Ok...talk me through night-weaning...

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Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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Ok...talk me through night-weaning...

I think I'm ready. I think DD is going to HATE it, but I hope she gets over it fairly quickly.

I have to do this on my own (without help from DH) because he just needs his sleep to work- and since he's the breadwinner for us, I respect his need for sleep.

I think I'll ask DH to go sleep in the guest bedroom while we do this, instead of us going in the guest bedroom. I want to be able to keep putting DD back in her own toddler bed- which is in our room.

So, favorite method? I know I saw that one article...who was it... Jay Gordon?

Should I at this point (DD will be 21 mos next week), expect her to cope with no milk from bedtime til morning get up time (essentially between 7-8pm and 7-8am) or should I try the 7 hour thing- like no milk between 11 and 6?

Help. I feel like I need my hand held. This is a big deal. But I'm done with sitting there with her awake in the middle of the night, not wanting to nurse her, but eventually giving in to it.

And what did you do instead of nursing. Last night, and a couple times on vacation DD did a weird thing where she would refuse to DRINK the water I was offering her (she obviously wants to NURSE, not drink- big difference!), but, when I would try to put it away, she would act like I was cutting off her limb. So she would fall asleep clutching her sippy cup or my camelbak. So silly...but, I'm willing to let her sleep with a bottle of water if that's what it takes!

So anyway.... :help1:

Thanks!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
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Jay Gordon: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html (which I think you have)

I'm not much help, sorry. When we were trying to get DS to sleep longer at night (he was getting up as much as 13 times a night at one point) we went to the "send Daddy" method (thankfully DH was in a brief break from military training). I wasn't trying to night wean, but that's what ended up happening when he started STTN. I started off aiming to just nurse him every other waking (the times I wasn't nursing DH went). Eventually over the course of a 6 weeks he went to STTN. My husband's job requires him to get a certain amount of sleep or he's not allowed to do his job, but once his break in training for his job hit he was "tagged in" (he was still going in to work, but the sleep requirement wasn't there temporally).

Best of luck to you! I would start with the 11-6 method first and then stretch it out from there if I were in your shoes. I know Erin is going to attempt that herself once sickness has left her house.

Feel free to rant/post away during this process. As I've been told before, "Kids aren't easy, so there's no easy solution."

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I have no helpful advice sorry but am interested to hear methods as I am going to need to do this at some point. DS still wakes anywhere up to 5 times a night, and I only count after I got to bed around 9/10pm. I work full time and a night of sleep would be heaven. No help from hubby either because he needs his sleep as he also works full time. Right now the quickest and easiest way is boob. I have 2 weeks of in June so am likely to try night weaning then

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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Thanks for linking that article again... I sent it to my husband, and I think that is mostly what we're going to do! I'll let you know how it goes!

But any other advice is welcome!

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

With Violet we did the Jay Gordon method and it worked amazingly. Didn't even take as long as he has planned out. I thought she was going to be a nightmare to nightwean, since by that point we were up every hour nursing in the night. She was 13 months.

I'm in that boat again, with Fiona now. But it's different cause she's in a crib in her own room. I have no idea how to approach it this time.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

So, decided to go ahead and start tonight. She went down easy, and right now it's 10:51 and I've seen her stir on the monitor, but she hasn't woken... so on night #1 she is sleeping through her last chances for a real nurse.

I feel like the hardest part of this is going to be waking myself up enough when she wakes to make sure I don't just nurse her before 6! It's been 21 mos of me just rolling over and getting out a boob... hard habit to break! Smile

Jordan, you don't feel like you can use the same program just because she's in the crib?

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Keep us posted. I am ready to night-wean too. Morgan is up 2-3 per night. She has gone to bed two nights without nursing so I am starting there and getting her used to that first. I also try saying "no" in the middle of the night and always give in because she FREAKS OUT! I will probably used Jay's method when I am ready to totally wean her.

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Forgot to mention. It is also hard because the few times I have refused to nurse her she will scream and go back to sleep after about 5-10 minutes but then get up 1/2 hour later and the process starts over again. If I nurse her she at least sleeps a couple hours before waking again. Not sure if you are experiencing this. It is going to be a rough few nights when I do wean her.

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

Those are such hard feeds to cut out. With my older two I don't even remember what I did, beyond maybe dh taking over, but I don't think he did that often. With my twins (still waking even at 2, at least one of them is. lol). I give them a sippy cup. Probably not the best solution, but for now it works.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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Corinne, that is EXACTLY what Beni has done the times I have gotten her back to sleep without nursing!

