View Full Version : Night nursing/cup training NEED HELP!!!
08-31-2003, 05:49 PM
O.K. maybe I am just having a bad day(s)...I think this is the best place to go with it, so bear with me.
I am vegan, breastfeeding my daughter 15 months. The reason I believe the vegan part is important (vs. help from my La Leche) is because, I feel my daughter nurses more than other breastfed or formula fed children because the breast milk is so easy to digest and we are vegan so we eat smaller more frequent meals. BUT, the night nursing (1 or 2 sometimes 3 times a night), is starting to get me DOWN. Also, she WON’T drink anything out of a cup or sippy cup, still.
Until now I have felt that baby knows best, but since I noticed a small spot on one of her teeth, that could be from night nursing, I want to cut out the night nursing and maybe give her a cup of rice milk followed by water rinse or something, and cuddle her to sleep. WHAT TO DO? Feedback? Suggestions? What did you do? If I just need to keep it up, feel free to tell me that too. HELP!!! Thanks~Jenna
08-31-2003, 06:50 PM
My kiddos were a bit older than this when I cut out night time nursing, but I did switch from offering the breast to offering a cup of water. I did find, though, that especially my older one had a hard time with tippy cups b/c she has never had a bottle. She didn't get the concept of tipping it up while sucking, etc.
I had much better luck with using those spill proof cups that come with a pop up straw. Playtex makes some, I think. They do not require tipping & I was able to demonstrate drinking from a straw & get them to take those better.
Back to cutting back/out nighttime nursing, though... I just started trying to cut it out one nursing at a time & offer water & cuddling. There definately was a lot of crying, but, as best as I can remember, they did start accepting the water & snuggling back to sleep with me after a week or so.
My older daughter is tremendously strong willed, so I imagine that most kids probably would deal with it no worse than her! But, as I did mention, she was older, so maybe she was a tad more reasonable.
08-31-2003, 07:28 PM
Thanks Christa! Elle never took a bottle, and she does have trouble with the tilt-up part, that is an excellent tip about the playtex straw cups, I will give them a try!!!
I will continue night nursing if it's the right way, if it's what she NEEDS, I just don't know when it's safe to stop???
Thanks again, Jenna
09-01-2003, 01:18 AM
Hi! I think it was at about the 15 monrh mark that I decided I'd had enough of the night nursing thing too, it was getting so tiring. With my son (now 6) we gave him a bottle of soy milk instead. I don't know WHAT we were thinking! Of course this was the reason he got decay on one tooth (lucky it was only one!) As for the actual weaning, one night I nursed him to sleep, then when he woke for his next feed I cuddled him instead, He cried for about an hour! It was horrible, actually, but I was there cuddling him. And that was the last time he woke to feed! He was happy as anything the next morning! With my daughter (now 4) I stopped night nursing the same wasy, but she was great with it, and hardly even cried, then immediately started sleeping through. We never offered an alternative night feed, she never had a bottle and went straight to sipper cup. She was out of night nappies quickly too. Some people might think it's harsh to go "cold turkey"- I have a 5 month old now and I can't imagine ever doing it, but then I remember that point I got to when my first two kids were older where they were waking so often for feeding that I was wrecked during the day. I think they both adjusted their feeding through the day as well, and I kept up the feed before bed for a while longer also.
09-01-2003, 05:05 AM
I didn't attempt to night wean and my little guy didn't start sleeping through the night consistently until he was 2 1/2. He still wakes to nurse occasionally (at 3 3/4). LLL has a good book called "How Weaning Happens" that discusses weaning at all ages that you might find helpful (its not preachy). I think your concerns are typical of all nursing mothers, not just vegan ones:)
09-01-2003, 08:30 AM
Thanks for your replies! It's so funny, I was just over on the potty post typing how I need to get my expectations away from training and back to "happening"-I then came here to a book recommendation on how weaning "happens"-what synchronicity, I just have to get that book. I really appreciate the stories, I know I am not supposed to compare my child, but it's very comforting to hear what others do/did.
I guess we hit a wall when I saw the spot on her tooth-how could something I thought was so good for her (night nursing) be harmful (tooth decay). To even consider withholding Elle's "num-nums" was dreadful; since I believed vegan babies needed to nurse more??? Over all, the further I go into toddler nursing the more support I need, just when I thought I would be an "old hand", infant nursing was much easier for us.
09-02-2003, 09:48 AM
Thanks Renee, we are very interested in the potty info also ;)
I ordered "how weaning happens" can't wait to read it! Last night was better, Elle Marie slept about 6 hours straight, Woo Hoo!!! ~Jenna
09-18-2003, 01:52 PM
A good article on night-weaning is from Dr. Jay Gordon's site. called "Changing The Sleep Pattern In The Family Bed "
I will say though that it goes through stages. Ez was just nightweaned at 2 1/2 and I am glad I waited. I went through many many stretches where I thought I was giong to snap if he didn't start sleeping through, and then he would ease up or I would get better rest or something and then I would be fine again for months.
