around 20 months. It was VERY VERY hard indeed, I was a walking zombie. My bff has a dd the same age as my ds and she used the "Baby Whisper" as her guide. She often questioned my committment to AP. AP is all about listening to your instincts, if something doesn't feel right, don't do it!

She let her DD CIO, forced her to sleep in her own bed, weaned her at 6 months, and never wore her as an infant. My cousin also used the CIO method and sleep trained her DD. Neither of these two women have a close relationship w/ their DD's. Both girls are distant and rarely tell their mommies they love them.

I breastfed my DS until he was 2 1/2, on demand, he slept w/ me until he was 3 when my DD was born. We are very close, he's very affectionate and showers me w/ hugs and kisses all the time. My 14 mo. old DD is also very affectionate and loving. We've had a few nights where she's woke me up 10X a night. It's hard, I think it's mostly due to teething. They also get restless when they hit new milestones, like they want to practice it in their sleep. And there's plain old-fashioned growing pains too. Nursing is a HUGE source of comfort for them, unless they take a paci or have a lovely, neither of my kids had a paci or a lovely. The "Baby Book" by Dr. Sears is a great source of information about AP parenting, all his books are fantastic for that matter, he also has a website and newsletter: http://www.askdrsears.com/
Two other books that were helpful for me were: "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp, and "The No-cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley

Two other things that help us in the night are a white noise machine and a bed massager (sounds crazy I know) mine is by The First Years and it was actually a device designed for cribs, but it works great on my bed too, Google "crib vibrator" there are several makers of these.

HTH

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I nursed on demand pretty much until she said she was done. IWe all got through it and we are a happy HEALTHY (physically and emotionally) family. As she got older (past 2 or so) I did say no or not right this second and she was very patient. At 14 nos I tried to respond to her cues as I always wanted to be there for my daughter and EARN her trust. That's just MY experience for whatever it's worth...This too shall pass. BTW we're still co sleeping. Brst H.

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H.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Viv,
I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time. Kudos to you for breastfeeding-I think it's wonderful and wish I had breastfed my daughter longer.
I was wondering if perhaps your son isn't nursing properly or not getting enough when he does feed. Have you tried speaking with a lactation consultant? Perhaps she might give you some better advice. My niece was never a very good nurser and I think that affected her sleep at night as well. It's difficult when you breast feed to find out how much your child is actually eating. Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you and your little boy.

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V.A.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi C.,

It sounds like you are more upset about what others say than actually waking up to nurse him. I, too, nursed through the night and my baby was in our bed. When she wanted to nurse, I'd roll over and often we'd both fall back to sleep with her attached to me. My daughter nursed until she was four, but eventually it was only morning and night. At 14 months she was still nursing often. Don't let it bother you and just don't mention it to your friends so you don't get their advice and judgement. I, too, had to shut up when friends spoke of how their babies slept through the night at an early age. When my daughter started kindergarten, after two weeks the teacher came up to me and said: "I can't believe how well adjusted your daughter is!". Children of these other mothers who had them sleeping through the night were not nearly so well adjusted. Also, my daughter helped paint her bedroom and when she was about 3 she decided she wanted to fall asleep in our bed but then be moved to her own. At first, she'd wake up in the middle of the night and come back but that went away eventually. Also, when she got too heavy to be carried, we had to wake her to walk to her bed. After a little while of that, she just decided to start in her own bed. When she was 22 and living independently, she came home and spent Christmas Eve with us. Before bed, she joined me in my bed to watch TV and chat. It was wonderful. I don't regret any of it.

Working harder at the beginning really pays off later. My daughter is now 24, completely independent and has always had high self esteem. I think it pays off to let babies nurse and wean as they want because it gives them a feeling that they have some control over their lives - an excellent way to develop self esteem.

V.

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K.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Viv-
First question - do you have a pacifier for your little guy? If not, I highly recommend you go out and buy a pack of NUKs. My little gal uses her's when she wakes at night and she goes back to sleep suckling away on one. Up until a couple of months ago she kept waking up at 1AM to feed, eventhough she does not need the food. Because I work all day and don't see her, I kind of enjoyed the little bit of time at 1AM, but at some point the exhaustion is too great!
I also highly recommend that you put him in his crib. I used to put my little girl to sleep at night in my bed with me and we would wake each other up all the time (she moves around a lot). After a couple of weeks of a couple of minutes of crying when I put her in there, she just goes to sleep in her crib on her own. Sometimes she is up for 10 minutes playing and then falls asleep. With her pacifier. I put a second one in the crib in case she loses the first. If she cries more than a couple of minutes, I go to her and soothe her and then leave her again - it is so hard at first, but she sleeps better ultimately and so do I.

And when he wakes up at night crying, just go and peek, put the pacifier in his mouth - but don't pick him up, hopefully he will learn to soothe himself back to sleep. It will take a week or two - but he will learn it.

Good luck and all the best to you and your little guy :-)

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A.R.

answers from Las Vegas on

You don't need to stop breastfeeding, but if you want to get any sleep, you need to get your son into his own bed. You have trained him to fall asleep while nursing and he doesn't know how to fall asleep by himself. If he wakes up, the only thing he knows how to do to go back to sleep is nurse. With my first son, no one told me not to rock or feed my baby to sleep every night and he was a horrible sleeper. If he woke up at all, I had to feed him or rock him back to sleep. With my second son, we didn't make the same mistake and we put him in his own room at 4 months. When he cried, I would go in and comfort him, but NOT PICK HIM UP. This only took 2 nights and then he fell asleep happily by himself every night after that. It will be difficult because he should have been taught to sleep through the night when he was 4 months old, not 14. However, better late than never. Good luck!

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A.K.

answers from San Diego on

You need to decide what it is that YOU want. I went through a similar situation. What we did was 1) try to feed more during the day and 2) try to stretch the time between night feedings longer and longer and 3) encourage a pacifier. So my first goal was not to feed until it had been 2 hours since the last feeding. Then we'd go to 2.5 hours etc. I finally got my daughter weaned to one night feeding and then chose a date and switched that one night feeding to a sippy cup of water. She still would wake up for the water for about 3 months so I think some of her issue was that she was legitimately thirsty in the night. Hey, I get thirsty at night sometimes too! The co-sleeping was MUCH harder for us to deal with than the night feedings. For co-sleeping we chose a date. After that date she was no longer allowed in our bed before 6am. But, we also moved a twin into her room. So, I slept in her room in the twin while she was in her crib for about 4 months (eventually only if she woke up super upset.) At first I would pick her up and rock her in the chair (since she was used to contact with me) then I would rock her standing next to the bed, then I would give her a hug over the edge of the crib, then I would just rub her back. Finally she got to the point where we decided that she didn't NEED me anymore she just WANTED me in her room. So we switched to her dad going to her in the night and doing the same things I was doing. She stopped waking up at night within a week. The first few days of the transition to daddy were hard (he was in there a lot!) but in the long run, it was worth it! We're all a lot happier now that we are rested. :) And I feel like she got a good solid start on life by co-sleeping and now is learning another good lesson of self-soothing (I won't be there with her at preschool) But, again, you need to decide for yourself what you want becuase if you aren't 100% sold on whatever plan you pick, you'll change your mind at 4am when your faced with a tired, crying kid. Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Hang in there.
I have a seven year old who I nursed for 15 months and co-slept with for 3.5 yrs. She started in our bed but I gave her a nice big girl bed that we slept on together when she was 2. When my son came along, he is 3.5 now, I never brought him in our bed and just slept with him in his own twin bed. I still do occassionally. He was always more ok with me getting up from his bed when I was finished nursing him, I did for 17 months. Now I just read him a book in bed and get up so he can fall asleep. If he wakes up I try to just tuck him in and go back to bed but usually end up crawling into his bed too. It is nice to snuggle. Do what you have to do, it is hard not to listen to others so much. You can do it.. Yeay mom.

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J.S.

answers from San Diego on

I could only give you my opinion and what has worked for me. I am a mom of 4 children ranging from 8 months to 6 1/2 years. With each of my children I did the same thing. I would nurse them through the night until about 4 to 5 months old. By then they would only be waking me up fervently about once during the night. The trick is to let them fuss and cry until they go back to sleep. They definetly need their sleep and so do you! They are training you too, but in this situation it is not for the best for both of you. No matter how hard they cry, you need to know you are not hurting them or "scarring them for life". Especially at 14 months, there is no proven benefit to breast feeding them much longer that . You will do your child more good to let him cry himself to sleep. It's tough for you for the first week. But if you diligently do it, within a week or so he will happily be sleeping through the night, and so will you. Even if it takes him a little longer (because he is older now and the habit has already been set) hang in there! It's definetly time to change things! Believe me, you ARE being a good mom by doing this. Another suggestion: If you aren't already doing this... start a pattern of singing to him or telling him a little story or nursery rhyme, give him a blanket or something of comfort, kiss him and put him to bed, regularly. Then, don't wake up and go to him when he cries. Very quickly he will learn that when you do the habitual bedtime routine, that's his que to go to sleep and stay asleep. That alone will become his comfort.
I hope this helps! So far, it's worked for all four of mine and I am a very happy and well rested mom! (you need to be for their sake as well as you and your husbands!)Good luck my dear!

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

There are lots of books out there, but I love On Becoming Baby Wise by; Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckham. I think it has more advice to help you out in the begining but I got to it later myself with my 1st baby (I'm on my 3rd) and it still helped me out. It's so hard to hear your sweet baby cry and you feel like your failing him by not running to him but I believe that it's time for him to learn how to comfort himself and learn good sleeping habits. Good luck to you and I promiss your baby will love you just as much even if you let him cry a few nights to break his nightime feeding habit.

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

I have not been in your situation, but I can feel your pain. I trained my children from birth to sleep through the night without help from me, and they were about 5 months old by the time we dropped the very last nighttime feeding. If this is something you really want to do, maybe there is a gradual way to do it (even though it is a no-brainer that newborns can't sleep all night, the whole process did take 5 months for us). I think it would be better for your son if he could sleep longer periods without interruption, sleep is very important to growth and development, he shouldn't need "food" throughout the night anymore, and I'm sure more sleep would do you some good also, but if you're comfortable with the way things are, don't feel so pressured to change it. My sister-in-law co-slept with her first and nursed her throughout the night until baby #2 was born. Now the first one sleeps with Daddy in a separate bed while mom takes care of the new baby. I couldn't do it, but they don't mind and they are content with the situation.
Anyway, if you're all NOT content with the current situation and need to change it, maybe it can be done gradually. Your little one is capable of sleeping all night without you, but he is used to the current situation and it could take some time for him to adjust to a new situation. I'm no expert on this, but maybe start with having him in his own bed, but still nurse him whenever he needs to. Then try to drop one feeding at a time (that's how I did it with my babies - gradually the feedings got further apart during the daytime, then we would work on dropping one night time feeding at a time). When he does wake and wants to be nursed, give him a little bit of time (maybe 15 minutes, or less if that is too much for you) and see if he can get himself back to sleep. Eventually, he may not bother with all the fussing and just decide to go back to sleep on his own.
One thing I would suggest is to make sure he has some "comfort" item(s) in his crib. You have been his "comfort" up until now, and most babies I have ever known needed some kind of comfort item in bed. Both of my boys are in love with the blankets that I swaddled them in as babies, they each sleep with two of them and cuddle with them. Offer your son several cuddly items and see what he gravitates toward. I will pray for you, I hope this has helped, even if only a little, and I hope the other moms will have some helpful advice for you too.

