Has anyone done Dr. Jay Gordon's nightweaning plan? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 193 Old 02-14-2008, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are planning on starting it tomorrow night for our 13-month-old DS. I would love to hear about others' experiences with this... How long did it take? How bad was it? Anything you'd do differently?

Also, his plan says to pick a seven-hour window and to wean during that time, but I'm wondering if it's possible to try for the whole time (from when he first falls asleep to when he wakes up in the morning). Friends of mine who've done other methods (gentle ones, not CIO) have had success in their LO sleeping that whole time. Also, I feel like just doing the seven hours might be confusing to DS - let's say my window is from 11pm-6am and DS wakes up around 10:30pm, so I nurse him, but then when he wakes up around 2am, I don't... couldn't that be sort of confusing to a baby, like, sometimes it's okay at night and sometimes it's not?

Thanks for any help or insight you might have
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#2 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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I had planned to use the technique Dr. Gordon outlines on his website! A friend of mine sees him as her dd's pediatrician and she asked about this technique at one of her visits. He basically said that it works, but cold turkey works faster. So we ended up just going cold turkey one night. It was a rough night, I'm not gonna lie! We chose 11-5 (not even the recommended 7 hours) and fed him if he woke up before 11. But when he woke up around midnight we just kept saying "it's time to sleep, we'll eat in the morning". He cried and fussed for nearly 2 hours (in bed with dh and me, of course). The next night he fussed for about 45 minutes. And since then he's slept just fine! Now, he goes to sleep around 8ish and doesn't wake until 5. I feed him his bottle and he goes back to sleep for another 1.5 to 2 hours.

HTH!

Marcy, mama to Asher (8 yrs) and Kaia (6 yrs)
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#3 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I did it successfully with my then 16 month old. Somehow, it just worked. She'd been waking up hourly to nurse prior to that.
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#4 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had planned to use the technique Dr. Gordon outlines on his website! A friend of mine sees him as her dd's pediatrician and she asked about this technique at one of her visits. He basically said that it works, but cold turkey works faster. So we ended up just going cold turkey one night. It was a rough night, I'm not gonna lie! We chose 11-5 (not even the recommended 7 hours) and fed him if he woke up before 11. But when he woke up around midnight we just kept saying "it's time to sleep, we'll eat in the morning". He cried and fussed for nearly 2 hours (in bed with dh and me, of course). The next night he fussed for about 45 minutes. And since then he's slept just fine! Now, he goes to sleep around 8ish and doesn't wake until 5. I feed him his bottle and he goes back to sleep for another 1.5 to 2 hours.

HTH!
Thanks for the reply! Dr. Gordon is also my ped, so I've emailed him to see what he thinks about us trying to expand the window. It makes sense that going cold turkey would work faster - good for you for having the guts to stick with it. I just don't know that I have the stomach to hear DS fuss for that long. But then again, I don't know that I have the stomach to NOT get sleep for another year, so maybe I need to keep that in mind! And that's awesome that your DS sleeps for the whole stretch! When your DS was fussing, was he trying to get to your boob? How did you fend him off from that?

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Originally Posted by HollyRhea View Post
I did it successfully with my then 16 month old. Somehow, it just worked. She'd been waking up hourly to nurse prior to that.
Thanks for the hope! I really am a bit freaked out by doing this since we have never done anything like this with DS. I'm hoping that, like you said, it just works.
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#5 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Do you have a link to this "plan"? I am on his web site now and finding lots of great stuff, but I don't seem to find exactly what you are talking about.

We have a 13-month old who went from sleeping from 9-5, nursing for a bit and then sleeping until 8, to a baby that gets up every 2-3 hours to nurse. This all came after a series of bad ear infections, growth spurt and hititng some milestones (walking, crawing), so I know she is going through a lot, but we are wiped. We have read and tried Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" and she has lots of great tips, but it just seems like such a long process. I am just looking for some other ideas to come up with a plan that works for our family.

Do you cosleep as well?
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#6 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you have a link to this "plan"? I am on his web site now and finding lots of great stuff, but I don't seem to find exactly what you are talking about.

We have a 13-month old who went from sleeping from 9-5, nursing for a bit and then sleeping until 8, to a baby that gets up every 2-3 hours to nurse. This all came after a series of bad ear infections, growth spurt and hititng some milestones (walking, crawing), so I know she is going through a lot, but we are wiped. We have read and tried Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" and she has lots of great tips, but it just seems like such a long process. I am just looking for some other ideas to come up with a plan that works for our family.

