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Comments

Kate

I guess I am confused as to what the crux of the issue is: getting up at 5? The actual nursing (which, I know from experience, can be painful while pregnant)?

My daughter's last night-nursing session to go was at 4 am. She was offered water in a sippy cup instead, told she could nurse in the morning, and was able to snuggle with me. But (and this is a big but) she was 19 months and could really get a grasp on "you can nurse in the morning when it's light out." (Of course, in the summer, it IS light at 5 am.) With a younger toddler your mileage may vary.

When I needed to cut down on the length of nursing sessions (first trimester of my second pregnancy, when she was about 14 mos) I would let her latch for a minute and then count (out loud) to 10 and take her off. She caught on pretty quickly.

Lisa

I just weaned my now 16 month old daughter. While I wasn't pregnant we were wanting to get pregnant with our second and I had yet to get my period.

So when my daughter was 12 months we started the process. Yes I said process... it didn't happen overnight for us. However, she was completely weaned by 14 months.

If you only seem to have a problem with the first feeding of the day then I think that is awesome. My little one didn't want to drop the first and the last.

Having my husband feed my daughter during those feedings (with me no where in sight) was really the key for us (like Moxie suggested). You might have a few days that are rough but you basically have to pick a day and say "this is the last time I'm going to nurse" and STICK to it!

I will tell you that dropping that last feeding was MUCH easier than I ever thought it would be. After 2 days it was like she didn't ever remember nursing. While I missed the bonding time, I am happy to report that I got my period finally so maybe we will have another baby to nurse sometime soon.

Good luck with a healthy and happy 9 months!

Liza

No helpful experience here -- I'm still nursing my 16 month old. But I had to jump in and say thank you, Moxie, for rocking the all-kinds-of-families inclusive answer!

kelli

A few weeks after my son's 1st birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I knew I didn't want to tandem nurse, so my goal was to wean by 18 months so there wouldn't be overlap with the new baby (who's due to arrive any week now. Yikes.) Anyway, I began mixing up my son's nursing sessions so they didn't occur at any one particular time. For example, I eliminated the "going to sleep" and the "waking up" sessions to help lose that association. This way, he was still getting to nurse, but he wasn't expecting it at certain times.

What ended up happening is that at 15 months we went on a trip - in the excitement, I forgot to offer breastfeeding and he forgot to ask. I nursed him one last time on the flight home and that was it.

I wish I could say that I am SO smart and had this all PLANNED out. Um, no. If only. This is merely what happened and I am just reporting Hindsight. I wonder if I should plan a Hawaiin vacation when I am weaning Child #2?

Tina B.

OMG!!! What a timely email. I am struggling with my 19 month old and weaning him. I am not pregnant, but I we are considering having another baby soon and I would like to have a break in between. I was so insanely hungry during the 1st trimester that I cannot imagine how many calories I would have to eat to keep up with a toddler and a growing baby.

Wouldn't you know it is that 5am feeding that I am having problems with. We have *almost* elimanated all other feedings during the day except that one. I am working hard to do that and then go full fledge on the 5 am as moxie suggests. One thing that has helped me as I have started working out in the morning so when my son wakes for his 5 am feeding I am on the way out the door and he is easily soothed by my husband. I know that is probably the last thing on your mind right now.

Unfortunately, when I am home it is a bit harder. It is only in the last week that I have begun to feel like he will wean. It is not going to be easy though.

I can't wait to read others responses

Charisse

The 5 AM nursing was the last one for us too. My daughter was just under 2 and I wasn't pregnant, but was really ready to be done. We had been talking about it for a while as we eliminated the last couple including bedtime, and I wrote her a little book to help with the process. That helped a LOT, and I'm happy to share if anybody wants to email me for it--bunch of my friends have found it helped with their toddlers. (Probably won't help too much with the 13 month old, but 18 & 19 month olds would be old enough to get it.)