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E.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 24 months old, and we recently realized that he needed his own bed. (He started nursing more and more, and being really cranky during the day. Now he sleeps 8-9 hours a night!) Up until now he slept with us, and woke every 3-5 hours to nurse. This was difficult, but not impossible for me. We co-slept and I tried to find a relaxing position during nursing.
He wasn't a big eater, so I stuck with the nursing and it panned out for us. It was getting harder at night, but I felt strongly about responding to his needs (just because it is night time, it doesn't mean you're not a parent anymore!!!)
It's my opinion that you need to assess the needs of your whole family and see what makes the most sense. Listen to your own intuition - not what others shame you into feeling. You know yourself and your baby best. Not every child is ready for the same things at the same time. My son is a very well behaved, intelligent boy, who does just fine away from me. I'm willing to give him what he needs, as long as it isn't damaging my health (physical, emotional, or spiritual) since I strongly feel that this is such an important time in his life. The more I show him how to respond to people with love and care, the better he will be able to be the loving, caring man I hope he will be.
Please don't feel pressured by what others have done, or think you should be doing. Listen to your gut, listen to your son, and stick to your guns. That may mean that you don't talk about certain things with certain people, but so be it.
Good luck!
E.

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H.B.

answers from San Diego on

I totally remember how you feel. I co-slept and breastfed my son on demand for at least 1 1/2 years. But then I read a book called "The Aware Baby" that really resonated with me. It promotes co-sleeping, but not breastfeeding on demand nor through the night, especially at that age. Obviously when they're newborns, it's a different situation. The book encourages letting babies and children cry WHILE you support them through their emotions by letting them know it's ok to cry. It's ok to have sad and angry feelings. It's good to let them out. If you simply give your child the breast every time he/she cries, then you may potentially creating an addiction, which could lead to a food addiction or other addictions down the line. Of course your son doesn't want to stop and he's going to cry. He has anxieties and fears. But that's ok!!! We all have emotions we need to work through. It's the human condition. It's a wonderful lesson to be supported through those emotions, instead of learning to fear them or cover them up with habits. Then he can process that emotion and learn everything is still ok. This philosophy totally changed my way of thinking. Instead of feeling totally stressed and helpless when my son cried, I thought, this is a good thing as long as I support him through it. He's expressing his feelings.. That's healthy. Usually, when the baby or child is thoroughly finished letting out their feelings, they feel relaxed and happy and then fall asleep or play or whatever. The more the feelings are attempted at being covered up, the clingier they get or they act out more. Babies and kids naturally go through so many overwhelming feelings throughout the day. Of course they NEED to cry to let that out. I went through one night of letting him cry when I didn't give him my breast. The next night, he slept through the night! I highly recommend that book for you. Check out www.awareparenting.com for more info if interested. Good Luck!

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Viv - you sound so upset... so I want to give you my thoughts and opinions and I hope it helps to make you feel better.

Firstly, I think you should put your baby in a crib, but IN YOUR ROOM. Put him near to you so he doesn't feel completly alienated. I live in the UK, and my health visitor told me to do the same. Your baby will learn his sleep patterns from you... your slow breathing, the sound of contentment etc. It will also encourage him to sleep through the little noises you make through the night, so you won't need to tiptoe around him going forward...he may stir at some of your noises, but fundamentally, he needs to teach himself to go back to sleep without the need for the comforting touch/smell of you.

Secondly, you don't mention how much he is feeding when he wakes up every hour and a half. If he is really properly hungry, and has a proper significant feed, then of COURSE you should continue to feed him on demand, until his need disappears. If he doesn't feed much and is really only looking for the comfort/closeness with you, then you need to address that. It might be helpful if he is in a separate crib/cot from you, and you can respond to him crying by lying him back down in his cot and putting your hand on his tummy, or stroking his head for a moment, and then going back to bed. Talk to him - he's 14 months old - tell him it's too early to wake up and he needs to go back to sleep. Alternatively, if he takes a bottle at all, give him a bottle of water to have a drink from. Perhaps a pacifier?

Finally, remember that he is used to the way you have done things up until now. To suddenly make such a dramatic change will come as a shock/surprise to him. He won't understand what's going on, although you should speak to him and tell him about it each night when he goes to bed. Tell him that you'll see him in the morning etc. Remember that our children feed off our emotions - if YOU are unhappy, fraught, distressed, worried etc, he will be the same. So you need to do what's right for YOU. If needs be, put his cot right next to your bed, so you can hold his hand whilst he goes back to sleep during the night. Whatever it takes to make you feel better, will for SURE make him feel better. He won't be like this forever.. it's just a phase.... Try not to feel pressurised by anyone (including your husband) to do something you're not comfortable with - your discomfort will be clear in your demeanour and will just upset/unnerve your son.

Good luck - I hope I've helped!
C. x

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M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.,
I know what you are talking about. I had the same problem with my son who is now 8yrs. old. The advise I received was this, If your son was drinking a bottle would you be taking him off that at this age? My answer was no. So with that said I think you are fine. You nurse your baby at night if thats what you want to do.It may be time to try cutting out some of the feedings. I think that is your call since you are the one who has to get up and feed him. However, I don't think he should be sleeping with you.

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A.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

C.!

I would like to CONGRATULATE you for breastfeeding this long. Please COMPLETELY disregard such ignorant advice you are getting that "enough is enough" about breastfeeding, etc. If only those mothers who responded that way would do the research they would see how incredibly beneficial it is to breastfeed for TWO years!! You are doing an amazing job!!!!! I say you co-sleep AS LONG AS YOU WANT AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH!!!!!!!!! Of course you would rather sleep than hear your baby cry! You are a caring, nurturing mommy and you tending to your babies needs is EXACTLY what you SHOULD be doing! What kind of mommy would you be if you started to go against your own personal instincts?

If you are sure you would like to stop co-sleeping, please know it may be difficult and sleepless at first. Maybe you can begin to try to have your son nap in his crib (or think about buying him a toddler bed and putting it next to your bed 1st.

I am still nursing my 15-month old and if she wakes up in the middle of the night than my husband will go in her room 1st (we stopped co-sleeping at 6 months). Most of the time he is able to rock her back to sleep. If after a couple minutes my beautiful baby is still upset I will go in and nurse her. It's the FASTEST way to get EVERYONE back to sleep.

ALSO for a FIRST night waking up ONLY twice to breastfeed is GREAT!!!!!! I think you are doing a wonderful job mommy. Take it day by day and continue to love on your son as much as you do!!! :-)

ONE MORE THING - Do NOT let ANYONE pressure you into doing what you are not comfortable with. Technically "sleeping thru the night" is 5-6 hours straight! NOT 8-12 hours!!!!! AND the fact that you've breastfed this long shows how incredibly dedicated you are to providing NOTHING BUT THE BEST for your baby boy. You wean when you are good an ready and you stop co-sleeping when you are good and ready! YOU ARE THE MOMMY. And a fabulous one at that! ;-)

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R.G.

answers from San Diego on

Honey...
first of all take a deep breath... and secondly go get some ear muffs and ear plugs...
and hear comes the hard long truth, 'cause I've been there and done that one.... (well for the most part)
babies generally stop needing to be feed during the night at around give or take four months to six months...
so they fact that he's still taking the breast at night especially more often than not... means that he really needs to cut back, and would be even more helpful if you completely just stopped..
another thing...and this has been what's been kicking our butts(my husband's and mine)
I really love the fact that you guys are doing the whole co-sleeping thing.. but take it from someone who is still trying desperately to break that....
either start now... or you'll have him so used to sleeping in your bed he'll do it until he's five... no joke... the older they get the harder it is to get them to move to their own bed... you would think it gets easier... no way wrong.. as I've learned, they don't learn to be soothe themselves to sleep at night and get restful sleep...which is why they will sleep so long... which of course isn't healthy for them because they need that deep undistrubed sleep... especially if in your case your having to get up every hour and a half, that's not healthy and I don't believe that that is normal either... that is newborn behavior not a toddler's behavior...

I give you props for having breast fed him this long... I reall do...
but stop breastfeeding him at night, and possibly start breaking him into sleeping in his own bed.. or your headed for huge problems... not just now but in the future...
and defianately seek your pediatrician's advice on this one.. they'll be able to give you great advice on what your next move should be...
I wish you the best... it's going to be hard but for health reasons for both of you- you really need to do it.
(by the way you are feeding him enough table food during the day right? Because if he were full then he shouldn't be wanting the breast that much at night... unless he's that habit addicted... try giving him a pacifier)

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L.H.

answers from San Diego on

My heart absolutely goes out to you! We're in a similar situation. This is so hard but I believe timing is everything. If you do it before you or your baby are (close to) ready, then it is too soon and too abrupt. What we did was decrease bf during the day (don't offer, distracted when she asked for it, tons of hugs and kisses!!!) Then we tackled the night weaning and it has worked well for the past couple of weeks. I still bf before bed and let her know that we won't be bfing in the middle of the night. Then I bf her again in the morning when we wake up but that's it now. She still wakes up, but I hug her, rock her and her all time favorite now is to fall asleep right on top of me.

Okay, Caveat... My daughter is extremely verbal. She's 17 mo and speaks broken sentences and so I know she understands pretty much everything we talk to her about. This has been so helpful in the night weaning process.

My advise is that if it is painful, its not yet worth it. Bf at this age is a habit, a wonderful, loving, cozy habit where they feel safe and snuggly. Please don't let anyone make you feel that because bf is not for nutritional value is w/o merit!!!

I am getting more sleep now (and for personal reasons I have to wean now, but wouldn't even bother w/o the time constraints) but boy am I going to miss it when she is weaned completely!!!

All the best to you and your contented baby!!!

Jen

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi C., why sweetie are you breast feeding a 14 month okd child, this child is at the age where she should be having 3 regular meals a day plus snacks, your child should also be using a cup, no 14 month old should be having a 2am feeding that's insane, your husband is right, she wakes up cause she knows you will get up and feed him, he is manipulating you and you are falling for it. Also a baby';child should not be in the marriage bed at all, this co-sleep thing is forien to me, my babies started in a bassenet right next to our bed and when they got to big gor it they went right into their crib, was on cereal at 6 weeks old sleeping through the night. I know it is hard as a mom to hear your child cry, he's banking on that so you will go in and feed him, I would not have a child that age sucking on my breast. Mother for 24 years J.

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

C.,

I breastfed my first child until he was 2 and I found this: http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp very helpful when he was "older" and still up endlessly at night. Dr. Jay Gordon is a pediatrican and a strong breastfeeding advocate and he's also completely pro-family bed/cosleeping so it is a very family friendly resource.

For the record, I don't think you are doing anything wrong at all. But if you aren't happy with what is going on, it is within your power to change it a bit to make it work better for you and your family.

I don't think you can go wrong by meeting your baby's needs.

Good luck,
T.

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

When he wakes up try and only give him a few ounces much less than his normal feeding...then the next day try to give him a pacifier instead....then don't pick him up but give him the pacifier.....then hopefully he will sleep through th enight. I did this with both of my sons (2 1/2 and 5 months) and it worked in about 4-5 days. Also, if you try to do a formula feed have your husband do it...once my first one realize he wasn't going to be fed by me he decided it wasn't worth it to wake up.

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L.C.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Sounds like he's using you for a pacifier. There's no normal reason he shouldn't be sleeping throughout the night.

I would suggest weaning him to a pacifier while he's still co-sleeping for a couple of weeks. During that two-week period, also sleep with a baby-sized blanket or the crib sheet. After the two weeks, place him in the crib with the pacifier and the baby blanket. The pacifier will satisfy his need to suckle for comfort and reassurance, and the blanket or crib sheet will also be a source of comfort for him as it will contain your scent.

