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April 30, 2009


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My son magically weaned himself (completely) at exactly 12 months. I think he actually had hand, foot and mouth or something, which made feeding uncomfortable (although he was still eating solids just fine). But after a week of not breastfeeding at all (and me keeping on expressing just in case) he went back to it, however, seeing as I knew he could go all night without a feed and be just fine I didn't feed him the couple of times he did wake up and he seemed to take it really well. I was really scared about night weaning because I can't deal with him crying AT ALL (and he's an increaser anyway) but I was actually surprised at how easy it was! :)

I'm wondering at this point one's definiton of 'nightweaning'?. My daughter 'officially' night weaned at around 8 months, but had her first 'morning' feed at around 5.30, which went on till about 3 days ago, when I cut out the morning feed altogether ( at 28 months). I know it is all semantics really, but I was never really able to cut out that feed until I cut out the morning completely.

@kelly: one of my boys also weaned himself entirely (at 8 months). It was completely awful for me because I didn't want him weaned for daytime feedings yet (and, for the record, I had some awful advice from the LLL who insisted it was only a nursing "strike" and that I should keep trying and insisting he take the breast and NOT feed him from a bottle so that he would be compelled to go back to the breast... um, not so much). I ended up pumping for the little bugger (ahem... I mean dear one) for another 4 months. He was fine with the breastmilk; he just (overnight) was appalled at the boob-vessel it came through. Some things in child development remain complete mysteries to me...

@paola: I had to laugh in complete empathy with your point. 5:30 am always seemed to me like it was still "night." Glad to hear you were able to make the change so quickly!

"All I knew for sure during those periods was that I was a tension releaser." Amen!

I nightweaned my son at 9 months. He was exclusively breastfed and down to one feeding for awhile before that. I experimented to see how short I could get the feedings and by 8-9 months, some nights that one feeding was only a few minutes. The shorter the feedings got, the more I felt confident we could cut them out altogether and get more sleep (it might be just one wakeup, but getting rid of it made so much difference for my sanity!).

He was already across the hall in his crib. I had planned to go in and comfort him at intervals, but he never cried long/hard enough for me to feel like I had to go in. We also learned early on with him that he often fell asleep better if we weren't in the room and that us being there tended to escalate his crying more than anything.

When we decided to wean, I think he woke up once a night for three nights before he started sleeping through. He's almost 2 now and has slept through the night 95% of the time since then (with the 5% being mostly illness or diaper related), so I think a lot of it is just that he's a good night sleeper. He definitely seemed ready to nightwean at 9 months though, at least as far as I could tell from the shortening feedings.

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Hi, I'm Isabel

  • I'm a developmental psychologist and mom to two awesome 3-year-old boys. My area of expertise is social and emotional development and most of my research is on interventions that help make families and friendships healthier for children. More about me...


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