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Nightweaning snag -- HELP!!!!!

523 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Pom
DD wakes up at 3:30 am on the button and can't get back to sleep without boobies! We're EXHAUSTED, and at a loss....Help!!!

DD is 26 mo and a pretty avid nurser throughout the day and night, but has learned to go long day hours (4-9) without and to wait. For several reasons we decided to nightwean now*. She'd been waking every few hours still and it's no longer manageable.

We talked to her about it, did the "boobies go night night", told her she could still "touch" the boobies (which had been okay with her), set the flashing light alarm for 5 am so she can see when she can have milk again. For the first week or so it went more or less fine, with overall improvement, but then... BLAM!!

She goes to sleep around 8:30 pm -- sleeps through her old 10ish and 1ish nursings -- but wakes at 3:30 and CANNOT fall back to sleep. She gets frustrated and mad and thrashy. Not so much at not having milk, but at not being able to sleep. I've read your'e supposed to choose a 7 hour stretch for them not to nurse and that that's usually 11-6....but she's not waking before 11, and 8:30 - 3:30 is not cutting it.

We've taken her out to watch ballet videos, we changed that to reading books in bed to help her calm back down, snuggles..she gets quiet, she almost - ALMOST !- falls asleep and then she's up again and annoyed. The sleep deprivation is affecting all of us terribly. Weird thing is, when she wakes up during nap and I'm not here, or at 1 am, she CAN get herself back to sleep. But this 3:00 thing is different somehow.

Is it too early for her to night wean? How do I help her sleep?

Last night I "gave in" at 4:15 and she fell asleep in 5 minutes or so. Mostly b/c DH was having a nervous exhausted breakdown and TWO of them complaining was too too much (he has since apologized profusely).
I figured she'd keep tossing til 5am anyway like the nights before, and so it's all the same to her as she can't tell time -- isn't it? 3:30 or at 5 am it's all the same to her, isn't it? She doesn't realize it's been an hour or two does she?

Sigh. I swore I wouldn't ramble! ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS HERE????

*Long story short, reason #3 is that I have to go away alone for 3 nights next month, so she's going to have to go a weekend without night milk anyway. I was hoping it wouldn't have to be such a traumatic extreme for her or DH.
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Why is one 5 minute night-nurse so exhausting? Are you co-sleeping? She might outgrow even that one soon enough.

If you are separted next month, she will adapt. If you are actually not there, she will see bfing is impossible. but when you are there, she doens't understand. not all kids get the no nursing til sun comes up, or special nightlight goes on, idea. Esp spirited, persistant ones!

The average age for APed kids to sleep more or less thru is 2 1/2. But that is only average. None of mine slept thru til age 5, and even by then, they sometimes/often had to be helped to the potty in the middle of the night, even if they would go right back to bed. Then, my ds was a sleepwalker for a while!

Nightweaning does not necc mean automatically sleeping all night!
Hi Darylll - The thing is is that normally once she latches on, she STAYS on, and I end up "sleeping" all cramped, or am disrupted from being able to do work (which is a messy thing, just not sitting at a computer -- I can't just hop into her bed and out, or get stuck there for an hour or so -- and I have to do it at night now). Her wakings can also be pretty random -- every couple hours or less depending on the night (and sometimes, more).

If it was only 5 minutes a couple times a night that my sleep got disrupted wouldn't be a problem!

Perhaps we'll try again in a few months. I let her nurse last night and it was 1am and 4:45am. She woke up at 11:30 but got herself back to sleep.

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pom, i too am nightweaning. i actually started trying a month ago, but because of family trips and such, we didn't make much progress.
just this week i started up again. the first 2 nights she woke 3 times and asked to nurse and cried for, oh 30 seconds, when i told her it was sleep time and we would nurse later. the third night she woke up once, asked to nurse, and then fell back asleep. and last night, to my shock, she slept 8 straight hours without asking to nurse.
it's taken me this whole month to get good at the pantley pull-off technique, where you detach them from your nipple and they stay asleep.
so don't give up hope! keep practicing breaking her latch at the end of her nursing and using a finger to keep her mouth closed, and eventually it will take hold and you will get some rest.
if it's a big struggle right now, wait 2 weeks and try again.
Thanks, elpha -- is it still going well for you?

After deciding to wait a couple months, DD surprised us last night and
slept through the WHOLE night. No nursing! No touching! No book reading! Just SLEEEEEEEEEP. Ahhh it was bliss.

She slept from 8:30 PM - 6:30 AM and then woke up to nurse and slept ANOTHER hour and a half! I hope this is new trend and not just a gift night of sleep from the universe (although I will be thankful for that, as well)...

Hope y'all are having a lovely day.
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