Do you cosleep as well?
Here's a link to the plan - scroll down to the lower part of the page...

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp

Yes, we co-sleep. And I am flip flopping on if I want to do this or not. Last night, DS slept for 6 hours straight (we haven't started the program yet), so now I am wondering if he's slowly going to get there on his own and we don't need to give him a shove. But then what if tonight he's up another 4 times like usual? Then I'm going to be frustrated that we didn't just start it. Ugggh, I'm so torn.
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#7 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SuperMarcy View Post
I had planned to use the technique Dr. Gordon outlines on his website! A friend of mine sees him as her dd's pediatrician and she asked about this technique at one of her visits. He basically said that it works, but cold turkey works faster. So we ended up just going cold turkey one night. It was a rough night, I'm not gonna lie! We chose 11-5 (not even the recommended 7 hours) and fed him if he woke up before 11. But when he woke up around midnight we just kept saying "it's time to sleep, we'll eat in the morning". He cried and fussed for nearly 2 hours (in bed with dh and me, of course). The next night he fussed for about 45 minutes. And since then he's slept just fine! Now, he goes to sleep around 8ish and doesn't wake until 5. I feed him his bottle and he goes back to sleep for another 1.5 to 2 hours.

HTH!
Jay is my dd's pediatrician as well and honestly I cannot imagine him saying that to ANYONE. He is soooo careful of his advice when it comes to sleep and young children.

To the OP it is my understanding that the method Jay outlines is very good and works. Personally I don't think you have gone this long avoiding all the tears to just push your child too fast. Please realize I am not saying all crying is bad.... just try to not allow yourself to look for the quick fix out of desperation and lack of mommy sleep!

I would suggest following Jay's plan with the window suggest and that you will find your child will naturally extend it. (I know this is true for several families I know!) Also if the night nursing is the issue you can contact Cythia Epps thru the Pump Station in Santa Monica and she has a plan for night weaning that seems to be well respected. Good Luck!

Sorry I have no personal advice my dd sleeps wonderfully & even though she still nurses thru the night (and sometimes naps too) it does not seem to wake me at night. My issue is the times she seems to sleep best are soooo late.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
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#8 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Jay is my dd's pediatrician as well and honestly I cannot imagine him saying that to ANYONE. He is soooo careful of his advice when it comes to sleep and young children.

To the OP it is my understanding that the method Jay outlines is very good and works. Personally I don't think you have gone this long avoiding all the tears to just push your child too fast. Please realize I am not saying all crying is bad.... just try to not allow yourself to look for the quick fix out of desperation and lack of mommy sleep!

I would suggest following Jay's plan with the window suggest and that you will find your child will naturally extend it. (I know this is true for several families I know!) Also if the night nursing is the issue you can contact Cythia Epps thru the Pump Station in Santa Monica and she has a plan for night weaning that seems to be well respected. Good Luck!

Sorry I have no personal advice my dd sleeps wonderfully & even though she still nurses thru the night (and sometimes naps too) it does not seem to wake me at night. My issue is the times she seems to sleep best are soooo late.
Hello fellow Dr. Gordon-ite! I know what you are saying about not looking for the quick fix, BUT... it is the lack of mommy sleep and desperation that is pushing me to even consider this method. My DH and I are adamantly against sleep training, so this is a huge stretch for us. In fact, when we met with Jay for our 1-year appt., he brought it up - night weaning - but I wasn't interested then because I wasn't THIS tired (and sick). I guess if someone told me that DS would start STTN (or close to it) in three months, I would just hang on and wait it out. Three months will be here in no time. I just don't want him to be two years old and still waking and me a walking corpse. And, what if DS is really ready for this and it only takes a few semi-easy nights? If only I had a crystal ball, right?!
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#9 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 08:24 PM
 
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We did this recently with our 17 month old. I wasn't sleeping well nursing all night long and would wakeup with a backache in the morning. And it went very easily, actually. When i nursed him and unlatched him before he was in a deep sleep, he was unhappy. I scooted him to his daddy for snuggles, he cried for a minute and fell asleep. He wasn't willing to give up his 4 or 5 a.m. nursing, so he nurses from 4/5 until we get up at 6:30 or 7. It was a good compromise though. He is now sleeping peacefully between us from 10 or 11 until 4 or 5. So much better!

