On Night Weaning

There are still stars in the sky. A slight hint of the day’s warm sun is about to wrap it’s arms around the horizon in a band of soft salmon orange and navy blue.

I’ve been here before. You too?

Perhaps this is unfamiliar water to you, nursing momma; awake at dawn with baited hope that you’ll leave a charted water in the past.  Let those who have travelled the seas share with you, “the time spent nursing a child is short”, so short, Momma. We would all love to celebrate the ups and downs of nursing while nursing.

Truth be told, if I didn’t catch this morning embrace, I’d be tempted to wish bon voyage to my entire nursing relationship. Shh…. I admit this here at dawn and let it skip on the surface of acknowledgement.  The ripples have their moment. The exhaled sigh of confession sinks and fades away. I always find comfort and welcome to the day at sunrise.

When we meet the morning with fatigue, a little resentment and a longing for sleep, nursing a child can become a doubtful endeavour. May you still be meeting the morning with hope, Momma. If those dark shadows on the waters are asking, “What be ailing you? Be it the nursing lassie?” and you find you are nodding, know there is a promise on the horizon each morning. The nights are long but the days you nurse your child are numbered. They are a treasure.

You see, weaning, it ebbs and flows.

There are days when, hormonally, night nursing leaves me touched out before the sun ever reaches out to offer an invite for the balance of a day.  Daytime nursing is much smoother sailing. There’s a sprinkling and a splash of cuddling. It’s reassuring and soothing to both mother and child. Therein lies a deeper, nurturing balance of giving in our nursing relationship at this stage. A “this I cannot deny” pride in my child’s well being, and “I’m not ready to give this up” attitude.  Buoyancy is found and it keeps us afloat.

There is a direction you can set your sail for. It’s a partial weaning called night weaning.

The distance to night weaning is a voyage we can venture in nursing after the first year.  Rough waters such as the trek there, cold and flu season and time changes may need course corrections, but you have the tools you need. You’ve already sailed in a fog akin to parenting a newborn in these recent months. Stay hydrated through this journey, hold on tight in the midst of it’s deep blue seas and you’ll find your own way.  When the sun sets, what feels right to you will be right.

It’s on the morning’s horizon you’ll see a promise. A streak across the salmon and navy sky that greeted you will take on purplish hues and shimmers of gold.

The morning suddenly won’t feel so tired, the body so worn. The navy blue clouds will lighten as will the fatigue. Further along in your journey you’ll say this excursion made a difference of which you are grateful. When the starfish spread hands are off deck and warm milky breath is but a cherished nighttime treasure you’ll see. It’s all there in the distance, faint and blurry.

For now, it’s ebbing and flowing, coming and going. Turning dawn into a new day.

The ocean seems wide and endless even rough now. No matter how you look at it, you are navigating these seas.

However and whenever you set sail, when the sun rises, breathe it in.



Dr. Jay Gordon’s sleep pattern blog post is a favourite night time weaning article you might enjoy.  He presumes the 12 month – 30 month old child is the candidate.

For those of you that have the older nursing child, here’s a fabulous “To The Mom of a Nursing Toddler” post.  It applies to many ages!


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