09-18-2003, 02:15 PM
Thanks GranolaMommy !!! I'll check that site>
I am co-reading "when weaning happens" and "the no-cry sleep solution" I go through stages too...just when I think I am stressed to the limit like Tuesday, then Elle will take a good nap, like on Wednesday and today-2 1/2 hours. She is still waking 2-3 times per night to nurse. At least I am not alone:)
I haven't figured out the cup either...she is going through this thing where she nurses more and spits her juice/ricemilk/water all over, no matter which type of cup we use. She also likes to throw her food all over the floor and she is not eating very much of anything, even her favorite foods. I swear, last night before bed, she nursed at least 20 times before she went to sleep! Is this common at 15 months???
09-18-2003, 02:26 PM
Actually, I remember 15 months to be one of those difficult periods. I was frustrated about the food thing. DS also liked to throw food. That must be why they make those big plastic mats for under high chairs! :)
He also rarely drank from a cup. I could occasionally get him to drink from a sport bottle like mine. If you are really concerned you could try that. Mostly food and stuff is a learning experience at this age. They are seeing what things do and how they feel and since we already know what will happen, we tend to be less patient about it. I know I am!
Try to distance yourself from the emotions of "you've got to eat!" and "I worked hard and lovingly preparing your food" and accept that this is no different to them than sand, except that they will eat the sand. :D
09-18-2003, 02:33 PM
opps, I meant "how weaning happens" I am not intending to wean just yet, I would just like to lose the night feedings and have some cup drinking, in the day time.
I read the article from Dr. Jay Gordon, and his information is similar to "The no-cry sleep solution" except this book says you can get it done with ZERO tears. I haven't done either plan yet, so I can't comment, as to which one will work :)
Thanks again for thinking of us!!! Jenna
09-18-2003, 02:37 PM
LOL yeah,she'll eat the bark outside more than avocado at this point!!! On one hand I feel that baby knows best and she has thrived until now, when she's hungry she'll eat/drink...on the other hand I feel like everyone is waiting to see Elle wither away so they can blame my vegan diet. Thanks so much for the support.
09-18-2003, 06:34 PM
I don't know why the call it the "terrilbe twos" - both of my girls seemed to become pretty 'terrible' to live with at about 15 months, as well. I am still waiting for Tessa to outgrow it, but she does seem to be getting a bit better. She will be 3 at the end of the month.
09-29-2003, 10:08 AM
I read somewhere, although I can't remember exactly where, that with tooth decay and night nursing, it is more about what they've eaten just before bed. Although breastmilk has a lot of sugar in the form of lactose, it is not known to decay teeth, *unless* mixed with other sugary substances in the form of sucrose or fructose. So juice or sweets before bed is bad. Brushing before bed can help, but we all know how cooperative a toddler can be with brushing.:rolleyes: Just beware of dentists who are quick to blame tooth decay on night nursing. Often they think it's just the same as a bottle at night, but there are two important ways it differs: 1. The fluid in a bottle tends to pool right next to the baby's teeth even after the baby has stopped sucking; breasts don't work that way: no sucking, no milk. 2. formulas are sweetened with fructose which is much more destructive to teeth than the lactose from breastmilk. Basically, I doubt that nature would have designed babies to have a need to night nurse and then make the mother's milk destructive to their teeth during nightnursing. I think other factors are more important.
As for nightweaning, we're in the final phase of nightweaning my 18 month old. I would probably have nursed her at night for longer, had I not become pregnant. Until I was pregnant, I could just latch her on and not even be consciously aware of doing it (we have a family bed). But when the pregnancy hormones kicked in, nursing at night would completely awaken me. It was only then that I became aware that she was nursing 4 to 5 times each night at 16 months!!! I initiated nightweaing by eliminating one feeding at a time, with a "just say no" policy. I'd pat her and whisper to her and snuggle her, but I would not nurse her. It was very hard at first, as she would cry a lot before finally going back to sleep, but gradually she adjusted well, and then I'd work on eliminating another feeding. Each feeding I eliminated became easier for her to give up. I eventually got her sleeping from 9:30 or 10:00 to 5:30, and now we're working on getting her to sleep a little later, since I found that once she wakes up at 5:30, it's just late enough that I have trouble nursing her back to sleep; she just wants to stay awake for the day (too early for me!).