You also might want to think about weaning him to a bottle. You can still use breast milk, just pump it and then bottle it if you want him to continue to have your nutrients. You can then wean him to animal milk by interchanging it with your breast milk. Plus, bonus, dad can help feed!

You cannot continue on this path. You have to have sleep. Also, think about your husband and what kind of wife he now has due to lack of sleep.

We've all been there with sleep deprivation. A child is a priority, but think of it this way: Even on an airplane that's about to crash the safety video tells you to secure your oxygen mask before you secure your child's. That's because your child needs you functional and able to take care of him.

Looking back, I feel sorry for my family when I was sleep-deprived. I didn't even want to be around me then! It's amazing, though, what a difference sleep makes. Your child and husband deserve the best mom and wife possible. That cannot happen without sleep.

Good luck.

P.S. Be strong. He will cry, especially when weaned to the crib. As long as all of his basic needs are met, let him cry. He has to learn that the tail cannot wag the dog!

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L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hang in there! That's great that you are still breast feeding! Moving him to his own crib should help, but probably not at first since he is so used to getting up at night. He'll adjust as he gets used to sleeping alone. You'll adjust too! If you honestly think that he is hungry, don't deny him milk. If you think it is just habit though, try bouncing him or rocking him back to sleep first. If your husband is up for it, he should try to get your baby back to sleep first since he doesn't smell like a midnight snack like you do : ) Good luck! Sleep will come! It may be a process, but it will happen! Try to nap during the day if you can!

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know... if it were me, I think of it as molding. By feeding your baby on demand, he doesn't learn 'patience'. In fact, possibly we may be fostering unwanted behavior. He is eating solid food, right? Is he getting a good evening meal before he goes to bed? Then for sure, he should keep thru the night without the fear of him being hungry.
If it is fear of 'making him feel unwanted or ignored' would possibly cuddling him, rocking him to sleep again, without feeding him take care of that need for the both of you? I mean really trying to send the message, "I love you but it is sleeptime not mealtime..." Maybe the behavior of 'hunger' will dissapate after a few nights and he will learn that you love him, but love does not equate 'food'.

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S.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

Be strong. I had to do this at a younger age with my son. It will take three rough nights and some patience after. You are doing the right thing. A baby that age can certainly sleep through the night without eating. Stay strong.

I have "sleep trained" both of my kids. I am extremely close to both of them and they are both affectionate and loving children.

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C.K.

answers from San Diego on

Unfortunately "yes" to all your questions.

It's the hardest thing in the world to not answer your baby's cries. Your husband doesn't understand how that's our instinct and you've been responding to his cries, naturally, since birth. And now you're supposed to just 'turn it off'?!

At 14 months, your baby should be sleeping about 10 hours through the night and 2 hours during the day, approximately--every baby is different.
The sooner you break the habit the happier EVERYONE will be: your baby, you, and your husband (most importantly the relationship with your husband--we tend to put our kids first, naturally, but don't forget your marriage-once the kids are on-their-own, it'll be just you and your husband again.
I've learned that the best modeling one can give their child/children is a solid, happy marriage. Everything else will fall into place with the children. Really.

Decide what your plan is for the night and stick with it. Any deviation will allow for manipulation (although not malicious) by your child.

Good luck, I know it's tough

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M.B.

answers from Reno on

I was on my way to bed myself and I thought about waiting to reply but I was afraid of the responses you might get.
No, you don't have to let him cry. You have mother's instincts for a reason, follow them.

I'm nursing a toddler and it's a brief but wonderful time that she I will have together. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. So don't let anyone pressure you into giving up something entirely that you're not ready for. If you're okay with it, do it and tell the rest to leave you alone about it.
You can wean him off the nighttime feedings without trauma though IF YOU WANT TO. Your husband with all of his advice will HAVE to be a part of this for a little while though. (and again, only if you want to, please please please don't let others misinformed opinions push you into doing something you don't have to do yet)
I did wean my daughter off of night nursing around 9-10 months. I made good and sure she nursed a lot before bed and fed her dinner about an hour before her bedtime to make sure she was full. Then when she would wake up at night at first, my husband, not me, went to her. My daughter was in her crib though so in your case, perhaps your husband will need to get up with him and just walk him around for a bit until he falls back asleep. My husband would rock and soothe her and IF she still wouldn't go back to sleep, THEN I would get up to nurse her.
Most of the time, she slept right through though and her waking became less and less. NEVER let them cry it out. She sleeps solidly now through the night and nurses in the morning, before naps, occasionally through the day and at night to sleep.
Anyhow, I have to go to bed myself but I hope I've helped you in some way.
Try to find a number for your local Le Leche League tomorrow and give them a call too. They can help you through this and give you advice that isn't breastfeeding biased. :)
And lastly an article for you (and others if you want to send it to them) to read about the dangers of sleep training.
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/t070700.asp

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D.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear Viv,

It sounds like your family is ready for a change. It's up to you and your husband to decide what exactly you're up for. First I'll say that this is SO much harder with your first child. The first time we let my son cry for even just 5 minutes in his crib, I was outside his door crying as well. It does get easier. But it always seems like a two steps forward, one step back process. We'd have our kids sleeping 6-10 hours at a stretch and then they'd start teething, or get a cold, or go through a growth spurt... The key is consistency. One thing that really helped our family was to have a nighttime routine. Same time every night. It takes 21 days to change a habit in adults (maybe less in small children) but I would still consider blocking off the next 3 weeks on the calendar and putting a routine in place. For us it's bath, pajamas, brush teeth, cup of milk (used to be nursing), read books, sing songs and say goodnight. All in all takes about 45 minutes for us. We're still doing this with our kids (3 and 5.5). It's a big signal to their bodies that it's sleep time. We also used the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. Another piece of advice (from my awesome pediatrician) - any change you want to make is always easier now rather than later. Sometimes we create habits with our children unintentionally (like a pacifier addiction in our family). Phasing out the pacifier is easier at 18 months than it is at 2 years old, easier at 2 years that 2.5 years old, etc. It just doesn't seem like it at the time:)
Sorry I couldn't give any more concrete advice, it's just that every baby and every family is different. Reading advice books always helps and then putting together a plan you're comfortable with and sticking to it will also make a difference. Wishing you happier nights! D.

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C.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Ok well you are going to get way to many opinions on this. I am the mother of 4 the birth mother of three (my oldest is my husbands) I have nursed all of my boys and have gone through and am going through the waking to nurse baby. I like you have gotten many opinions on what to do. With my other 2 I road it out and eventually they tapered off themselves ending when they were 18 months and we stopped altogether. I am still nursing the youngest he will be 1 on Thursday and we think it is about time to reclaim or bed but to do that it is the husband who has to be willing to walk the floor. The baby needs to know he hasn't been left just because you are not there to nurse him. It has to be your husband that does the comforting even offering a water bottle can help. I know how hard this is I am not looking forward to the process either. Is you husband with him and reassuring him? That is soooo important he has to be the calm and loving one as if your baby sees you all he will want is the breast. I hope this helps good luck!

C.

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S.Z.

answers from Reno on

Since he's over a year old, it's a habit and not hunger. Healthy toddlers - and he is a toddler now - don't need food through the night.

He is going to miss nursing at night, especially if he's losing his comfort behavior at the same time he's moving to a new bed. At the same time, doing both at once might make more sense to him. He might understand that he won't be nursing at night if he's actually separated from you. If everything else is the same, and you're lying right next to him, it will make no sense to him that he can't nurse.

Having a child cry does NOT mean that you are a bad parent! Still, try to make things easier on both of you. Hold him for a few minutes or pat his back, give him a pacifier (to replace the sensation of Mommy) and set him back down. Let him know that he's not losing Mom or her love, he's just growing up. Growing up means leaving behind behaviors that made sense at a younger age.

Good luck, Mom!

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A.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C.,
I am a mom myself and i know how you feel. I raised 3 girls myself and breastfed as well.based on my experience, i breastfeed them @ 8 pm, make sure they are really full and they wake up at midnight then feed them again and usually wakes [email protected]____.com they grow, they sleep better. You can also try, putting your milk in a bottle so it is easier for you and the baby. I hope this will help.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Here's what you can do be have all of you be healthy and happy. Buy some ear plugs and let your child cr it out. There is no way that your son is hungry, he's doing this for because he can. I have kids too, and for some reason parents have come to believe that their child's every need/want should be satified immediatly. Frustration and delayed gratification are a part of life. Do your child a favor and set some boundries now so that he can learn to develop these vital coping skills. This is on you, for your childs sake you must ignore his screaming and let him learn to cope.

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V.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

I hope this helps because I feel your pain:

I am Mom to two wonderful children, a 4 1/2 year old boy and 2 year old girl. I was and am a devoted attachment parent. I co-slept with both and also extended breast fed with both. My son I nursed until he was 2 (when I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with our daughter) and my daughter I still nurse about 4-5 mornings a week. She is 27 months old (I'm REALLY ready to stop and she is almost there.)

Anyway, I was where you are now with both my children. They were very poor sleepers and also up all through the night wanting to nurse. At around 18 months for both of them I got tough and just stopped nursing in the middle of the night. It was DIFFICULT for both them and me, but it was the best decision. After about a week with my son and three weeks with my daughter they stopped expecting to nurse in the middle of the night. They would still wake up many nights, but a couple pats or a snuggle and they would be back asleep. Either their Dad or I would just tell them it is night time, time to sleep...Mommy's sleeping, Daddy's sleeping and you need to sleep too. If you are really worried about them being hungry (which I worried about too, but now realize they most likely were not) keep a bottle of water by the bed to offer. Be strong!! You sound like a very devoted Mom and am sure your son feels loved. You will all be healthier and happier when you get more sleep.

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow, what great responses you've already gotten! I fully believe your little one is nursing simply to feel closer to you and out of habit, not out of hunger and these are not "bad" reasons. That being said, you need to follow the instincts God gave you when He made you this little guy's mother. If co-sleeping still works for your family then keep that going and if nursing in the night still works for your family then keep that going as well. However, please remember that your husband is part of the equation and his needs must be considered.
I found it easier to have my babies sleep in their own crib and stopped night time nursing at 3 months because they simply slept through, but my first one started waking up in the middle of the night again at 6 months. I held a LARGE pillow over my chest (so she couldn't smell me) as I patted her back to sleep without talking to her. I did this with the other 2 when I knew that was what they needed because we all wake up in the night and need to learn how to get ourselves back to sleep without disturbing everyone else in the house. This is an amazing gift to give to you ALL, because you will use this technique many times in the future! I just had to remind my 4 1/2 year old that she can get herself back to sleep on her own and that we all wake in the night.
It sounds like you rare wished lots of love and luck from so many of us! Enjoy this time, it is fleeting!

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,
I never had my first waking up as much as yours, but he did wake up. So around 12 months, I knew he was not waking up for hunger. So when my little gy woke up....I rocked him in my arms back to sleep. Eventually he just stopped waking up. I always wanted to do what was best for my baby. And the best thing is sleep...for both of you. Babies need at least 8 hrs of sleep:) And so do we! Good luck, J.

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A.W.

answers from San Diego on

I breastfed my son until about 15 months but cut out the night feedings around 8 months. At that point, I was able to get him to nurse at about 5am. It was hard for me, but the easiest thing to do was have my husband go in the first time he woke and get him back down (make sure he wasn't cold, etc.), then after that he was on his own. It really only took a few days for the crying to subside and for him to learn how to put himself back to sleep. They don't need to nurse through the night; he's just using you as a pacifier.
I would really suggest you try to get this under control now before he's 2 and then it's really a nightmare. He certainly old enough to have some independence but yet still get nutrition from you during the day.

