I am in the early planning stages to nightwean my daughter. Right now she is only 11 months, but I want to have a good idea of what the hell I'm doing when I try and implement this plan in a couple months. I've read up on numerous strategies, mostly Dr. Gordon and also Dana Obleman's "Sleep Sense." I'm not ambitious enough to think that she'll all of a sudden start STTN, but I would like to start sleeping for longer stretches. Currently, she wakes up about every 1-2 hours to nurse. She starts her night in her crib next to our bed (around 7:30), but sleeps with us from about 12 until morning (which, for her, is usually somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30am).
My main question is this: I work 40 hours/week. She goes to daycare three of these days, and my husband stays home with her the other two days. I hate working so much because I only get to spend quality time with her for a few hours in the evening (between 4-bedtime). Is it just totally unrealistic for me to even think about nightweaning? I've read a lot about how children of working mothers need that night nursing so much MORE because they don't get it during the day (she takes 2 bottles of expressed breastmilk while I'm working). The LAST thing I want nightweaning to do is speed up the general weaning process. I LOVE BREASTFEEDING and so does she. However, I would still like to get some solid sleep. I feel like a zombie most of the time.
ANY ADVICE from other Mom's who have nightweaned? Especially working moms? I need some wisdom here!
Thanks in advance!
subbing. I'm returning to work at the beginning of April and have the same questions you do.
DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.
I went back to work part time when my son was 12 months. For about 6 months, both my partner and I worked part time so one of us could be home with our boy. We decided to nightwean (no nursing from 11 pm to 5 am) using the Jay Gordon method when he was 15 months. While we did see some improvements, he never slept through the night and still needed cuddling to fall back asleep.
At 18 months, we all went back to work full time and our son started daycare. But he was sick ALL THE TIME, nothing serious but he had trouble sleeping and we felt that breastfeeding during the night was the best way to make him feel better.
He is now 2 and not so sick anymore. I decided it was time to nightwean again. Some night are good, others, not so good. However, I noticed that he went through phases. When we nightweaned the first time, he would sometimes wake up very frequently for various reasons: teething, overtiredness, milestones such as walking, etc. And some of the best night I had (with the longest uninterrupted sleep stretches) was when I was still breastfeeding, so it really depends on your little one!
Also, since you seem to be pumping, I would not worry too much about your milk production. It will probably go down if you nightwean but at a certain point, your daughter may nurse more for comfort than for the actual milk…
Hope this helps a little and good luck!
maputna! thanks! that totally DOES help. i figured it would be a wild ride, as is parenting in general.
also assured to hear (and don't take this the wrong way) that your son was also so affected by daycare. when my daughter started (at around 8 months), she was sick ALL THE TIME, too. but now she seems to have moved on (hopefully;)
i'll also try dr. gordon's method and see how that works for us.
thank you SO much for chiming in! i was beginning to think no one else out there worked!