So, I just told her that, just like in the book, she was a big girl now, and when she woke up in the night mommy would come, but we would do something else instead of nursing. (Sending daddy did NOT work for us, sigh.) She could have a little milk in the special, dragonfly-sticker-covered big girl sippy cup we'd made, and the special big girl blanket we'd gotten for non-nursing cuddles. There was some fussing for a few days but no worse than that.

One thing that really seemed to help her in the process, was my telling her what a great job of nursing she'd done, how much I'd liked having her be my nursing baby, but that we'd both done a great job of finishing nursing and could move on now. For some reason that really resonated with Mouse--YKMV of course.

Nicole

I lucked into what I found was an ideal solution to this same problem--my 18-month-old was happily still nursing before going to sleep and sometimes for comfort, and when I got pregnant I found nursing suddenly became MADDENING--just physically almost intolerable. She had already stopped nursing at night (not that that stopped her from waking up . . .) So, in self-defense, I continued to let her nurse whenever she asked, but I told her each time she could only nurse for ten seconds on each side. To my amazement, she happily accepted this--she thought it was funny! (And--as a bonus--she's learned to count to ten!) After a few months of this, right around her second birthday, she just lost interest in nursing altogether. But I never had to cut out any nursing sessions and I never had to say "no" when she asked to nurse.

Sarah

I weaned my 15-month-old for the same reason (2 mo. pregnant with my third) and we had the same difficulty. She really wanted to hang on to that one! So we did keep that session when all the others had been long eliminated (at that point I was kinda still liking it because after the 5AM she went back to sleep 'til 8:30-9!). But when we decided to end we did exactly as Moxie suggests above and it worked really well! Dear hubby got up with her and took her into a room where I was not. He struggled for a few days (3-4) and then she just adjusted and began sleeping in 'til 7:30 or so.
Good luck!

m

I too am pregnant, due beginning of February, and am wanting to fully wean my 15 mo. Right now he only nurses before bed, when he wakes at night (sometime between 3-5am) and when he wakes up. I'm not sure which of the feedings I should cut out next, but when I'm down to one, I'm definitely taking this advice. Thanks!

Jezer

This is what worked for us around 12-14 months, but I am by no means an expert. Also, because my son goes to daycare, he began drinking from a bottle early on, although I breastfed him until 14mo. If your daughter is not willing to drink from a bottle, a sippy cup might work:

When my son would wake at 2 and 5 (yes, at a year old--he didn't sleep through the night until 16 months!), we began to offer him a bottle. He would take it, but not nearly as enthusiastically as the breast. We stayed consistent with this, and fortunately, he never had a meltdown over it. After a while, we replaced the milk with water. He began to wake up and just go back to sleep because, really, how much trouble is a bottle of water worth at 2am, right? Sometimes, he still needs some pats or a pacifier at 5am, but for the most part, we sleep all night around here.

During the next few months, we switched his Evenflo bottle for a Nuby soft-spout cup, A.K.A. "bottle," and that's what he drinks from at bedtime and naptime. So now, he's not drinking at all from a bottle either.

We were fortunate and by pure dumb luck came across these solutions.

holly

OMG! Cracks me up how Moxie's posts can be so timely! I too am very early pregnant and still nurse my, hold onto your hats, 21 month old. He nurses before nap, bed, and about 5 a.m! Then more in the night when he thinks about it. This is all made possible by co-sleeping! Since becoming pregnant, I have had more of those “What was I thinking!" kinda days. And, now that he is starting teething those 2-year molars, he wants to nurse more at night! I have loved nursing and my husband and I love co-sleeping. But, time marches on.

So, what was I thinking? Have I set us up for a disaster when I have to go to the hospital to deliver? Has anyone been in THIS predicament? What did you do? The above ideas help, and I am going to try the book idea Charisse talked about. But I would appreciate more suggestions.

