Nightweaning - here we come!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 11-03-2010, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear ladies,

Thank you for your great advice in response to my previous posts about my nearly 15-month-old daughter's terrible sleeping. I have decided that I am going to give nightweaning a try (properly this time).

I was going to follow LadyCatherine's advice and feed her for a short while when she wakes and put her back in her bed still awake, and when she's used to that slowly reduce the time I feed her more and more until I cut it out completely. Last night I did that and it worked really well - she went back to sleep with minimal fussing. But last night was also one of those nights where she had already woken up 5 times by 3:30. So when she woke again I said "That's it. I'm not feeding you anymore. You can just go back to sleep." She cried a bit at first, then woke up properly, stayed awake for an hour and a half, then got sleepy again, cried for a little bit more and eventually went back to sleep. After 45 minutes she woke again at which point I brought her into bed with me and fed her until we got up.

After last night, I have now decided to take drastic measures. I just can't do it anymore. I feel like I have not slept in 3 years (including the time my son didn't sleep before my daughter was born.). And I now feel ready to deal with the short-term increased sleep deprivation to hopefully get somewhere a bit more manageable soon.

So here's what I'm going to do. I am going to buy her a sippy cup for water, so she can have a drink of water during the night. I will put her to bed as normal tonight. We have a feed on our bed, then we read books in her bed and then she goes to sleep. (We've been doing that for a couple of months now, but she still cries for a bit before she goes to sleep, even with me right next to her rubbing her back.) Then, when she wakes up I will tell her I'm not going to feed her again and put her back down. I will keep doing this until 5am, at which time I can take her into our bed and feed her for the rest of the night. She sleeps very lightly in the early hours of the morning and I don't think I have any chance of her sleeping very much after 5am in her bed while we're nightweaning. I expect there will be a few nights with very little sleep for her or me, but I'm ready to do this. Of course, if I find that she is really not coping and just cries and cries I will stop and try again in a few months time. But I'm hoping I will have the same experience as some of you and find that she takes to it much more quickly than expected. Fingers crossed!

I'm posting this to help me get through the horrible nights. If I feel like giving up in the middle of the night, I can think "No, I have to keep going, so I can report back to the ladies in the forum."

I am so sick of the way being tired and exhausted is dominating my life. I seem to be unable to think and talk about anything other than how tired I am all the time Here's hoping for some better times ahead.

I will let you know how tonight goes.

Love to all,
Juli
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#2 of 16 Old 11-03-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Just wanted to wish you luck. My DD is the same age as yours and I myself recently decided to take drastic action with her sleep after a particularly awful night last week.

I've made half-hearted attempts in the past but due to being tired never really followed through with them. This time is different. I, like you, have my "eye on the prize" and am willing to put up with short term pain (less sleep) to see long terms results.

We've been at the NW for about 1 week and I've seen huge improvements. DD is now falling asleep NOT nursing, and sleeping from about 7 until around 2 most nights. Like your DD, her sleep is quite light from about 4-7 when we get up but overall, I'm please with the progress.

The next phase of my plan is to get her to sleep from her 2 am wake-up until morning but I think that may need to come in time, not sure.

Anyway, wanted to wish you luck. For us it went much better than I expected and I think that it had a lot to do with my attitude this time.
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#3 of 16 Old 11-03-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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We're right there with you too- 15mo DS is going to be nightwean soon come h*ll or high water. I have been doing the early pull-off and he goes back to sleep quickly enough, but he just keeps waking all night and we just can't do it anymore. We also bought him a new full-size bed because co-sleeping is part of the problem.

Good luck and stick with it! There are other mamas suffering right along side you, but we will get through this and SLEEP!

Mum to DS1 7/09 and DS2 5/11

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#4 of 16 Old 11-03-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for the encouragement. I will let you know how it goes....
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#5 of 16 Old 11-03-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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We just started embarking on the nightweaning/toddler bed transition last weekend! i feel bad because we haven't been 100% consistent yet, like last night I was out and when I got home DH & DS were asleep in our bed. It was late and I had pregnancy insomnia anyway, so I just left them there and puttered around for a few hours. By then I was too tired to do the whole "time to get in your bed!" process so I just laid down with them both. I think I need some accountability on this too. best of luck!

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#2 is coming in May 2011! planning for a home vbac.gif
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#6 of 16 Old 11-04-2010, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pleased to report that the first night has gone much better than I expected. I put her to bed as normal, but she took a long time to go to sleep and cried a fair bit. I think she was overtired from having slept so badly the night before. It was 9pm by the time she went to sleep. She then slept until midnight. When she woke up I told her that I wasn't going to feed her, offered her a drink, put her down again and told her to go back to sleep. She only cried for about 10 minutes and was asleep again after 20 minutes. She then slept until 3:30. I did the same thing again and this time she actually didn't cry very much at all. She just lay down and fidgeted for a while until she fell asleep again half an hour later. Unfortunately, 10 minutes later she woke up again and this time she did cry a fair bit, but it didn't take very long for her to go back to sleep, maybe 10 minutes. She then slept until 6:30, which is her normal wake-up time. This part is quite amazing, as she hasn't done that for months. She would normally just nurse and half-sleep from about 5am onwards until around 6:30.

So, having expected to be up half the night with a crying baby, I am very pleased with how it's gone so far. Hopefully it wasn't just a fluke and she will continue to do well. I will let you know how tonight goes.

