Help help please - night weaning - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd is 22 mos and we're starting night weaning. I need my nights back. We decided the smoothest thing would be for dh to take over nighttime parenting entirely until she understands she can sleep without nursing.

Two days ago we told her all day long that papa would be putting her to sleep and nursies would be gone after the bath. Then we had the usual bath where she got to nurse and I then went away. Papa did pjs and books and she was chill for about a half hour, then started flipping out for about 2 hours, finally falling asleep around 10:30. She woke at 2, dh took her to pee, and she took about an hour to fall back asleep - a full hour of flipping out.

Yesterday, the same - all day tried to prepare her by telling her she could have book reading and cuddles with papa but nursies would be asleep. She took only about an hour to fall asleep but then woke at 3 and screamed until 6 when it was light out and I finally went in to nurse her.

Today she skipped her nap so maybe it will go more smoothly?

So first, should we just skip the bath altogether so dd and dh can establish a completely different routine, or should we keep the bath so there's more normalcy?

How much full on screaming is ok like this? Both of us are pretty miserable - feel like we're torturing her even though it's not CIO since dh is with her and comforting her the whole time. We're thinking two or three more nights like this mean we should reassess, but should we try a little longer?

Help, tired and frustrated! We're losing sight of the possibility that we may actually be on the road to success tight now, it feels like we're just wandering through the woods.
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#2 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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I don't know what to tell you because I suck at night weaning. Just wanted to offer a hug. It's so hard. We gave up but are ready to try again this weak.

I know in your shoes I would give in with that much crying but you have to trust your instincts. Hope tonight is better!

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#3 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hope tonight is better!
thanks, us too!
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#4 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 07:30 PM
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We are not there yet but the following plan was recommended at the lll meeting I was just at. It's meant to be gradual and compatible with the family bed. Hth!
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
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#5 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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I definitely know what you're talking about. Night has been horrible lately and we're not even really doing this! DD has been waking up NON-STOP and I'm about to lose it!

We've tried a few times putting her back to sleep by sicking and patting her on the back... while she screams her head off. I've always just given in and ended up nursing her (normally she wakes up so much she asks to go to the bathroom and then after that I just put her to sleep nursing). We really have no clue what to do at this point but are very miserable!
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#6 of 33 Old 10-09-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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Sfcmamma- thanks for posting that link! I especially liked this quote:

Quote:
If only we could explain to him that “tired moms and dads take their children to the park a little less and that children of well-rested parents get to go the zoo and for hikes a lot more than children of exhausted parents.” If that explanation only made sense to kids somewhere before the third birthday (and it doesn’t!) they would simply roll over, say, “See you in the morning,” and let us get the sleep we want.


I think that sounds doable for us and I'm going to try it!
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#7 of 33 Old 10-10-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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Dd is 22 mos and we're starting night weaning. I need my nights back. We decided the smoothest thing would be for dh to take over nighttime parenting entirely until she understands she can sleep without nursing.

Two days ago we told her all day long that papa would be putting her to sleep and nursies would be gone after the bath. Then we had the usual bath where she got to nurse and I then went away. Papa did pjs and books and she was chill for about a half hour, then started flipping out for about 2 hours, finally falling asleep around 10:30. She woke at 2, dh took her to pee, and she took about an hour to fall back asleep - a full hour of flipping out.

Yesterday, the same - all day tried to prepare her by telling her she could have book reading and cuddles with papa but nursies would be asleep. She took only about an hour to fall asleep but then woke at 3 and screamed until 6 when it was light out and I finally went in to nurse her.

Today she skipped her nap so maybe it will go more smoothly?

So first, should we just skip the bath altogether so dd and dh can establish a completely different routine, or should we keep the bath so there's more normalcy?

How much full on screaming is ok like this? Both of us are pretty miserable - feel like we're torturing her even though it's not CIO since dh is with her and comforting her the whole time. We're thinking two or three more nights like this mean we should reassess, but should we try a little longer?

Help, tired and frustrated! We're losing sight of the possibility that we may actually be on the road to success tight now, it feels like we're just wandering through the woods.
It's been years since I did the night weaning thing, but I have a couple of thoughts. First, I wouldn't talk about it all day. To me it seems like that would build it up as something to be stressed about. I'd just say it again at bedtime, or even not say it and just let daddy put her to bed as he has been doing.

Another thing is that I remember trying a few times to night wean my son before I was successful. I'd try for two or three nights, and if he was really resistant then I assumed he just wasn't ready. I'd try again in a few weeks. When he was truly ready, it was really easy - maybe one night with a bit of fussing. At 22 months I'd think your daughter was developmentally ready, but if she's still really resisting it after a few more days of trying I would consider holding off for a few weeks and then try again.