So, here is how phase 1, night 1 went:

She went down around 7:30. I nursed her for a while, sang the song, popped her off, and had her fall asleep next to me NOT nursing. She slept until 2am!!!!! IN HER OWN BED! I kept waiting for her to wake somewhere before 11 so I could nurse her one more time, but she didn't. At 2am I did a 10 second nurse, which she took and didn't protest. She rolled over and went back to sleep. At 4am she awoke again, and was far more awake. She's teething right now, and was crying a lot at that time, so I gave her some more ibuprofen, and another 10 second nurse. She fell asleep, but then woke up again 1/2 hour later. I moved her back to her own bed, and did another 10 second nurse, and she popped off, turned her head the other way, and fell asleep. She slept then til 6:30, at which point I told her, "Look, the sun is up! Now you can nurse all you want!" We still slept til 8am, with her I guess nursing most of that time. Smile But mostly, I would say it was a good night. That 4am hour seems to be the trouble spot- it has been other nights too. I think this first phase, where we're still doing the 10 second nurses will be ok. But phase two, when we cut out ALL nursing, is going to be the hard part. I'm expecting a lot more crying then.

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

Sounds like a successful night! How many nights are you going to go with phase 1 before you move to phase 2? I feel like his progression is too fast. I think you can expect her to go without liquid during the 7 hour period. If she doesn't take water she's not thirsty. KUP over the next few days. I'll be doing the same thing once this cold has worked its way through the house.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Sounds like it went well that first night!
I don't really have any great advice. For DS2 it seemed like night nursing decreased when he was in his own bed more. I love co-sleeping, and it broke my heart to have him out of our bed, but the nursing decreased at night once we started that transition as he would sleep longer periods of time without me next to him.

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

This is us too

"Leahgoogle" wrote:

Keep us posted. I am ready to night-wean too. Morgan is up 2-3 per night. She has gone to bed two nights without nursing so I am starting there and getting her used to that first. I also try saying "no" in the middle of the night and always give in because she FREAKS OUT! I will probably used Jay's method when I am ready to totally wean her.
sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

this too...lol

"Leahgoogle" wrote:

Forgot to mention. It is also hard because the few times I have refused to nurse her she will scream and go back to sleep after about 5-10 minutes but then get up 1/2 hour later and the process starts over again. If I nurse her she at least sleeps a couple hours before waking again. Not sure if you are experiencing this. It is going to be a rough few nights when I do wean her.
Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Sara ~ Morgan was born at 36 weeks too. She was in the NICU for 6 days so I was so happy that she was a good nurser and I didn't have to suppliment her with formula. She actually has been the most attached to nursing out of my three kids and I have often wondered if it is because she was early. DD1 weaned herself at 14 months and was only nursing before bed at that time. It is a blessing to have such a good nurser, but soooo hard to get up so much at night!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Another update... So, we've done three nights of phase 1. The second night she didn't sleep nearly as well, but, it wasn't because she wanted to nurse necessarily. I got her back down just with pats and shushes a couple times and then did a few 10 second nurses as well. Last night she woke a couple times between 7:30 and 12 and then slept 12-4, and then was up a couple times between 4 and 7.

I was going to start phase 2 tonight- Friday, Sat, Sun and Mon are easy days for us, when we have little to no commitments that we HAVE to keep- so, if they are super long nights, I can nap and take it easy during the following day. It would be great if she followed the plan, and got through phase 2 as fast as he suggests. We'll see! I have a feeling we're going to have some long nights. Tues/Wed/Thurs are my busy days when I need to have slept the night before, so it would suck if we get to then and she's still up screaming all night.

I have been doing my best to keep her in her toddler bed as much as possible. It does seem the longest stretches she's had, she's done while she's sleeping in there. It is side-carred right up to our bed, but it is definitely her own space.

Now for phase 2 Jay Gordon says:
Again, the nursing to sleep stops at 11 p.m. When he wakes up, hug him and cuddle him for a few minutes, but do not feed him, put him down awake. Putting him down awake is a crucial part of this whole endeavor because it really does teach him to fall asleep with a little less contact and then a little less. Not feeding is the big change during these three nights. One-year-old babies can easily go for those seven hours (or more) with no calories. Theylike to get fed a little through the night, but physiologically and nutritionally, this is not a long time to go without food.

And then: By the end of the sixth night, your baby is going back to sleep without being nursed or fed. He’s going back to sleep after a nice hug, a cuddle and with your hand on his back and your words in his ear.

One of the things I tend to do when she does wake is offer her water. Should I stop that? I feel like he's more talking about not nursing/bottlefeeding... is a drink of water the same? What do you ladies think?