I hope this helps, hang in there!

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A.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

At 14 months I finally broke down and did the suggested sleep training found on Dr. Jay Gordon's site. It took sometime but it worked by gradually doing a slow cry out method. I'm a few months into sleeping a whole night now and love it! You need to google him because your sanity begins to crumble after some-time!

A.
www.alefbet.com

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

wow, you and your baby must be exhaused! i went through a similar experience with my son (now 4). I just couldn't stand to hear him cry...it just breaks your heart. But i eventually realized (through talking to other mom's and reading books) that he didn't really all those night time feedings and the lack of sleep was really affecting us both. I don't think he was really that hungry it was just a habit. So, we did a cry it out thing, where i would go in at first every 5 minutes, then ten, then 15, etc. I was crying and so miserable but my husband kept telling me to be strong and that things would be okay. (if you don't or can't do the cry it out there is a book called the no cry solution that others have raved about) well, my husband was right. it took two nights and I swear to you that he then slept from 7:00pm till 7:00 am!!!!!! It was like a new life for both of us. My husband and I reconnected and our boy was such a happy kid. i think sleep is obviously so important and i think it sounds like your little one has just gotten used to the non stop night feedings. the reality is, he may not have the ability to self soothe himself to sleep. which is such an important thing for little ones to learn. As adults, we get up often during the night, but are able to fall right back asleep. And you son is probalby waking up and instead of self soothing himslef back to sleep, he has come to expect the night time nursing. So, whichever route you decide to take, good luck to you!!!

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J.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

hi, I too was in your situation-we co-sleep and i nursed on demand....all night and all day. my daughter is now 23 months, and she now only wakes up 2 to 3 times a night, which is ALOT better!! I felt exhausted at your point, but could not bring myself to let her cry it out like most of my friends told me to. So if you can't either, please know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel..sort of!!! I feel 100% better now, but getting to this point was hell!! I was so exhausted, that sometimes I felt ike I wasn't being such a great mom, but I couldnt do the cry it out. Good luck, and know that as your baby get older, it does get better! there are alot of us out there going through the same thing, so your not alone(not that that helps!!) good luck!!!
_

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P.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Follow your heart. You know what your child needs. Babies cry for a reason. It's their way of expressing their needs. When we as parents do not respond, we are telling them their needs are not important. And every child is different. There is no golden rule that applies to all children in any one situation. Some children happily wean sooner than others. There is nothing unhealthy about still breatfeeding regularly at 14 months. It use to be very common. If you would rather feed him than listen to him cry, go with that. Interrrupted sleep isn't fun. I breastfed more regularly than that with my son at that age so I know what you are going through. Take care of yourself: eat well, drink plenty, nap with him during the day if you can.

I notice that my son picks up on my emotional state and often is more unsettled when I am feeling stressed. Be aware of how you are feeling. Maybe that is playing a part here.

Check out Mothering Magazine (or their website, mothering.com)and share the magazine with your husband too. You will see that many other moms and medical professionals and experts think like you. You might also want to consider contacting your local branch of La Leche League (the international breastfeeding advocates' organization)or joining the local Holistic Moms Network. There are groups in Costa Mesa and Laguna Hills. There are also attachment parenting playgroups group (check meetup.com)that will offer support. You will be relieved to talk with like-minded people, and maybe those people telling you it is unhealthy for your son to be breastfeeding like he is, might also be open to learning some new facts.

Good luck!

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D.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

He will be fine. He should be getting most of his food from solid foods by now anyway. I weaned my son completely at 16 months. We did it gradually so that by the end he was only nursing once in the morning at about 6 am. I kept that one the longest because it helped him sleep longer in the morning. Once it stopped putting him back to sleep I didn't see the point to it anymore and he didn't miss it at all.

Start cutting out some of the feedings. You don't have to cut them all out at once - you can cut them out gradually over a few days, weeks, or months- whatever you are comfortable with. He really doesn't need the feedings at night anymore and you both need your sleep MUCH more! You could maybe start on a weekend so your hubby can comfort him to sleep for half of the night feedings(on a weekend so that dad can get a nap the next day). Dad doesn't smell like milk like we do so it may be easier for your son to be comforted to sleep without nursing. Also putting him in the crib will help him sleep longer too. I know it is hard but it is best for both of you. It doesn't mean you have to wean him during the day yet but at night would be healthy for both of you. My son was done at 16 months but I know lots of people who nurse until 2 or longer and that works fine for them. Follow your instincts- you are his Mother and do know best.

My sister-in-laws doctor told her the night feedings were just habit (after 4 months, of course). He told her it was just like if we have a sweet treat before bed every night- our body becomes used to it and craves it. We don't need it though. Good luck!

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T.O.

answers from San Diego on

Hi, I have a 14 month old baby son as well and we started having him sleep through the night at about 5-6 months. I was breast feeding as well. I just fed him some cereal mixed with breast milk before he went to bed and then he was able to last longer... It took about one week of just letting him cry to get him used to sleeping through the night, and even then it was hard for my husband and I to just leave him but it was hard not sleeping during the night... It takes it's toll. Hope this helps.... Just be strong, make sure you feed him well before you put him to bed and then your conscience will feel ok.

A little about me:
I am also a first time mom, I work doing massage and teaching piano on the side while in school for Acupuncture. I love being a mom too. It never gets old, each day is a new experience.

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K.R.

answers from Spokane on

This was the age where we finally bit the bullet too... we simply weren't getting enough sleep due to lack of space in the bed and our son kicking and moving too much. First let me say good for you for cosleeping and extended on demand breastfeeding - you are doing what feels right for you and your child, that's hard these days when people have BIG opinions. What we ended up doing was putting our son in his crib and letting him cry when he woke up to nurse, but I stood by the crib, hugged him, rubbed his back, told him I loved him and stayed with him until he finally went back to sleep. This included major screaming, sweating, flailing for well over an hour each time he woke up (a few times a night) for about a week. But once he realized he was not getting fed, he would wake up and accept letting me stand by the crib and rub his back, or sometimes even hold him or rock him back to sleep. Once I was confident he wasn't going to ask to nurse, he was invited back into our room, on his own bed right next to ours. Then all I had to do when he woke up was reach over and put my hand on his back and he would go back to sleep. By two and half he asked to sleep in his own room (with me on a matress on the floor next to his bed) and by three yrs old he was sleeping in his own room by himself - my husband or I stay with him until he falls asleep. Check out Dr. Jay Gordon's web site, he has a lot to say about cosleeping and breastfeeding and is very supportive of both and has ideas on how to stop the middle of the night feedings. Good luck!

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I so understand how you feel it's so hard and you both need some solid sleep. At 14 months it's a habit, he doesn't need to be feeding every 11/2 hours. I am not a fan of crying it out at all but now that he's 14 months a little bit of controlled crying is just a natural process at his age to learn he can't get what he wants (it's not a need anymore). When he wakes up let him know you are there for him by touching him or holding him but tell him its"nighty nighty time not time to eat." Keep it short sweet and simple and then don't say anything more other than some hushes. Put him back in his co-sleeper and rub his back and he will cry. But unfortunately he has to get used to the idea of not eating every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I would not suddenly change everything like put him in his crib and let him cry it out, that's too abrupt, but I would at least get him through not needing to eat so often and then eventually put him in his crib in his room, if that is where you want him to sleep. You may want to check out Elizabeth Pantley's Book "No Cry Sleep Solution" or Dr. Sears, both are great and discuss creating a routine and sticking to it but also helping your baby not have to cry in his crib by myself to learn something. good luck and remember he doesn't need food in the middle of the night he just wants it because he's used to it. I think pediatricians are mostly wrong in this area as so many of them advocate crying it out and putting them in their own room. neither of which are necessary.

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N.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

OK, a lot of this has already been said, but here are a couple things that have worked for my friends and I:

1. DO check with your pediatrician about possible vitamin supplements. I can't remember if it was calcium or iron (or something else) that some breastfed babies need, but it might make a difference.

2. Start putting him down for naps in his crib, and once that is going well, try putting him there at night. You might start off bringing him back to bed after the first or second feeding, but at least he'll get used to that being where he goes at night. If you like co-sleeping, it might be worth it to check how big the regular Arms Reach co-sleeper is. My baby outgrew the mini by 4 months, but I found it an excellent alternative to co-sleeping.

3. Feed him like crazy during the day! Solids, milk, whatever! He may be used to getting some of his calories at night, so you need to make sure he's getting enough during the day. On the plus side, this helped me not feel bad about not feeding my baby at night because I KNEW she couldn't possibly be hungry!

4. I did bottles, so I was/am able to give her a bottle of water when she wakes at night. She usually takes an ounce or two and goes back down.

5. You will need your husband's help. Your baby is expecting you (and your "girls") when he wakes at night, and he might not be as upset not getting fed if you aren't there. No mom=no food.

Best of luck! I know how hard EVERYthing seems when you don't get enough sleep!

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R.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have two children. In my opinion, you need to stop breast-feeding. Find a formula that he likes and stick that bottle and his mouth. He will get used to it. And you will be able to get some sleep. Also, try to the feed him dinner closer to his bedtime. Makes sure that he is nice and full. Then wait till bedtime and put him down to sleep w/ a bottle. That should work, I did it with both of mine. And each child is different but, it worked with both the them. Hopefully, that will help you a little. Good luck! =)

Sincerely,
R.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Like you I breastfed both my children, until they self weaned. (my girl until about 2 years old, my son self weaned before 1 years old).
Every child is different...some clingier than others, and each child/baby has their own levels of appetite and sleep patterns.

Bear in mind, each baby, whether breastfed or formula, has their own pattern of night wakings...some sleep well, some don't. BUT, at this age, there needs to be a consistent response to them...so they learn self-soothing. ie: you are teaching them a "habit."

Some Moms will respond to any waking by nursing if need be, some won't and will substitute another habit for nursing...ie: a sippy cup of water, or just patting them on the back, or letting them cry it out etc.

Sure, they are used to the "habit" of waking during the night to nurse...it's comfort for them, and not always because they are truly hungry...although at growth spurt periods, they may be hungry and need the extra calories/milk.

Babies may also be waking up more because they are truly hungry. With breastfeeding, babies wake more sometimes because the breastmilk is digested faster. It can also be due to teething and this is another thing that can wake them a lot.

Both my children went through spurts where they would wake more frequently...and I would wake up and nurse them or give a bottle to them. By this point in age, I didn't mind not nursing on demand or substituting a bottle. Remember also, sleep patterns are NOT staitc with a baby...it will change and then go back to "normal" as they go through developmental changes and physical changes and cognitive changes.

I know it's tiring to breastfeed... you may want to consider continuing nursing until he self-weans (like I did), or if you can't or don't want to nurse anymore, then you need to wean him. Either way, it is not easy. It takes time, and a big adjustment for baby AND you/Hubby. Some babies adjust fine, some don't. My firstborn did not... my son adjusted with no problem and in fact he self weaned early.

Being that it is turning into a real emotional and stressful ordeal...you need to transition him to another habit. Give him a bottle at night...or supplement with formula at night. My son did this with no problem. My daughter did not so I continued to breastfeed her until she self weaned much later. Of course, since my girl was my firstborn, my stamina was much better and I endured breastfeeding as much as I could. With my son, I was just too tired, and fortunately he stopped nursing by himself and then I switched to bottles which he took with no problem. My son had a VORACIOUS appetite.. and I actually HAD to supplement him with formula.. and per my Pediatrician. I could not keep up with his nursing demands although I had lots of breastmilk.