Jordana, mama to almost 8 year old Evan, 3 year old Atticus, and 1 year old Tabitha - my gifts from heaven

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#8 of 33 Old 10-10-2010, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. Looks like we are going to take a short break. DH is just not mentally up for being screamed at for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night every night. Putting her to bed is not so bad, it's the putting her back to sleep that she has such a hard time with.

Part of the problem is that we EC. So she's very used to peeing with me, while she nurses, on her little nightstand potty. She's unused to peeing in a diaper or getting up to pee. So when she wakes up and really needs to go, he tries to hold her over her little potty, or to take her to the bathroom or outside, but she will only go about half the time. Then she's mad because she has to pee, and she's tired, and mama's not there. I'm not against putting her in a diaper, but it doesn't seem like that will help very much.

I think pausing for a couple weeks is a fine idea, so that's what we're going to do. We might slow down and do the approach in the link from the above post, not sure. DH needs a couple days to recuperate.
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#9 of 33 Old 10-10-2010, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone. Looks like we are going to take a short break. DH is just not mentally up for being screamed at for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night every night. Putting her to bed is not so bad, it's the putting her back to sleep that she has such a hard time with.

Part of the problem is that we EC. So she's very used to peeing with me, while she nurses, on her little nightstand potty. She's unused to peeing in a diaper or getting up to pee. So when she wakes up and really needs to go, he tries to hold her over her little potty, or to take her to the bathroom or outside, but she will only go about half the time. Then she's mad because she has to pee, and she's tired, and mama's not there. I'm not against putting her in a diaper, but it doesn't seem like that will help very much.

I think pausing for a couple weeks is a fine idea, so that's what we're going to do. We might slow down and do the approach in the link from the above post, not sure. DH needs a couple days to recuperate.
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#10 of 33 Old 10-10-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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I night weaned DD around 8-10 mo, can't remember exactly but before she turned one I think (OMG I really can't remember can I!). What I did was to still nurse my DD at night but shorten the nursing time each day. It worked well because she still got to nurse and we weaned gradually, rather than just stop cold turkey or (worse yet IMHO mommy doesn't even come!). She did only nurse once per night, though, usually around 3-4am. At first I would time how long she would nurse, which was around 10 minutes. Then next several days, I would unlatch her at 9 minutes. The next few days, unlatch at 8 minutes and so on. She was not out cold but still relaxed & satisfied enough to go back to sleep. It got to a point where I would just hold her without nursing and DD would go back to sleep & DD STTN pretty consistently. Of course later on if she got up when she was sick or teething or whatever, I would nurse her, even though she was technically night weaned at this point. I'm not sure same approache will work for you since my DD was much younger than yours but maybe worth a try? I generally believe in doing everything very slowly and gradually with my DD so that's been our experience.

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#11 of 33 Old 10-11-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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I know you said you're taking a break for a bit but just wanted to mention that it never worked for DH to take over night-time in our house. DS would just ask for me, and/or get really upset that I wasn't there. (DH had never done the night-time stuff though, so it really was a switch for us).

Anyway, we did a similar thing as MamaPhD (athough DS was your DD's age) of shortening the nursing sessions and counting down to "all done" each time. DS definitely seemed to be more agreeable to unlatching if I didn't just arbitrarily decide he was done (think it appeals to their toddler independence).

I also made it a point to tell DS that he could have as many cuddles as he wanted in place of mama milk, just in case he percieved it as me pushing him away in some way.

Good luck!

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#12 of 33 Old 10-11-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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Hello. Fellow ECer here to mention that you might try skipping the nighttime pee. Somewhere around 20months DS stopped wanting to be held to pee (while nursing or not) during the night and was able to go all night without peeing, although we have not nightweaned. Best of luck finding a solution that works for your family
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#13 of 33 Old 10-11-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I loved the Dr Jay method. Its how I nightweaned my DD.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years
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#14 of 33 Old 10-11-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I just nightweaned my 12 month old a month ago. I can't deal with the being there but not nursing so I let Dh handle all the nightime parenting now. I also stopping nursing ds to sleep in his room at bedtime. Now I nurse him in the living room and dh takes him up to his room and rocks him and snuggles with him. If he wakes up dh will again rock, snuggle, sing, offer a cup of milk etc...
If he wakes up after 5am Ill nurse him. ( he goes to bed around 630 pm) The first night was hell. He screamed for like 45 min straight and then settled down. The next few nights weren't nearly as bad. Now most of the time he is fine. He will just snuggle up and go back to sleep. YOu are right ITS NOT CRY IT OUT. She is with daddy. My best advice would be to stick with it and she will accept it eventually. I'm not sure about the bath.. I guess it depends how important it is to her. But let daddy develope his own ways to sooth and comfort her etc. Dh doesn't put ds to bed the way I do but thats okay. Night weaning is so hard but I am always so glad when they sleep all night. Its sweet relief!

