I'm going to document our daily progress on our night weaning journey in a hope that it might give me some clarity and possibly help another family. Input and support are always welcome. :)
Background: Our DD is 22 mos. At 15 mos she was diagnosed with severe anemia and we immediately started her on various iron supplements trying to improve her iron levels. She has been a horrid sleeper. We have only had one night where she slept for a 5 hour stretch and I woke with a start fearing that she was dead. On rare occasions, she has slept for 3 even 4 glorious hours at a stretch. Those were usually few and far between. Our current waking schedule is her waking to nuzzle/nurse every 45min-1 hr. We cosleep and I am physically and emotionally breaking down, depression set in a long time ago and I battle it every day. I also have a son (almost 12) from a previous life, and do not have the energy to spend time with him. My marriage is suffering.
DH and I have decided that we must do something. It is possible that a food sensitivity is causing the wake-ups, I cannot physically function and so we have to try night weaning.
I will update this thread after each night, posting our progress and setbacks and ramblings, as they come to me.
Night 1: DD is not interested in sitting still for books so we turned down lights and quieted the house, brushed our teeth and wiped down our faces, got dressed in pj's and walked around with DD on my hip saying good night to everyone and all the animals. I was talking to DD about how now it is dark outside and that soon we will all be going to sleep. Daddy will sleep, Mama will sleep, Harley will sleep, doggies will sleep, kitties will sleep. The moon sleeps too. K will sleep and so will ner-ners. In the morning, when it is light out, K can have more ner-ners. DD nodded in agreement like she understood but I'm sure that she was just going with the story.
I nursed DD down to sleep and she was out by 9:30. I stayed up reading on night weaning, discussing our plan of action with DH, and looking for other inspiring success stories. Bedtime for me was around 11:30 but I had a hard time falling asleep because I was nervous about what was to come. Finally drifted off around 12:15 or so, I'm guessing.
DD wakes at 12:30. I tell her no, ner-ners are sleeping. She goes into full meldown hysterics, screeching and screaming, arching her back, kicking my legs, flinging her arms around, for over an hour. I work my best calm voice telling her that it's night and ner-ners are sleeping, like doggies are sleeping and daddy is sleeping. Do you want some water? No! This is repeated over and over again. Somewhere around 1:30, DH says that we might as well put away her sippy cup since she's just flinging it around and puts it up on the nightstand. DD melts even more screaming for her cup. After a few minutes, DH gives her the water, she takes it, starts sucking on it and starts to quiet down a bit. She finally aquiesces around 2, lays still enough to calm herself, occassionally taking sips of water. She drifts off.
DD wakes again at 4, I think. I'm thinking that there were 2 solid hours of sleep in there. This time, the hysterics aren't nearly as severe and she quiets in about 10 minutes, sipping her water and gluing herself to my side. She drifts off again.
DD wakes again at 5:30, I think, but it's still dark out. She asks only a couple of times and doesn't go into hysterics, just a little bit of whining/crying. She's back out in a few minutes.
DD wakes again at 6:30, it's light out, so she gets ner-ners. I talk to her, telling her that the sun is out so the ner-ners are ready to give her some milk.
Night 1 was both worse and better than I was expecting. DD has been a bit more subdued today. Not quite as fiesty but with huge bags under her eyes. In spite of the huge amount of sleep loss, I actually feel not horribly, if that makes any sense. Although last night was not good, it was better than being woken up every 45 minutes. All. Night. Long.