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Embarking on a night-weaning journey! Some advice, please?? ;) - Page 2

post #21 of 83
Quote:
He was a HORRIBLE sleeper and within a week or so was just a bad sleeper.
This was my DD! I'm sorry, I know this isn't funny, but it kind of made me laugh.

OP- We take a slightly different approach but it has worked beautifully for us both times. (in my opinion, a whole lot of crying/screaming means that the LO isn't ready to be pushed that far yet)

Our process takes a long time and involves a little resistance, but hasn't been too bad at all. I'm going to say the short version... First, we work on getting the LO to go to sleep at bedtime without nursing all the way to sleep. There a bunch of different, gentler ways to do this. It was different with both of my babies based on personality. With my DS, more recently, I nursed him almost to sleep and then put him in the crib (in our room). When he stood up and cried, I picked him up and either nursed him to sleep or bounced him a little in my arms until he relaxed and got drowsy again, then put him back down. REPEAT as long as it takes until he went to sleep. It was a long process but didn't involve much crying. Dh and I could take turns putting him down, after the nursing of course

Once he was good at going to sleep in the crib, we started sending dh in to put him BACK to sleep at his first nightwaking. This was usually before we even went to bed. Sometimes dh would get him back to sleep in the crib, sometimes in the family bed, but the point is that it was without having to nurse back to sleep. After we were in bed, I nursed DS whenever he would wake up (in the family bed).

That went on for a couple of months. When he was 16 months, we decided to start nightweaning. I basically did Gordon's plan with the nursing only for a few minutes and then insisting that ds go back to sleep w/out it. Since he was already used to going TO sleep and sometimes back to sleep w/out nursing, it wasn't too bad. He wasn't thrilled. He fussed and rolled around like, "What the heck? Nurse me more!" but once he got the message that the "rules had changed" (per Dr. Gordon's article), he went back to sleep. Within a week, he started sleeping from 8pm-5am in his crib before coming into the family bed!!

With DD (now 3) Dh did her nightweaning while I moved out of the room. She was more accepting of comfort from dh. With DS, he was devastated to be removed completely from me, so I did his nightweaning.

DS started sleeping SO much better when nightweaned. DD didn't really, so it wasn't as beneficial. The benefit was that dh and I could take turns comforting her since it didn't always have to be nursing.
post #22 of 83
I just wanted to add my experience which is overall pretty positive. We decided to do the Jay Gordon night wean and started this past Sunday. My dd is 15 months old. I explained it all to her before bed and told her milky would be going night night tonight. She usually sleeps ok the first part of the night (meaning for a couple hours). We did the regular bedtime routine which is bath at 6:30, play, nurse, daddy comes in and reads and she is asleep by about 7:45. At 10:30 I went in and woke her up and fed her. Around 12:30 she woke up and dh went in and was with her for about 4 hours - she wasn't crying but tossing/turning/asking for milk (signing)/whining. He stayed with her the entire time and she finally fell asleep. She woke up just before 6:00 and I went in and got her and took her to the guest room and nursed/slept with her until we woke up (which is what we used to do, only I usually went in much earlier).
Monday night she slept great - bed as usual, up at 10:30 to eat, up again briefly at 2:00 & dh got her right back to sleep, same thing at 4:00, woke up at 6:30 and we nursed/slept in guest room until wake up around 8:00.
Tuesday was a worse - up a few times before we went to bed, I fed her at 10:30 again, up at 1:30 - 4:30 with dh crying and tossing/turning, I went in at 4:30 and she cried when I wouldn't nurse but finally relaxed on me and fell asleep at 6:00. She woke up at 7:15 for the day and nursed.
Wednesday - I woke her at 10:30 for milk, then she slept until 7:15!!! She did stir a couple times and woke us and I think dh went in at 4:00 and she went right back down.
Thursday - she did not nap at all and had a very hard time going to sleep, she was up 3 times before we went to bed but I still went in at 10:30 and nursed. She then slept again until 4:30, dh went in and she went right back down and was up at 7:30 for the day.

