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Embarking on a night-weaning journey! Some advice, please?? ;) - Page 3

post #41 of 83

New to this forum and needing advice on this too!

Hi there,

I'm new to this forum, but I love the Mothering magazines and was hoping to get involved in the online community.

My LO will be a year old in a couple of weeks. He has been breastfed on demand since birth, but in the last few months, I have been making sure that during the day at least, he waits at least 2-3 hours before getting milk again. He eats solids, but not a whole lot at each sitting. I do feed him solids at least three times a day though. No formula ever, and no cow's milk yet.

He's super active - took first steps at 9.5 months and really got it at 10.5 months. Now at 11.5 months, he's running. He's not very verbal yet - just babbling.

We've been bed-sharing since he was born too, and I thought it was great, because it let me get more sleep. But he still wakes up every 1.5 to 3 hours, nurses, and goes right back to sleep. But it's been almost a year of that and I'm tired! Lately, I have been trying to get him to go back to sleep without nursing, but he won't do it - he just gets more and more worked up, but as soon as I give him the boob, he goes right to sleep. I am wondering if in order to night ween, we have to transition him out of the bed? What's better to do first? He falls asleep pretty easily, but usually nursing. If I try to nurse a bit earlier in the night and get him to sleep without nursing, it takes close to an hour each time!

I have been lucky to be able to stay home with him and work from home so far, and that has been awesome, but it also means that he is quite mommy-centric. If DH tries to put him back to sleep at night, he screams for me and then immediately quiets down and goes to sleep when I am there. Soon, I am going to start working again (hopefully from home if I can find another job like that), and really want to get more sleep, and also transition him to a better night time routine before anything else changes for him.

His crib has been unused. I really don't want to do the CIO method. But I am starting to feel like I am doing him a disservice because he isn't learning how to self-soothe and put himself back to sleep.

Does anyone have any advice?
post #42 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaguarEyes View Post
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum, but I love the Mothering magazines and was hoping to get involved in the online community.

My LO will be a year old in a couple of weeks. He has been breastfed on demand since birth, but in the last few months, I have been making sure that during the day at least, he waits at least 2-3 hours before getting milk again. He eats solids, but not a whole lot at each sitting. I do feed him solids at least three times a day though. No formula ever, and no cow's milk yet.

He's super active - took first steps at 9.5 months and really got it at 10.5 months. Now at 11.5 months, he's running. He's not very verbal yet - just babbling.

We've been bed-sharing since he was born too, and I thought it was great, because it let me get more sleep. But he still wakes up every 1.5 to 3 hours, nurses, and goes right back to sleep. But it's been almost a year of that and I'm tired! Lately, I have been trying to get him to go back to sleep without nursing, but he won't do it - he just gets more and more worked up, but as soon as I give him the boob, he goes right to sleep. I am wondering if in order to night ween, we have to transition him out of the bed? What's better to do first? He falls asleep pretty easily, but usually nursing. If I try to nurse a bit earlier in the night and get him to sleep without nursing, it takes close to an hour each time!

I have been lucky to be able to stay home with him and work from home so far, and that has been awesome, but it also means that he is quite mommy-centric. If DH tries to put him back to sleep at night, he screams for me and then immediately quiets down and goes to sleep when I am there. Soon, I am going to start working again (hopefully from home if I can find another job like that), and really want to get more sleep, and also transition him to a better night time routine before anything else changes for him.

His crib has been unused. I really don't want to do the CIO method. But I am starting to feel like I am doing him a disservice because he isn't learning how to self-soothe and put himself back to sleep.

Does anyone have any advice?
Welcome!

You don't have to stop cosleeping if you nightwean. In fact, Dr. Jay Gordon recommends continuing. Have you read his nightweaning plan?

Don't feel that he should be self-soothing just because of some arbitrary timeline or what other kids are doing. Self-soothing is hard and kind of overrated--I don't even do it very well and I've had a lot of years to practice.
post #43 of 83
Thanks, VeganCupcake - I'll look into the Gordon approach. All I want is for him to wake up less at night - I'd love to keep co-sleeping!
post #44 of 83
Thread Starter 
Okay, I took the plunge last night! I don't have a clear-cut plan yet, but I'm not going back!

