(HUGS) from one tired mom to another. The subject of night-weaning has been on my mind a lot
lately. My son is 24 months and up until about a week ago, was always an avid nighwaker/nurser. My DH and I were putting together a similar plan to what you mentioned... have him rock back to sleep, etc... and we too, were only interested in attacking one waking at a time.
Strangely our answers came sort of by accident and putting them altogether well, it's starting to make sense! Here's our tale:
Four things have been happening lately that I think have truly helped us:
1. DS has *himself, no help from me* become very attached to one of his stuffed animals... he likes to nurse with him and also sleep next to him.
2. DS I believe has been quite accidentally, teaching himself to fall asleep on his own. Here's how: lately, he's been getting more and more into pretend play. One day, he thought it would be nice to put his stuffed animals down for a nap. It was so fun that he kept doing this day after day. Sometimes in his crib/room and sometimes in DH and I's bed. He'd lay them all out, put on the covers, jump in with them and "pretend" to fall asleep. Of course, no nursing... I thought it was cute and nothing more.
3. Another thing that's been happening lately is during the middle of the night nursing sessions, he doens't have to be all the way asleep for me to put him down. He's groggy enough that if I put him down still a little awake, he's fine to go back to sleep on his own--albeit he is VERY groggy of course, never realyl having woken all the way up in the first place.
4. Lastly, he hasn't been nursing all the way down at night. I've started singing to him while he's nursing (same song over and over) and sometimes he likes it so darned much that he's happy to just rock to sleep while I sing. When he's asleep, I lay him down. Well, last Sunday night, he would NOT fall asleepl (tired, just wouldn't drop off, it had been nearly an hour). This has been a recurring theme lately--taking longer and longer. I just got this feeling like it would be "ok" to lay him down and say night night... I have never felt confident about this before and indeed, anytime I've ever tried, DS has objected in a huge, loud way. But not this time. I layed him down and finished my last chorus of Bah Bah Black Sheep. I put on his covers, tucked in his buddy and brushed his cheek with my hand and said, good-night. He looked at me sort of funny and let out one tiny little protest wimper and that was it. I walked to the door, blew him a kiss and walked out, fully expecting to go back in when he starting crying a few minutes later... he never did!
We have been doing this everynight since but without
the wimper. Last night, I layed him down and he said, "night night!" And then he said, "Buh-bye!"
It was so cute and dare I say, almost disconcerting!
And now of course for the best part. Since he's been doing this, he's only woken up one time per night and one night he woke up twice but he did NOT want to nurse the second time! I have to tell you, in keeping with my son's usual self, this is VERY new!
How are you putting DD to sleep? Are you nursing down? Originally, I truly wanted to come up with a way to continue to nurse/rock him down and then eliminate the night waking/nursings. But I'm truly beginning to think that approaching it the other way around is the answer. I recently had a friend approach things this way with her 20 month old and she has had similar success.
I hope that something here might be of help to you... I am sorry for writing such an epic but sometimes just one thing in an epic post can appeal or help so I didn't want to leave anything out.
I do sympathize with your exhaustion! And I wish you the best of luck!