Another solution: hand over the night time bed routine to your Husband... and have him give your son a bottle. He may cry for you though... but again, any change in habit is a transition issue for a baby/child. So you have to stick to it and be consistent. Over time, a child will adjust. But you AND Hubby need to help each other with this.

Perhaps also, during the daytime, make sure he is eating sufficiently with solids and nursing. If he is not getting enough during the daytime, they sometimes get up more at night.

Bear in mind, that sleeping through the night is something that not all babies/children do. Lots of kids don't sleep through the night until 2 years old, some will do it from 6 months old. It really varies. And then still, they go through LOTS of sleep changes and patterns too and it changes. I really do not believe that any baby will sleep all night without waking from infancy and never veer from that. Babies change, their needs change, their sleep patterns change per their developmental changes etc.

But at this age, your son and you/Hubby need to try and get a more "sane" habit going with him. Don't let anyone criticize you for the way your son wakes up... he's not doing it on purpose. AND don't let anyone criticize you for nursing on demand...no matter what age your baby. I nursed my firstborn pretty much on demand until she self-weaned. It was my choice. Each baby is different. But start with transitioning him to another habit which is comfortable for you and acceptable. I went through this with both my children...it's not easy. But, you do what you have to do. Sometimes, a baby will wake more also because there may not be enough milk-flow...maybe your milk production is lessening? So he is waking more. This happens too in some cases. If this is the case...this might be the perfect opportunity to switch him to a bottle or supplement with formula... and start to teach him to self-soothe. Give him something to cuddle... my son LOVES his stuffed cow and it helps him to sleep, and he uses a pacifier (although some people are against this). But, this is what works for him and he sleeps well.

You will hear many different suggestions and/or criticisms...especially since you are doing extended breast feeding and he is over 1 year old. But if you read online about "extended breastfeeding" it is actually SUPPORTED by many many experts and American Academy of Pediatrics. So don't beat yourself up over it. Each Mom is different and handles breastfeeding differently.

Well I don't have a real answer for you per say...but it is making you miserable and is not a happy situation for you. Really think about it, and whether you really want to still nurse him at night. Either way, it will be a period of adjustment and you will need to be mentally ready for it.
I really wish you the best... I know, truly, that it is not easy... take care,
~Susan

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C.O.

answers from San Diego on

First of all, if you are not ready to stop then DON'T!!! It will not be good for any of you if you regret or resent the decision.

DD is 15 months and we are on day 4 or 5 or 6 maybe, I can't seem to get my days straight of how long we have not been nursing for! Coincidentally DD got the stomach flu last week, and for 2 nursing sessions (night then next day afternoon) she projectile vomited my milk EVERY WHERE. Let me say that the middle of Carls Jr is no place to have a vomitous child :) Anyway, I know how milk makes my sick tummy feel so I decided then and there that we would be weaning. Not a great time because now she has 5 molars coming in like gang busters and the only thing I have ever taught her about soothing herself is that mommy is here to nurse for comfort...bad idea too!

It is the HARDEST thing I have done with her since birth so far. I would rather give birth to her again this second than go through this. That is my motivation to keep going. My piece of advice is if you are in it now, KEEP AT IT! DH had/has to comfort her at night (we also co sleep) and at this point she wants to be next to one of us but not pulling at my chest anymore.

1. if you're ready, do it. If not then not. Don't be pressured. You are the mommy here.
2.keep a bottle of milk at the ready for when the following does not work out :)
3. Daddy will need to be sleep deprived for a while too...baby can smell your milk and probably already knows that daddy does not have any.
4. If you choose to do this, stick with it. If you do it ONE time, DC will know that it is possible and will become more persistant. It will be hard for a while, just imagine starting over. That will motivate you (at least it's kicking me in the pants)

Sorry this is so long, but I am in the same boat as you are. You have done a great thing and now this is just something you have to figure out if you are really ready for. You are doing a good thing either way. Trust that.

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your baby is probably waking up because he is cosleeping and does not have a lot of room to move or wiggle around at night during sleep. I am all for cosleeping but neither you or your son is getting any sleep and is sounds like it is taking a huge toll on both of you. It may be time to put him in his own crib. Believe it or not but babies love the extra room or at least they do once they get use to it. My daughter stopped waking up at night when she was 4 months old ( I too was only breastfeeding). She would wake up when she was in the bassinet or sleeping with my husband and I (we have a california king size bed) because she did not have enough room to wiggle around, stretch or learn how to put herself back to sleep. At 4 months I was super excited and did start to get actual sleep. I don't mean to sound harsh but you must put an end to it now (cosleeping and waking up every 2 hours) or you might end up like my cousin-in-law who wa breastfeeding her 3 year old daughter and waking up every 2 hours, also cosleeping, just because the little girl wanted to sooth on the breast and not necessarily drink, since she of course had already been eating adult food for 2 years!!! True story, not kidding! Just be patient because it may be a shocker to your son, and you, and he may cry himself to sleep for a few nights, but it does work. Good Luck

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M.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

I can sympathize with you in all points--been there, done that! Your baby has 2 habits to break so do only 1 at a time. If I had to do it all over again, I would teach my baby to sleep in his own bed first. It was so much harder (for both of us) to get him so sleep in his own bed as a toddler. Then break him from breast feeding so often. You can start with every 2 hours, then after a day or two, go to 3 hours. Hope this helps, and good luck.

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D.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sleep is essential to brian development and body growth/healing.
Remember this when he is crying and you don't have the courage to let him learn his emotions are powerful and belong to him. Crying is not a bad experience, just as laughing is not a bad experience. Allow him to cry, encourage the strength and courage he has within during his experience and allow him to get past the fear.
There is no reason to be fearful in his own home.
He is safe.
At 14months he must be healthy enough to go through night with out breast milk, of course consult your doctor, but he sounds nutritionally stable.
It is now your turn to teach him to sleep. Truly one of the greatest gifts you will ever give him and yourself.
You can do it. Make the decision and move forward. It is not easy but know that every mother has gone through this stage. You are not alone and your son is not alone. This will be his first lesson in strength and health.

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

At 14 months he should be getting some solids in before bed. That might help him sleep through the night. Your husband is right... what has happened is that you have conditioned your son to wake up at all times during the night wanting to be fed. I can understand maybe once since some children have smaller tummies and higher metabolisms, but every hour is not hungry.. it's the inability to soothe himself. He has to learn to soothe himself.
Let him cry for a while. If after 15 minutes he is still crying go in and pat him on the butt or rub his back in circles. You can tell him that your breasts are broken and he can't be fed right now. Sometimes that works too.

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A.T.

answers from Honolulu on

hello,my dear viv,
well,i have a lot of experience with night nursing,my daughter still nurses all day and night on demand,and shes 18months. i too struggle with the decision to try to wean out the ngiht time nursing,but have yet to be completely sure about it.ive been starting slow,right now im just putting on a high neck t shirt and singing her to sleep with out nursing.this has made it easier for her to sleep from 9 til about 2 or 3 then she wakes to nurse,and will nurse off and on the rest of the night.id say take it slow,work on taking out one night nurse session at a time...try to establish some kind of routine during the day,this should help carry over to the night as well.best of luck to you!!!!!!!

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D.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Mama you don't have to bf a 14 month old throughout the night...STOP. If you want..start cutting the feedings down..if you need to ..give baby a bottle then start giving baby less in the bottle so it's not worth waking..you are training your babe to have bad sleep habits. my son is 27 months..i went thru sleep hell..i had him CIO (cry it out) at 9 months ..the first night he cried for 28 minutes..the 2nd night 5 ..and that was that.
Every day and night when he goes to take a nap or goes to bed i say to myself "I'm so glad i sleep trained him!" SO GLAD!
Yes it's hard..we ALL had to suffer w/ their sleep...they don't know how to train themselves so we have to. My son goes to bed every night at 8:30pm..he even runs to his crib and wants to go to bed b/c his body is naturally tired at this time b/c of always having him go to bed at that hour...wakes at 7:30 but today it was 9am! He naps from 1:30pm to 3 or 3:30pm
your baby is old enough to start CIO..most parents do it at 6 months..it will be good for you babe to sleep thru the night...it is hard but it will be harder if you wait longer ..you're teaching baby that it's ok to wake at night and feed...also not good for the teeth to drink milk all night.
Oh by the way..i'm still breast feeding..i'm not saying to quit that...but baby doesn't need to drink at night..baby needs to sleep.

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A.C.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I am experiencing your same situation right now. Our son just turned 15 months old. Our son is great through out the day, he eats frequent snacks and meals throught out the day with sippy cup of little juice or milk. When he is tired and I'm at home he will request my breast for nap time. He eats well for dinner and falls asleep quickly and contently at my breast between 8-9pm. I then transfer him to his toddler bed. He then wakes up between 11-12 and then comes to our bed, breastfeed him for 5-10 minutes and falls back to sleep with no problem. He also wakes up every 1-2 hours after that for a little comfort and snack and remains in our bed the rest of the time. I work full time so I need as much sleep as I can get and normally don't place him back in his bed. It's a little frustrating not to be able to sleep through the entire night or for longer stretches, but I cope and enjoy this cuddle time as I realize how fast he's growing, this shouldn't last for too long. I have a very active boy with lots of energy throughout the day. You are not alone.

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H.R.

answers from Sacramento on

The cold-turkey method might be a bit harsh. I'm going through this right now with my son who is almost 14 months. I'm trying to only nurse him half the times he wakes- the other times I'm giving him water. I'm slowly increasing the water and decreasing the nursing, at the same time I don't immediately latch him on when he squeeks, but wait to see if he fully wakes up or is just being a little restless in his sleep. He's waking less frequently and nursing less. It's a gradual process, but more humane than the cry it out method I tried for about two seconds- I just couldn't do it! No matter what he'll probably be thirsty so he'll at least need water. Of course the only reason I'm even doing this separation at all is for his teeth, and I'm still researching whether they're actually at risk from night nursing after 15mo. Good Luck! And don't feel you're weak for wanting to care for your baby. Trust your instincts and don't get too upset by other people's opinions- if you have a happy baby you're a good mommy. There's a whole generation that stepped away from natural mothering (ex.- my grandmother was worried I'd suffocate the baby with my breast while nursing because all her babies were formula fed)! We're still weeding out the b.s. women were told decades ago by the baby product industry. Trust yourself!

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is almost 14 months and is breatfed on cue. She does not sleep through the night either. One thing I have noticed is that when she breastfeeds during the day she tends to only want to eat for a short interval of time. She breastfeeds for the longest stretch of time before going down for a nap or before going to bed. She wakes up quite a few times at night to breastfeed (she cosleeps with us so it's not too hard on me).

I think that before cutting off night feedings you need to try to get him to eat more during the day. I know that Dr. Sears (askdrsears.com)suggests taking your baby into a quiet, dark room during the day for feedings to get your baby to really focus on eating. This way he should be full by night and not wake up as much. I am planning to try this with my daughter because of the eating habits that she has. I hope that this will work for you and make the transition away from nightime feedings easier. Please contact me if you want any more information. Good for you for breastfeeding still, I am always happy to hear of mama's that listen to their insticts and do what they feel is right for their child.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi
I have been there. My husband practically had to sit on me to stop me going in to get my baby. He was crying "mama, mama" which made it even worse. The first night he cried for 2 hours, the second night 1 hour, the third night 30 mins, etc. He figured out I was not coming in there, and after about a week he was sleeping through the night. It really is a habit to wake up for food at that age. As long as he has a good evening meal he can make it through the night.

That being said, breastfeeding is a personal choice. I think that to choice to stop or continue should be based on what you want/ think is best, not on societal pressures.

