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the_dalai_lama, our story is very similar. Dd had already shown interest in her own bed, and we had some convoluted routine where we would go to sleep on a pallet on the floor next to her bed (yes a pallet... blankets on carpet... NOT comfy!), and then I would get up and go to my bed, and at some point she would come with me into my bed. Like mum2sarah, I couldn't tell you how often she nursed at night, but it wasn't that much, and didn't bother me that much.

Well, it started to bother me more and more -- no pregnancy, but that same irritation/ nails on chalkboard/ white knuckle thing you guys talk about. Especially in terms of tweaking the free nipple, which was just incredibly irritating. Got her to stop that, mostly, but a whole bunch of things kind of coincided and I decided that was enough of that.

So I used a very similar explanation -- "Mama's boobsies need to sleep at night, too..." -- and we went and got a special nighttime bottle for her (that's what we do about drinking water, a no-spill sippy cup with a soft spout), and she saw some pacifiers with glow-in-the-dark handles and wanted that too (she's never used pacifiers, but I thought it might help if she still felt a need to suck), and we took that all home, and talked about it again, how she could have mommy milk when it was light out, but if it was dark, she would need to let mommy's boobsies sleep.

She was SO good and brave. We nursed in bed with the light on, then I turned it off, she played with the glow-in-the-dark pacifier and sippy cup, and snuggled in, and went to sleep. No tears at all.

The second night she was a little frustrated, but no tears.

The third night, she had about a 30-second fit, clawing at my hands as I covered my boobs and she tried to get at them, then I reminded her, "remember, wait until it is light outside, then you can have some," and she calmed down, and went to sleep.

She's been totally fine about nightweaning since.

HOWEVER, there is a new wrinkle. The reduction in night nursing plus a general reduction on her part (I'm doing don't offer/ don't refuse except for night-time) meant that the milk production really plummeted, and there was a day or so when there was basically no milk, and she FREAKED. I didn't expect that to happen so quickly, and hadn't really prepared for it. (I have a thread about this.)

Anyway, what's happening now is that the milk production is up a little bit but I don't actually want it to get too high -- she was getting through the day fine without nursing, and I think it's about time for her and for me. It's been nice to have this little respite, say goodbye to this time in our lives, prepare, but my goal is to go back to where we were before the milk stopped for a bit, and then let it gradually taper off.

The other thing is that when she sucks when there is no milk it is horribly uncomfortable/irritating (not pain, at all), very much white knuckles and count-to-30-through gritted teeth to avoid getting up and running away. So I've gone another step... I explained to her that if there is milk, she can go ahead and nurse, but if there isn't any milk, it hurts mommy's boobsie for her to nurse. She was very sweet and understanding, and last night was the first test of the "only if there is milk" rule, and it went SO much better. Just a little bit on each side, "no more, mommy", a gentle pat goodnight, then roll over and snuggle.

Definitely bittersweet, but I'm generally happy with how things are going.

Oh and we got a bed for her! She loves it, and now she goes to sleep there, and comes into my bed about 5 am, snuggles up and goes back to sleep.
 
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