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  5. why won't he accept weaning?

why won't he accept weaning? Lock Rss

I am the mother of 3 children. My two girls are aged 7-and-a-half years, and 5 years old. I had completely weaned my first daughter by the time she turned 12 mths, and my second daughter by the time she was 14 mths. However, my 11-and-a-half month old boy, Stephen, does not seem impressed by the idea at all. He can go during the day without being breastfed, but by 5.00pm (when I am starting to get dinner ready!) he wants to be breastfed. It doesn't matter how many drinks from cups he has had, or how much food I offer him, he will not settle without a feed. He also is still constantly waking at least twice a night, and will not go back to sleep without being breastfed. PLEASE, can somebody help me. I really would like to have him fully weaned soon.

helen,Qld,mother of 3 children

Sounds like a comfort thing. Have you thought of trying to wean him onto the bottle first? I breastfed my 10 year old until she was 3 but my foster son was obviously on the bottle when he came to live with me. I stopped him waking at night by filling his bottle with water every time he did, he finally decided that it wasn't worth waking for. He's 3 now and still takes a training cup (with a valve) full of water to bed with him but this doesn't bother me too much as he is developmentally delayed and has had, over all a fairly traumatic life. Maybe if he would take a milk bottle instead of a breast it would be the first step. Might be worth a try.

Erin,W.A. kids 12,5,2 and 1

Okay - this advice is from books and my observations of other people. My little girl isn't this old yet.

At 11 and a half months your son can go to sleep without being breastfed. He just has to learn how and he isn't going to like it! (I have a friend who is in EXACTLY the same situation as you are)

The breastfeeding to sleep is known as a sleep association. (For adults a sleep association is things like having your pillow taken away or sleeping in a strange bed). You need to stop breastfeeding at night and the only way I can think to do it is cold turkey. It also involves controlled crying, or controlled comforting or whatever you want to call it. (Its pretty much all the same).

It really sounds like a comfort thing to me - he needs you to sleep and to relax. You need to help him find ways that he can do that himself and I really think the first step is getting him to sleep without your breasts.

If you have a partner its a good idea to get them to go and comfort your son to get them to go back to sleep. (they don't smell of breastmilk)

All respectfully submitted and I hope that the advice helps. Otherwise I would go to your nearest baby clinic for some advice.

Hannah (3 yrs) and Harry's (born 22/7) Mum! QLD

To Cannasalmon,

Hi. Thanks for your reply. My husband is really good at getting my son settled if he wakes up - it only takes a quick cuddle and back to bed, unfortunately he is not so good at the waking up during the night to do it. I know that I will have to make him go 'cold turkey', but try telling me that when he is awake at 3 am for the fifth time that night. I think he is getting better though- not waking so often. Thanks for your advice. I will post a note when I am successful.!

Helen Connell

helen,Qld,mother of 3 children

To Erin,

Thanks for your reply. I used your suggestion with my second daughter- weaning onto a milk bottle first. However, I tried with my son, but he absolutely refuses to take a bottle. Thanks for your suggestion. I will keep trying. I think I am just in for some sleepless nights ahead. Thanks heaps.


helen,Qld,mother of 3 children

Sorry I wasn't more help. If I think of any other ideas, ( or hear of any) I'll keep you posted. We're thinking of getting a breast pump and seeing if we can get our little one to drink out of a bottle soon so we'll see how that goes

Erin,W.A. kids 12,5,2 and 1

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have had success! My son will be turning 14 mths soon, so it took a while. Instead of "fighting" him, I kept breastfeeding at night until he turned 13 mths. Then I tried again. The first night, he wasn't happy at all, but when he woke up, I just gave him a drink of warm milk in a cup, even though he really wanted the breast instead. By the second night, he was fine. He drank his milk when he woke, and then straight back to bed and sleep. He has been great since. Now I am in the process of giving him half milk half water in his cup, hoping to be just giving him water soon (better for his teeth). Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied. I think I really had it easy though, it could have been a lot more difficult. My advice to anyone else going through this - I just don't think it is worth fighting them, give it a try, if it doesn't work, have a break, and try again in a couple of weeks.

helen,Qld,mother of 3 children

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