I have to say again that right around 4am seems to be our middle of the night "witching hour". I hope we can get through that one! Wish us luck! I'll keep you posted!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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Don't know if anyone cares, but I am going to keep updating this- even if just to keep track of how it all went for myself. Smile

So, last night was night #1 of phase 2. I think she fell asleep around 7:45, next to me, after nursing, but it took her long enough that I fell asleep next to her. I suppose that's not REALLY saying so much since I'm pregnant, and can fall asleep pretty easily any time, but, I don't usually fall asleep at her bedtime. Anyway. She woke twice before I went to bed (at 11:30)- the first time I just gave her a drink of water and a snuggle and she fell back asleep. The second time I let her nurse for a while (it was before 11- like 10:45).

I'm fuzzy on what happened next... Either she slept til about 3 and then woke up several times in the next hour, or she woke up once before that, and again after that. I know I had to get up once to go refill our water bottle, as she wanted another drink. I was successful in not nursing, and I think she probably fussed (some real crying, lots of sitting around whining) for only about 20 minutes.

Then of course, worst of luck, she woke up a like 5:30... but of course, no nursing until after 6. I decided to just stick to the rule hard. She was ripping at my shirt and crying and then finally fell asleep for like 15 minutes. Next time she woke again I looked at my watch it was 5:59, so I just decided to nurse her. We got up around 7:30 I think, and I know I nursed her on both sides between 6 and 7:30- once she bit me hard too, which was NOT nice.

So all in all...a successful night in that I didn't nurse between 11 and 6. She did have a few drinks of water, and she did sleep in her own bed a lot of the night. She did not throw a fit like she has some other times (when we're sure the neighbors must hear her) at any point, so that is also good. She woke up in a really good mood, and I was just tired. Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
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Sounds like you're making progress! Smile

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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Ugh, I have to add, that for as well as this is seemingly going, I am obviously being affected by having to be SO awake with her at night. I am seriously in full on b!tch mode today, and I feel like crap, but I am TIRED. DD is driving me crazy, I've said no to nursing a few times, and in general I just have no patience for her today. (And it's all making me feel like a horrible mom. Sad ) Nursing all night was hard, but, I was obviously getting more sleep than I am now. Sad I hope we get through this quickly!

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

It sounds like things are going as well as one can expect. If you stick to your guns she'll gradually get the hang of the new routine. Must be sooo hard pregnant! Don't feel like a bad mom. You're doing this so that you can ultimately get more sleep and be a more engaged Mom every day. Remember, happy well-rested Moms take their kids to the park more often!

Personally, I wouldn't offer water but that's because Teagan doesn't fully wake up in the night. If I were to offer her water she'd wake up even more and it would be a lot harder to get her back down. But that's my kid. Do what you feel will work for you.

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

I am glad you are updating...i need to know how this is going because at some point i am going to do this too.

Corinne i only nursed my boys until 12 months and they took a bottle so it was so much easier. Naya has never had a bottle and is my needy girl for sure. Not sure if its because she was born early or not. Both my middle child and naya were born at 35 weeks. Like i day shy of 36 with no problems at all and 7.5 lbs. I follow you on here because i knew that you were still getting up a few times at night. I need to night wean at some point but she is back to waking only once right now. The last week anyway. Keep updating us Mara i am following you on here and fb.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
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OK, so phase 2, night 2... went down easily just after 8 (we were out late)... woke up at 10ish, I nursed her back down, and then she woke up again a few minutes later and I just had to lay with her while she fully fell asleep.

The she woke at 1:30 and was PISSED I wouldn't feed her. She cried for a long time. (Erin, she is definitely awake at this point, and often crawls over to the water bottle herself.) I'm pretty sure I ended up crawling into her toddler bed expecting her to follow me... and then I woke up hours later, wondering why my feet were hanging off the edge of the bed... and then where the hell she was... yeah, she was sleeping in my bed! So I got up to pee (love being pregnant!), and then got in bed with her. She slept til 5:50, at which point when she woke, I just nursed her. I think that time i let her nurse a little and then counted to 10 so she would pop off... but she woke once more before 7:30 and latched again.

