Night Weaning/Sleeping Through the Night

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Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120
Night Weaning/Sleeping Through the Night

Morgan has never been a good sleeper. She has gotten up pretty much every 2-4 hours since birth. After 14 months, I am worn out. Her night schedule pretty much goes like this:

7:30 ish: Nurse & Bed (goes in her crib while awake)

11:00 or 12:00 am: Nurse and back to sleep in our bed the rest of the night

2:00 or 3:00 am: Just weaned her of this feeding a couple weeks ago. She is still getting up, however. She fusses for about 5 or 10 min while she tries to nurse and goes back to sleep.

5:00 or 6:00 am: I usually nurse her and she falls back to sleep until 7:00 or so.

She really isn't interested in nursing during the day so the next time she nurses is before bed. She also has two 1-hour naps during the day.

I need some advice on what to do next. I am supportive of fussing, but will not let her totally CIO. DH thinks that moving her into her own room (sharing with DD) might make a difference. Maybe I should cut the co-sleeping?

I am not opposed to nursing her once in the middle of the night, but the 2-3 times up at night has really worn me down. She is also very crabby a lot of the time and I think it is because she is not sleeping well. She does not take a paci or suck her thumb, but she does have a blanket that she likes and sleeps with.

Any advice/experiences would be wonderful Biggrin

girlisrad's picture
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

THANK YOU so much for posting this!

Umm.. Great big DITTO from me as well!!

Can't wait to see some answers!

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

My DD is the same way. She starts in her crib around 9pm, then will come in with me anywhere between 1-4am and nurses several times between then and morning (I honestly have no idea how many, because I'm so sleepy... probably 3x)

This is the best nightweaning article I've read... it's what I used with my son when he was 20mo (when we totally weaned because all he wanted was nighttime nursing)
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
I will say - weaning did not make my son sleep through the night. I wish it had, but it still took him another FOUR months to do it. We did not CIO, we still did the same thing as with DD, start in crib, when s/he wakes bring in to our bed. After weaning we just snuggled to sleep instead.

Finally when he was about two years old, he just STTN on his own. I didn't do anything differently, it was just developmental I think.

Just wanted to share that for us, nightweaning didn't cause STTN... it just made it harder to get him back to sleep.

Good luck!

PS: We can start a new club of sleepless zombies... Lol Everyone at work asks, "Aren't you TIRED??" and I just say "Yep."

irishgirl's picture
Joined: 04/10/07
Posts: 1043

I love the article pp posted above. I read it when I wanted to nightwean my first when she was 15 months old. She was waking up every 2-3 hours a night and nursing anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour and a half...I tried to do that method, and it didn't work for her at all. I had to resort to a modified CIO where I stayed in the room with her. It took months and MONTHS for her to STTN, but it worked. She is a terrible sleeper, and is 3.5 and still wakes up most nights though. She did STTN for a while, but she's just a bad sleeper. I never co-slept with her. She moved into her own room and crib when she was 6 months old. She slept in the pack and play in our room before it.

The article worked great for my second daughter though. We co-slept part of the night (whenever she woke up) and she weaned around 14 months old completely. The night nursings were the last to go. But I was pregnant and she didn't like the taste/how slow let down was or something, so it was easy for her. She STTN in the pack n play after that for about a month. Then we moved her into her crib in DD1s room, and she hasn't STTN since.
Last night we moved them both into a full bed to share and we're hoping that will help them sleep.

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

"mommycarrie" wrote:

My DD is the same way. She starts in her crib around 9pm, then will come in with me anywhere between 1-4am and nurses several times between then and morning (I honestly have no idea how many, because I'm so sleepy... probably 3x)

This is the best nightweaning article I've read... it's what I used with my son when he was 20mo (when we totally weaned because all he wanted was nighttime nursing)
http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
I will say - weaning did not make my son sleep through the night. I wish it had, but it still took him another FOUR months to do it. We did not CIO, we still did the same thing as with DD, start in crib, when s/he wakes bring in to our bed. After weaning we just snuggled to sleep instead.

Finally when he was about two years old, he just STTN on his own. I didn't do anything differently, it was just developmental I think.

