Weaning Problems & Bedtime Battles

08 August, 2019
Q Salaam. First of all, I would like to thank you for the amazing efforts this website makes for the mankind. I have a problem with my daughter who is now 2 years and 4 months old. I want her to stop breastfeeding, but now she is big enough to protest making it very difficult for me to make her quit. I know, I am quite late with this now, but I tried it 4 months ago and I failed. Can you help me with this problem?

Also, one more problem: my eldest daughter refrains from sleeping in her room with her younger sister. She always wants to sleep in my bedroom, and if we force her to sleep in her room, she cries hysterically. Why is she so scared while the younger daughter never complains? I make them recite Qur'an before they go to sleep, but still she wants to sleep with me and not in her room. I would be extremely thankful if you help me.


In this counseling answer:

•Find other ways to give your daughter her daily doses of close loving contact:
For example, hold her between your arms while reading a book, take her to the park, or just sit and play with her.

•It is not recommended to let your child cry it out or withhold food.

•Move along slowly

A-salamu Alaykum dear mother, 

Weaning can be very hard work for the parents if the baby isn’t ready yet to give up the special bond with her mother. Nursing is so much more than food to your little girl; she knows that this is the one time she has you all to herself. During breastfeeding, she feels loved, enjoys skin-to-skin contact in addition to receiving milk, of course.

Weaning plan:

1. Find other ways to give your daughter her daily doses of close loving contact:
For example, hold her between your arms while reading a book, take her to the park, or just sit and play with her.

2. It is not recommended to let your child cry it out or withhold food.

3. Move along slowly:

Weaning Problems & Bedtime Battles - About Islam

First, observe how many feeds she gets per day. Choose to eliminate her shortest and least important feed and substitute this feed with some quality time of hugging, playing and loving.

Then, proceed to substitute one feed every four days in the same way.

4. Wear clothes that are difficult to nurse in so that she has difficulty reaching your breast.

5. When she asks for a feed, have her favorite snack and drink prepared, but do not force her to have it; she will eat it when she is ready.

6. After eliminating the daytime breastfeeding, you will have reached your final step which is her bedtime feed that you can deal with as follows:

*During the previous steps, try to get her out of the habit of going to sleep while feeding, and put your child in her bed while drowsy so that she learns to sooth herself to sleep.

*Establish a bedtime routine: a bath, reading a book, reciting Q’uran or singing a goodnight song.

*Stay in her room till she doses off.

7. Do not return to giving a feed after you have stopped it.

8. Again, move on very slowly which will also prevent any breast pains.

As for your elder daughter:

First, exclude any medical illness or nightmares.

Then, it would be most probably due to sibling rivalry.

Each one of your daughters seems to be finding and assuring she has you completely for herself for some quality time. If you think of it, this must be the only time she can have you all to herself while her baby sister is sleeping.

How to end the bedtime battles:

*Make sure she has quality time with you during the day.

*If she naps during the day, either decrease the naptime or eliminate it altogether. It will be much easier if she is tired enough to go to sleep quickly.

*Establish a bedtime routine with both your girls:
-Bath time
-Teeth brushing
-Story time
– Singing a bedtime song
-Recite Q’uran

*Stay in the room for a while, but not too long. You can also tell them that you are going to do something and come back again, and, of course, do come back!

*Have one of those children’s night lamps in the room. You can also stick some of those glow-in-the-dark stars on the wall and ceiling.

*You might want to try a soft doll or teddy bear for her to hug.

*Make sure to reward her for sleeping in her bed.

Lastly my dear mother, I think that your girls are fighting for your attention, so it is very important to give them both equal shares of your love and care, because sometimes, even an extra kiss to one of them is considered more love.

May Allah guide you to raise those lovely girls into good Muslim women. 


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. If you feel you are going to harm yourself, or harm someone else, please seek immediate help by calling your country’s international hotline! In no event shall About Islam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides.

 Read more:

What to Do with My Colicky Baby?

When to Start Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods?

Beating the “Baby Blues”: What You Need to Know



About Mona Youssri
Mona Youssri is having 17 years experience as a teacher, including two years as a head teacher (special needs). She has a special sense for children. Following up on her wealth of experience with children, and her MB Bch. at Qasr el Aini Medical School in Egypt, Mona Youssri is currently researching into psychiatry and neurology. She is CLC Founder.