Our long-term goals include Daddy and the boy sleeping on “his” mattress in “his” own room when the baby is home, so both the guys get some good sleep. But where do we start? YIKES! I have even considered tandem nursing – if I can stand the discomfort and manage it during pregnancy. BUT – I don’t want to nurse a toddler through the night – maybe just before nap and bedtime. BUT – what would happen when I was in the hospital? YIKES!
-Signed, Hoping for Salty Milk!!!

caro

holly, I was in a very similar situation to you early in my 2nd pregnancy - our daughter was 18 months old when I got pregnant, and she was going through that "nursing like a newborn" 18-month phase. Needless to say, I was terrified. I don't know how far along you are, but you might take comfort in the fact that a LOT could change just on its own over the next several months, Ingrid went on her own from 6+ (!) nursings a day at the beginning of my pregancy to between 0 and 3 per day now (I'm 35 weeks and she's just over 2 yrs). If I hadn't seen progress towards weaning happening, I would have applied some pressure, but it happened gradually on its own.

I'm not too worried about the remaining nursing sessions, because none of them is "required." Meaning, she nurses before nap and before bed, but if I'm not there, she does fine without it. So I guess my suggestion toward your hospital stay worries is to mix it up a bit ... have your partner take over for the 'soothing time' that the nursing represents from time to time, to take the routine/ritual out of the nursing (someone had a good suggestion above along these lines, too -- still let them nurse, but vary the time of day that you do it). Good luck! Salty milk wishes!

mezzaluna

my son just weaned at 27mo when i was 37 weeks pregnant! at first i was hoping he would wean as my milk supply decreased, but then he didn't and i assumed i'd end up tandeming.

we started with nightweaning - my husband would put him back to sleep at night... at first it would take 45 minutes each time, finally it became just a roll-over and cuddle at his wakings. we never made an absolute rule about no night-nursing... i just left it to my husband's judgement about whether our son was going to be able to do without nursing at any particular wakeup. if it had been 30 minutes and he didn't seem to be buying the daddy method, i would still nurse him a little bit and then tell him it was time to cuddle up and go to sleep. maybe i would start with that tactic for the 5am waking to get her adjusted to not really eating then... and then once it's just a comfort nurse, substitute another form of comfort.

then as nursing became more painful for me i started adding more limits - limiting frequency to no more than once every 3 hours, and limiting duration as needed by counting to 10. i worked hard to substitute other things for nursing - offering yummy snacks or to carry him in the sling. getting out of the house a lot helped, too (though i imagine this tactic doesn't help at 5am!).

my goal was never to lay down the law and make him wean, and i think he took the weaning steps we did well because i wasn't trying to withhold all nursing... he was still secure in the knowledge that he could nurse within certain limits.

by the end of my pregnancy he was nursing infrequently enough that he eventually forgot how to latch! and that's how it ended. i had a couple weeks break from nursing and now my daughter is having her turn!

Minky

STOP THE WEENING MADNESS!!! Ladies, I have yet to differ with The Excellent Miss Moxie on anything, but on this i must offer another option which has been sorely missed in this discussion; DON'T WEEN. I nursed my son, now 25 months old, all through my pregnancy with my daughter, now 5 months, and they are both still nursing, and i haven't even wondered how long this will go on, because i don't at all believe that the potential struggles outweigh the nonexistent problems.

-i had only minor pain a few times during a couple of pregnancy nursings, so i can't challenge the argument of weening due to that kind of pain.

- i did often feel very tired thru this pregnancy, but i was also chasing a less-than-two-year-old-cannon-ball through the playground, so i didn't really believe that not nursing him was going to make me less tired. also, pregnancy makes you tired! so what's really to gain?

-in fact, the only times in the day i really got to just sit and relax with my son that he wasn't running, climbing, throwing, or falling, was during nursing, and we really enjoyed the close time. often we napped together in the big nursing chair; delish!

-i eat like a construction worker, so i felt that in the interest of NOT having another 8 lb, 12 0z kid,(my new one was 7 lb 11 oz) it could only help me to keep nursing and unload any excess of calories possible.