Just wanted to share that for us, nightweaning didn't cause STTN... it just made it harder to get him back to sleep.

Good luck!

PS: We can start a new club of sleepless zombies... Lol Everyone at work asks, "Aren't you TIRED??" and I just say "Yep."

I'm in on the zombie club! I am not working right now. Don't know if I could mentally do it I am so tired. I am thinking that Morgan is a lot like your son. I was hopeful that eliminating a feed would mean that she would sleep longer, but she is still getting up and taking longer to get back to sleep. I told my SIL that I was getting more sleep when I was nursing her on demand!

That is a good article. My issue is the pace of the weaning. I suffer from major plugged ducts if I don't empty the breast or stay on a consistent schedule. For me, cutting out her middle of the day feed meant days of "unplugging" my breast and discomfort until my supply regulated. Just giving her a little milk and quitting would be bad for me. I know that most women don't have as much of a problem. If I knew that Morgan would definitely STTN, I would maybe pump or deal with it, but I am thinking that it is not going happen.

Morgan is definitely my most stubborn baby. I think I am in for a challenge!

lablover1's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 44

I night weaned Ava in July (she was 15 months old at the time). Ava loves her mommy's milk and nursed all day and all night (she still nurses 5x-6x a day at 17 months old). I basically would go to her, pat her, rub her back, shhh her, anything I could to comfort her without nursing her or picking her up, although there were times I rocked her. It to her about a week- it didn't stop her night waking though. She still wakes up once a night, now it just takes her longer to get back to sleep. (Although she has slept through a few nights here and there).

Good luck!

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Just wanted to follow up. Since I first posted, we have eliminated all middle of the night feeds and Morgan just nurses morning and night. She did this very easily actually. Not much of a struggle in the middle of the night. She was still getting up in the middle of the night, but she has turned the corner the past few nights by sleeping until 3 am or 5 am! If she gets up at 3am I just pull her into bed and comfort her. If she gets up at 5am or later I nurse her and she will usually go back to sleep for an hour or so. Then she doesn't nurse again until bed. Although I am still tired, I am not as "zombie-ish". We have made progress without CIO. Hopefully it continues Biggrin

Joined: 05/23/07
Posts: 88

Yeah for progress! So glad that you were able to night wean in a way that worked for both of you!

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

Yay Leah! So glad things are improving for you. I love your siggy pic. Your DD is gorgeous!

I'm a zombie mommy too. Emma's always been a crummy sleeper. We had her in a co-sleeper in our room until 7 months when we moved her into her crib. Emma only STTN (6-7 hours) for about three weeks when she was about 4 months old. Other then that, she's up 3+ times a night to nurse. This past week, she's been a mess because of teething and she was a little cranky last week because of her vaccines. A week ago, she randomly started sleeping from 9:30/10 pm until anywhere from 3 to 5 am and then down again until 6:30-7. It was great! She always needs me to nurse her back to sleep. Lately she's been so fussy about going to sleep I've had to side lie with her (she never used to like nursing like that), let her fall asleep for about 10 minutes and then bring her into her bed.

I find what can make or break a good sleeping night for us is how well she eats solids during the day. Some days she's good about it and other days she's just not interested no matter what I give her or when so she makes up for it by nursing like a fiend through the night.

Emma is also awful at taking naps. If I can get her down twice a day for more then 20 minutes, it's a miracle unless we're in the car for a while.

I find what's hard with her is she will not let me just pat her back or rub her tummy, shh her or anything like that. If she cries, she has to be picked up and just wants the boob.

I read on KellyMom that STTN is a developmental thing unfortunately. I've tried all the tricks--tanking them up during the day, earlier naps, lots of activity and it's just hit or miss. I so look forward to the days she'll STTN!

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

I used the Jay Gordon method with my first DD, too. She's still a cosleeper. And it helped IMMENSELY with our sleep issues. She was a high needs baby and wouldn't sleep without my nipple in her mouth. I was at the end of my rope. Jay Gordon did work for us. I was shocked.

