Night Weaning

It took me a long time to decide that I was going to night wean D. Let's just say that it was a process. My first two attempts, one at 26 months and one at 30 months, lasted one night. She was not happy about not nursing and I felt like her need to nurse at night out weighed my desire or need to not to nurse her at night. I had night weaned R and T when I had gotten pregnant again because when I am pregnant night nursing makes my skin crawl. Since I am 99.9% sure that D is my last child I've had to take a more active approach to it this time.

When D turned 3, I decided that I was ready to sleep through the night so I decided to give night weaning another try. Again, I spent a few weeks talking to D and telling her that my nah-nahs were tired and needed to sleep at night. I told her that they would wake up when the alarm clock went off. The first night she woke up at about 2AM. When I told her that my nah-nahs were sleeping she made a little whimper, rolled over and went back to sleep. She woke up a few more time that night and quickly went back to sleep but when she woke up at 6AM she got very upset when I told her that my nah-nahs were still sleeping so I nursed her. We fell into a pattern where she was fine about not nursing until 5 or 6AM at that point I would nurse her. So much for waiting for the alarm to ring.

I was actually OK with this. While I would have preferred to have her go back to sleep with out nursing I had nothing pushing me, such as a pregnancy, to make her wait until the alarm clock went off like I did with my other girls. That was until I took her to the dentist and found out that she had tooth decay and 4 cavities.

Yeah, yeah I know that nursing is not supposed to cause cavities and I also know that she probably got them because I was never very religious about brushing her teeth. (It is believed that it is not the breast milk that causes the problem it's the food left in the teeth reacting with the breast milk) At bedtime she often refused to brush and I took the easy way out. I never feel like I have enough patience at bed time and if I can avoid a stressful situation I will. The truth is I did the same thing with my other kids and never had a problem. It could be that D is just more susceptible to tooth decay or it could be that she nursed at night 6 month longer than T and 14 months longer than R.

The cavity situation gave me a reason to night wean her completely. I just didn't want to take any chances on her teeth. She was almost totally night weaned anyway. For the past few mornings she has been waking at about 6:30. We get out of bed to use the potty and then she will lie as close to me as possible till 7. Then we go into the living room and I nurse her on the couch.

I know that if I nursed her when she woke up she would go back to sleep for another 2 hours but I think that this will be our new morning routine. If she wakes up at 6:30 or 7 she will get to see her siblings in the morning, get to school on time and take an afternoon nap. These are all good things. I do, however, feel a little sad since this will most likely be my last time night weaning one of my babies. No more of those sweet moments in the middle of the night. I guess it's just one more step towards the next part of my life.


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