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#10 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by milkydoula View Post
We did this recently with our 17 month old. I wasn't sleeping well nursing all night long and would wakeup with a backache in the morning. And it went very easily, actually. When i nursed him and unlatched him before he was in a deep sleep, he was unhappy. I scooted him to his daddy for snuggles, he cried for a minute and fell asleep. He wasn't willing to give up his 4 or 5 a.m. nursing, so he nurses from 4/5 until we get up at 6:30 or 7. It was a good compromise though. He is now sleeping peacefully between us from 10 or 11 until 4 or 5. So much better!
Thank you, thank you for this positive story! So, did you do the 7 hour window or is your DC sleeping from when they first go to sleep to that 4/5 feeding? And, how many nights did your DC wake up upset? It sounds like just one night - could that be?!
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I did it with my ds, who was 2.5 at the time I think. I followed it for the first 6 days, but didn't/wouldn't have done the next step (which is "don't pick him up or hug him"). I decided I wasn't going to take away the cuddling to sleep any time soon.
We had 3 nights of crying, shorter each night. After that, he pretty much slept most of the night, with maybe one waking very close to morning time.

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#12 of 193 Old 02-15-2008, 10:51 PM
 
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I night weaned my daughter when she was right around two. I looked at Dr. Gordon's plan, but ended up doing things a little differently, and just thought I'd share our experience.

We waited until it was summer and the nights were shorter, and then told dd that "mommy milk" was "sleeping" once she went to bed until the sun came up, and that she could nurse in the morning (since the sun came up around 5, it wasn't too long a span). We did this because I felt it was an easier idea for her to understand than a random time like 11pm. I just imagined it being confusing to her - "why when I wake up sometimes can I nurse and sometimes I can't?" The sun up being was an easy thing to go by.

We talked about this with her through the day, and we told her this again before she went to bed. We still nursed at bedtime, but she wasn't going to sleep at night nursing. (Our sleeping arrangement was this: she started the night in her bed in her room, and if she woke up while we were still awake, either DH would walk with her or I would nurse her. If we were in bed, she came in to bed with us.)

The first night was hard. We would remind her gently that mommy milk was asleep and would sing and rock with her. One of us was up with her most the night. The next day, I was talking with a friend, and she said they had just night weaned their LO, and they made a rule that they weren't going to get out of bed (the co-slept full-time). They just held her and calmed her down in bed. This sounded better to me, so the next night we did this, and it was much easier. By the third night, she wouldn't cry at all when we said mommy milk was asleep, she would just cuddle in with us.

So really, it ended up being much easier than I thought it would be, with the exception of the first night.

I have to say, what I didn't like about the Dr. Gordon plan was the progression of putting down awake and then not picking up. For me, that has nothing to do with night weaning and more to do with modified sleep training, which isn't what we wanted to do.
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#13 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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Thank you, thank you for this positive story! So, did you do the 7 hour window or is your DC sleeping from when they first go to sleep to that 4/5 feeding? And, how many nights did your DC wake up upset? It sounds like just one night - could that be?!
Sorry, that was the reader's digest version, i was holding a sleeping baby

Here is the scoop: Our arrangement is that i nurse him to sleep at 7 and put him down in a crib in "his" room. When he awakens (usually between 10 and 11) he comes to our room and sleeps with us. Our seven hour window was from 10 to 5. He doesn't really wake up before ten much anymore, so in essence, our window was really 7 to 5. The first four nights, he would wake up, i would nurse him, unlatch and scoot for snuggling with daddy, and he would fall back asleep usually in under two minutes, never more than five. The first 3? nights he woke up around 10 and 1 and we would do our thing. I realized in the first few nights that his 4, 4:30ish nursing was very important to him, he didn't fall back to sleep easily, so that was our compromise. So our nights have looked like this recently: Nurse to sleep at 7 in his own room, wake up between 10-11 and come into our bedroom, and then asleep until his four (sometimes 5) a.m. feeding.

I guess we kinda did a modified version since he was so laid back about it. We never really did the "pick up and hug" (well, except when we carry him to our room), we kinda snuggled him back to sleep (and still are, if he wakes briefly at night). But he doesn't wake up upset.

I think that we just hit a really good window of opportunity for him... previous to this, we were battling chronic ear infections and teething, so it wasn't really a good time until now. He seemed to take to it easily, so i think he was ready.

Good luck with your little one!