Good luck

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

He is not hungry it is a bad habit that you trained him to do. If what you say about being a mom is true then why are you trying to break what you started? In my personal opinion, you made a BIG mistake by letting a kid in the bed with you and your husband in the first place. AND breastfeeding on demand is not a smart idea even if he was 14 days, let along 14 months. You NEED to make a decision about what you want to do. Do you want to be controlled by your child or do you want to be in control? No one doubts that you love your family or that you do not enjoy motherhood. It is okay to have boundaries. You will be happy you did.

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J.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think you should do what you feel is right for you. Yes, he probably is nursing out of habit rather than nutrition, but if it's not bothering you, don't let what other people say persuade you to do something you aren't ready for.

If, however, you do want to give up the co-sleeping and/or night nursing, my advice would actually be to do the opposite of what you're doing. Transition him into his crib first, and go in and breastfeed him as you see fit. Or at least have him start the night off in his own crib, if you want to take an even more gradual approach. Then gradually have your husband go in and soothe him rather than you going into nurse him. I would think that constantly being able to smell you would make it hard for him to not want to nurse.

Good luck! Sleep has been one of the toughest issues for us, and we still haven't gotten it fully figured out.

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi Viv,

I know exactly how you're feeling, I went through the same thing with my 3rd baby at 14 months, she's now 21 months and sleeps through from 7pm - 7am. It wasn't easy to get to this point but you have to be REALLY strong.
My daughter was sleeping with us and feeding every couple of hours. She had no bedtime and we would have to wait for her to fall asleep before we got any sleep, sometimes this would be after midnight. In the end we were all so tired that life was becoming a misery. I did a lot of research and decided to go 'cold turkey' with her. I felt awful but I know we couldn't go on as we were. I established a very rigid bedtime routine - bath, feed, story, in that order, I made sure not to feed her to sleep. Then I put her in her crib awake, kissed her, said time for bed and left the room, with the door closed. We had the monitor in our bedroom so we could hear her all night. It took nearly 2 weeks of her screaming for about 1 - 2 hours and then suddenly one night I put her to bed and she said "night night' as I left the room and didn't make another sound! She now goes to bed like a dream and sleeps straight through. It was very hard but well worth it, and I have to add that this didn't harm her at all, she's a lot happier for getting her sleep that she needs now.
Take a deep breath and go for it, you'll be doing the best thing for all of you. In a couple of weeks you'll be feeling so much better. Good luck! And stay strong, most of all keep smiling this won't last forever.

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J.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi!
I know how hard this is. I feel your pain. But I agree with your husband. Your baby is old enough to sleep through the night so helping him learn how to do it is a gift you can give him. The general consensus is that it takes 3 nights or less. You feel like you are going to die as you listen to him cry - but just keep telling yourself you are doing it for him. I have a 14 month old and she sleeps 12 hours a night and everyone wakes up happy, healthy, and alert. For us, the trick was how we put our baby to sleep. We used to stay with her until she fell asleep and then she'd wake up later and cry. The first night we let her go to sleep on her own (which was tough...she cried for a while and we HATED it) but that first night, was the first night she DID NOT wake up at all through the night. The next night was the same and by the third night we put her in her crib and she accepted it. I could hear her in there cooing for about a half hour and then she fell asleep. For a couple weeks, she'd occasionally wake up in the middle of the night once or twice and my husband would go in (NOT PICK HER UP) but pat her back and give her a pacifier. This went on for a couple weeks and now she sleeps hard and long every night and never wakes up.
You can do it!!! Just remind yourself it's better for him. You are his mom and need to teach him things - including how to sleep on his own!
Good Luck!
I know it's hard!

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T.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear C.,

I cannot speak to whether or not it is a habit but I can say as a mother of a girl & 2 boys, boys are hungrier! They both needed sustanance by a few months old. Is your son eating other food? At a year, experts recommend regular milk anyway. I always fed my babies cereal (rice especially at bedtime because it is the most gentle of baby's tummy) with formula then later with milk. This satisfies their tummy for a much longer period. All three of mine slept very well at night which worked well for me as I worked full-time when they were babies. Breastfeeding should be over & it would be best for everyone to just end it quickly & have him sleep in his crib. Good luck & God Bless!

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can give him calcium/magnesium from Lifetime or Bluebonnett. It's liquid. Get the blueberry flavor - most kids don't like the other flavors. We give our kids 1-2 teaspoons each night and they sleep like logs.

I breastfed both boys until they were 16 months - on demand. The calcium helped a TON...it's a natural nervous system relaxant and if they arent' getting ehough GOOD bio-available calcium, then they won't be sleeping. Give it a few nights.

I also take this calcium twice each day 4 int he am and 4 at night and my 8 week old only wakes up once each night SINCE BIRTH. When I slack on the calcium, the nights are not so good. Not all calciums are created equal.

http://www.worldlifesupplements.com/products_main.html

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J.D.

answers from Reno on

First of all, I'm sorry that you haven't slept in 14 months! I can't even imagine how tired you must be.
Now for my advice...I have three babies who all slept through the night at 8 weeks old. A 14 month old baby certainly does not need to eat at night, ever. A baby that age should still be getting about 16 hours of sleep a day (between nighttime and naps) and your baby must be exhausted.
Here's what you need to do:
1. Start a bedtime routine, if you haven't already.
2. Put him to bed at the same time every night.
3. Feed him a big enough dinner to get him through the night.
4. Put him down and leave the room. (In my opinion, babies need their own space to sleep as well as parents.)
5. If he starts crying, go in after five minutes. If he's standing up in the crib, lay him back down, but don't say anything to him and don't turn on the lights.
6. If he continues to cry, go in after 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and so on. (When you go in, don't pick him up, talk, etc.!) He will eventually fall asleep.
7. Don't ever give in and feed him. He DOES NOT NEED TO EAT at night.
8. If you follow these guidelines, you should have a baby (and parents) who are well rested in about a week or two.
Good luck! :)

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S.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there C.,
You have been given awesome advice already.
I am in the same boat, and my feel is that a happy, healthy mama makes for a happy, healthy baby and marriage and family...........so YOU are the key here.
So if some people can keep up the night feedings and sleep deprivation for longer, good for them, but for you and me, i think it's time to be DONE with the night time ones. It's clear that you are stressed and need to be taking better care of yourself, which in turn allows you to take better care of your family. I am there myself. The lack of sleep adds to the stress level which can be toxic for the home environment.
I would love to be your accountability partner and talk to you each day for us to encourage each other and make sure we are getting our husbands to go in for that first wake up...........
and just by cutting out ONE of the night time feedings, it'll make a HUGE impact on our sleep and ability to cope, so I am in!
:)
if you are up for it, feel free to call me:
S.
###-###-####
I live in El Segundo, my daughter is 3 and my son is almost 13 months!
;)

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hugs. No advice. I just wanted to tell you that I nursed on demand until age 2 (they got up every 1.5 hours or so at night, because we co-slept, I didn't find it a problem). I now have a 3 and 5 year old that both sleep GREAT! Both of mine were night weaned around age 2 - it's a lot easier when they understand what you are saying to them. They both did great and like I said, sleep great now too. They are in bed by 7 and wake around 6. You'll be there. If you can hold out a little bit longer, then start working on the night weaning now by saying things like, "when Mr. Moon is out, we don't nurse, but when Mr. Sun comes up, you can nurse" etc.. your 14mos old won't get it at first but it will click eventually. If you want to night wean now, can hubby help? He may go to sleep for him better than he will for you since he knows what you have.

You have a computer in your bathroom?? LOL

Hope you get some much needed rest!!
M.

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A.G.

answers from San Diego on

Ok girl, first of all you need to dry your tears and go buy this book. "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weisbluth M.D. It is the BIBLE on sleep and it teaches YOU how to help your child learn how to sleep. That means no "crying it out" or ignoring your feelings of wanting to go to your child to feed him..just helping him learn how to sleep. It it genious and the ONLY reason that my 7 month old has been learning to sleep longer and longer periods of time from the time she was born. We now put her to bed at 7 pm and I feed her at 11 or 12 and then I dont hear from her until 7 am. It will tell you what to do at your sons age to undo the bad habits and start forming new sleep habits so everyone can sleep, mostly you:)
Go Buy that book and you will soon be on the path of sleeping through the night!
Full of hope for you,
A.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Don't stress. You are allowed to take a time out. I went through this stage too. I strictly breast fed my son and nursed him for 18 months. Your child is ready to sleep through the night without eating. (Of course, you should talk to your doctor). My son did the same thing, it's out of comfort that he cries through the night. You need to be tough and stick to a routine. Same time every day. Wake up , breakfast, snack time, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, and same time for bed. Routine is the key answer. And if your child wakes through the night, you need to start letting him cry himself to sleep. It will be very hard. But I suggest you start doing this, before you lose your sanity. Remember, your child is crying out of comfort. And the only thing your child is familiar with is breastfeeding. So you need to stop this at night time. He's old enough now to eliminate the nightly feedings. Try rocking your child back to sleep instead of offering your breast. Or gently brush your hand on your childs head. But try very hard not to resort back to offering your breast during night wake ups. You should also start considering weaning. You need to start with one feeding at a time. This would be a great start. Good Luck. You can do it.

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P.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would say that it's definitely a bad habit that needs to be broken...like your friends say your baby should be sleeping thru the night at least 8hr at a time for his growth and development - sleep is very important. My daughter was EBF too (until very recently) and when she wakes up in the middle of the nite (rare) she gets a pacifer but no milky milk. The best thing to do is try distraction and a firm schedule - feed every 3hr, then 4hr, then 6hr, etc. Does he eat solids yet? They also say that after 12mo it's usually the mother that does not want to give up breastfeeding...maybe pumping your milk and bottle feeding will help...good luck!

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T.I.

answers from San Diego on

I think you are facing a harsh reality. When you are a mom, sleep as you know it, will never be the same again. Having said that, a 14-month old is too old to be feeding that much. You've got to put an end to it somehow. Feed before bed, then when he wakes, play with him or rock him or offer a pacifier...he may just want to suck on something. I'm sure you've started him on solids by now - he may not be getting enough to eat during the day. If you haven't started rice cereal and mushy fruits, that is why - he's not getting enough food.

Good luck! It does get better - but it will NEVER be like it was before kids. And that's OK. I accept my lack of sleep and am actually proud of my ability to function and operate with less sleep - it's a sacrifice I love to make b/c I'm doing it so I'm there for them. It's a total act of selflessness.

Tlibarra

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L.N.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Hi Viv
I know with both of my children, neither one slept through the night until they were a year old. However, you have to be strong on this one. If he is eating solid foods and breastfeeding he should be fine through the night. He is only wanting to breastfeed due to habit and for comfort. I know because my first born was the same way and I had to break the habit because she needed to be able to comfort herself and I needed the sleep. If you are not getting the rest that you need it will end up being not good for everyone.
So my advice for you is that you have your son in his bed and he is going to have to cry it out for himself. I know this will be hard. What I did, was I would start taking one feeding time out a week. That way is was gradual. Your son will learn how to soothe himself, which is very important. They learn very quickly, but again you have to be strong. I know when I get sleep I feel like a new woman. Good luck

S.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I was in your situation EXACTLY. My son did this until he was 2.

I found a great book that has a section for us: "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" and "The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Pre-schoolers" by Pantley. I found it REALLY helpful to stretch out my son's eating (I didn't try to night wean him until he was 2).

However, even attachment-parenting guru Dr. Sears says that anything you resent MUST be changed. And if you are on your last nerve (and I don't blame you!) it's time to change it.

Don't get the 'baby wise' book. As an attachment parent it will rub you the wrong way. Do what you know in your heart is right, and ignore what anyone else thinks. Good luck hon!