So, I guess last night was really a lot better. Let's hope for even better again tonight!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Ugh... as I sit here drinking coffee for the first time in MONTHS... phase 2, night 3 was the hardest yet. She went down about 7:45 pretty easily. She slept until 11:45. I obviously noticed because it was a "long" stretch for her, and I noticed she was sleeping through any chance to nurse again before morning. So when she woke at that time, first she was just upset and cried for a long time. Her behavior during these moments is very hard for me to deal with because if she doesn't see my boob out, she doesn't really let me come near her, yet she also obviously doesn't want me to leave. So she'll sit within arms reach of me, but if I try to pat her back or rub her legs or anything, she screams at me and swats my hands away- and gets really angry. I try to offer her water, and keep telling her that we'll nurse again when the sun is up, now it's dark, milk is sleeping, and she needs to sleep too. She swats at the water bottle, but when I put it back on the shelf on the headboard she screams and crawls to get it and throws it at me, but she still won't drink it. So basically, this stuff went on for about an hour... then she started clawing at my shirt. I had to call my husband finally because it was seriously getting ridiculous. She was SO upset (gasping for air, shaking, because she was fighting me trying to get into my shirt so bad)- but when she saw my husband come in, she crawled into my arms and wouldn't look at him. (She is one freaking complex little kid!) I was really tired last night because I had been up late the night before and gotten up early with her. Eventually, I dozed off in bed and she I guess just fell asleep next to me. I got out of the room at 1:45 to go turn off the lights downstairs, etc and went back to bed myself.

I wish I could remember the time, but she woke once more during the no-nursing portion of the night and sat in bed next to me screaming. I don't think I was being very attentive to her because I was just so dang tired myself. The funny part though, is that I know she was sitting there next to me screaming, and then all of a sudden she let out a freaking horn-blow of a fart, and then she face planted and was asleep.

She woke up again around 6:30 I think, and of course I just nursed her. I feel a little bad, because obviously, the different times of the rising and setting sun can confuse this process- I remember seeing her look out the window when I was offering her the breast, and I'm sure she was thinking, "but the sun isn't up!" because it wasn't really quite light yet. Sigh.

So anyway... that's that. 5 nights in, we've had what will hopefully be our worst night. We'll see how tonight goes!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

OK- need advice on this one now...

So DD was super tired today (because of how much she was awake last night), but she's a crap napper and always has been, so she still only napped for 40 minutes today. So she's was so tired tonight.... was asleep by 7:15. Then she woke at 9:30, and again at 10. Both of these times I went in, gave her a kiss, a drink of water (she asked for it), cuddled her for like less than a minute and she was back asleep- I laid her down, and she's asleep.

So the problem of course is that she's not asking to nurse when it's still time to nurse. Actually, I even asked her if she wanted to nurse, but she just put her head on my shoulder, and let me lay her down 30 secs later. But watch, I bet you she goes crazy again later tonight when she really wants it.

So should I force a feed on her when she wakes before 11, or should I just respect that she doesn't want it and try to push her through anyway?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I would not force a feeding on a toddler who is supposed to be sleeping, I think that it would be a very confusing message to a child with no understanding of the concept of time. Were it me, and I wanted to night wean, that would mean no nursing from bedtime till whatever time in the AM you choose. It just seems too nebulous that 11 is the cut off ~ to a child who has fallen asleep then woken up so soon after going to bed, I don't think that she possibly has any idea if is 10:30 or 3. To let her feed at one time but not another seems as though it could be confusing to her.

Is she eating good dinners? Assuming that she is well fed, she is not waking out of hunger (to me it sounds like she is just so incredibly overtired her sleep bank is all messed up). Since we know it isn't a hunger issue, nursing isn't going to solve anything, IMO. I'd work towards not nursing at all at night, if it were me, and not knowing everything about your situation and or method. Hope that helps a little and good luck!

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Wow. I really think this will be Morgan when I night wean. She is really going to go crazy! I have read Jay's method, but agree with the pp about the 11 pm cut off time. That was my problem with his program. A toddler doesn't know what time it is when they wake up that first time. If their first waking is 10 pm and they are allowed to nurse, but the next night their first waking is 11:30 and aren't allowed to nurse, that is sending mixed messages and probably confusing them. I half-heartedly tried Jay's method a few months ago and the 11pm - 6 am just didn't work. I felt horrible teling Morgan "no" at 11;30 one night, but yes at 10:30 the next. Needless to say, she is still nursing 2-3 times per night :rolleyes: I think when I finally wean her, I am going to have to do a firm no-nursing at all. Otherwise she is just going to keep getting up and trying to nurse. She has given up the bedtime feed very easily. It is the middle of the night that she is really attached to. Keep your head up!! This phase won't last forever!! I am cheering for you Biggrin

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

"sbaldwin" wrote:

I am glad you are updating...i need to know how this is going because at some point i am going to do this too.