I wouldn't consider my dd super high needs, but she is a major nurser. She still nurses to sleep at nap time and usually wakes after 30 mins and I have to nurse her again. Once we are secure with our night weaning, I am going to work on nap times. I think the most important thing is consistency and it also helps that my dh goes in if she waks before 6:00. If I went in I am pretty sure she'd get irate and want milk. I'm hoping that will change eventually though
post #23 of 83
Hi Echo, our DC are the same age, and we're trying this night weaning business as well. The main thing that has started to freak me out is that DS is starting to fall back to sleep with me rocking him, but he wants to TWIDDLE MY NIPPLES until he falls asleep and if I move my nipples away AT ALL he starts the crying again. Today I bought him a paci (not to suck on, he never used them) but to twiddle. It's one of those Binkies by playtex that's "shaped like a mother's nipple" (whatever.) and he's currently asleep twiddling that dumb paci, so I have hopes that it will play a part tonight.

I like the "sleeping in a turtleneck" approach. I wish I had me a turtleneck.
One of the things that is bugging me about this is that DH is complaining about being tired. He should suffer in silence in my opinion, being as he is not helping with this (has to work) so I'm getting up sometimes on the hour to go into the room.

Anyway, I'll be checking in on this thread now that I know it is here. Don't give up, because you are right, you need it to stop and it is a good thing to follow your gut. Maybe you could have a more restful night if you slept next to her but didn't nurse? And also, it's okay to "break the program" in the interest of sleeping, which is what you want to do. Like if the screaming is just going on and on, you're the parent, and you can decide to just nurse her and try again next time. I ended up nursing DS this morning at 5:05 when he had woken up at 4:35. This was 30 minutes of crying and comforting, and me being awake and waking up DH. I was being a bit religious about my clock thing instead of being like "It's almost 5, I'll just nurse and we can sleep."
Good luck tonight.
post #24 of 83
I'm subbing this thread. My LO is only 11 months this week, so we're not night weaning yet, but we're starting to wonder if it will help reduce the number of wakings she's having, maybe we'll try at christmastime (she'll be 14 months). We can't go on like this much longer! I'm really interested to hear everyone's stories.
post #25 of 83
The past two nights have gone well--only 1 waking each, the first at 1:40 and the second night at 3:15. I tried a baby bottle with water in it (the nipple) and that worked the first night but not last night. I'm glad about that though as I don't really want to have to use props. Rocking is working. It takes about 10 minutes to go back to sleep and overall I am encouraged. He's waking up at around5:15 for a nursing and that is fine with me. How are you, Echo??
post #26 of 83
Just chiming in...

My ds is 11 months. He's never been a great sleeper at night (I'm lucky to get a 3 hour stretch of sleep). He sleeps in his own crib in our room. He's a very easy going and fairly independent little guy...during the day.

Lately I've noticed when he wakes up that he sucks for a minute and then falls right back to sleep...he konks out before my milk even lets down, so I know that he isn't hungry and he isn't actually drinking anything before he falls asleep in my arms. I know without a doubt that he can go for at least six-eight hours without any milk (he had a handful of miraculous nights where he slept from 8-5)...so seems like a good time to start nightweaning, right?

Last night we decided to start.

Bedtime was 8pm, he nursed (and actually drank milk) at 10pm and then woke up at 12:30am...at which point the real fun began. Dh was supposed to take the midnight-dawn shift, but gave up after about an hour...at which point I took over.

Trouble we're having is that while he'll sleep in our arms just fine, when we try to put him back in his crib without a tummy full of sleeping potion (aka momma's milk) he cries and stands up as soon as we put him down. The moment we pick him up he falls right back asleep against our shoulders before we even get to the rocking chair...and the moment we put him down he starts screaming again. Last night this little dance went on for about 3 hours until we finally caved and I nursed him back to sleep...at which point he went back into his crib just fine.

To his credit, he did then sleep for 3.5 hours...but I think it was probably due to exhaustion more than anything. He's usually up every 60-90 minutes.

I'm going to continue reading this thread with interest and keep at it. Suggestions on this pick up/put down situation would be welcome (we haven't read any books about how to do this), though I know that only time, diligence and a good sense of humor is going to remedy our nights.

Best of luck to you all!
post #27 of 83
don't know if anyone is still reading this thread but...

Last night was better.

DS nursed at 8pm (bedtime) and at 11:45.

He woke up at 1:45 and dh got him back down without much fussing within an hour.
Awoke again at 3:30 and dh got him back in his crib asleep by 4am.

Woke up for the day at 6:15!

