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Night weaning a 2 1/2 yo

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My little guy starts the night in his own bed. then anywhere between 1 and 4am, he comes into mine. most nights it's closer to 1am. he screams when dh even tries to go get him to bring him to me, so having him lay with him is not an option, plus i'd rather not sleep on the couch. it's hard for me to turn him down, because then he'll fuss and start to yell and dd is 5 and already a TERRIBLE sleeper, so we do all we can to keep her asleep.
i have tried talking to him about letting "num-nums" sleep and he can have it in the morning. that worked for 2 days, but we started a backslide. his allergies are really starting to bother him, so now is probably not the best time to start, but when i do, i'd like a bunch of ideas to try out. tia!!
post #2 of 5
When we did it, I told DD that day that she wasn't going to have milk during the night anymore and when she awoke (we coslept) for it I refused. I offered water, cuddled her, etc but no nursing. I kept explaining that she could have milk when the sun came up. She too would not have accepted DH so I never separated from her. After 4 or 5 nights she was sleeping all night or when she awoke she would put herself back to sleep. DD was 28 mos, btw.

There were tears and a lot of anger for those 4 nights but she was ready for it, so no hysterics. I was committed to doing it. I think if they feel that you are wishy washy it will be a lot more difficult. But if she had been hysterical or the upset lasted too long, I would have reconsidered my plan. I didn't have to, it worked out well. It was not sound-free, so I don't know what to suggest about that with your DD.

We backslid a couple weeks later bc DD had a cold and when she was well we had to go through the 4 night thing again, but then that was that. Since then if she's been sick we've occasionally nursed during the night but she didn't expect that to continue.
post #3 of 5
DS was in a similar situation to yours, he is still a bad sleeper, comes into bed with us anytime between 1 and 4am too, the way we worked it was to wait until the alarm went off and then i set it again for about 15 mins, then that was his time to nurse from7am to 7.15, then we got up and ready for the day, take dd to school etc - it worked for us - so much better than 'wait till the sun comes up' which is great in the winter but in the summer - especially when we visit family in Scotland it really never gets dark so this really wasn't an option for us!! lol
post #4 of 5
Your child is old enough for you to explain the plan when you're ready to implement one. Telling him the plan ahead of time, whatever you decide on, such as "no nums nums until the alarm goes off/when the sun comes up", should help. I agree about not being wishy-washy but being willing to adjust the plan if the protests are very strong. Can your husband put him to bed at the beginning of the night? Then he might not be as resistant to seeing him again during the night?
post #5 of 5
Wow - I am right there with you. DD2 just turned two. Starts the night in her own bed, moves to ours between 11pm and 1am. Won't let DH put her down or get her or soothe her at night. And DD1 is 5 and is a terrible sleeper so her sister's middle-of-the-night conflicts about getting to nurse wake her up.

I could have written your post. In fact, I came online this morning to write this post!!!

I did try sleeping in my older DD's bed so that DH could try to soothe DD1 and get her back to sleep without seeing me. That woke all of us and within five minutes every time DH was in DD1's room WITH the screaming 2yo telling me I was needed. This happened 5+ times a night!!! Poor DH does not have the stamina for night weaning!!

Here's what I'm trying: First, DH is *finally* starting to be able to put DD2 down for the night. He did it successfully a couple times. Now he's backsliding. He just gives up. If she's almost asleep and then re-wakes he's done, doesn't want to try any more and brings her out of the room, into a light, noisy room, to come get me. BUT I think he'll get better at that and in the process he'll learn that that can happen in the middle of the night too. I'm thinking of spending one evening a week in a local coffee shop. That way DD1 will know having me there isn't an option and, frankly, DH will know there's no back-up too.

Second, DD is good about understanding when I tell her just one more minute to nurse. So at night I've been saying that. Then I pop her off after a minute. She's been latched on pretty much all night recently so even this, even if I have to do it seven times a night (which happened last night), is a huge improvement and will get her used to sleeping without the nipple in her mouth.

Third, my 5yo many nights will go to sleep with a cd of music playing quietly in her room. It is one of the many tricks we've been trying to help her sleep. But I think that if I put the cd on repeat, and it plays all night, that might help with the screaming episodes. It isn't ideal, but hopefully this won't be a long process!!!

I'll be watching here for advice, too. I need any I can get. I'm desparate to get some real, uninterrupted sleep. Right now, even two hours of straight sleep sounds like an impossible luxury to me!!! I haven't had that in FIVE years (note issue that DD1 doesn't sleep well).
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