Corinne i only nursed my boys until 12 months and they took a bottle so it was so much easier. Naya has never had a bottle and is my needy girl for sure. Not sure if its because she was born early or not. Both my middle child and naya were born at 35 weeks. Like i day shy of 36 with no problems at all and 7.5 lbs. I follow you on here because i knew that you were still getting up a few times at night. I need to night wean at some point but she is back to waking only once right now. The last week anyway. Keep updating us Mara i am following you on here and fb.

Sara ~ Oh, I am still getting up a few times a night...lol. I was really hoping that Morgan would wean on her own or at least go down to once per night. I will keep you posted. In the meantime I am following Mara because her LO sounds a lot like Morgan.

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

Naya changes it up on me all the time. Just when i think things are getting better she starts waking up 3 to 4 times again. So some nights its 1 time and most its more. Keep us posted mara...i am so not ready for all this yet even though i am so tired.

AmyJo86268's picture
Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1406

I am so glad I came across this post. I have a 12 month old who is up more often than a newborn. We have had a horrible year of ear infections and croup/bronchitis. I haven't done any sleep training because of those things, and he's in the same room as his brother. It's SO much easier to just put a boob in his mouth and get him back to sleep but we have some seriously bad habits going on. I think I am going to try Dr. Jays pattern. The kid is the best eater in the world (cleans his big brothers plate) after eating his own. Please keep posting updates so I can see what to expect.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

So... the rest of last night... She woke again just around midnight, but I got her back down pretty quickly- drink of water, a few words, she was good.

She slept til 5 I guess, and then when she woke she was up for a while- but she didn't ask to nurse, or try to tear at my clothes or anything. She leaned against the head board kind of quietly crying until finally, I guess she was tired enough to let me cuddle her back to sleep. She woke again around 6:30 I think, or maybe not til 7, and then she nursed until we got up (once on each side).

So, hopefully, that one night was really the worst, and we move on from there.

As for the feeding at one time, but not another... the only reason I'm not totally against it, is because if we're going from nursing all night to not nursing even for most of the night, if feels a little less HUGE- it's gradual. Yes, it may be confusing to a toddler, but, I can only assume that many things we do and say to them could be confusing for all kinds of reasons. To me, it seems like DD is sort of getting it herself that once she's asleep she doesn't nurse after that- considering she didn't ask for it all last night. So I'll follow her lead, and hope that she'll continue to give up the later feeds as easily as she does the early ones.

"Since we know it isn't a hunger issue, nursing isn't going to solve anything, IMO."

Nursing isn't, and never has been, just about feeding for us. Beni did really well on the first three nights of this plan when she was still allowed to nurse for 10 seconds every time she wanted to/when she woke. Obviously, she wasn't settling easily and quickly those nights because she was filling her belly in 10 seconds of nursing. What she was getting was comfort. Obviously the key for us now is to figure out what else can comfort her as well as even 10 seconds of nursing... and hopefully also get to a point where she sleeps through.

I don't know how many nights she has to not nurse to be considered "night-weaned" but she hasn't nursed at night in 4 nights now. She certainly hasn't stopped waking up. I guess maybe this is because I have led her down a path of destruction into having a completely messed up sleep bank. I don't know, call me inexperienced or stupid or clueless or whatever...but since she was born, she never napped for long, and I was never able to get her back down when she woke from a (one-sleep cycle) nap bright eyed, ready to play. I tried keeping a strict schedule (instead of following her cues) for naps, and then I tried really following her cues at other times... nothing I ever did made her sleep for longer than 1 sleep cycle for naps, except napping with her. Even then, the longest naps she ever took were 90 minutes. So, I don't know. I don't know how to fix her broken little self. I have for the last week, kept a schedule again for naps- getting her down between 11:30 and 12:00 every day. She has been sleeping 40-75 minutes for these naps.

Anyway... STTN would be a totally welcome side-effect of night-weaning, but alas, it is actually not my primary goal. My primary goal is just to not nurse her at night, to give my nipples a break for now (and keep them to one child at night once baby comes), and to learn to get her back to sleep in some other way. We might not be reaching any measure of success as some of you would measure it, but, I do feel we're making progress. My nips are way less sore, and that is great!

(Sorry, I know this last post is defensive in parts, but it was pretty much impossible for me to read some of what was written in the last responses without translating it into, "you're a crappy parent." So forgive my defensiveness.)

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Sorry if it was my advice that made you so defensive, I was just trying to answer your questions. Certainly I didn't call you or your daughter any of the names you are using, nor would I.

Good luck!