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#14 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 01:04 AM
 
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We nightweaned at Christmas time. I was in your situation, cosleeping and just going nuts from sleep deprivation. PMS on top of it all is what decided me. I thought about Dr. Jay's plan and even attempted it the first night, but such is my dd's personality that I figured it would just be ticking her off over and over (at each stage) and it would be easier if it was just one change in routine. She was 19 1/2 months then. She was upset that she couldn't go to sleep at the breast at the beginning of her night and pretty upset at her first wake up. After that she was quite easily soothed by me just being there and singing. I would have picked her up and cuddled but she has never been into that for sleeping (bf was the only important part of the nighttime routine for her). After that, it went very smoothly, very little upsetness and we saw an improvement in night wakings immediately. She had been waking every hour to hour and a half, all night, every night, for the previous YEAR.

I think it is easier to understand a change like this if other more concrete things also change. I had to give up cosleeping for the time being because my snoring and moving wakes her up (then she wakes me up). So I took away the futon mattress we had been sharing and replaced it with her (until now completely unused) crib mattress on the floor. She can climb out of the crib, soon it will be converted to a toddler bed. I also brought a chair into the room to sit in and breastfeed. So the nighttime routine changed to clean up, bath, read books, nurse IN CHAIR (rather than laying down with her). Then I would tell her or she would decide herself when to get down off my lap and go lie down. If you cosleep, you could change the orientation of the bed or switch sides with your dh or something to show the "new" routine.

AND after about 3 weeks, she started forgetting to nurse as part of the routine, so clearly she is not starving in the night. I also make sure she has some protein and whole grain as close to bedtime as possible.

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#15 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by milkydoula View Post
Sorry, that was the reader's digest version, i was holding a sleeping baby

Here is the scoop: Our arrangement is that i nurse him to sleep at 7 and put him down in a crib in "his" room. When he awakens (usually between 10 and 11) he comes to our room and sleeps with us. Our seven hour window was from 10 to 5. He doesn't really wake up before ten much anymore, so in essence, our window was really 7 to 5. The first four nights, he would wake up, i would nurse him, unlatch and scoot for snuggling with daddy, and he would fall back asleep usually in under two minutes, never more than five. The first 3? nights he woke up around 10 and 1 and we would do our thing. I realized in the first few nights that his 4, 4:30ish nursing was very important to him, he didn't fall back to sleep easily, so that was our compromise. So our nights have looked like this recently: Nurse to sleep at 7 in his own room, wake up between 10-11 and come into our bedroom, and then asleep until his four (sometimes 5) a.m. feeding.

I guess we kinda did a modified version since he was so laid back about it. We never really did the "pick up and hug" (well, except when we carry him to our room), we kinda snuggled him back to sleep (and still are, if he wakes briefly at night). But he doesn't wake up upset.

I think that we just hit a really good window of opportunity for him... previous to this, we were battling chronic ear infections and teething, so it wasn't really a good time until now. He seemed to take to it easily, so i think he was ready.

Good luck with your little one!
Thanks for the longer version! Something I'm still wondering about - did you nurse your DS after (or right before) you brought him into your bed? I'm hoping that our DS will be like yours. He already falls asleep sometimes with Dada massaging him, so I'm thinking that that will be key for us. We decided to do the window of 11-6 instead of going cold turkey. I really want this to be the easiest it can be on him and he usually wakes up around 9:30 or 10:30pm, so hopefully he'll get all filled up before the long stretch begins. Although, I'm hoping he does away with that waking all together once this all starts to make sense to him. And, I like your compromise with that 4/5am feeding being important to your DS. My DS has been waking around 5am and then nursing back to sleep for about 1.5 hours, so if he wakes up at 5am tomorrow morning, I'm not going to split hairs and make him wait until 6am to nurse. Thanks again for your help!

To the other posters - thanks too for your input! I totally agree with the pp that said that they didn't follow the last nights of Dr. Gordon's plan where you don't pick up, hold or cuddle the baby when they wake up. We're not on board for that either. I'm hoping that we won't even be pushed in that direction or need all 10 nights!
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#16 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 08:54 AM
 
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Oh this is exactly the thread I have been wanting to read ! My 12 month old DD has been waking hourly for MONTHS and I am starting to feel really exhausted. I am toying with the idea of night weaning her in the hope that it will stop at least some of the night wakings, but am not wanting to do anything that would be hard on her since she is so young. I am not really ready to do it, but if I don't get some solid sleep soon I will go nuts.
I will be keeping a close eye on this thread to see how you go !
Wonderfull tips and experiences....
Good luck !
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#17 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, last night was our first night and here's what happened...

I set the window at 11pm-6am, but if DS woke up close to 6am (before), I wasn't going to argue over an hour or so and I would just nurse him.