Interested to hear how this is going for others.
post #28 of 83
I'm still reading. I don't have anything to add, since we're not there quite yet, but I'm really interested in hearing everyone's experiences.
post #29 of 83
I'm reading, too, and interested in updates. I'm thinking about nightweaning my 12 month old DD, but I am terrified.
post #30 of 83
I have been reading and getting some pointers myself. My DS is almost 15 months old and i am at the point where I need to wean him at night for my sanity. He tosses and turns, does acrobatic flips and karate kicks all while nursing at night! I am 8 weeks preg w/ dc#2 and I am worried about getting ds#1 into his own bed (in our room) before baby comes. (I dont feel it would be safe to have both children in bed while baby is new) So there are a couple of reasons I would like to wean.

Our mattress is on the floor and I am thinking of bringing a separate mattress in for ds. should i try to put him in his own bed while trying to night wean or should i just do 1 move at a time?
post #31 of 83
:

Subbing.

I really want to nightwean my 18-month-old DD, but I'm scared to try it. She has NEVER gone to sleep or gone back to sleep without nursing. Once or twice in her life she fell asleep in the car or the stroller, but she hasn't even done that in ages. Once when I was gone at night (I went to see a midnight movie, thinking she would stay asleep since she had fallen asleep for the first time right before I left, at 11pm), she woke up 15 minutes after I left and screamed with DH for FOUR HOURS till I got home at 3 am. This was about a month ago, so she was 17 months old. So I'm really worried about him trying to get her back to sleep--he's never been able to. But I can't blame him, because I can't begin to imagine how I would get her to sleep without nursing. She has no idea how to sleep without nursing.

I'm working on trying to get her to fall asleep without nursing. I've been doing the No-Cry Sleep Solution technique of pulling the boob out before she's quite asleep for about six months and had no success with it whatsoever, but tonight I realized that maybe I wasn't actually doing it as much as I thought I was. Even though I repeatedly de-latch her, I think usually she actually falls asleep with the boob in her mouth. Anyway, tonight I think she was still awake when I convinced her to let go of me , so maybe if I can keep doing that it will help. I'd like to night wean her gradually over the next few months...
post #32 of 83
I started this in earnest a week ago, and last night Pascal slept through the night. 7.5 hours in a row! Awoke at 5 and I comforted him back to sleep easily, no crying. I can't believe it! Of course, DH woke up at 4.30 to go pee and he probably disturbed Pascal into waking because I also woke up! But, a week ago (heck, 4 days ago) I would not have imagined this to have happened. :
For me the keys are:
1. Care--being extra loving and letting DS nurse and be comforted lots in the day and especially at bedtime
2. Consistency--not wavering about if I would nurse or not--this was when it went badly in the beginning because I would give in and nurse. It wasn't until I stopped nursing him that he stopped waking.
3. Alternatives--I brought a pacifier and a bottle of water (baby bottle) to bed. He took the water, even in the midst of a fit, when I said "want water?"
4. Patience--Staying with him until he fell back to sleep all the way.
post #33 of 83
So far this isn't scary at all...be not afraid mamas!

There have been a few tears, but ds was always in our arms when he was crying, which I feel is totally OK.

Here's the scoop on last night:

Nursed to sleep at 8pm
Nursed to sleep at midnight
Woke up 3:30, dh got him back into his crib within 10 minutes
Woke up at 4:15 (I think he had a weird dream because he woke up crying), dh got him back into his crib within 20 minutes.
Woke up for the day at 6:15.

This was only the third night and I'm already getting a four hour stretch of sleep! Dh and I thought it was going to be a looong couple of weeks, but this has been cake compared to getting up every 90 minutes for the last 11 months.

The first night WAS rough and we were up most of the night. Ds accepted fairly quickly that he couldn't nurse, but we had a hard time getting him back into his crib (we'd been doing a lot of bedsharing in the last few months, so we're trying to wean ds off of that as well).

We're not following any specific plan. Here are our very flexible "rules":
• Ds nurses to sleep at bedtime.
• I nurse ds back to sleep the first time he wakes up at night.
• After that, when DS wakes up he gets rocked and snuggled back to sleep by dad. We're doing a pick up/put down style, so if ds cries when dh puts him back into the crib he gets picked back up and rocked some more until he settles down. Ds gets unlimited snuggling.
• The first time he wakes after dawn I get up to nurse him in the rocking chair and I put him back into his crib if he falls back to sleep.
• If one of us gets exhausted and frustrated during the night the other one takes over.
• If we both get exhausted and frustrated during the night all bets are off and we bring ds into bed so we can all get some sleep.