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

You are definitely NOT a crappy parent. There are a lot of gray areas in parenting and everybody has different opinions. I can tell you that it doesn't matter what you do, some babies/toddlers just don't sleep well. I went through it with DS and he was not a comfort-nurser at night. I tried everything like you described. Putting him on a schedule, letting him pick his schedule, co-sleeping, not co-sleeping. You know what, no matter what I did he just did not sleep well until he was about 4 years old. Now at 8 years old, he sleeps like a champ. DD1 was my best sleeper, but still gets up once almost every night at 4 1/2 years old. Morgan, my third, has been my worst sleeper so far. Being my third, I have some experience and still have not been able to successfully "get" her to sleep. It is very hard and I get lots of "advice" from family and friends on what I should be doing: stop nursing her, stop co-sleeping, put her in her own room, ect. At the end of the day, it is my decision what I do. You are doing a good job. Don't worry about negative comments. You have to do what it best for you and your family.

Keep us posted. It really helps to share this experience with someone. Makes me feel like I am not alone...lol.

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

:bigarmhug:

It really sounds like you're making gradual steps towards your goal. If you feel like working in a 10pm feed is best for you two then do it. The Jay Gordon method isn't meant to be stuck to hard and fast.

I totally understand the HUGE feeling about cutting out all night nursing in one go. Since Teagan's been feeling better we're back on the night weaning train at Step 1. The first night was a little rough (~30 minutes of whining the first time) but now she's sleeping in her own bed until about 2 and then she comes into bed for a nurse and only wakes about 1-2 more times for quick nurses before getting up for the day at about 7. When I decide she's done nursing I pop her off and she rolls over and goes back to sleep with just a bit of patting and snuggling. That's a big improvement for us. I think I'm going to do a Step 1.5 before going straight to Step 2. Rather then just deciding one night that there will be no more night nursing, I'm going to cut down on the time she has access to nurse. If that seems to make matters worse then I'll just go straight to Step 2.

My ultimate goal is to get her to sleep in her own room for most of the night. That will give DH and I more alone time. Even if its just sleeping together alone time. We need it. I really wouldn't mind if she just came into bed with us around 5 am for morning nursies. I could keep that up for a long time. Maybe when baby #2 comes along things might change but first we have to MAKE baby number two and that is super hard with a toddler in your bed nursing all night. Not sure how you managed that one, Mara!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Thanks ladies. I always keep in mind my BFF who has two kids now (and is expecting her third)- her first slept through the night at something ridiculous like 6 weeks. Was never an issue after that. Her second woke every two hours until he was a year and then they did some gentle sleep training (cutting out night nursing). He sleeps well now too. But I remember her sitting there going, "I'm the SAME parent, we didn't do anything differently with him than with her.... he just is who he is!" It's hard when you're still on your first and you're feeling like is this my fault or not. Anyway... I know that I have done what has felt right for Beni and for me, and will continue to do so. But support always makes a difference.

So... last night.... things are continuing to get better. She was asleep by 7:45. She slept until midnight when I came in to go to bed. This time it was my fault she woke. But it was cute. She followed me into the bathroom, smiled at me. I was just done brushing my teeth, so I took her by the hand and said, "let's go to sleep." I got in bed, she crawled in bed, she laid down on DH's pillow, and was asleep. Smile I know she stirred/woke a little throughout the night... oh yeah, once she sat whining and asking for milk- but she was pointing to her own bed. I kept saying, "No milk now, time to sleep." I finally picked her up, laid her down in her bed, and she rolled over and went to sleep. She woke at 6:30, and nursed until almost 7:30. This is definitely progress! The biggest thing I'm happy about is not having to fight her over not nursing. DH is still sleeping in the guest room (and I think really enjoying it- regardless of babies in bed, I think he prefers to sleep alone anyway, but does the marital bed thing because it's "what you do"/social/cultural convention) but his parents will be here in a few weeks to visit, and I'm feeling quite confident that we will all be able to return to one bedroom, and he'll still get sleep. Smile

Oh, and Erin, baby #2 is definitely thanks to having a guest bedroom! While we were on vacation and stuff we did have sex with Beni in the room... but, at home, we usually just have sexy time fairly soon after she goes down (to avoid being interrupted by a wake up) and we do it in the guest room. At one point we even started calling it the sex room. Smile I'm sure any and all of our guests would be happy to know that. His parents are obsessed with grandchildren (like it's kind of a competition between all their friends as to who has the most)... maybe they would appreciate knowing they'll be sleeping in the bed where Kong was conceived? Ha ha! I will also say though, Kong was very well planned, not at all spontaneously conceived... so there was a week, where it was like, ok, baby down, dishes done, let's go have sex! Got the job done though! Smile With our living situation overseas (and me wanting to birth at home), and DH being a teacher it made a whole lot of sense to make it happen, instead of just let it happen though... so, romance out the window...this baby was planned, planned, planned! Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

"Sex room." ROFL I'm really glad to hear things are going better for you and your sanity!

