Full Night Weaning After Jay Gordon Method? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-03-2013, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, all! The Jay Gordon method worked beautifully for us, but as its purpose is to get a solid *seven* hours of no nursing at night, I am wondering how parents went forward with complete night weaning after this. My 19-month-old is still nursing to sleep, usually stirs once in the seven-hour period and is really easy to settle (I basically just shush her or spoon her slightly more), but then needs to nurse at least twice after the seven hours. She's getting less needy at this time, but she's often very cranky at the last nursing session in the morning and desperately trying to stay asleep. It seems like this would be very difficult to drop. Any tips? Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 14 Old 03-04-2013, 09:40 AM
 
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Sounds like you're doing well and individualizing my advice to work for your family.

Know I picked 11:00 PM-6:00 AM? Because those are MY favorite hours!
Could there possibly be anything wrong with changing this a little or even "breaking the rules" a little with a comforting cuddle in he middle of the night? No!
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#3 of 14 Old 03-06-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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I used a modified Jay Gordon approach with both my children who were horrible sleepers. I started with low expectations, aiming to simply eliminate the first nursing session of the night. My DH took charge of the rocking and cuddling at this first waking. Pretty quickly, my sons starting sleeping through the first waking and then we would tackle the second waking in the same manner. My husband was a bit of a rock star with the whole process. I would always go into nurse if it wasn't working out. So, for about the first two months of night weaning, I would nurse on demand from about 2am onwards. Then after about another two months, we had completely night weaned, simply using the same method of DH trying to soothe DS back to sleep. If DS became inconsolable, I'd go in. My 4 year old is an awesome sleeper now and he nightweaned completely by 14 months after we started at 12 months (so I guess it didn't take as long with him). With my now 17 month old we started at 11 months (I know! a No No, but I was a mess and since it was so modified, I felt comfortable with it). I had completely night weaned him by about 15 months.

 

Just because they were night weaned DID NOT mean they STTN. They didn't and don't. However, my DH was able to manage all night wakings from that point on. So it was a relief for me, and it did truly help reduce their number of wakings.

 

One more cautionary word - both my sons weaned completely soon after night weaning. Since nighttime was when they did most of their nursing, they simply stopped altogether. I probably could have tried harder to keep them going, but it just felt like I was forcing them.

 

It sounds like you're doing great and I would cherish those early morning nursing sessions. Unless you're wanting to wean him and then, just slowly start using delay tactics/ other forms of soothing.

 

PS I haven't been on here in forever - I used to live on here with DS1 - how cool is it that Dr Jay Gordon posted!
 


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#4 of 14 Old 03-07-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, a response from the great doc himself! Thank you so much for taking the time to write here (and for detailing your method on the website, of course). I don't take issue with having to cuddle her in the middle of the night (in fact, that's not even breaking your rules). I don't mind nursing her to sleep at all. I'd say I don't mind the drawn out nursing in the morning, either...but it usually is a bit stressful. She is so upset almost every morning because nursing isn't letting her go back to sleep. I wish she would just wake up happy! I'm pregnant with #2 and that is why full night weaning is on my mind--not only to get her more independent before #2 arrives (we are toying with at least having the *option* of having her sleep on a separate mat beside us), but because my milk supply is already so low. Also, it seems like if she didn't rely so much on the morning boob, she'd actually be able to sleep longer on her own. For the past several days, she seems to be waking up prematurely/too early. Thank you for for response as well, Louisep! My babe is not accepting DH's assistance in getting her back to sleep right now, which is weird, because I hardly have to do *anything* to settle her most times at night, and there were many periods in her life where she preferred him to get her down. But we'll have to try to shake things up in some way if we want to lose that session. I'm happy you accomplished what you wanted in night weaning (ultimately fully weaning) your own littles! Full weaning is not a worry because, as I mentioned, I'm prego. She has already cut down on her nursing *so* much since the pregnancy started, I am also sure she'd fully wean if she were completely night weaned...there just wasn't enough supply for her demand!
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#5 of 14 Old 03-16-2013, 04:09 AM
 
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Dulcette, have you tried changing things yet?  I posted another thread on this topic before I saw this one.  I'm trying to completely night wean my 22 month old.  We have had no success in getting him to sleep beyond 4 or 5 am.  Often even if we do nurse then it's such a big amount of milk that it actually wakes him up more.  I don't think he is ready to get up at that time, he always has slept about 10 hours at night when he was nursing all night and now he is getting 8.5 or 9 and seems really tired in the morning.  Let me know if you have any success, I'd love to hear what worked!

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#6 of 14 Old 03-18-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dulcette, have you tried changing things yet?  I posted another thread on this topic before I saw this one.  I'm trying to completely night wean my 22 month old.  We have had no success in getting him to sleep beyond 4 or 5 am.  Often even if we do nurse then it's such a big amount of milk that it actually wakes him up more.  I don't think he is ready to get up at that time, he always has slept about 10 hours at night when he was nursing all night and now he is getting 8.5 or 9 and seems really tired in the morning.  Let me know if you have any success, I'd love to hear what worked!

 

Haha, nope. :)  She is less likely to be frustrated or to demand a prolonged pre-wake-up nursing session now...but she also hasn't been sleeping more than 10 hours (and usually closer to 9).  We've decided first to tackle her commitment to operate on a 26-to-28-hour-in-a-day schedule, because maybe if she's sleeping at the same times every day, that'll help regulate everything else.  I don't know of anyone else who has such a crazy problem (and we're so used to it that I didn't even bother referring to it in this thread 'til now)!  Sorry I can't be of more help. I hope you get good replies to your thread!

