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Why I Decided No More Night Feedings

Thu Oct 3, 2013, by Alida.

From the moment of their first breastfeeding, I have nursed both Tristan and Elena to sleep every night.

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I weaned Tristan at age 2 because I was pregnant with Elena and not getting enough sleep during the night - I was nursing him 2-3 times a night. Elena had to be weaned at 23 months. On a good night, I was there 3 times a night; on a not so good night, I was there 6-7 times a night.

Tristan has had a few nights where he actually slept through it (from 12-6), usually after a weekend spent at his grandparents. Elena hasn’t slept a single night through; not even after a sleepover at the grandparents. That is, not until I quit the night feedings. Now, both are sleeping through nights; at least, when they're not sick or ‘growing'.

While I would’ve liked for them to have made that decision by themselves, I also knew that it was never, ever going to happen ;-) I also knew that they didn’t sleep through because they were not able to fall asleep by themselves (they only knew one method, which worked, so why change a winning team?) and that because of the night feedings, that weren’t eating very much during the day. Hunger also played a big role in waking up.

I think it’s okay to nurse your baby to sleep, as long as you are fine with the consequences of that decision, and it doesn’t affect you or your family in a negative way. I think we (parents) should learn to trust our instincts more. You know what does and doesn’t work for your family. And nothing is set in stone. Most children are, by nature, flexible and able to adjust to new things fairly easy (it took Martin three weeks and full nights of hard work before Elena ‘decided’ to 'follow' the new routine ;-))

When and why did you quit your night feedings? Any advice for gentle weaning? If you haven’t quit, how is that working for you and how does your inner circle react?

  2 comments

Jules
We stopped very early that I don't even remember exactly. She was kinda whinning herself off and plus has always been such great eater that I was never worried if she was getting enough all together. Plus I wanted her to sleep through the night so hubby and I could rest and she cought on very fast! But she was only wak...

Alida
Hi Jules,   I have finally found the sign that says 'I would like to sleep'. But we had to wait more than two years for it. But what I do know is that both of my children digest/process all the information that they have received during the day. Which always leaves them dreaming a lot. THe older they get the easie...

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