DS woke up around 10:40pm (smart guy!) so he got one feed in before the window. Then, he woke up around 12:20am again. And it was perfect in a way because these are exactly the kind of wakings that have been draining me - he just ate two hours earlier, so I know this is not because of hunger - he doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep without the boob once he wakes up. His initial reaction was anger and crying, really hard, and DS is not a crier, so that part was no fun. But, it only lasted about 5 minutes. At one point, DH took DS out of the bed and walked him, which calmed him, but then they came back just a few minutes later. DS kept sitting up and coming over to me and was frustrated. He was pulling at my shirt. That part was hard to bear. But, I started singing and humming to him and we kept laying him back down. He was fussing at first, but then he laid there and I could see the wheels spinning, like, "How do I go to sleep now?" I ended up whispering a song to him over and over and he just laid there and every once in a while he'd try for milk again. His eyes were just blinking. DH was massaging him, I was kissing him and holding his hand and singing - very gentle. He finally put himself to sleep about an hour and a half after initially waking up. He just rolled over one time and that was it. That beginning stretch of DS being so upset was tough to take, but once we got over the hump and he calmed, it was fine.

Then, DS woke up around 4:45am. When I tried massaging him, he was totally unhappy, like, "Noooooooo! Not this sh*t again!" and I decided to nurse him. I hope it didn't set us back, but when I thought about it, we could cuddle/sing/massage him and it might've taken him an hour to fall back asleep (which would've been okay), but by that point it would be almost 6am, which is when the window ends, so it just seemed too close to me to be fighting over an hour or so. Any thoughts from people who've BTDT? DS fed like he's never fed before! This morning, he's all smiles and happy, so that makes us feel better. I'm not looking forward to tonight, but I've heard that the second night is easier. I definitely feel good about DS having to put himself to sleep (with us right there, of course). It was clear to me last night that that's what we're really dealing with.

Any tips, stories, thoughts? Is the second night easier?!
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#18 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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Thank you so much for this posting! Last night was my first attempt at not allowing 12 month old DD to nurse for a period of time and it was rough! She cried for 12 minutes - very hard sobbing. She was very difficult to sooth and I cannot tell you how awful I felt. The next wake up was easier and I did nurse her early in the morning.

I feel like I have to do this now because DD is biting VERY hard and it is especially true at night. I can't seem to get her to stop biting and I can't take it anymore. Plus, she is tired from waking every 1-2 hours and so am I.

I recommend reading Pantey's No Cry for Toddlers book as it gave me other ideas to use with Dr. Gordon's suggestions. I am not going to do the no sooth either. Just no breast.

Please continue to check in on this posting! I want to hear how it is going and exchange ideas. This is one of the hardest things I have had to do as a mother.
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#19 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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Well, I tried this one night with my son and decided to stop. My son was waking hourly a couple weeks ago and now is down to every 2 hours. We actually had a 6 hour stretch of sleep a couple of nights ago, unless I just don't remember waking, and I thought I was glad I didn't continue with trying to night wean my 14 mo old son. But since that one night we are back to every 2 hours and then in the early morning hours of 4am on he wakes hourly. So I am considering the night weaning thing again. However I don't know if my son is ready. The night we tried he cried for 30 minutes and begged, begged, begged to nurse saying, "shaw, shaw, shaw over and over which I don't know what it means but he says it when he wants to nurse and pulling my shirt up and crawling on me and straddling me. I felt so horrible! Then he stopped and just played in bed for an hour and I broke down and finally nursed him to sleep. I know I didn't do my part but I read something a couple of days later that made me feel like I shouldn't have done it. Now I don't remember what.

Anyway my son is underweight in the negative 5th percentile and my ped suggested that it was becasue he is nursing all night long and not eating enough solids in the daytime because he isn't hungry enough. Does anyone know if this is true and have a similar experience? I know waking too often can result in growth hormones being low too. If this is a strong possibility then night weaning will become a priority! I just feel so bad when he cries and begs and so exhausted when I can't sleep in the middle of the night!
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#20 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for this posting! Last night was my first attempt at not allowing 12 month old DD to nurse for a period of time and it was rough! She cried for 12 minutes - very hard sobbing. She was very difficult to sooth and I cannot tell you how awful I felt. The next wake up was easier and I did nurse her early in the morning.

I feel like I have to do this now because DD is biting VERY hard and it is especially true at night. I can't seem to get her to stop biting and I can't take it anymore. Plus, she is tired from waking every 1-2 hours and so am I.

I recommend reading Pantey's No Cry for Toddlers book as it gave me other ideas to use with Dr. Gordon's suggestions. I am not going to do the no sooth either. Just no breast.