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#15 of 33 Old 10-12-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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As I mentioned before we gave up the first time. It became evident that she (and I ) weren't ready. We are currently trying again. Just a few weeks have gone by but it is already going so much smoother! I'm doing the Jay Gordon method but now when I tell her to finish up, nu-nu's go night night she whimpers a little and falls asleep. The first night when she said "please Mama, nu-nus" I almost caved! (who wouldn't!) but I stuck with it and we are doing well. I'm taking it really slow. I'll probably wait several more days before not nursing at all. We'll see how that goes.

Also... I know that DH would not help in this situation. She loves her Papa but she does not seek him out for comfort. For 20 + months I have been there for her throughout the night and I feel that she needs to know that I'm still there. This is probably not the case for every kid but mine would FLIP OUT if Papa was there instead of me.

I hope that the next go around is easier on all of you! It's such a hard thing sometimes but when our littles are ready it should go smoother.

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#16 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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Good luck OP! My DD also completely freaks out if DH ever showed up for her bedtime routine. We had a short period of a few months around 15mo when she was OK with either me or DH putting her down, but now, no. freakin. way!

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#17 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD now wakes up and asks for papa...but if she doesn't also get mama (and, more importantly, nana), she freaks out.

I'm not doing well with this today. Last night she nursed to sleep just fine, but then woke in the middle of the night (no idea what time...4?) and was nursing almost violently. For a LONG time. She was tweaking my other nipple and nursing and tweaking and nursing and I was getting more and more impatient and finally just said NO MORE NANA right now and of course she freaked out. So DH took her for a little bit and I went away until she calmed down. Then I went to give her more nana once she was calm, and it was slightly less violently imposed on me but she still would NOT delatch and go back to sleep on her own, even after peeing, until basically 7:30.

This is an unteneable situation for me. It turns me into an unhealthy, mean mother. I tried to bring her to the big potty this morning and when she didn't want to sit on it (even though I was pretty sure she had to go bad), I was forcing her to sit on the potty. That's when I put her down on the bathroom floor (as she freaked out), went and got DH, and went back to bed for 25 minutes. I didn't sleep, but at least I had some time to myself where my nipples weren't being messed with.

Maybe we'll try the Dr. Jay method. I've got to do something...I can't keep this up, I hate that I don't LIKE her when I "wake up" in the morning after being mauled for the last 2 hours or however long it's been.
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#18 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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For some reason I wasn't going to post this but reading your last post I'll definitely share.

We did the Dr. Jay method and as reluctant as DD was to give up night nursing (it was easily 6 days straight of loooooong tantrums during the night)(DD was 20 months old), the method pretty much worked and by the time we had to travel for my job, DD could go 2 of 3 nights waking and putting herself back to sleep with NO intervention from us, but then 1 of 3 nights having a tantrum and then going back to sleep.

But THEN we had to travel. Long story short, DH insisted I nurse DD in the middle of a night on this trip, I told him it would set us back, he insisted, and I did. Then nursed her at night for the rest of the trip, and when we got home and tried Dr. Jay again... she was like "Oh no, I get it now, and I'm going to throw TRIPLE TANTRUMS for TRIPLE TIME to prevent this weaning thing!"

We tried again and it just didn't work, it was too exhausting. I think the Dr. Jay method is great and does work, I just think we did too much damage by backsliding.

I guess it's the following part I almost didn't post, but in desperation (which it sounds like you're in now) I called a friend in another state and did a phone consult with the sleep trainer she used. This woman is a child psychologist as well as a specilialist in infant and toddler sleep issues, and it was SO interesting what she had to say (which kinda can go against the idea of trying... then delaying if they don't seem ready... then trying again... and delaying again if they don't seem ready).

What she basically said is, my dd has been wonderfully loved and taken care of and has never needed to really truly test her comfort boundaries and figure out how to console herself. That's a wonderful thing for the most part, but at her age (2 yrs now) and moving towards the 3s, this consultant said that if she hasn't learned how to soothe herself in some ways and take care of her own comfort to a degree by 3, we're in for some much more difficult times after that. Basically her point: developmentally it's a key and good time for dd to learn that she has the ability to be pushed past her comfort level into new territory, and find her own way to comfort.