As a side note, doing this made me realise just how much milk she was still getting during the night, because my breasts were close to bursting by the time she woke up in the morning. Hopefully they will settle down quickly as well.
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#7 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Second night done, and still going well. She woke up a few more times last night, but went to sleep again really quickly with very little crying. So I think, after two nights, the night-weaning itself is going really well, much better than expected. Now I just have to wait and see if it results in longer stretches of sleep.

I'm already feeling a lot better, because even though she's still waking lots, there is a lot less time that I'm spending trying to sleep with her attached to me, which I have always struggled with. I'm not by nature a bed-sharer and am looking forward to having my bed to myself again

How is everybody else going in their night-weaning efforts?
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#8 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 11:10 AM
 
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So glad to hear things are going well for you (better than you expected). Things continue to go well for us. Some nights are better than others but overall her sleep has greatly improved and the number of overall wake-ups in a night has decreased.

Ideally I'd like her to be able to sleep more deeply towards the early morning (I find it's harder for me to sneak away as she seems to need me near her more at that time) but overall I'm happy with the progress we've made thus far.
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#9 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lessmith23 View Post
So glad to hear things are going well for you (better than you expected). Things continue to go well for us. Some nights are better than others but overall her sleep has greatly improved and the number of overall wake-ups in a night has decreased.

Ideally I'd like her to be able to sleep more deeply towards the early morning (I find it's harder for me to sneak away as she seems to need me near her more at that time) but overall I'm happy with the progress we've made thus far.
This is us as well. The beginning of the night, when I'm not exactly tired, is when DS sleeps most soundly and for the longest stretch. In the mornings (around 4-6) I feel like he's attached constantly, and by that time I've usually pulled him into bed with me since DH is off to work. I guess I need to work more on leaving him in his bed at that time, but man it's tough at that hour! I can barely open my eyes!

Lisa mama to Adrian born 3/09 by unnecessarean
#2 is coming in May 2011! planning for a home vbac.gif
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#10 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sh0rtchica View Post
This is us as well. The beginning of the night, when I'm not exactly tired, is when DS sleeps most soundly and for the longest stretch. In the mornings (around 4-6) I feel like he's attached constantly, and by that time I've usually pulled him into bed with me since DH is off to work. I guess I need to work more on leaving him in his bed at that time, but man it's tough at that hour! I can barely open my eyes!
Yup this is our situation exactly. Hoping that the longer we continue with NW this will change.
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#11 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in with a YAY!!! you're doing so well!
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#12 of 16 Old 11-05-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, halfasianmomma!

Lessmith23, I think reading about your experience recently was one of the factors that made me think, maybe it's not going to be as horrible as all that, and maybe I should just give it a go. So thank you.

Lessmith23 and shortchica, my daughter is the same, her sleep gets lighter and lighter as the night progresses. Fortunately for me, so does mine So I don't struggle too much staying awake in the early hours of the morning if I have to. I find being up between when I go to bed and about 3 or 4 in the morning the hardest.

I'm really happy with how things are going. I'm not even thinking "I should have done this earlier", because it feels right at the moment. She seems old enough now to cope with the changes and able to settle herself. If I think back just a few months ago, when I tried to get her back to sleep without feeding her, she screamed and screamed and eventually got so tired that she tried to lie down and go back to sleep, but couldn't. She kept sobbing herself awake again. That's when I gave up and fed her to sleep again. But now she's ready and coping much much better than I expected.

Anyway, I'm hoping tonight will go well. I will report back again tomorrow.

Thanks for all the support.

Love to all,
Juli
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#13 of 16 Old 11-06-2010, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Night 3 has gone reasonably well. She went to sleep fairly easily, slept for 4 hours, was up at 1 and didn't sleep very well between then and 3, and then slept well again until 6. Again, she was fairly easy to resettle, and didn't cry much. I could even lie her down again and lie down in bed myself, without her getting upset. Every so often she would lift her head and I would say something soothing which would be enough to make her lie down again.

I would say we are well on the way to night-weaning. If things continue like this and she doesn't get sick anytime soon, we should be fine. Now I just have to wait and see whether her sleeping improves overall. I'm feeling hopeful though

I will stop reporting daily now, because things are going so well. I might report back in a week or two to let you know how things have gone.

Love to all,
Juli
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#14 of 16 Old 11-09-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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#15 of 16 Old 11-10-2010, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lol.gif  How did we ever communicate before smilies?

 

We're having a bit of a setback. We're all a bit sick at the moment, so things have gone backwards a bit. She has been quite unsettled the last couple of nights and has started asking for milk during the night and crying quite a lot. So I've given up for the moment. I still try to put her back to sleep without feeding, but if she gets too upset, I will take her into our bed and feed her. Having said that though, last night she only woke up for the first time at 2:30, which is really great. And once we're all better I'm quite confident that it won't be too hard to get back into not feeding her until the morning.

 

I was feeling so much better after a few nights of only getting up twice, but of course now that I'm sick too I'm not feeling so great  greensad.gif

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#16 of 16 Old 11-14-2010, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had to give up for the time being. There is no point while she's sick. She just cries and cries until she vomits. So we're back to feeding almost constantly all night and I'm completely exhausted again, but I'm hoping that she gets better quickly and we can try again.

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