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#7 of 14 Old 03-30-2013, 08:09 PM
 
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I'm having the same problem - my 16 month-old has gotten much better getting back to sleep without nursing since starting Dr Gordon's method about 3 weeks ago, but by around 4am she can't seem to fall back asleep without nursing. Often she doesn't make it much past 3am. And from then on until we get up for the day (around 7:30am) she nurses every hour. Even if I could regularly make it to 5am I'd be happy (for now!). I try and hold out as long as I can but about 10 minutes after she quiets down she'll start back up again and on and on until I finally cave and nurse her. 

I nurse her completely to sleep at 7pm and she usually wakes once or twice before I come to bed at 10pm and I nurse her at those times, too (just for a few minutes each time which gets her back to sleep). From 10pm to 3 or 4am she wakes a few times but with a little "shhh, sleepy time" she goes back to sleep right away. So, like MamaGill I am hoping for any more tips on the topic :) 

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#8 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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Interesting, we are experiencing exactly the same thing. I posted a thread about our difficulties, and my baby is 18 mpnths old. We've been night weaning for about three weeks now. At first night weaning went beautifully with very little crying, and we had several instances of sleeping through til the sun was well up. Then in the second week my son started waking up frequently and getting super mad when I'd try to help him resettle. He would get harder to resettle (the crying spells would go longer, and/or he'd fall asleep only to wake in a few minutes and start all over again) as the night wore on. But that 4am wakeup was the really killer one, so I quickly decided that our no milk window was going to have to be 9:30 (bedtime) to the 4am hour. He has been eating a lot more food and my instinct was telling me that he was hungry at that point...the larger issue i think is that the 4am wakeup is a deeply engrained habit and when he wakes enough to realize he's hungry then he does not want to resettle. My hope is that if we stay the course he will be able to make it longer and longer. But i can live with it as i already feel SO much better than i used to. Last inight he made it to 4:30am with zero wakeups, nursed again around 7:30 and then we were up at 9. I somehow expected this to be more of a linear process where things get progressively better. I should probably know better! My first two slept consistently through after a week-10 days of night weaning at around the same age, so I guess my expectations were too high!
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#9 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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I did this method when my DD was around 2. Started out with 7 hours and quickly moved from there to 10.5-11. It was life-changing. I would nurse her to sleep at 7 and then not again til 5:30 or 6. She slept so much better and so did I.

 

Every time I got to the point in our nursing relationship where I'd say, "This sucks, I need to wean," I'd look at what was bothering me and work on that individual problem, and keep nursing. That's how we made it to almost 3.5 years of nursing. :)
 

ETA: Note that I did this with a 2-year old. I wouldn't recommend it for a child younger than 18 months or so. My DD was ready and I was determined, so that's why it worked.


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#10 of 14 Old 03-31-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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I feel the same - I think the 4 am waking is part habit part hunger. She isn't a big eater so breastfeeding is still her main source of calories. For that reason I have been hesitant to move too quickly with night weaning but, like you said even getting a relatively undisturbed window of 5 hours has given me a new lease on life and is leaving me hungry for more smile.gif
It helps to hear others with similar situations and to be reminded that, like you said, nothing is ever totally "linear" in the world of parenting. I guess I just wonder when I start feeling confident her 4 am thing is more habit than hunger, if there is anything special to break that habit. Maybe I need to be more patient though and it'll happen when it happens?
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#11 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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I guess I just wonder when I start feeling confident her 4 am thing is more habit than hunger, if there is anything special to break that habit. Maybe I need to be more patient though and it'll happen when it happens?
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#12 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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I'm not sure...I just know that I've seen my other two quickly start to sleep longer, And also much more deeply, after starting nightweaning. So I hope that he will be able to sleep through longer as we go on. That said, last night was a bad one! He woke at 2am and decided he had to have milk. I knew he was well fed and hydrated. He was furious that I wouldn't nurse him and actually started yelling mama in this horrible voice and tried to rip the blankets off me. I have never seen any behavior like that before and I was very distressed. I ended up soothing him back to sleep only to have him wake again, over and over til 4am when I nursed him and he slept a few hours. Nothing like being awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night to get the week off to an excellent start. smile.gif If he didn't have those nights where he sleeps great all the way through til 4:00-6:30am I would give up and say he's not ready but he does seem to get it. I wish I knew what was interrupting his sleep the other nights.
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#13 of 14 Old 04-01-2013, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an update on my little one: she's stopped the desperate nursing in the few hours before wake-up and usually doesn't nurse much at all at night now. I didn't coax her into giving up her nursing (or change anything), so I thought this might give some of you some hope. I'm sure my milk supply has kept dwindling, though...
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#14 of 14 Old 04-17-2013, 06:10 PM
 
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i have had my 10 month old fully night weaned (10 hours)for a full month now. of course westill have had nights where we got off track and had to regroup but now she knows what is expected. i let her nurse in the morning so we all get a little more sleep. it makes her much happier to rest a little more and i sure dont mind it. my dd is very calm amd easy to redirect so i am sure thats why its worked so well.
on the other hand i think after tryi g everything under the sun with my ds the only thing i fou d that workedwas being firm and consistent. i carry that wisdom with me the second time around.
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