She gave me what amounts to a 14-day routine to do with dd, which includes a lot of repetition and processing both at night and the next morning. It's got a lot in common with Dr. Jay in terms of it works in stages, you don't just throw her in the crib and shut the door, it's stages and after some success you move to the next stage.

And she put it bluntly: it's gonna be rough for both of us. But I'm not hurting dd, and the tantrums she was throwing before are normal in these situations, and she's gonna throw more. But she's gonna be ok and hopefully even better for it when it's done.

She said it's like working out: you can't walk into the gym and start bench pressing 200lbs cuz you're going to tear muscles. But if you take it slow and condition yourself, yes you'll be sore as you keep pushing yourself within a healthy boundary, but it's the "good pain" that shows growth. Bad pain that shows injury is really bad, and we don't want that. In sleep training, this can be done in a way that it's good for your child if you really need to do it and your child can benefit from learning from this too.

This woman (and many like her) has amazing rave reviews and the couple of people I know who used her said their kids actually seemed HAPPIER and slept better once they really got into their routine.

So that's all to say... I encourage you to try Dr. Jay's method cuz it worked for us, but be careful not to backslide. Once you start you need to try to stay committed to it, because backsliding is painful for all involved! And it is rough at first, but we got there and you can too.

I know many here who do AP (and I consider our family AP) may be horrified at the idea that there is any such thing as "good pain" (not actual pain, but good challenging/stretching that is hard) for a toddler. I understand that this isn't for everyone, but given OPs posts, I had to share our experience, because dd did seem happier and slept better with the first round of Dr. Jay.

We start the new sleep method tonight... wish us luck, it's gonna be a long 14 days!!!
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#19 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks very much...pm'ing you
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#20 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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Just replied, hope it helps!
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#21 of 33 Old 10-13-2010, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the kind words. Very helpful!

I know we need a plan and to stick to it. In the middle of the night when I'm like "I can't take this anymore, we need to nightwean NOW," it becomes this sort of half-hearted thing, and she cries and then I end up nursing her, and I KNOW I'm setting us back but I'm totally stuck in that moment.

With the helpful thoughts in mind that we are not depriving her of nutrition, that we're assisting her on her way to self-soothe through other times, and that it's actually a good thing to set boundaries, I think we can continue in a few days, probably using Dr. Jay's method.

I'm not sleep deprived but I do dread night time. Our bedtime routine typically takes an hour and a half, with about 45 minutes of nursing to sleep. Of late DD has been nursing for at least an hour in the middle of the night. We try hard to give her lots of nutritious food all day, but I still worry that she's just hungry. I try to make sure she's gone to the bathroom right before bed, but I still worry that her tummy is making her agitated.

Honestly I think she just doesn't want our routine to change. And that's sad, but something has to shift here, because I don't want to dislike her, or yell at her in a weak moment. This early early morning I was biting down hard on my pillow and screaming into it to keep from flinging her away from me after she'd been pawing at me for over an hour. Not good!

I'll update whenever something changes.

Thanks again ppl.
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#22 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I nightweaned both of my kids around that age. With DS I needed to be there. We hugged and kissed and sang and all that but I didn't nurse under any circumstances.

With DD she was not settling down at all so I moved out of the room for 3 days. She did much better with just DH.

The key for us was my confidence. I was fully weaning both times (had already day weaned) so failure was not an option. I was calm and focused and knew that they'd adjust . I don't think they'd have adjusted as quickly as they did were it not for my confidence. I think children need to feel safe and they won't feel that way if they can pick up on your uncertainty, YK?

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#23 of 33 Old 10-15-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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A small example of what you're saying D McG happened for us last nite. 2 nites ago I started our new nightweaning program - when dd woke up and started her tantrums when she realized I wasn't taking her out of the crib, she tossed and turned and threw herself around and cried and screamed... it was awful and heartbreaking BUT... I had the confidence and certainty that we needed to do this and that she'd be ok in the end, plus I knew what I needed to do.

So last nite was the 2nd nite but 1st for DH being present. She woke and was only like 5 min into her tantrum before DH was like "I can't stand to see her like this, let's just pick her up" and he started to pick her up. I said firmly "No!" mainly because that's what happened when we'd almost successfully weaned her before and then we travelled and DH got self-conscious about her crying and insisted I feed her. But also, he wasn't as prepared as I was this time, or as determined.

