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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Kristine — that’s a good distinction, I think. Maybe it’s not that there’s a window when weaning goes perfectly; instead, maybe it’s that there are times when a toddler’s development make weaning easier or harder.

    @ Lana — to each her own! It can be easy to get lost in the breastfeeding literature that’s out there, or to feel pressured to either stop or continue nursing. Only you know when it’s best for you (and your daughter) to be done.

  2. Lana says

    I breast fed exclusively for the first six months and my daughter is 2 years now and does not sleep through the night because she wakes up looking for that breast and seems very miserable when she is denied. I find the statement about bonding through breastfeeding is true. I love her but still think its time to stop breast feeding

  3. Kristine says

    In following up to my previous comment regarding ‘weaning windows’, I have come across several references to developmental changes at 13-15 months and 19-22 months that might ease the weaning process. In other words, there might not be a actual weaning window, but children might be less adaptable to change in the 15-19 month range and weaning might prove to be more difficult at that time. I would love to know if anyone else can find any information on this, and/or let us know, if you tried mother led weaning several times, if you found your baby was more accepting at certain ages than others. When did weaning ‘stick’ for your baby?

  4. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Chris — if she’s a highly routine-oriented kid, it could just be that replacing the bedtime feeding with a cup of milk is throwing her off a little. Some kids are more sensitive to changes in routine than others. If that’s it, I imagine it’ll likely pass quickly. It could also be a sleep regression; one of those can take place around 18 months. That’s actually the topic of next week’s blog article, so check back to read it and see if that’s what you might be dealing with 🙂

  5. Chris says

    My daughter is 18 months and has been sleeping soundly through the night since she was 7 weeks. She naps for 2 hours every afternoon, and goes to bed between 730 and 8 every night until 730 or 8 every morning. For the last 3 months, she has only been nursing in the morning and at bedtime. Now, in an attempt to wean we have cut out the bedtime nursing, giving her a cup of milk instead and since then she’s been up at between 230 and 3 almost every night. Some nights its crying, others she figures its time to get up. She has never been a ‘nurse for comfort’ type kiddo; she was never ever nursed to sleep, she didn’t wake for night feeds after 7 weeks, and the bedtime feed was first to go because she was easily distracted and was barely feeding by the time we weaned. I’ve followed the ‘Don’t Ask-Don’t Refuse’ philosophy while cutting out the bedtime feed, and she has never sought out the opportunity to nurse, nor is she really showing signs of wanting to nurse when she wakes up in the middle of the night. I’m so confused! Could it be a sleep association to nursing that neither of us knew was there until it was gone, or does it sound lilke good old 18 month sleep regression?

  6. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Sasha — glad to hear night weaning led to better sleep for you! (And so quickly, too!) Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Sasha says

    Oh it was one of the nicest things when I weaned my boy. even if it sounds selfish, it was such a relief!
    he was around 1,5 yrs, and I was pretty tired by than. he slept fine through the night since 2 or 3 months. I had to wake him up myself so that he could get a proper feed!
    around 1 he started waking every night (only once a night. I know it`s not too bad and it`s not something unusual, though it was frustrating after almost a year of good night sleep). it was going on for months and I thought it was due to anxiety (relationship with his father was not so good, unfortunatly) otherwise I didn`t know what to think.
    than I just desided to wean because to me it seemed that it was more of a habit than a real need, and I was really tired. and what do you think? he started sleeping through the night since the 2nd night after weaning! Maybe I should stop night feedings earlier, but I just couldn`t figure it out!

  8. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Whitney — thanks for this link! Very helpful. And you’re right, of course — what works for some babies won’t work for others. My firstborn is an intense little guy still, even at 4 1/2 years old, and all change was traumatic for him, too. Still is 🙂

  9. Whitney says

    This is an interesting article. I am very thankful that you point out that night sleep is more about baby habits and temperament than the method of feeding (breast vs. bottle). Both of mine have been frequent wakers. I just wanted to point out that there is another option. If your baby is over a year old, and you are interested in cutting back on nursing at night, you don’t have to wean entirely, but can night wean instead. There is a very helpful plan here (works for either co-sleeping families or baby sleeping in a crib):

    While Gordon suggests 3 days at each stage, many people I know have spent weeks on each stage, which has made the transition go more smoothly. However, I have to point out that for some babies with some temperaments, there is just not such thing as gentle — ANY change will be traumatic (this was my first!). But, I think it is an option that could help some people and wanted to post it.

    Wishing everyone a good night’s sleep!

  10. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Zamina — glad you found this article helpful! Sorry, though, that you’re struggling with the aftermath of that 8/9/10 month sleep regression 🙁 Those can be so hard.