I have a 3.5 year old daughter (will be 4 in January) and am expecting our second in December.
We have a family bed and have been nursing (mostly dryly…oww!) at bedtime, 2-3 times during the night and upon waking.
5 nights ago I decided it was time to stop night nursing, for my comfort (it is excruciating now and I can only bear 5 minutes at a time) and so that when baby 2 comes in December she will (in theory) be used to no “neh-neh” at night and hopefully not correlate it to the new baby and his night nursing needs.
Our issue is that it’s going horribly. We still nurse at night (not to sleep but for 10-15 minutes and then I say all done and she stops) and I have said (during the day when we talk about it and at bedtime as a reminder) “my neh-nehs will go to sleep too and we can nurse more when the sun comes up” and remind her now that she’s bigger and 3 that we need to roll over and go back to sleep when we wake up when its nighttime). I repeat the “neh-neh’s sleeping” statement when she wakes up and offer to snuggle her/rub her back/hold her in the crook of an arm or sing her a little song to help her go back.
Nights 1 and 2 were ok, she woke but said “alright” when I reminded neh nehs were sleeping and rolled over/slept, nights 3-5 have been awful. Last night she woke 4 times, instantly crying and angry, kicking and not letting me comfort her – asking for her dolly and snuggling with the doll.
This is breaking my heart. I never wanted to force weaning (thus why we’ve persevered so long) and I wanted it to be natural, her choice…but I feel like for my health/sleep/sanity and the balance of our family when # 2 comes, we need to work on this sooner than later, as I don’t want her to correlate this big change to the inevitable #2
baby big change.
She’s never clung to a lovey/doll more than a day for play, but lately this one little dolly is attached to her, she mothers it constantly and is always nursing it….my mom says this is a healthy way of her dealing with her emotions around our reduced nursing, kind of “playing it out” but I (through a thick lens of mom guilt) see it as her clinging to a thing she’s not ready to let go and telling me that through her actions.
Please mommies who have been here before, am I doing the right thing? I still love nursing her (excluding the pain) and I still want to nurse for nap/bed time and mornings (even when 2 comes, I’m open to limited tandem nursing). Her angry/sobbing reaction to it at night is killing me, and of course, we’re all so tired which doesn’t help. She rarely cries, is a “tough cookie” even though I encourage her to express her feelings, saying/narrating “you’re mad/sad/frustrated” when she’s acting out….
Should I be letting her nurse to sleep instead of stopping before she’s asleep? Maybe I’m trying too many changes in our nursing relationship at once? (falling asleep without nursing is about a month old and she’s NOT a fan, doesn’t cry but asks for more nurse at least 5-7 times before falling asleep).
Or maybe offer daytime nursing? I don’t offer/don’t refuse during the day and we haven’t day nursed (other than to sleep at naps) in ages
I just feel like crap about it. Doubting my weaning decision in a big way, which of course, in full pregnancy hormone swing, is making me less excited (horrible statement) and anxious about our next baby…