This last hurdle has been a little more tricky, but we've added a new tactic. Now daddy sleeps between my daughter and me, and when she wakes at 5:30, he pats her back to sleep because she can't ask for "boos" from him :p It's been working most mornings, but now that she's getting some more molars, things are pretty restless from about 5:30 until she finally gets up for the morning at 7:30. But in general, I have found I have much more energy now that she's essentially sleeping through the night, and I am more happy to nurse her as long as she wants to when we finally do wake up. Patience and flexibility are the main things you need during the nightweaning process. Good luck!
09-30-2003, 12:14 AM
Thanks, we have a dental visit on monday and I am nervous!!!! I know he wants to do a floride varnish on her teeth and I haven't looked into that yet, but we were opposed to floride supplements. She doesn't have juice or any other sugar before bed or ever really. I am still perplexed. Tonight I was able to nurse then brush, then get her to sleep...and most nights she is only nursing once, however occasionally, she nurse 3-4 times again. The support here has been great~Jenna
09-30-2003, 04:27 AM
oh, one other thought I had... I read a letter in LLL's "New Beginnings" magazine about a mother who had many children, some of whom had tooth decay, some of whom did not. While LLL was careful to put a disclaimer stating that the letter was one mother's opinion and not necessarily LLL's stance on tooth decay, the mother's theory was intriguing. She said that she felt that since there appeared to be no rhyme or reason as to which of her kids developed tooth decay, and which did not, she felt it was something that was predetermined in utero. She said she brushed and flossed and fed her children all the same, but some got tooth decay and others didn't. A dentist blamed the tooth decay of one of her daughters on nightnursing and improper brushing, etc. She tried to explain that she felt it was something more than that, and then presented the dentist with the daughter's twin sister, whose teeth were perfectly fine, and who nightnursed and brushed just the same as the other twin who had the tooth decay. She said the twin that had the tooth decay was also the smaller twin, and she had heard that with some twin pregnancies, one twin can sometimes hog most of the nutrients. She said she felt that perhaps this happened during the point of fetal development when teeth were forming below the gums and the result was weaker teeth that were more suseptible to decay. She believes that if you happen to get an illness when a fetus's teeth are developing it could cause the same problem of poorly developed, softer teeth, and nightweaning and all the brushing in the world won't stop the teeth from decaying. The good news is that even though some of her children were plagued with tooth problems at an early age, none of them had any cavities or problems with their adult teeth once they lost their baby teeth. She said all of them had strong, white, healthy adult teeth, whether they had tooth decay in their baby teeth or not.
Anyway, it was an interesting read, and I don't know how much weight to give it, but perhaps you'll find it a reassuring story.
09-30-2003, 12:14 PM
Super interesting thanks!!!! I have to say, I completely agree with the mother in the article. I had started to wonder if my husbands family had week teeth, I don't know them well. I think there's more to tooth decay, because she doesn't eat sugar, we have brushed regularly from the beginning and I agree that although she night nurses I can't see the breastmilk doing that, it's on one of the front teeth and she usually has the milk in the back of her mouth. I had to have surgery when I was pregnant, and although the Dr.s told me it wouldn't affect Elle (and I would like to believe that) I often wondered how it couldn't affect Elle. Now, I feel like I know an answer and I will focus on maximum calcium absorption. I also had bronchitis a month after the surgery, I had never had that before, and I felt weak and susceptible.
I am happy to report in all other ways Elle seems fine, she's smart, loving, happy, tall and I wouldn't call her chunky, but she's definitely NOT skinny either.
Does anyone have information on fluoride varnish? (I'll start a new post for that ?)
Thanks a lot!!! Jenna
12-04-2003, 04:03 PM
try feeding her a large, sustaining meal before bed. At her age, she will most likely need solid food for sustenance, and the breast is just for comfort, because a 15 month old is now eating as a child and is not a baby anymore, so breast milk will not last as food for very long at all! I used to feed my daughter pasta or oatmeal an hour or so before bed, and that would keep her sleeping through the night. Try it, it was the only thing that worked for me!
12-04-2003, 05:43 PM
Breastfeeding definitely provides nutrition well beyond one year! The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of two years.
12-04-2003, 06:10 PM
You're right about that! Is what I meant is that for a growing, active toddler, breast milk , while being great for nutrients and to prevent sickness, will not satisfy a childs hunger ( at least not any toddler that I have yet met ); food needs to be used as well, or the toddler will be nursing every five minutes to satisfy their hunger. I did not mean to imply that she should stop nursing, my point was for the child to sleep through the night so mom and dad can get some sleep, and hopefully prevent tooth decay.
12-05-2003, 08:56 AM
Sorry, Sarahrose, I misunderstood. I think its safe to say that I'm passionate about breastfeeding:)
12-05-2003, 11:46 AM
I understand- so am I! But I am also passionate about sleep, having suffered many sleepless nights myself!
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