Please continue to check in on this posting! I want to hear how it is going and exchange ideas. This is one of the hardest things I have had to do as a mother.
So, I'm not alone out there! I know what you mean by this being one of the hardest things to do as a mother. The way that I feel okay about it is to know that DH and I are right here with him the entire time - no letting him cry alone - just lots and lots of love, massage and sweet sounds. And, I have to remember that it's not like he's starving or being neglected. He's basically just not getting something that he wants. And up until this point, I've been fine with giving him EVERYTHING he needs and wants, but now I believe it's my job as his parent to do what's best for ALL of us, while lovingly guiding him through it. And, like Dr. Gordon's book says, having co-slept with him and been an AP parent, we have basically raised him to be able to handle something like this. This is what I am thinking in my head when he's fussing and trying to get into my shirt at 1am!

Also, something I think is really helpful (but hard in the moment) is being calm and confident. No mother truly feels this when her baby is upset, but last night, I really tried hard to keep my wits and be a rock for him - talking the same, massaging the same, kissing his little head the same - not getting all anxious and worked up myself. I think that helped him to know that everything was indeed okay - if mama's okay, then it must be okay.

Another little thing that worked was me whispering to him. I started out singing, then humming some of our favorite soothing tunes and then I started whispering the words because I thought the singing might be too loud. Something about the whispering really seemed to calm (or intrigue) him. When I could tell that he was starting to roll over and try to put himself to sleep, I slowly trailed off so that it was silent.

I'm sort of dreading tonight because I'm worried about a scenario in which DS doesn't wake up before the window and then he really does go a long time without milk. I'm hoping that we paved the way last night and tonight's fussing and wakefulness will be less because of that. One good thing with being through a full night of it is that DS knows that the "milkies" are not totally gone. He at least knows that they return when the sun comes up and are still "all you can eat." So hopefully tonight he will remember that and be more okay with it.

I will definitely keep posting to let you know where we are after tonight. Poor DH is so tired today - he's never up like that in the middle of the night - especially for 1.5 hours!

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Well, I tried this one night with my son and decided to stop. My son was waking hourly a couple weeks ago and now is down to every 2 hours. We actually had a 6 hour stretch of sleep a couple of nights ago, unless I just don't remember waking, and I thought I was glad I didn't continue with trying to night wean my 14 mo old son. But since that one night we are back to every 2 hours and then in the early morning hours of 4am on he wakes hourly. So I am considering the night weaning thing again. However I don't know if my son is ready. The night we tried he cried for 30 minutes and begged, begged, begged to nurse saying, "shaw, shaw, shaw over and over which I don't know what it means but he says it when he wants to nurse and pulling my shirt up and crawling on me and straddling me. I felt so horrible! Then he stopped and just played in bed for an hour and I broke down and finally nursed him to sleep. I know I didn't do my part but I read something a couple of days later that made me feel like I shouldn't have done it. Now I don't remember what.

Anyway my son is underweight in the negative 5th percentile and my ped suggested that it was becasue he is nursing all night long and not eating enough solids in the daytime because he isn't hungry enough. Does anyone know if this is true and have a similar experience? I know waking too often can result in growth hormones being low too. If this is a strong possibility then night weaning will become a priority! I just feel so bad when he cries and begs and so exhausted when I can't sleep in the middle of the night!
I don't know anything about weight linked to nursing at night. Actually, I would've thought it worked the other way - babies who didn't nurse through the night were smaller, but that just goes to show what I know!

I'm not sure if you have a helpful DP, but having someone else there would surely make it easier on you when your DS begs for milk. I hope you're able to get that kind of support if night weaning is the direction you want to go.
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#21 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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I did it when my daughter was 2 and it was extraordinarily easy. But she was 2.
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#22 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Anyway my son is underweight in the negative 5th percentile and my ped suggested that it was becasue he is nursing all night long and not eating enough solids in the daytime because he isn't hungry enough. Does anyone know if this is true and have a similar experience? I know waking too often can result in growth hormones being low too. If this is a strong possibility then night weaning will become a priority! I just feel so bad when he cries and begs and so exhausted when I can't sleep in the middle of the night!
I'm just lurking here cause I've been thinking about nightweaning, but I wanted to suggest that you ask this question in the breastfeeding forum, the ladies there are very knowledgeable about this kind of thing.

lady.gifMama to DS banana.gif(5) and DD broc1.gif(2)
 

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#23 of 193 Old 02-16-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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It would've been a hideous failure for either of mine at 13 months. Worked like a charm on my 1st at 19 months though.

