Night feeding a toddler
Today at the pregnancy and parenting network one of the women asked for suggestions or ideas on how to manage breastfeeding her toddler at night time. Before the toddlers sibling was born - the toddler was weaned at night. However once the baby was born and there was an abundant supply of breastmilk - the toddler took a renewed interest in breastfeeding and feeding through the night. Feeding both baby and toddler through the night is taking its toll. Can you suggest any strategies to help the woman in this situation?
Weaning toddler at night
Milk supplies are often at their highest in the morning, and lowest in the evening. One suggestion would be to let the toddler know that "baby needs Mommy's milk at night". Be sure to cuddle a lot during the day time feedings so that the toddler feels secure.
If toddler is in the same bed as mum, try transitioning the toddler to his own bed (or at least to the other side of Daddy) so that the toddler does not smell mum's milk and is not awakened by the baby at night.
One way to transition the toddler to his own bed is to start with nap times. Once he is going down for naps in his own bed, then transitioning at night will be much easier.
Another thing to try would be giving the toddler a scrambled egg or some nut butter before bed in order to be sure that he has enough protein in his tummy and doesn't wake up hungry at night.
Those are good suggestions Kate! I've also heard mom can wear a thick sweater at night to block the smell when trying to night wean an older child. However, that is not always as possible with the weather. Putting the toddler on dad's side is a great idea.
This is interested as, whilst I am only feeding my toddler, I have recently been finding it very tiring feeding him during the night. I think I will try a scrambled egg snack last thing at night tonight. Thank you for the above suggestions.
To be honest, I'm finding it a bit of a dilemma as I want to give him all the breast milk he asks for but I am finding it quite draining now I am a working mum too. We are still co-sleeping (which is great for bonding and cuddles) but I'm wondering about him having his naps in a cot to give him the option of sleeping like this if he likes at night. I want to do the best for him and don't want to 'impose' my parenting ideals on him.