Finally going to attempt nightweaning - advice please!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 05-30-2011, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is 2 1/2 and has slept through the night one time in her entire life.  I've thought about nightweaning for a long time but to be honest it just seemed like too much work to loose even more sleep for a few days while she adjusts.

 

But now I'm pg with #2 and i really need sleep, so I'm going to attempt it starting this weekend.

 

What do you recommend?  I've read the Jay Gordon method, but I've also heard about just telling her mama's "mia" has to sleep at night, so she can have some as she's falling asleep and when it's light outside but not when it's dark.

 

The second method seems a little more drastic since I'm having her go the entire night without bf, whereas the Jay gordon method starts with only 4 hours.  However, it seems like the gordon method would be harder for dd to understand - she can understand light and dark and the concept and my boobs going to sleep, but she can't understand the concept of time - so it might be confusing if I give her bm when she wakes up at 11, but then not when she wakes up at 3.

 

What did you do?  Was it successful?  Any tips?  Getting a full night's sleep seems like an impossible dream!!


Loving wife to DH and buddamomimg1.pngmama to DD (11/08) and DS (2/12)

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#2 of 8 Old 06-02-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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My son is the same way, has only slept a full night on 2 occasions!! We started night weaning when he was 18months because every time he woke up that's of coarse what he wanted.  It was really starting to wear on me.  So we started doing the 4hours, then 6, and so on but it really didn't seem to work for us.  We started talking to him in the day about it, letting him know that when it's night night "nana's" goes to sleep too and he can nurse in the morning.  After a few weeks he gave up the tantrums and has accepted that he can not nurse at night.  He still wakes up around 1 a.m. but we can shhoosh him back to sleep,  then he'll wake up around 5-6ish, I'll nurse him and we'll sleep for another couple hours. 

I've also had to set boundaries when we nurse because he likes to play with the other nipple and switch constantly, this drives me crazy!!  So he knows he'll be all done if he doesn't stop.  I nurse him when we get up for the day, usually before nap and then of coarse before bed.  He knows nursing is for at home, although sometimes he still gets mad at me for not nursing right then and there. 

This has not been easy for any of us.  I still wish I was more strict and consistent but there are times like when he is sick and he needs to nurse more and that totally throws things off for a good week, then we have to deal with the night tantrums all over again!  But I think that is just how it goes. 

I don't know if any of what I have said will help you but just wanted to let you know you are not alone!!  I am hoping DS will be ok with weaning by his 3rd birthday, I am ready for that milestone!

 

Good luck to you!

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#3 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

 

I'm so tired and I know the sooner we do it, the better because it will just get harder as I get further along.  We've been talking about it for a few days but I am expecting many nights of crying but I really just need some sleep.  I am also concerned that if I'm so sleep deprived it could affect my immune system which could affect this baby.

 

Wish me luck!!


Loving wife to DH and buddamomimg1.pngmama to DD (11/08) and DS (2/12)

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#4 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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I forgot to mention that we always have a cup of milk for our son.  Sometimes he doesn't want it and will just go back to sleep but other times he will gulp it down and then go back to sleep which leads me to believe that he is hungry or thirsty.  I've been told to not give anything because then he will keep waking up expecting to get something rather than just learning that there is nothing to wake up for.  We tried that approach and it didn't work, it's much easier to just have a cup of milk waiting rather than dealing with a screaming toddler who is probably hungry.  I myself get hungry in the middle of the night and sometimes need a midnight snack so I felt terrible withholding that from him not really knowing if he was hungry/thirsty or not. 

Anyway, it's probably good that you are getting the hard part out of the way before you are further along and more uncomfortable!

 

Good Luck Mama!! 

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#5 of 8 Old 06-03-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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I night weaned my daughter when she was 20 months. She was waking about once in the night and would nurse to go back to sleep. The first night I picked her up hugged her and put her back in the crib and held her hand. She cried and I hated it because I had never let her cry it out before. I stayed with her the whole time holding her handing and rubbing her tummy. After about 30 minutes she stopped crying and went back to sleep herself- this was huge! I didn't expert it-the next night she woke up and cried for five minutes- I did the same, I never left her. After that she slept through. She still wake us every now and then but is happy for me to sit and hold her hand until she falls back to sleep. Good luck!

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#6 of 8 Old 06-04-2011, 11:56 PM
 
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My dd#2 night woke every 2 hours til she was 2.  I feel your pain!!  Motherwear.com's blog just reviewed a children's book on nightweaning actually.. could help! The book is called Nursies When the Sun Shines...www.nursiesbook.com


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#7 of 8 Old 06-05-2011, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies...the first two nights went surprisingly well.  The first night when she woke up I told her it was dark outside and mama's mia was sleeping, and she said ok and laid down to go to sleep.  But then she tossed and turned for about 20 minutes and then started to cry and ask for mia, and she was awake for almost an hour before she finally fell asleep.  She didn't wake  up again until it was light out.  The first thing she said when she woke up is, "it's light outside!"

 

Last night was great - she only woke up once int he middle of the night, came into bed with us and fell asleep in about 10 minutes.

 

She's 2 1/2 so I think it's easier for her to understand the idea of only nursing during the light - but it's only been two nights so she still might protest in the next few nights, but I'm hoping things will continue to go well.

 

I love the idea of a book that explains the concept - what a great idea!


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#8 of 8 Old 06-06-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

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! 


I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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