So what was so interesting was this: DD is definitely a mama's girl, almost always wants me if we're both around, and always goes to me for comfort if she's upset and we're both around. But last night she only went to DH, only called for him... it's like she KNEW he was uncertain but knew I wasn't gonna give her what she wanted, so he was her target. Not that I think she's that totally conscious, but it was noticeable that she only went to him when that's never the case. So I agree, I think the certainty, confidence, and COMPASSION for how hard this is for our babes and us, all that helps make this as successful as possible.
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#24 of 33 Old 10-18-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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...and was nursing almost violently. For a LONG time. She was tweaking my other nipple and nursing and tweaking and nursing and I was getting more and more impatient and finally just said NO MORE NANA right now and of course she freaked out.

...at least I had some time to myself where my nipples weren't being messed with.
I say this gently but there are ways to teach her not to tweak or "paw" at you (as you put it) if that is really what is bothering you about nursing. But I'm not sure as to your motivation(s) for weaning so that may or may not be what's needed.

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#25 of 33 Old 10-18-2010, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by curiouscanadian View Post
I say this gently but there are ways to teach her not to tweak or "paw" at you (as you put it) if that is really what is bothering you about nursing. But I'm not sure as to your motivation(s) for weaning so that may or may not be what's needed.
Agree. I never allowed that, ever. I treated it like they were putting their hand on the stove. They learn pretty quickly that if they want to nurse they'll keep their hands to themselves.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#26 of 33 Old 10-19-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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I definitely found that the key was not getting DD out of the crib. Also, that first time I tried, I was convinced DD was starving hungry by 4am, so I would nurse her once 4am hit. Since then, she has been drinking more cow's milk. This time around, I'm surprised she won't drink the cow's milk even when she knows there are no na-nas. I guess she wasn't really hungry after all, and the loss of the 4am feed means she is sleeping 2 HOURS LONGER! Weird...
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#27 of 33 Old 10-23-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Hi I just wanted to give a quick suggestion. I haven't yet attempted to nite wean my daughter, but did it with great success with my son when he was about 13 months. All I did was at nite when he would wake to nurse, I would first allow him to latch and then a few seconds in I would gently slip my pinky finger into the side of his mouth. For him, he did not like this. He couldn't get a proper latch and would get frustrated. After 3 nites, he gave it up on his own. Looking back, I didn't even plan to wean him. I had just returned to work and could no longer handle the constant waking at nite. So one nite, when he woke me to nurse it just happened by accident. I never even thought about it ahead of time. I knew if I tried to withhold the nursing, he would freak out so somehow I got it in my mind that if I made nursing still available, but un-attractive to him, he might ditch it. All that being said, my daughter is very stubborn and I don't know that it will go as well with her. The last few weeks when she wakes me I let her nurse a bit and have then stuck my finger in and she does give it up. But I've only done this after she's had a good few minutes on and then I just want to go back to sleep already and do this to get her to stop. I might try in a few more weeks to go full off as I might be returning to work soon.
Good luck!

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#28 of 33 Old 10-23-2010, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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quick update - we are 3 nights into Dr. Jay and last night was definitely an improvement over the first two. I'm not sure I'm ready to move on to phase two, which is supposed to happen on night four, so we might do one more night of phase one. But so far so good.
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#29 of 33 Old 10-23-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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I have just read through this whole thread. My nights are almost the same as OP. My DS is 22mo. Bed time is about 8pm with a nursing and then to his crib(once he's asleep). He will wake anytime between 11pm and 6am with the average being about 4am. If he wakes before 4am and I bring him to bed with me he will usually go right back to sleep with no "nu nu's" but 4am or after he's demanding it. Sometimes he does ask for nu nu's earlier and if I say no he will have a tantrum if I let him he sometimes falls asleep but often time he starts getting squrimy and flipping and flopping all over then is ready to get up in an hour or so. I'm not ready at 5am or earlier to wake up. If I can hold off till 5am to nurse then by 6-6:30 we will get up and I'm ok with that. It's the flopping all over and him using me as a pasifer and then there is also the rubbing my chest and wanting to poke by belly button that drives me nuts!!! My DH sleeps in another room because he does not like sleeping with DS but my 11yo DD sleeps with me and when DS starts screaming it wakes her and she will not go to her bed (does not want to be alone). I may get the book you all are talking about and just tell the family that we are going to have a rough few nights untill DS knows that he can sleep with out nu nu's.
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#30 of 33 Old 10-23-2010, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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savyjoel, fyi it's not a book, it was a link to this site: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html, which has a good solid plan. A good book is the No Cry Sleep Solution, and I think the Dr. Jay plan basically follows the things that Elizabeth Pantley, the author, talks about as gentle tactics for getting your baby to STTN. But she doesn't give a step by step guideline so much as many suggestions, so I like Dr. Jay, it helps me in the middle of the night to know exactly what I'm "supposed" to be doing. Otherwise I'd just get befuddled and go back to nursing, kwim?
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