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D.B.

answers from San Diego on

Well, I believe it's best for both of you to sleep through the night.
I have two boys 4 and 20 months that for the most part sleep through the night.(8:00/8:30pm-6:30-7:30am) My battle was listening to my oldest cry when it was bedtime.(Off and on for hours).
You may want to start with the same steps you take when weening. Cut out one nursing session for a few nights, then cut out two for a few nights and keep progressing until you're down to whatever you and hubby agreed on. It won't be easy for the first week or so but it should get easier and easier. I know it's hard to hear him cry but by now he's nursing out of habit more than anything else. So, be patient with your little man-he's used to getting what he wants when he wants it. So who can blame him for trying? Also, be patient with your big man as he may think this should be easy to do but I understand how hard it is to listen to your precious one cry and cry and cry.
I know what helped me was thinking long term. When my son cried at bedtime I thought - I can do this for a few weeks and win the battle or I'll be doing this for the next several years. I also timed his actual "cry time" which usually was no longer than 15 minutes but seemed like forever.
Hang in there, be consistent and most importantly be confident and happy with whatever plan you decide on.

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P.K.

answers from Las Vegas on

CALM DOWN! I KNOW the feeling! My son is 14 months and has finally started sleeping most nights. First of all everybody is right. It would be healthier if he was sleeping longer because he would just be better rested. It is a habit for him to eat every couple of hours and he probably is hungry because he is used to that schedule therefore eating only enough at feedings to get him to the next one. You need to take a moment and realize this is a process and won't happen overnight. Now go to the bookstore and buy Healthy Sleep Happy Child. He addresses all types of sleeping arangements and feeding styles without telling you that you are doing something wrong by co sleeping and feeding on demand.
I don't do the cry it out thing either so tell your husband to shhh. I will allow my son to cry for 5 minutes maximum. I did gradually stop feeding at night replacing feeding with rocking (every other time he wakes) and eventually replacing rocking with soothing him in his crib. Your other alternative is arranged marriage. If you can marry the kid off now it becomes somebody else who's up all night!lol

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P.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Here's my two cents. In my experience, if you stay strong and stick to your guns, your child will adjust more quickly. You have to decide what long-term outcome you want and let your child know that you're serious about this change, or else he will be confused and it will be harder for all of you. If you're not sure this is what you want, don't try to change yet. But physically, a 14 month old can definitely sleep through without nursing. Maybe you can increase feedings during the day so you won't feel bad refusing him at night. Also, is there a way to break this down a bit, like getting him to sleep in his crib all night before you take away the breast? Have you considered giving him a pacifier so he can suck? I think it would be hard to refuse to breastfeed if he's in bed with you, but I didn't co-sleep, so I really don't know. I wish you luck, and I hope you get the answers you need here.

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F.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear C.,
You poor thing. You must absolutely as you say so terribly sleep deprived. Not being a co-sleeping or breastfeeding on demand mom myself I may not be the ideal person to answer you, as my thoughts may well be different from moms who are, even with kids same age as mine, so hopefully one of them might respond here too.

However, in my personal experience with the issue of night wakings at that age and even earlier (i have a 2 yr old now), even at 6 or 7 months old (even earlier) they are all supposed to be physically able to get through the night without a feeding. [Night meaning after 10.30pm and until about 6am]. [I used to dream feed until I think about 6 or 8 months around 10.30pm and that did wonders]. They do however get used to being fed in the night at any time they wake up, IF you let them be used to it. I recall being advised to give a water bottle at night if they wake up to ween them off their perceived need for milk, but i did not even end up needing to do that and my son just went back to sleep when he did not get fed. I know my sister has taken the action with both her sons at the appropriate times for each (I think it was at 4 or 5 months) to be weaned off the night feedings stage to sleep thru the night, of sleeping away from home herself for a couple of nights to allow her husband to let her baby cry and work thru that heartbreaking stage which she found too difficult herself. But I think her babies were each in their own rooms by then for sure, even though she nursed them.

I do not know if the fact that he is in your room and your breasts are close by him makes him crave it more, but it sounds like a habit that only you can break for him. It sounds like its not workign for either of you the way it is right now,so only you can help change it.
By the age of 14 months he should be able to be going for many hours without feeding and you deserve to be getting your well deserved beauty sleep (even at least 6 hours at a time is not uncommon for a mom with a 14 month old, if not more). If no one else answers you here from the nursing on demand and co-sleeping clan of moms, please email me and I will put you in touch with one.
Good luck my dear!

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S.V.

answers from San Diego on

I do feel bad that you are so stressed out, but you have brought it on yourself. Before I had by daughter I read so many things about "co-sleeping". I decided early on that my daughter would not sleep in our bed with us, for many reasons. One being safety and two for the very problem you are having. She slept in a bassinet in our room for the first 2 months, but throughout the day she had naps in her crib. She played in her crib and was very familiar with her room. At 2 months she started sleeping in her crib through the night. I never had problems with her sleeping in her crib and we had no problems bonding because of it. As for breastfeeding, enough is enough. I'm sure your child has a mouth full of teeth and is eating solid food at this point. I'm sure he gets plenty of nutrients from other sources. There is no reason to breastfeed this long. Doesn't he have any other soothing devices? If I were you, I would put him in his crib immediately. They say it only takes a few days to alter a behavior when they are young. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. It will be difficult in the transition, but I'm sure it will be better in the end. As for breastfeeding - try a bottle or sippy cup of water for him to suck on. It won't hurt his teeth and it might be a way to transition off the boob. Good luck

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E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think that our pediatrician would say to fill your child up with solid food before bed so that you know they have enough calories to get through the night and then start by eliminating one breast feed during the night. Then after a week of that eliminate another breast feed. Keep going until all the night time breast feeds have been eliminated. You also might consider adding some pajamas that are not easy to get into, try to make it harder to access your breasts. Also, if you can insert your husband between you and your child so that your child cannot smell you and have the stimulas (sp?) to activate his interest in breast feeding that probably would be helpful too. Good luck!

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A.M.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I too breastfeed my 1 year old. He too is a terrible sleeper. All my kids were. I co-slept with my twins and breastfed them on demand. I did not make the same mistake with this baby (co-sleeping) yet he still was/is a terrible sleeper! I think once you get him out of your bed things will get easier. But expect it to be a tough transition. I currently am only allowing one feeding in the night-the first waking after putting him down for bed. For the other times I have finally trained him to not get picked up out of the crib, i hug him and then he sits down and i pat his butt. It has been a long process with this little guy, but i was amazed at how quickly he caught on. Now he knows he can snuggle up to me as i lean over the crib and i hug him but thats it, he gets what he needs then sits down and then lays down. At first there was a lot of screaming while i just stood there hugging him while he stood in the crib, then we progressed to the sitting phase where i kept my hands in the crib, finally he layed down and i pat him until he fell asleep. It was a hellish week doing this every night but now the process goes so much smoother and faster with little to no crying. Do what works for you, but I have to say I worry that my baby isnt getting the sleep he needs, sleep is so important. So I would say to your situation, it is probably not healthy for him to be getting such interupted sleep. Good luck, and my sons ears must have been ringing... there he is now!

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S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! My advice to you is, do what you can live with the best, what makes you feel more at peace with yourself. Doing something that you are insecure about will take a very long time..it's true, by this time, nursing at night is just a habit. It's also true that sleep training (when both parents believe in it) is effective and teaches kids to sleep well. On the other hand, co-sleepers supposedly don't really wake up at night- just barely and nurse back to sleep (not sure, we didn't co-sleep). The most important thing, I think, is to feel comfortable with it and to be consistent. Good luck!

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T.M.

answers from San Diego on

Hi Viv!

I went through the exact same thing with my youngest daughter. She breastfed on demand and co-slept with us and none of us were getting the sleep we needed. Her probelm was she didn't know how to fall asleep without breastfeeding so everytime she woke up during the night (which we all do, kids and grownups) she couldn't get back to sleep on her own. What worked for us was moving her to her own room for naps first (she was napping in a playpen in our room) then when she was napping well in her room we moved her to her room at bed time. We also started a very regular bed time ritual for her. A bottle of infant pediasure (which kept her tummy full longer), a quick breast feeding to top her off (which we made shorter and shorter until she was weaned), a story, kisses and snuggles then laying her down in her own bed while she was still awake. The things in the routine don't matter, just as long as they are done in the same order every night. That tells their little body it's time for bed. We also playing a lulaby cd really softly on repeat the whole night to muffle household sounds. I'd rub her back for a minute then tell her good night and leave. The first few nights were awful. She cried and cried since everything in her little world changed. I'd let her cry for 10 minutes then I'd go in and comfort her. Never picking her up, just talking softly and rubbing her back. The first night I think I had to go in every 10 minutes for two hours. I probably cried as much as she did, but not in front of her. The second night it was about an hour, the third it was only a few minutes. After that she went to sleep on her own no problem. She would still wake up during the night though for the first few weeks. I would go in and comfort her, no picking her up though, until she fell back asleep. Eventually she learned how to put herself back to sleep. She had a little stuffed dog and her favorite blanky as comfort items that helped a lot too. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a mom. It was critical though not to change my mind once I got started because that would have only confused her and made the process harder. My daughter is 2 1/2 now and she is an excellent sleeper. My family members who babysit for us occasionally can't believe it. She never fights bedtime and falls asleep quickly on her own. And we are all much better rested! So stick to it and don't cave in. Be there for your baby when he needs you, don't let him cry for hours like some people say to do, but stick to your guns, it will be worth it in the end. Good luck, you can do it! ~T.~

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

You know it's a learned habit for your son, right? And it is hard for him---he's been doing this his entire life, so it's culture shock. Here is a link about a method I used to teach both my sons to sleep through the night. It deals with nursing, bottle babies, you name it, it's in there. It worked wonderfully---took over a week for my first son (stubborn!), but just a couple days for my younger son. This will help you a lot, and chances are you will use this book off and on for a few years---it deals with all kinds of sleep issues. You can get it at Borders or Amazon. Good luck and hang tough!!

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified...

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S.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think if you move him to his own room, he will wake up less frequently throughout the night. When our son was around 8 months old he was still in our room and our pediatrician recommended moving him to help him wake up less. All people - babies and adults - wake throughout the night, and he is used to nursing to get back to sleep. He doesn't have any other self soothing techniques. He is not nursing at night because he needs the calories at this age (unless he has a health issue), just for comfort. I did the same thing as you with both of my kids. I could not bear to leave them alone crying in their room. My daughter naturally stopped waking at night on her own around 16 months. But she was in a room down the hall in a crib. My son, now 28 months and also in his own room, still wakes up sometimes to nurse, but often sleeps through the night. It's your choice if you want to night wean him, but don't just leave him in there crying - have your husband go in to soothe him.

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D.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm not a pro...but I had twins that I breast fed & I know how hard it is to hear them cry but it is ok,let him cry he will learn,he is waking up on habit,at 14 mos. he should be sleeping through the night,I put all 3 of my babies in there own cribs by 4 mos & they slept through the night,when they would wake I'd go in a not pick them up I'd rub their backs & sing lightly to them,I did also give them water in a bottle insted of milk when they were older.I hope some of my info helps.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Try a bowl of rice cereal or oatmeal before he goes to bed. Nurse him and he should be able to sleep 6 hours. You may want to talk to your peditrian about this too. they may have some advice.