DD2 (15 months) has been a crib baby, zero cosleeping, since 6 months old. She's still up once a night to feed, but I can handle once a night.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

:lurk: (at least for the next 10 days ;))

I am a walking zombie too. DD has always been an OK sleeper with intermittent periods of terror. These past few weeks, she has been in terror mode. She will not sleep unless my nipple is in her mouth. I am beyond exhausted. I cannot function. I would be completely fine if she woke up 2-3 times at night, nursed, and rolled back over to go to sleep. This is what she does 80% of the time but this 20% is killing me. I do not want to give up co-sleeping. I do not want to deprive my DD of her booby time. I just NEED her to leave me alone so that I can SLEEP. I've debated about whether or not to try the Jay Gordon method. I think I've come to the point where I'm ready to give it a shot. If I can just get her back to the point where she's not needing my nipple all night long I will be overjoyed.

Joined: 05/23/07
Posts: 88

Mady did this through 10 months or so, at which time, she started taking a paci instead of using me as a paci. Obviously, every baby is different, but perhaps this is something to try?

Sorry momma - sleep deprivation is tough!

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

Hey Erin, is she learning something new or teething really bad? My DS and DD only did that (intermittently like you mentioned) when they were learning a new skill, like walking, or teething up a storm, like when all four eye teeth decided to come in at the same time.

Hopefully she settles for you a little better! I know how exhausting it is to not have any quality sleep. Katie has a cold right now and she's been a miserable sleeper this week because she can't breathe through her nose very well.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

It could certainly be a mix of teething and development. She's on the verge of walking. All four of her molars finished coming in about a week ago and now her canines are making a break for it. She's a teething machine. This really bad period of sleep started about a month ago. She got sick and that threw us for a loop as usual but after she was better and her teeth calmed down she didn't get back on track as she usually does. I think its just become habit.

We tried phase one of the Jay Gordon method last night. I'm going to call it a success. She nursed to sleep at 7:30. I went to bed at 10:15, she woke at 10:30. I grabbed her, brought her into bed, nursed her, and then soothed her back to sleep in my bed without the boob. She dealt with it beautifully. She pretty much just babbled for a second and then drifted off. She awoke at 12:30, I repeated the process, and she took it in stride once again. At 2:30 she awoke, nursed, (this is usually when the crazy nipple attacking baby comes out), and didn't drift off easily. She whined softly for about 30 minutes. She was clearly mad but not crying. Then she started yelling a bit. I patted her back, rubbed her legs, shushed quietly, and let her work our her frustration. She got pretty irate after about 45 minutes and cried a little but not nearly as bad as I expected. After about an hour (now 3:30) she snuggled in next to me and drifted off. At 6:00 she woke, nursed, and drifted back to sleep on her own. She was up for the day at 7:30. Happy as a clam and we were both much more rested than we have been in months.

I feel pretty good about how last night went. She never got so worked up that I felt guilty so I was able to stick to my guns. She still nursed plenty and I'm perfectly OK with that. I'm a MUCH happier mommy today and she doesn't seem to be holding a grudge.

Oh, something that REALLY helped last night was that I wore a shirt to bed. I don't normally do that. It was much easier for me to snuggle with her without stealth latching with a shirt on and just as easy to let her nurse. Also, DH is out of town so we had the whole King-sized bed to ourselves. She was able to roll around and complain without bumping into someone and I was still able to pat and soothe from a good arm's distance. Bumping into someone usually leads to rooting for boob if she's in a certain mood. Once she's in a certain level of sleep she'll snuggle up without fighting for the nipple.

I hope it just gets better from here. I'd be perfectly happy to stay on this phase for awhile without moving towards cutting out feedings.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Night number two was a complete success! She woke once, nursed, rolled over and went to sleep. I don't even know what time it was because I was sleeping so well. I'm so hoping this was the magic cure and not just a fluke. I'm going to reward the both of us with a trip to the playground!

Joined: 05/23/07
Posts: 88

That is great news!

mommycarrie's picture
Joined: 09/07/06
Posts: 358

So glad it's going well for you. Smile I have been trying to shorten Katie's night time nursing sessions and then just rock or pat her to sleep the rest of the way. I thought it might help her to learn to sleep without nursing during falling asleep. So far no change, but she has a cold right now so all bets are off. Smile