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#24 of 193 Old 02-17-2008, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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NIGHT TWO! - Wow, DH and I can't believe it. The first time DS woke up last night, it only took him FIVE minutes to go back to sleep! And the second time he woke up, it only took abut THREE minutes!!

Okay, some details... DS fell asleep in the car on the way home from a friend's house, so when we transfered him to the bed, I nursed him (around 9:30pm). He woke up again around 10:20pm and I nursed him. So, like the night before, I knew he was pretty tanked up - although he didn't really eat much dinner that night, so I was a little worried about that. Anyway... DS woke up at 12:20am again and he was upset for about 30 seconds or a minute and then he calmed with singing and massaging and just rolled over and went back to sleep! Then, he woke up again around 3am. Same thing - upset for about 30 seconds then rolled over and was out!! Then things got a little tougher - he woke up around 4am and had a hard time getting back to sleep. He would fuss, then calm down and fall asleep for a few minutes, then wake up again, fuss, calm down, etc. It took about 30 minutes or so for him to fully go back to sleep. And what a cute guy - I think he just wanted to snuggle with me (even if he couldn't have milk) because he finally fell asleep in my arms all snuggled up to me. This was tough because I wondered if he was hungry since his last feeding had been about 5 or 6 hours earlier, but I knew that him getting back to sleep was crucial. He woke up again around 5:45am and I praised him and nursed him and he went back to sleep until 6:45am.

It really is amazing how fast he "got" the idea of no milk and went back to sleep (especially those first two times). DH and I are thrilled that it seems to be going over so well. I guess one of these nights DS will just stop waking up at those times since there's no reason to?

This waking pattern of 12:20am and 3 or 4am keeps justifying this process to me because even though they're just two wakings, they have made it so that I have not gotten more than 3 hours sleep at a time for such a long time. I am really happy that we are doing this and DS seems to really be ready to grasp it. He is his same normal happy self when he wakes up for good in the am and I even talk to him about how the milkies went night night and then woke up in the morning and he looks at me like he gets it or at least that he knows something is different with the milkies. Also, for me, last night was so much easier because I knew DS knew that the milkies weren't gone for good.

Of course, we're not out of the woods yet, but if you're one of the people considering night weaning your DC, I think something to consider is how easy it is to soothe them when they're upset - how well do they respond to it? If they are fairly easy to calm, then I imagine it would be a lot easier then if they are not easily calmed.

Also, a few pp's had said that this worked better for them when their DCs were older (two, I think) and that makes sense, but I would also argue that doing it a bit earlier could possibly be easier (depending on your DC). Right now, although my DS can communicate with me, he can't try to bargain or talk his way out this. When they are older, although you can definitely reason with them more, they are also able to reason with you (which might make it a bit tougher, IMO). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that earlier is better, but it's just something to think about.

That's all for now! I'd love to hear thoughts from those who have BTDT (and those who haven't)
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#25 of 193 Old 02-17-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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thanks so much for posting your progress. i like that you write here everynight to explain what happened. My little one isn't a great sleeper and i dont think we're ready to stop co-sleeping.. i'm gonna keep a watch on this thread to see your progress.. if its good then ill start this with my boy(he'll be 13 mths by then)
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#26 of 193 Old 02-17-2008, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much for posting your progress. i like that you write here everynight to explain what happened. My little one isn't a great sleeper and i dont think we're ready to stop co-sleeping.. i'm gonna keep a watch on this thread to see your progress.. if its good then ill start this with my boy(he'll be 13 mths by then)
Hi! Just wanted to let you know that we're still co-sleeping throughout this and plan to continue. And, Dr. Gordon's plan is for people who co-sleep, so that's part of the whole thing. For me, I wouldn't feel comfortable night weaning and stopping co-sleeping. I still love snuggling and feeling his little feet at night - it's just the waking up every three hours that I don't love!
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#27 of 193 Old 02-18-2008, 03:52 AM
 
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exactly thats why i want to know if this particular plan works because it includes cosleeping!! how was last night?
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#28 of 193 Old 02-18-2008, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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NIGHT THREE! I'll try to tell what I remember of it...

Again, DS is not eating very many solids these past couple of days, so I am eager to nurse him as much as possible before we tuck in for the night. Last night, he woke up about three times before 11pm. I could tell something was off because it was like he just couldn't get comfortable... ah yes, I suspect teething (the finger in the mouth is usually a tell-tale sign for us). And, DS usually has one or two nights of bad sleep with teething, but not a big run, so we're hoping this doesn't last.

