We are currently slowly moving away from breastfeeding. Our son is now 13 months old, drinks from the breast mostly for calming purposes and "because it's good for both"; the increased freedom would come in handy for us.

Our current goal is to get him through the night (i.e. from the last feed, which might be breast or semolina pudding or something similar until breakfast or even after breakfast) without breastfeeding - which would mean we could stay away from home for at least one night while the grandparents could look after him.

So we tried giving him water (assuming he was just thirsty) but he was awake enough to clearly point out that he wanted to be carried over to mom and have a snack...

Any hints on what we could try?

asked 21 Jun '10, 12:06

brandstaetter's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%

edited 21 Jun '10, 20:47


We are contemplating the same thing for our 13 month old. I'm afraid that "the hard way" -- giving him water, and then letting him cry -- is the only way to do it. But I'm very interested to hear any suggestions.

(21 Jun '10, 15:50) Anne

These questions are about younger babies but some of the answers may be useful to you http://moms4mom.com/questions/2695/should-i-let-my-baby-cry-it-out


(21 Jun '10, 21:18) Tammy ♦♦

Have another baby :)

(22 Jun '10, 04:45) Benjol

In my experience, the easiest way to night wean is to remove Mommy from the equation and for Daddy to take one for the team. When breastfed babies see or hear Mommy when they wake up at night, there isn't much you can do to convince them that they don't need to nurse. In their opinion, Mom and her breasts are right there, what's holding up the show? If Daddy comes in and Mommy isn't around, they might cry for her for a bit, and then just go back to sleep. (The first couple of nights could be really rough, it depends on how stubborn you little one is.)

If Daddy can take over all the night-time parenting for awhile (it could be a few days, it could be a couple of weeks) it makes it a lot easier for baby to transition to only nursing during the day. A happy perk is that if they arn't waking up to nurse, they often just start sleeping all night (or a more reasonable portion of the night), grandparents are willing to babysit, and you get to go and stay at a hotel.


answered 22 Jun '10, 01:55

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

It was already usually so that I would get up and bring him to his mother; I will try to sacrifice some nights to try to make him sleep again without being fed. Maybe I should take a week off... I'm already tired today because I could not sleep after him waking me up at 4:30 ...

(22 Jun '10, 07:25) brandstaetter

Ouch, poor brandstaetter! Yeah, if I were you I'd take the week off. It's probably going to be a long one. Just keep the end result in sight and remember it's worth it!

(22 Jun '10, 15:38) Neen

And remember that at that age he doesn't "need" to breastfeed for nutrition, just for comfort. I had to remind myself that a lot.

(23 Jun '10, 04:30) Sabrina

So, last night was partly a success. He woke up and started to cry softly. I got up and tried to give him some water, he refused. Moved him then to our guest bed and snuggled with him. Got him to fall asleep again. Felt all-powerful and put him in his bed and went to sleep again. Half an hour later he's up again, crying loundly and only accepting the breast to calm down. WEll, it's been partly successful. Will try again tonight. Thanks for the encouragement :D

(24 Jun '10, 08:03) brandstaetter
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Asked: 21 Jun '10, 12:06

Seen: 2,577 times

Last updated: 22 Jun '10, 01:55