I should say that my husband has always been able to put our son to sleep without too much trouble, so this may not work for those of you whose partners have a hard time getting your babes down to sleep.

This has (so far) worked beautifully though for weaning our son off of both night-time nursing and bedsharing...I think because he still feels like he is getting as much cuddling as he needs when he wakes up.

Best of luck!
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryS-F View Post
Hi Echo, our DC are the same age, and we're trying this night weaning business as well. The main thing that has started to freak me out is that DS is starting to fall back to sleep with me rocking him, but he wants to TWIDDLE MY NIPPLES until he falls asleep and if I move my nipples away AT ALL he starts the crying again. Today I bought him a paci (not to suck on, he never used them) but to twiddle. It's one of those Binkies by playtex that's "shaped like a mother's nipple" (whatever.) and he's currently asleep twiddling that dumb paci, so I have hopes that it will play a part tonight.
.
That made me laugh out loud! My DD does the twiddle too. It really bugs me (and hurts sometimes). I have to make sure only one side is exposed at a time or else I get twiddled while she nurses!
post #35 of 83
Thread Starter 
Oh my gosh, I had no idea anyone was still responding to this thread! Hi everyone ! Can a subscription expire???
Thank you so much for responding with your own stories. It is quite inspiring, but I am still shaking in my pants about the whole situation. The plan was to start this Friday night so that DH can help me, or I can sleep during the day on the weekend. Now, I am slowly back-peddling... is it that I am afraid of change?? I think it is that I am so freaking exhausted that I can barely fathom the strength it will take to battle the baby at night.
The changes I have been making in preparation for night weaning are: a more consistent daytime routine/schedule (based on advice from the book Sleepless in America), and (kind of inconsistently) not allowing her to fall asleep completely on the boob, and nursing her for shorter increments throughout the night then patting/rocking/rubbing her back to sleep. This has not been very successful . She pretty much tosses and turns, then sits up, asks for nursies every 15 mins or so... this repeats over and over and over again over 3-4 hours until I give up. Then I am left completely incoherent for the next day.
So, some good and some bad and a lot of stress over the unknown. I like how some of you ladies have made rules to abide by. I think I will borrow those ideas and get DH to help me make a plan.
post #36 of 83
Hi, again, glad you are back! We had a weird night last night. I fell asleep in DS bed for basically the whole night. No nursing though some wakeups. Come on buddy, STTN again!!!!!
post #37 of 83
Don't be afraid!!! You may be pleasantly surprised that it isn't as bad as you imagined. I was shaking in my boots and wavering back and forth for a few months. I just could not imagine her accepting it based on the fact that she nursed so much at night. She's had very little crying. The hardest night was her crying for about an 20 minutes in my arms and it took her an hour to finally fall asleep. She didn't kick or throw any thing. I know it depends on your childs personality. It's very worth it.
post #38 of 83
I haven't decided to start yet, but there was a sign of hope last night. I popped DD off before she was actually asleep again last night, and as expected, she went "WAAAAH!" But then she said, "Wah." And then a few seconds later, she said, "wah" and she rolled over and went to sleep! She is very intense, so this was a big surprise.
post #39 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
I haven't decided to start yet, but there was a sign of hope last night. I popped DD off before she was actually asleep again last night, and as expected, she went "WAAAAH!" But then she said, "Wah." And then a few seconds later, she said, "wah" and she rolled over and went to sleep! She is very intense, so this was a big surprise.
This made me chuckle And smile for your good fortune
post #40 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shami View Post
Don't be afraid!!! You may be pleasantly surprised that it isn't as bad as you imagined. I was shaking in my boots and wavering back and forth for a few months. I just could not imagine her accepting it based on the fact that she nursed so much at night. She's had very little crying. The hardest night was her crying for about an 20 minutes in my arms and it took her an hour to finally fall asleep. She didn't kick or throw any thing. I know it depends on your childs personality. It's very worth it.
Thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm sure I will get there soon... It will probably take another horrific night to push me off the edge, but I'm sure it will happen...
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