Anyway, the third time DS woke up before we went to bed, I didn't nurse him because he had literally just nursed both sides about five minutes before that. I started to massage him and he immediately rolled over and put himself to sleep! I think he is totally on board with that whole idea, which I'm elated about!!

Then, it started... he woke up last night about every hour or hour and a half. :yawning: That part sucked - he never does that, but what was amazing was that he kept putting himself back to sleep and didn't nurse until 5:45am. And, he barely even fussed - never a real true cry. He just kept trying to roll over to escape the teething pain. I would massage him to help him fall back asleep again, but I was so tired that I couldn't even sing and sadly for my ego, he didn't seem to miss it! I think the singing/humming is a great tool for when he's crying - to distract him from that - but it doesn't seem necessary when he's just trying to go back to sleep. DS never once tried to nurse and once he put himself back to sleep around 4:45am, when he woke up at 5:45am, I nursed him. He was on the boob FOREVER (for him) and nursed both sides. When he finally pulled off (with a little nudging from me), he spit up a huge amount of milk and then easily fell back to sleep. I think what happened was that when he finally did nurse, he was comfort nursing and he got way too much milk (the fact that I probably had a ton of milk in there from not nursing all night probably didn't help).

I have to say that even though him waking so often was brutal, I am so happy that we had started this because if we had not, he probably would have been waking AND nursing every hour and that might've set me over the edge! I still feel good about where we're at with night-weaning and I'm hoping that tonight has less disruptions. DH reminded me that at our last visit, Dr. Gordon said that rarely will there be a 10-day window in which there isn't a cold, teething, milestone, digestive issue or some other thing that gets in the way of this process, so having a few "lost" nights are to be expected.

Another thing that's been happening is that DS's napping has been getting so much easier. Today, I just nursed him down and after I knew he was asleep, I pulled my nipple out of his mouth. He did the searching for the nipple face and before I could even decide to give it back to him or not, he closed his mouth and settled. I think that is due to the night weaning and DS knowing that it's okay if the milky isn't there.

I know there's another thread going on right now with another mom who is doing this process and she had talked about two things that I thought were interesting. First, she had asked if Dr. Gordon's plan was harsher than the other ones. I have not read a lot about other plans, but my feeling is this - the plan isn't what determines how much crying there will be (unless you're doing CIO, obviously) - it's your DC's ability to be soothed that determines it. Regardless of which plan you use, the bottom line is still that you're telling your DC that they can't nurse in the middle of the night when they're sleepy and just want to nurse and fall back asleep. IMO, it's all about how easily comforted they are and how easily they adjust to being told "No."

Secondly, I think she (or another poster) raised the question about whether or not her DH should be doing the soothing and/or should she remove herself from the situation totally. Again, I think it depends on your DC. If they are not easily soothed and crying for a long time (which it sounded like was happening in the case I'm talking about), then maybe just having the dad there might be the way to go. For us, I had originally thought that DH would be picking up a lot of the slack because I thought DS would keep trying to get into my shirt, but quite the opposite has happened. He still seems to want to be soothed by me and to be cuddled by me. He will roll over to DH, but he usually comes back to me and then both DH and I rub him. For me, I think it would blow DS's mind if I were not there since I've been there every night since he was born. In our experience, the less we have been changing, the better. The only thing that is different is milkies are sleeping at night and that's it.

So, I am sort of looking at last night as a wash - no gain, no loss. Although I guess you could call DS being okay with no milkies all night a gain. DS took a short nap today (1 hour) even though he barely slept last night (again, I think teething is the culprit), so I am curious to see what tonight brings.

Again, I'd love to hear any thoughts or insight.
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#29 of 193 Old 02-18-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Thank you for continuing to post your up dates. I don't have time to write too much but I am getting a lot out of what your posting, we are in the middle of the same plan.

Already!?!?! cold.gif  ~ Lori, doula, childbirth educator, wife to Jermaine 6/04, and mom to two happy and energetic boys - Tatum 6/06 and Keegan 3/09

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#30 of 193 Old 02-19-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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I'm very glad to read this thread. I haven't heard of Dr. Gordon, but I'm looking for it now...

I nurse my little one 3-4 times a night, but the problem for me is that I fall asleep in a funny position and wake up with an achy back. I would really love even four or five hours of uninterrupted sleep. My husband usually sleeps through it all so he may not be crazy about trying this!

My DD is only 8 months old, is it too early to try this?

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