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A.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

14 months and still in your bed!! Personally I think you need to get your baby in his own bed and he will probably cry and wake up over that for a couple nights so since he is already going to be upset over that, you might as well cut off his nightly feedings at the same time... Have you talked to your doctor about this problem? I know my doctor always told me "babies won't die from crying and will forget about it once they are over it" Your husband is right, by you going in nightly to feed him is only showing him that if he cries, Mommy will come feed him. My doctor told me to cut off night feedings at 6 months old and that he should be sleeping all night. It took my son about 3 days to get over the night feedings and the longest he cried was the 1st night for about 15 mins, the 2nd night, I don't even think it was 5 mins and by the 3rd night he fussed for not even a minute and always slept from 8pm-6:30am. (he is now 22 months) But since your baby is older, it will probably take longer especailly since you will be introducing him to 2 new things, his own bed and no night feedings. I think your best bet is cold turkey and his own bed and deal with tears for a couple nights or call and ask for your doctors advice..
Good Luck

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S.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am in the same boat but working on it. My fourth child is 12 months and just loves to nurse about 6-8 times a day. He was up 3-4 times at night too. Last month I decided it was enough and the doctor agreed. They do not need to feed all night but he is in the habit of doing so. Just like you get hungry at meal times he has learned to do this....so we have to change that. The best way is to take away one feeding at a time once a week or every few days. He was wakinhg up at 12:00 and so I feed him about 8:00 and then when he woke up at 12:00 my husband went in and patted his back, sang the nigh nigh song and went out. He cried for 5 mins. and my husband went back in and did the same thing. The first night he cried for about 20 mins. second night 10 and now he does not wake up until 3:00. Now we are taking away the 3:00 feeding so I will not feed him until 5:00. You can train them to sleep bettter. It is hard for me as I too cannot stand crying and dont think it is good for them. You can also try a sippy cup of water in the crib or a bottle of water. This does not work for my son. The good news is now he is sleeping from 8:00 till 5:00 and it only took 2 weeks. You can do it!

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J.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

You need to get some sleep mama! It is not healthy for you not to get your rest either. I am not sure how you feel about it, but is your little one breast fed exclusively?? I would say if he is try giving some rice cereal before bed and see if it helps. Mix it with your breastmild. I started doing this a couple of weeks ago and my little one is sleeping from 10p.m. from 6 a.m. I can't even tell you how much better I feel not waking up all night. Good luck.

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M.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

the sound of a baby crying has to be the most nerve-rattling sound on earth. add to that the lack of quality sleep and you've got a recipe for a nervous breakdown.
2 questions for you to consider:
1. how often does he want to be breastfed during the day?
2. how long does he nap during the day?
if he eats more often at night than during the day and he naps longer during the day than he sleeps at night, i think he's using it to soothe himself. also, i'll bet any amount of money he's a light sleeper.
ok, i imagine some moms are going to reject this idea but have you considered giving him formula at night? he would stay full longer and you could get some sleep. you may only have to feed him once a night...then the entire rest of the day, you could breastfeed him. or give him a meal at bedtime of rice cereal mixed with breast milk.
my first baby was breastfed and slept terribly. it was 7 months of no quality sleep for her OR me and i was a wreck during the day. after my 2nd baby, my milk supply dried up within 2 months and i had to go to formula. i was devasted. i thought i failed. but there was an amazing benefit...he slept like a rock, thus, so did i. i was a new person! with baby number 3 (she'd 3 months old), i had the same problem with poor milk supply. i started taking fenugreek and my milk supply came right back. so even though i don't need to, i feed her one meal of formula at bedtime and she's down for at least 4 hours, sometimes as long a 6 hours. can you remember the last time you got 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep in a row?
it is impossible to overstate the importance of getting a restorative amount of sleep...AT LEAST 4 hours uninterrupted. the wellfare of the whole family, not just the baby, is what you have to take into consideration.
i think the first thing you need to try is getting him into his own bed. where does he nap? if he's napping in his crib, that's where he should sleep at night.
good luck! i SOOO feel for you because i have been there.
best,
M.

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R.W.

answers from San Diego on

I still nurse my 14 month old at night. I tried letting him cry, but I was still tired, and stressed, too, because I can't bear to have him cry. I feed him a lot of filling food shortly before bedtime, and have him drink a bottle, which sometimes puts him to sleep. If not, I nurse him. He wakes up about 3 times at night to nurse. This has worked out really well for us.

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V.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

When life is too far out of balance, then you need to make a change.

A key term for baby’s and kids is: “weaning”. I have a 3 1/2 year old and I’m about to wean her off one more thing. Weaning means starting small and moving forward. Eliminate one or two feedings your first week.

It generally takes about 3 days to have a sleep breakthrough. Tough it out till then, and know you will have success.

One great piece of advice from my ob/gyn who had 3 kids of her own was, “teach them to self sooth”. He needs to learn how to sooth himself asleep.

Your breast milk will adjust to your schedule. That’s also why “weaning” is important. It works for mom’s breast milk, too.

Co-sleepers / cribs in the same room, are great alternatives to co-sleeping. You might do a little of both before you get them completely out of your bed. (if you’re having trouble now, wait till you have a 40 pound windmill in your bed, hitting you in the face all night with their arms)

You sound like a great Mom. Keep up the good work, it just gets better.

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N.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

My first response to your situation is what else is your 14 month old getting for nourishment besides your breast milk? He just might be hungry. Nursing is wonderful and I nursed all five of my kids, but as little ones grow, they need more calories to sustain them. At 14 months old he should be getting some solid foods, some fruit, vegetables, cereal and possibly some meat (protein) during the day. Another question, is your little one growing normally, height and weight within range? Check with your doctor. My daughter was 9lbs when born and she needed more solid nourishment a month or two before my other kids that were slightly smaller in size. Good luck, keep up with the nursing, but make sure he's getting enough food during the day. Try to start a regular routine for night time and seriously think about putting him in his own bed to sleep. Where does he nap during the day? If he has his own bed for naps during the day, it's easier to transition to sleeping thru the night in his own bed. If you decide to continue with co-sleeping, try not to nurse during the night. I know that's hard to do, maybe only a bottle with a little water during the night, a pacifier or rubbing his back. His nursing at night is a habit if he's getting enough food during the day. Your little one needs to learn to soothe himself back to sleep. I know it's hard, but you can do it. Best wishes & stay strong. Mom needs her sleep and so does a growing little one.

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R.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello C.,
I have a five year old and a 12 week old. We co-slept with the five year old for two years, and we're doing the same with this one. The way I got both of them to not wake up too much to feed was to space out their daytime feedings, keeping them entertained in other ways. We use a pacifier with the 2nd since it's harder to keep him happy and still take care of big bro. I fed them more each time, with fewer in between. I nursed on demand like you do with my first, for that long, and I had sleep trouble too! So with baby Dane we're starting earlier. Feeding on demand is a kind gesture and it clearly shows you are there to meet your baby's needs, so GOOD FOR YOU. It's just too difficult to realistically do for very long, and, yes, it does effect the baby's sleep cycle. Not to mention what it does to yours! So at night there are two cardinal rule for our baby. Feed him and PAT him or ROCK him to sleep, giving him other cues, so when he wakes up he'll be able to be patted or rocked BACK to sleep and won't need the breast. He can't be hungry after an hour or so, he just needs to suck. If patting and rocking doesn't do it when he wakes up accidently, I'll give him the pacifier. The next rule is that when I go to bed, around 11, I'll feed him again, and that gets him through the night. Trust me, it works. Your baby needs you to help her get back to sleep, but she doesn't need your breast. She may cry for a bit, but if you're co-sleeping you can just lie with her and let her cry it out, in your arms. There is a good book--The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. She gives compassionate mommies like you good ways to get your family's sleep schedule straight. Good luck sweet mama. Your heart is in the right place.

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P.U.

answers from San Diego on

Hi. My first thoughts are that a 14 month old should be sleeping through the night. But.... every baby, and every parent is DIFFERENT. You mentioned "you've been told" on a few occassions. Sometimes people need to not be so helpful with their advice & you & your husband should try different things that work for both of YOU! Sometimes we listen to the wrong advice....so be careful about what you take in. I suggest you talk with your lactation consultant; La Leche, or your Pediatrician - that's the advice I recommend you should seek. They are the professionals & have seen & heard everything. You may need to just wean your baby; part of what he might be going through is not hunger but the need for mommy's love. You might want to feed him more before you put him down, or give him some cereal just before bedtime. Are you pumping at all and/or allowing your husband to feed with a bottle? Maybe your husband might want to take on one of the feedings and let you sleep. This way if your baby is looking for you he will learn you aren't coming & may just sleep through that feeding. Maybe if you start pumping/feeding with a bottle, you can get more help from family & friends so you can catch up on your sleep. Just be sure you do what feels right for you - your baby will grow through this stage so fast, you'll miss it some day! :O) Good luck - I'm a mom of 21 mos. old twins....I remember the days of no sleeping.....and I miss the days of breastfeeding! Enjoy every stage of life!!!

S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

even though you have lots of advice i would just like to say that i vote for the ones that say you need to do what YOU feel is the right thing to do.

i went through this exact same thing with my first. i hated to hear him cry. i breastfed him till he was 26 months old! and i am very glad about that, even though he didnt want to stop breastfeeding i had to stop, it was hurting me too much because i was running out of milk.

there are more than two options here (there always are)
you can stop breastfeeding if you think its right, you dont have to do it cold turkey!
with my son since he was older it was easy, i just explained to him why he needed to stop and he did, not happy about it but he did it. if your son understands you, you might be able to explain to him that you need sleep and that he needs to stop breastfeeding at night, emphasize the "at night" part.
if that is something that just wont work then you could try cutting out the feedings slowly, one at a time. every few days (or maybe after a week) cut one out of the nighttime routine.
whatever you do DO NOT SWITCH BREASTFEEDING FOR A BOTTLE, your babies teeth depend on that, they dont really need to eat at night when they are that old, its really just for comfort. my four month old sometimes goes for eight hours without a feeding (at night) and i LOVE IT!! it gives me extra sleep, which is what i neeeeeeeed because now i have THREE KIDS!!!

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
ALWAYS TRUST YOUR MOTHERS INSTINCTS. if you dont feel right about stopping then DONT!! i know this one for an absolute fact. sorry Pop, but dads dont know squat when it comes to this type of stuff.

good luck and bless you!!

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

14 months is a loooooooong time to on demand feed. Kids after about 6 months can have full enough bellies to sleep through the night. Your little one loves the comfort and knowledge that he will get what he wants. It's not really about hunger at this point. A parent once described it like this: if you woke up and someone had prepared for you a lovely meal, dessert, etc. wouldn't you want to eat it? Of course you would./ But do you NEED to eat it? Of course you don't. Sleep training is hard and leaving it until 14 months makes it even harder. The longer you wait the harder it gets. Al my friends who futzed around and didn't take bottles away at a year (but they love their bottles, they will cry, etc) really regretted it later. Because the older kids get the more attached they get and the harder it becomes to get them to change. So I say, stay the course. It is going to suck, Maybe for a week or more. But you are the parent and you need to make the decision that your child will not get everything he wants when he cries. No matter for how long or how hard.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your baby is not hungry. It is a habit. I am a mother of a 7 month old that is waking up 2 times at night (3am and 6am) to nurse. For a while she thought she should eat every hour and a half. Just give him a pacifier or rock him to sleep, but don't feed him. His body will adjust over a couple of days and he'll be fine. Don't wait to do it because they get more demanding as time goes. Be strong. It is worth a couple of sleepless nights. Work on him going in his own bed too. My first was in bed with us for 2 and a half yrs. It was really hard to transition her. My 2nd has only ever known her bed. recently i have put her in bed with me to nurse her and she definitely favors that, but I try to keep it to a minimum. Be strong. He'll be fine. Listen to your husband, he's not as emotionally involved as you. Jennifer

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