(AND BY THE WAY don't let anybody tell you that nursing one kid, or two kids, will be a free ticket to Skinny-ville; i am still good and fat nursing two kids and doing every single thing myself with no help and walking everywhere.)

-Sharing nursing with the new baby really helps, as i had hoped, my son cope with being less of a baby hinmself; he still gets to be really close to me when he needs it but also is learning a lot about the absoluteness of baby coming first, sometimes.

-nursing to sleep always works all the time and i wasn't willing to give up the only certainty in my day, which is that these two kids will be in bed for at least a few hours at some point.

-a pal with toddler and new baby the exact same age as mine weened her big guy because of all the reasons other moms mentioned, and not only did he CONTINUE to get up thru the night, but it now takes over an hour to put him back to bed instead of ten minutes, and let me tell you there was no way i was going to tempt that fate.

all i'm saying is, weening is no guarantee of fixing any of the challenges of pregnancy, and there's a lot to be said for not making this harder on anybody than it has to be. why not just cut everone some slack, including yourself, and keep nursing??

Heather

I have to appreciate the above comment because it brings up the fact that you don't HAVE to stop breastfeeding, BUT. . . For those of us who feel that it is our time to wean not only for external factors: time constraints, other demands being placed on us due to dramatic life and bodily changes; as well as internal issues: such as I need sleep, and can we try other kinds of comfort getting activities that don't involve sucking on my nipples. . .; I have to validate the mothers who are just ready to wean. (As mentioned, sometimes the little one's are ready to wean as well.) They will take what they can get most times though, and my 19 month old is OK with not getting most of her feedings. She still likes that morning and nap one, yes, because I like it too! Again, BUT, with poddy time coming soon, that reminds me that it's a cyclical learning process. They learned to nurse, they'll learn to crawl, walk, eat, drive, love, play, etc., It's how we present the transition that makes the experience life changing. As many mothers have learned, babies live without the boob (formula. . .). It seems like a battle because we don't want to NOT give our babies something that we very much are driven to give them. If we look at this challenge in the same perspective as we approach long-term parenthood then we've got some ground to stand on. Point being, no stage of life lasts forever. We'll try the book, the sippy cup and daddy trying to rock her to sleep and us still having one special time a day with each other with a bottle and a warm pair of arms.

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Saretta

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Mollie

Plenty of nurses trvael. You need to graduate and work for a couple of years in a hospital to get experience. Once you are fully trained and competent you can work for agencies that place you in jobs all over the country. Usually the contract is for 13 weeks and you get furnished housing, car (not always), utilities, and a competitive salary. Some agencies offer health insurance and vacation time after you've completed a certain amount of contracts. Often you have the option to extend your contract with the hospital. This is up to you and the hospital if you want to stay. In my experience some hospitals are terrible and some are really great, you never really know if you're going to fit in until you actually start. I would meet people but it can be very lonely because you're only there a short time and it's hard to make friends. On a NJ assignment a girl took me to NYC for 4 days and we saw all the sights. She was from there and knew where to go where to eat and where to stay, it was a lot of fun. I don't talk to anybody from past assignments anymore, except for the girl who took me to NY. I got to see the country and live in places like a condo on the beach. The trvael community is pretty small and some hospitals use trvaelers over and over so you get to know other trvaelers that way. I am still friends with a trvaeler I met on an assignment, she had worked in several places and knew about the different agencies and which hospitals to avoid. It's good to make connections like that, I also worked with this one guy in Delaware and then 2 years later ended up on the same assignment in NJ. It's good to see familiar faces. I also learned how different hospitals cared for patients very differently. For instance, I would never be a patient in Lake Charles, Louisiana because it's very backwards and uses the most outdated technology but I would be a patient in Newark, Delaware because the hospital was cutting edge.Good luck, I hope nursing school works out for you, one piece of advice get your RN don't settle for an LPN.

Gary

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Indra

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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