Any great advice or tips for a co-sleeping Mama who is ready to night wean her 19 month old?
I've tried this a few times already but can't get past the wee hours (3-4am). I have a water bottle and give him a drink, then pat back to sleep - but if I am doing that - why not just nurse him? (my thoughts).
The idea of my partner taking over is an option, but he doesn't really want anything to do with her at night.
Thanks in advance -
If you don't mind nursing, then I would just keep on doing it, but the idea is that if they learn to go back to sleep without boob then you can stretch the length of time that they stay asleep out. It's not really that you immediately start to get more sleep. I've been turning down my co-sleeping 19 month old at 3 am and if he asks for water, I give it to him, otherwise I just tell him they're asleep and he needs to go back to sleep too. This is the first age that this approach has worked. And by worked I mean the first few times I had to rock him and hold him and now, 2 weeks later, we're at the point where I turn over, tell him he can't nurse right now and he should go back to sleep and put my arm around him for 5 minutes. I'm hopeful that we'll transition to just me telling him, then eventually he won't wake up at all. I relent at 5 am (which means we've been nursing from 5-7 am) but plan on adding more time to that when I feel like he's ready/not working on his 2 year molars. I have also started having my partner put him down for naps on the weekend so that they both can get used to the idea and feel confidant that he CAN go to sleep with Papa. I'd like to eventually not be the only parent he feels can comfort him in the night.
It sounds like you're already on your way to nightweaning, it will just take a little while. If he'll go back to sleep with water and some patting, then the idea is that gradually you can reduce the patting over time until eventually he doesn't need it. So you will get less sleep at first, and I know it's hard to make yourself stay awake doing something that's harder work than just lying down to feed, but it should pay off in the end as you won't need to pat at all. At least that's the theory.