I don't know if it was just the encouragement from you all or how annoyed I am getting with nighttime nursing, but I inadvertently began night weaning Echo last night. She went to sleep at 830, was up at 1030 to nurse, which is normal, but then was up again at 1130. So, I let her nurse for a couple minutes and then cut her off and offered ANYTHING & everything else. She hung on for 5 hrs and 15 mins until I nursed her again!! I have a very stubborn baby on my hands! She tossed and turned, cried out in short low-intensity cries, snuggled with me, got out of bed, and grabbed my face in her little hands and kissed me over and over. This last plea had me in tears, but I held out. I really hope that this will decrease soon and she will just realize that the rules have changed and she won't be getting nursed any time she wants to during the night. Today she seemed a little apprehensive of nursing... it made me a little sad, but I made sure to always tell her that she can nurse whenever she wants to during the day, but nursies go night night at night, just like she should.
I think I am going to go with a similar plan that a pp had - nurse at first wake-up and then start the clock and not nurse again for 5 hours. Oh, please, please, please, please give up soon and just GO TO SLEEP!!! Tonight I am keeping a bottle with water and a pacifier (she has never taken to either... ) by the bed tonight and will offer these along with all of my patience, cuddles, rocking, singing, etc.
I will probably update this daily to make myself liable for sticking to my plan. Wish us luck!!
post #45 of 83
Thread Starter 

Anyone else have this problem???

So last night was another night of Echo just not sleeping. It seems like she truly cannot sleep without nursing. She went from angry to sad to demanding to pleading to silent restlessness... then through the cycle over and over again for 4 hours last night. She finally fell asleep at 4 or so and only stayed asleep for an hour.
Is this even going to work??
post #46 of 83
DS will be a year in a week. I sort of doubt we are ready for night weaning. More likely I'll wait a few months. But I do think about it sometimes because he wakes a lot. A few months back I was thinking about implementing a plan where I would not nurse more than once every three hours. Never did it though, because he was teething for a while, and when that subsided he was sleeping a bit better than he had been before. Also, I've started going to bed before 9 (as early as 8 some nights) and this helps me be less tired during the day.

But I do have a question. Now that DS is mobile, he's much less interested in nursing during the day. When I offer, he'll say yes, but then once he's on my lap he immediately pulls away to get down and play. Some days he probably only nurses a couple times. He's always nursed a lot at night and that continues. I'm just wondering, if I do nightwean, whether or not he will start nursing more often during the day. If not, I fear I'll put myself on the path of full weaning, and I really don't want to do that at all. Does anyone have experience with this?

It might also be relevant that he's been a slow gainer. He's gaining about a pound a month now, but is still way below the chart (15 pounds 13 ounces at 1 week shy of a year). He does eat solids, about three times a day.
post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoecho1528 View Post
So last night was another night of Echo just not sleeping. It seems like she truly cannot sleep without nursing. She went from angry to sad to demanding to pleading to silent restlessness... then through the cycle over and over again for 4 hours last night. She finally fell asleep at 4 or so and only stayed asleep for an hour.
Is this even going to work??
That sounds really frustrating and sad, mama. I hope that you see a turnaround soon. I'm all questions myself at this point, so don't have a lot of answers or advice. Good luck!
post #48 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulamc View Post
That sounds really frustrating and sad, mama. I hope that you see a turnaround soon. I'm all questions myself at this point, so don't have a lot of answers or advice. Good luck!
It's ALWAYS hard at first. The first night is always the worst. This is the advise other mamas gave me and it holds true in our case. We're at 1 night waking and I think that is just normal.
post #49 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoecho1528 View Post
So last night was another night of Echo just not sleeping. It seems like she truly cannot sleep without nursing. She went from angry to sad to demanding to pleading to silent restlessness... then through the cycle over and over again for 4 hours last night. She finally fell asleep at 4 or so and only stayed asleep for an hour.
Is this even going to work??
I haven't nightweaned so I don't have any real answers for you. But I have read the Jay Gordon plan, and unless I am reading your description wrong it sounds like you are more or less going "cold turkey"...his plan has a few stages in it that might help you and your dd ease in to it a bit. If you haven't read it, it is worth checking out: http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp
post #50 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennasmomma View Post
I haven't nightweaned so I don't have any real answers for you. But I have read the Jay Gordon plan, and unless I am reading your description wrong it sounds like you are more or less going "cold turkey"...his plan has a few stages in it that might help you and your dd ease in to it a bit. If you haven't read it, it is worth checking out: http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp
Hi mckennasmomma!
Yes, I have read the plan and that is actually what I have been trying to do...
He says:
When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don't put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that's what you've been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off.
During these first three nights, repeat this pattern only after he has slept. He might sleep for fifteen minutes or he might sleep for four hours, but he has to go to sleep and reawaken to get cuddled and fed again.