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

Hehe. Sex room. Our guest room is Teagan's room and she's not happy if we ditch her after she wakes up. So, our only chance is before first wakeup. The lack of spontaneity is not helpful. Our next one will be planned planned planned as well. We can't TTC until after my PhD candidacy exams (can't risk the awful morning sickness I had with Teagan) and it would be nice if baby only disrupted one semester.

Our first night on step 1.5 was OK. She nursed to sleep as always around 7:45. Awoke at 11:30 and brought her to our room. I nursed her on one boob though she wanted the other. She was super angry for about 45 minutes but then slept until 6:30!!! This morning she woke, nursed a little on each boob then rolled off and started babbling happily at me. I'd call that a success!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

That's a fantasic success for your house Erin! Biggrin

I told DH last night that we should call our guest bedroom in the next house a sex room. ROFL

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

I wish I could enjoy this success a little more. I still feel like death. During the "angry baby" time last night, I had to get up and take some cough syrup because I was keeping HER up! Once the coughing stopped she settled rather quickly. I HATE this cold. I'm just really glad she's not sick anymore.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

OK, so, another update...

Last night she was asleep by 7:30. Slept til midnight. I went in and gave her a hug, she was asleep before I could even lay her down again. She slept til 6:15 in her own bed, I believe. I'm obviously sleeping more soundly, because, I don't remember if she's waking or not. But I'm pretty sure she didn't. I did a 10 second nurse for her at 6:15, and she went back to sleep. I had to get up at 6:30, and managed to sneak out of bed without waking her, but, she was up by 6:45 anyway. But I guess if she's getting 11 hours of mostly uninterrupted sleep, that is probably all she needs.

This morning however, she almost fall asleep nursing around 9:30am... which doesn't fit our one nap a day between 11 and 1 at all. I also took her temp and she's right at 38C/100.4F...not quite a fever yet, but she might be fighting something. She didn't stay asleep because she was doing that half asleep losing her latch and then trying to regain it, and it always ends up hurting, so I popped her off, and then she woke up. Hopefully I can get her down later, when she should be sleeping.

In any case, I feel like this might be my last update to our night-weaning story for now, unless something really exceptional happens. We started this journey 9 nights ago, we had one REALLY horrible night along the way, and now she's already on multiple nights of mostly STTN and not asking to nurse.

I know Jay Gordon has that last phase of the plan where you don't pick the baby up to comfort, just pat and shush back to sleep. I'll do my best to do that... but, like last night, when she saw me come in, she crawled right into my lap, but was asleep within seconds. Since we plan on continuing to bed-share/sleep-share (I would be ok with her sleeping more in her own bed, next to mine, than IN my bed, just to give me and my belly space- and she seems to be doing that on her own), sometimes it just happens that she crawls into my arms or to another spot, where I feel like I have no option but to pick her up. Of course, if she's just laying there whimpering or something, I'll just lay a hand on, and let it be, but, if she happens to get up, and I pick her up, or give her a full hug instead of just a pat, I'm ok with that too. As I said before, my whole point in this process was REALLY to night-wean, which it seems we have been successful in doing. And we do seem to be reaping the benefits of longer stretches of sleep as well, which I am certainly not going to complain about!

I don't regret night-nursing as long as we did, but I am glad I did this now. My boobs needed it, and I think it was a step in the right direction for my sanity as well, before I turned into a tandem night nursing monster when the baby came. Smile

Thank you all for you help and advice- and certainly, let me know if I can help you in your journey as you have helped in mine! That said, most of what I have to say is already written here, so.... hope it helps! Smile

(and here's really hoping that I WON'T be back with any exceptional updates!)

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

Yay!!! :woohoo:

I'm so glad you got through this and achieved your goal. As with all things parenting, you'll likely have set backs. BUT now you have set the framework for better sleep and you know it works! I hope she's not coming down with something.

As for us, Teagan nursed to sleep at 7:30 (on the couch because I was watching the SOTU) and I stuck her in her bed. She woke at midnight. DH brought her in, so I nursed her for a minute or two. I popped her off, she whined for 5 seconds tops then rolled over and fell asleep! She woke at 4 but that's only because I woke her up with my coughing. I repeated nursing for a minute and popping her off and she rolled over again and went right to sleep until about 7am!! I'm pretty sure she would have slept through after her midnight wakeup if I hadn't been coughing. This is seriously huge for us. I'm going to continue shortening how long she nurses a that midnight wakeup until she's not nursing any more. Then I'll start sending Daddy to re-settle her if she gets up. I think we're close to STTN!!

