Night weaning is one of the hardest things as a Mom I’ve had to do. It’s never easy to say goodbye to the comforting habit of breastfeeding at night for your little one.
It’s been four months since I weaned Annabelle from breastfeeding and I ‘m not going to lie, I miss it often. I truly enjoyed the moments I spent breastfeeding Annabelle. Whether I nurse first thing in the morning or nurse at bedtime, the moments spent with my toddler were precious.
Annabelle has been a huge fan of breastfeeding, especially night nursing, since birth.
We struggled with trying to break her from breastfeeding once the Pediatrician said she didn’t need to eat in the middle of the night anymore. But it was SO hard! I consulted with my Mom friends in the lactation group I joined after Annabelle was born. I also talked with my sister-in-law who nursed both my nephews until they were two on how to wean Annabelle from breastfeeding at night.
Here are the best tips for weaning a night nursing baby or toddler.
1. Take your time. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been nursing your little one, he/she is not going to give it up in just one night. Just be prepared to spend a few weeks weaning your baby.
2. Relax. Babies can sense anxiety. When weaning your baby, try to stay calm so your baby is calm.
3. Talk to your child. I told Annabelle the milk in Mommy’s breasts was all gone at night, but it would come back in the morning. took Annabelle about a week before she understood that there wasn’t any more milk left in my breasts.
4. Introduce a lovey to replace the comfort of night nursing. Thankfully, Annabelle has always had her “bun” and pacifier. It was easy to give her the pacifier and bunny instead of my breast, and to rock her just the same as if we were nursing then if we had nothing at all.
5. Rework your bedtime routine. Since we always did tubby time and then nurse to sleep, we had to revamp our bedtime routine. My husband was in charge of the tub, we would get her dressed for bed together, and then we would take turns reading her stories.
6. Get Dad to help out. I actually started weaning Annabelle randomly. I had to go to a school function and knew Brandon would be putting her to sleep. Since I wasn’t there, she had no choice but to go to bed without nursing. The next night I let Brandon rock her to sleep. The third night I went in to talk to her about the milk being all gone while I rocked her. She cried quite a bit, and pulled at my shirt, but eventually gave up and went to sleep.
7. Be consistent. If your baby is putting up a fight, don’t give up! It takes time, patience, and a calm Momma to take away something like nursing from a tiny human who doesn’t understand change.
8. Give lots of hugs and love. I snuggle Annabelle so much more now that I don’t nurse her to sleep. We cuddle while we rock and sometimes hold hands. I truly miss the bond that breastfeeding created between me and Annabelle, but we have a different relationship now that is just as strong.