As stated in bold/underlined above, she is supposed to sleep at least a little bit to be given the breast again... for the last two nights she hasn't slept at all. That is where we get stuck - she just WON"T sleep, and I don't want to back down. I will maybe be a little bit more lenient with her tonight - as in nurse her if she at least lays down and doesn't ask to nurse for 15 mins??

I am SO at a loss with this I am dreading going into bed with her in a few minutes. I will write again tomorrow, hopefully with a good update.

ETA: Oh, and I have been just nursing her after her first wake up, then going for 5 hours instead of his recommended 7 hours. 7 hours just seems so long. Has anyone had luck with a modification similar to mine, or am I setting myself up for getting her to only sleep in 5 hour intervals??
post #51 of 83
I just read the Dr. Gordon approach and am so excited to try it!! Thank you so much - I so wanted an alternative to giving up co-sleeping and CIO and hopefully thanks to you ladies, I have found one! He's not quite 1 yet, so I'll wait til after his birthday in a couple of weeks, but I am so happy about this way of getting more sleep at night - YEAH!

And good luck, echoecho1528!
post #52 of 83
I see, thanks for the clarification. That is tough is she is not going to sleep at all. If last night didn't go any better, I think I would consider stopping and trying again in a month or so. Otherwise I think you and she will end up in a wicked sleep-deprived cycle, and that just isn't worth it. I'm sure others have different opinions though, and really it is your call in the end.

As for the 5 hrs instead of the 7, I wouldn't worry about that at all. If you can get her to 5 hrs, I think the 7 will come in time.
post #53 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennasmomma View Post
I see, thanks for the clarification. That is tough is she is not going to sleep at all. If last night didn't go any better, I think I would consider stopping and trying again in a month or so. Otherwise I think you and she will end up in a wicked sleep-deprived cycle, and that just isn't worth it. I'm sure others have different opinions though, and really it is your call in the end.

As for the 5 hrs instead of the 7, I wouldn't worry about that at all. If you can get her to 5 hrs, I think the 7 will come in time.
Yeah, I tried to reply and say something similar yesterday but my reply didn't post. You are the parent and so you make the rules. Jay Gordon won't come find you! I would say that if SLEEP is the most important thing, then perhaps you should incrementally work on this, not keep her up for 5 hours of screaming in the middle of the night? Also, the Gordon approach doesn't work for everyone. It was WAY better for me to just not nurse at all than to start nursing and then stop. That drove DS nuts and lead to lots of screaming in the middle of the night, as opposed to not nursing and just holding, which led to just 10 minutes of crying then back to sleep.
post #54 of 83
Thread Starter 
Never in a million years would I have thought my DD would just not sleep. I thought she would cry, scream, demand, maybe even throw up - whatever... I was prepared for that. But, to not fall asleep on her own at all?? WTH??
Last night, per mckennasmomma, I just nursed her briefly every time she woke up. She did sleep better and only had one episode of being awake for 2 hours. But, at least it was better. But, I feel like I am moving backwards. I can't put this off for another month or two, it has to be now. I can't do it anymore. But, I feel like after 4 nights, we aren't getting anywhere at all. Are we going to be one of those anomalies in which nightweaning does nothing?? Oh lord!
post #55 of 83
Subbing since I have the same issue as the OP:

didn't see this thread so made another post about it here:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1140059
post #56 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoecho1528 View Post
Never in a million years would I have thought my DD would just not sleep. I thought she would cry, scream, demand, maybe even throw up - whatever... I was prepared for that. But, to not fall asleep on her own at all?? WTH??
Last night, per mckennasmomma, I just nursed her briefly every time she woke up. She did sleep better and only had one episode of being awake for 2 hours. But, at least it was better. But, I feel like I am moving backwards. I can't put this off for another month or two, it has to be now. I can't do it anymore. But, I feel like after 4 nights, we aren't getting anywhere at all. Are we going to be one of those anomalies in which nightweaning does nothing?? Oh lord!
See, I worry that my DD will be one of those babies who might be nightweaned, but still wake up a lot. And then I won't even have the nursing as a tool to help her get back to sleep. It is terrifying.

I think some kids just aren't ready when we wish they were. I wish I had better ideas--is there some way you could go into survival mode for a month and then try again? Reduce your commitments, nap whenever you can, etc.?
post #57 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
See, I worry that my DD will be one of those babies who might be nightweaned, but still wake up a lot. And then I won't even have the nursing as a tool to help her get back to sleep. It is terrifying.

I think some kids just aren't ready when we wish they were. I wish I had better ideas--is there some way you could go into survival mode for a month and then try again? Reduce your commitments, nap whenever you can, etc.?
I think I am pretty much limited out as it is. I sleep every chance I get - whenever she naps, on weekends when my hubby is here, and even when we have people visiting that I know are good to watch her for a couple of hours. I am going to have to talk to DH about it. He is adamant that this gets "fixed" - funny how he isn't willing to help me do any of it, huh??
post #58 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoecho1528 View Post
I am going to have to talk to DH about it. He is adamant that this gets "fixed" - funny how he isn't willing to help me do any of it, huh??
That's not funny at all! I am so sorry you're going through this--you are pregnant, right? How was last night? We started doing this two weeks ago, and DS sttn again last night (I'm not saying this to make comparisons, just to encourage you that more sleep will come of it eventually.)
post #59 of 83
I have been trying for well over a month to night wean. My lo can go from 10-4 w/o nursing but he still wakes up every 1-2 hours, and it takes even longer to get him back to sleep. So I wonder whats the point? Those who have successfully night weaned do your LO's sleep throuh the night now?
post #60 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by clover View Post
I have been trying for well over a month to night wean. My lo can go from 10-4 w/o nursing but he still wakes up every 1-2 hours, and it takes even longer to get him back to sleep. So I wonder whats the point? Those who have successfully night weaned do your LO's sleep throuh the night now?
We're on our third night of sleeping through the night now. I can hardly believe it. We got 18 mo DS his own twin bed in his own room, and then after a couple nights of my zombieness going in to nurse on the hour as he awoke, I decided to just not nurse from 12-5. I still nurse him to sleep. I let him nurse and nurse all he wants, but more and more I'm noticing that the nursing is keeping him awake! Anyway, i then decided that unless he's really unhappy about it, I won't nurse from after he falls asleep until 5. He's been waking up usually once before midnight, and I just go in and lie down with him, and he goes RIGHT back to sleep. There were 4 nights of tons of crying in the middle of the night but I tried to get right into him before he really woke all the way up, and would scoop him up and rock and say "it's alright" etc. It was hard and pathetic at times, when he would say "bye bye! bye bye!" to my boobs Finally he got down to just needing to be held to sleep with no further crying and now he's just sleeping.
FWIW I also believe in a higher power and I asked for peace and help. That is what I believe really helps us.
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