I had a grand plan that I was going to stop nursing him to sleep at night tonight. We have been talking about it for a couple of weeks, reading the fantastic new book Sally Weans from Night Nursing, and combined it with a change in my work schedule where I will be coming home an hour earlier so I can have more QT with him before bed. DS was totally on board and saying he wanted to do it. The plan went great today until bedtime.
Well, we had our night nursing in our special chair. When he was nice and relaxed but losing interest in nursing because the milk was gone, I moved him into his bed. He had an absolute and utter meltdown. He was crying and coughing so much his shirt was soaked and I thought he was going to cough up a lung. He was clawing at my shirt. He just looked so hurt and foresaken. After 30 minutes of this, I knew I didn't have it in me.
I was desperately trying to come up with some way to let him have it but to save face and keep a shred of credibility. Finally, I proposed a compromise. I said we would do 5 minute shifts -- 5 minutes of nursing and 5 minutes of trying to fall asleep without nursing. He nodded ecstatically -- deal deal, he said. Until I set the timer for 5 minutes. He started crying again and saying, no, I will say when I am ready to fall asleep without booboo! I set the timer, debating what in the world I was going to do when it went off. Well, it turns out he fell asleep within 5 minutes anyway. He was utterly exhausted.
So. There simply has to be another way but I cannot for the life of my figure out what it is. I don't think I have it in me to let my son cry like that. Can that possibly be healthy? But my husband needs me too. I am at a loss.
I wish I could hope that at the magic age of 4 he would just grow out of it and merrily jump into bed on his own. But I have memories of my own mother laying with me for ages trying to help me fall asleep, and I am not sure that was good for my own independence or her relationship with my father. I think kids need a nudge toward independence, I guess I am just wondering if the fact that it was so hard is a sign that I am doing it too young, or does it have to be that way?