Originally Posted by bluedaisy
Thanks so much for your reply, mama! We are officially starting tonight - this past week has been awful, I don't know if my supply dropped because of this pregnancy but she has been nursing 1-3 hours nonstop in the middle of the night. when i try to stop her, she will either toss and turn until she wakes up or sleep for about 5 minutes and then wake up again.
DD did this too when I was pg with DS! I'm sure it was the milk supply dropping. It was HORRIFIC for me. Like a PP, we started offering food/water at night when she woke, assuming she was hungry/thirsty. She never took us up on it, though, which led us to believe she wasn't really hungry. We also introduced a bottle of cow's milk at bedtime, though, and this seemed to help quite a bit with avoiding the loooooong nursing sessions at bedtime or in the middle of the night. She stopped taking the bottle after DS was born and my milk came back in. Now she nurses to sleep again, but not for hours.
We were able to successfully nightwean using the dark/light outside methodology -- Jay Gordon was too complicated and didn't work for us when we tried it, but she may just not have been ready. (We tried it first at 15 months -- she spent three or four nights in hysterics, most of the night. Talk about sleep deprivation!) When she was a bit older (about 18-20 months?) we just started telling her that mama's milk is for when it's light outside. This seemed to work. Right now we're in a backslide on nightweaning, in part because of the tandem nursing, and in part because I'm getting over mastitis and was trying to nurse every couple of hours to help it heal, so I "slid" on the nightweaning for a few days. We're getting back on the bandwagon, though: she's totally old enough (25 months) to understand the concept of nursing only in the daytime. But understanding and acceptance are two very different animals... *sigh* So I feel your pain, OP! I think it's a really good idea to start the nightweaning process now, while you still have some time to work out the kinks.
Oh! One piece of advice. I STRONGLY recommend, if you have a co-parent, to have that person take over as primary nighttime caregiver at this point. We found that with DD, nightweaning improved her sleep somewhat, but she still continued to wake 1-3 times at night asking for me. We intended to transition him to be the nighttime parent, but somehow we never got around to it (read: DH could never find a time that he was willing to go through the 3 wakeful nights of screaming that it would take to get her to accept him as nighttime parent). It was exhausting, and in my 3rd trimester it made me angry and resentful of her AND DH all the time. And once DS was born, it was especially difficult. Whatever you can do now to avoid going through that, do it! It will probably be hard on everybody for a few days, but it will make a huge difference in a few months when you can sleep through the night and send your partner in to care for the toddler.
ETA: hahaha! Talk about sleep deprivation; I just basically wrote the same post in two different threads, both of whom were responses to the same OP. Sorry about that; as you can tell, I'm not at my best!