How do you night wean when you are ready?

We are starting to wean my 13-month old. He’s a good sleeper (goes into his crib awake, falls asleep on his own quickly) but is still waking up at least once a night, usually around 4AM, when he’s been asleep about 10 hours. I have always nursed him, then put him back in his crib where he typically goes right back to sleep. I’m starting to tackle night-weaning, but he becomes inconsolable at 4am wake-up and no amount of bouncing, singing, or rocking – or CIO for that matter – seems to be working. I ultimately give in and nurse. So far, I’ve dropped one daytime feeding and was tackling night-weaning next, but I’m wondering if I should complete daytime weaning first instead. Any advice? Thanks!!

I would try gradually tapering that feeding. He may actually be hungry and helping his body adjust to not having calories at that time is the first step. Teaching him to fall asleep without nursing at all is the second step. I would start by nursing him and then unlatching him just a little earlier each night. You could also switch to a bottle of breastmilk to adjust adapt him to not nursing and then taper the bottle as he gets used to that. Once his body is adapted, then you can start trying to rock him through or you could do a “daddy” intervention where your spouse/partner goes in for a few days in a row to do all of the soothing. Your son might not love that, but the change in response will clearly convey that it isn’t time to nurse, but when he calls for you a parent will respond.


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