I have been searching books and the web for help, but as it seems my situation is a bit unique, I am finally posting.
My DD is 16 MO. I am 25 weeks pregnant and have had milk supply issues starting around 10 weeks. DD was really frustrated at first, but quickly adjusted and was still happily nursing for the most part. However, recently, she has decreased feedings significantly and now I think my milk is completely dried up (because of the self weaning or possibly the reason for the weaning).
She has always nursed to sleep for naps and night time, and also been a very frequent night nurser.
Now that she is not interested in nursing, bedtimes have become a nightmare and night wakings as well.
She will still sometimes nurse to sleep for a nap, and nurse a bit in the middle of the night, but it is never pleasant for either of us and often results in DD crying/fussing/angry. We have also had major sleep issue which is DD waking up for two hours in the middle of the night.
I read NCSS and sadly found I was already doing many of the solutions to no avail.
This is how our nights has been:
6:30 - bathtime, night time routine (lotion, books, bottle of goat's milk, try to nurse, ect)
7 - tired, co-operating with routine
7:30 - angry, fussing, crying, don't know what to do (neither of us)
7:45 - fall asleep from bouncing/rocking exhaustion
after this, she can sleep till around 12-1 which is pretty good (i think), but then it's every hour fussing and tossing wanting to nurse but hating nursing, then finally around 4am she is up awake and nothing can put her to sleep till 6.
Sorry if this post is all over the place, but I am so tired.
I need help:
1. how to put her to sleep without nursing (obviously, because she does not want to) and without bouncing because i am so physically tired (25 weeks preggo here and totally sleep deprived)
2. how to help to stay asleep (i think this will fall into place one she learns how to sleep on her own??)
Like I said, i've tried and/or continue to use Pantley's methods but for one reason or another they are not working for us.
I need anything different to try.
We co sleep and i've also introduced a mattress on the floor next to our floor mattress which she has been doing well in, but it's been musical beds too. so i can't really leave to room (for safety) but dont mind being in there while she falls asleep, i just dont know WHAT TO DO.... PLEASE HELP!!!
ps. I know some don't consider it "self-weaning" if its during pregnancy. frankly i don't care what it's called - she isn't wanting to nurse anymore so that is that. no need to comment on that.
I too was able to communicate with him. How is your dd language comp? If she understands quite a bit she may understand you when you tell her no more milk but instead when she wakes up at night fluffy the bunny is here( obviously this is an example) to snuggle and help put her back to sleep. My son after a week or so stopped waking in the middle of the night because I think he though what is the point if there is no milk. He did start waking up much much earlier in the morning so we had special books waiting for him to read( for me to read) .
This sounds really frustrating and exhausting for you and I am sending you hugs and hope this transitional phase ends soon mama!!!!
Well, I'm going to comment on the self-weaning comment! If she doesn't want to nurse, for heaven's sakes don't make her :D It's all good. No judging.
I have six, from 11yo down to 15mo and 34 weeks along, so I know, I so totally know how you are feeling. My first two were only 15 months apart. The oldest was my clingy mama's boy that could never quit nursing when the milk dried up and he ended up tandem nursing with his baby brother. That experience is what I'm going to draw from...
When I could no longer nurse him to sleep, I would do a bottle and rock in the rocking chair and sing and read stories and as soon as he would fall asleep, I would put him in his crib and he would wake right up. Miserable. What we did after that was just watch movies until he fell asleep and then we would cosleep. When he would wake up, I would offer a bottle or sippy cup (water or something, I can't remember what was in it) and he would refuse it. Eventually, after several crying nights, he figured out it wasn't worth the effort to wake up. If we did have a wake up and he wouldn't settle back down...back out to the TV I would go. My husband would wear little orange earplugs so he could sleep.
It will get better, I promise! My 11yo has no memory of our struggles and is more likely to say, "Why didn't you just let me cry instead?" Stinker!
I know its three weeks later, which can change a lot. I was in exactly the same boat with my DS when I got pregnant (I'm now 5 months and he does not want mama milk anymore, period.). He went through a kind of mourning period about nursing, much like you describe. He was a frequent night-nurser and tried a lot to get more milk out of me. He cried and seemed angry and woke often, always disappointed. I eventually offered water after he pulled off to stop nursing and, eventually, he took it. He was used to drinking a lot of liquid at night. Eventually this changed to me offering and them him saying no/him asking and then right away changing his mind. The hard part does end!
For going to bed, I ended up lying with him and talking about the day or talking about things being sleepy (things outside, bears in caves, anything that seemed peaceful and repetitive). I would rub his belly. This took a while, compared to nursing. Now it takes less time and I don't have to tell a story I made up. I can read one and just lie with him and rub his belly. We also have a dark room with white noise. I don't know about your kid, but DS would probably find rocking and bouncing pretty stimulating at this point.
Hang in there! It sucks to have to give up nursing, for the both of you. I wish I had it back. You will find a way and he will adjust.