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Wow, thanks so much. So about a week or so process. I am really tired, but not quite ready to dive in yet. Although, Morgan had a horrible night last night. She was up about 6 times wanted to nurse every time to go back to sleep. Pretty soon I will be ready and I will document it too Smile

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Yay, that is awesome news!!!! I'm glad that it is all working out! Hope everything continues to go just as well as it is now. I'm sure your nips are already thanking you for the break each day.

I'm totally like your BFF with my kids. The 1st was an amazing sleeper early on. My 2nd isn't, even with doing the same things we did with the first, but he is totally a different kid than his brother.

And I'm laughing so hard at your sex room that doubles as the guest room. If your guests only knew...lol.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I'm way late to this thread, but you are both giving me hope! Smile I need to read up on this method! Thanks for sharing your insights!

Also wanted to add that every kid is different and I sincerely doubt it's something you did! My son is a great sleeper at night, terrible napper. My daughter is a terrible night sleeper and a good napper. I'm just hoping when I decide to have #3 that I don't get a terrible sleeper & terrible napper! LOL

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

Great job mara and i know how hard this must have been for you to even start. Naya has been doing pretty good for the last week or so with only waking up once to nurse and only for a few mins and going back to sleep. If things change i may need to come back and read all of this. For now i am ok with nursing once in the middle of the night. I like the sex room too. we had one of those when my oldest slept with us then it turned into the panic room for my husband. It was a back room he could go sleep in to get a full night sleep with 2 kids who woke up ALOT at night.

sbaldwin's picture
Joined: 07/18/05
Posts: 164

I also wanted to add that this was good that you did it before the baby comes. I had a 2 year old and a newborn in my bed and ever time i would move to feed Beckett Brody would think it was time to get up. Lets just say it wasnt pretty with 2 kids up all night. When Beckett was like 5 months old i couldnt take it anymore and started having brody sleep in his own bed. He is now 6 and still comes into our bed now and then but it gets so much better. Now we have 3 of them in our beds and its great sometimes...lol

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

I hesitate to post this because I will probably jinx myself, but Morgan has only nursed once in the middle of the night the last two nights Smile She woke up 2-3 times, but only asked to nurse once. Hopefully this is the beginning of her sleeping longer stretches. We will see....

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Sara, that is definitely EXACTLY why I did the night-weaning NOW before #2 showed up. I also didn't want Beni to feel replaced- to actually see that the new baby is getting something instead of her... hopefully, with 4 mos between her night-weaning and the appearance of the newborn, it'll be good.

Good luck, Corinne! I hope she does it on her own!

As for us... we're still effectively night-weaned...she hasn't nursed between bedtime and 6am since the last time I posted that she did... but... she certainly hasn't been sleeping through the night. We had a couple bad nights when she really was asking to nurse a lot and was awake a lot. And there have been good nights too. The last few mornings I have even been trying to stretch her to not nursing until 6:30 or 7am. It certainly would be nice if she would just sleep through...but, again, at least I am not nursing at night! Smile

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

Morgan has nursed twice in the middle of the night the last two nights. It is funny because she handled cutting out her bedtime feed just fine, but really wants that middle of the night comfort nurse! She is definitely not going to do it on her own. I am just not ready to take the plunge though Smile

I am glad that Beni is still night-weaned. Hopefully she will start STTN on her own soon, esp before #2 comes. Keep up the good work.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

(x-post from my BB)

Beni STTN! And now just by definition, but like, in practice!!!! She went down a little after8 last night- happily worn out by grandparents that kept her running around and laughing like a mad woman... and she didn't wake until around 6:30 this morning! She slept in her own bed the whole night! And at 6:30 when she woke, she just crawled in to bed with me, and snuggled up. Around 7 she asked to nurse (which I obliged). But then she still slept until 8:15!!! I was actually awake before her!

Now... the question is... total fluke, or will she do it again??? (At this point, I'm not going to let the grandparents go home!) Wink

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

I'm stunned! What success! How many times did you wake up last night listening for her? Wink

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

I'm stunned! What success! How many times did you wake up last night listening for her? Wink

Dude, I'm pregnant. I slept through the night right along with her! Smile But I did wake up before her at 6:15 or so... and then I looked around a bit panicked wondering where she was... I honestly think when you've gone SO long without a good long stretch of sleep, and then you get one, the ability/chance to sleep overrides the worry. Plus, I think her age makes a difference. If she had done this when she was 6 mos, I would have been awake every 2 hours to check if she was breathing... but at this point... I mostly know she's ok. Smile

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