Night Weaning

Hey! Maybe instead of avoiding writing on my blog every day except for Monday, I will actually manage to get back to writing. I’ve been enjoying Microblog Monday’s, but maybe it has turned into an excuse not to write, something along the lines of “well, at least I wrote on Monday…”

So, onto the topic of today’s post.

I need to night wean. Wallace needs to night wean. We both need better sleep and I need a respite from constantly burning calories nursing. He can fall asleep without nursing and we both know it. He can fall asleep in a back carry, in a car seat or stroller, while I’m rubbing his back, while I hold him in my arms, or just lying on the bed next to me. He has even fallen asleep drinking from or clutching his water bottle. He just would prefer to be on the boob!

The sleep problem has been compounded by these 8 teeth he is getting in, a nasty cough, an ear infection, and of course our trip to Michigan. He will fall asleep nursing but doesn’t want to unlatch. Or he will unlatch but will wake up begging for tata as soon as I try to set him down. He did have one amazing 7 hour stretch of sleep the night before he got sick, so I know it can happen.

I have been nursing him to sleep, getting him into his pack n play, and going to bed directly after. If he wakes up, I nurse him back to sleep and try to get him back in his bed at least once. If he nurses and nurses and won’t unlatch or wakes up after getting him onto a bed, then I tell him tatas are sleeping now and offer him water and a cuddle. If it is after 2am and I cannot manage sitting up and nursing, then I tell him tatas are sleeping and offer him water and a cuddle.

He doesn’t really like this but it is working for the most part. He is allowed to be upset about not getting to nurse but I just keep trying to get him to go back to sleep. It is reducing his need to constantly nurse at night. I’m hoping we can get some more amazing nights of sleep and he can end his habit of nursing all night. I want to be able to not offer him to nurse at all from 11 to 6. That is the big goal!

Also, if he wakes up before 6, we stay in bed and I let him nurse if he needs. Otherwise, he will get up and want breakfast. I just keep telling him that we are still sleeping and how long until we get up.

Currently, he has nursed the last 40 minutes and is being goofy. He won’t fall asleep and I’m quite irritated. I’m about to attempt us falling asleep next to each other but I’m not holding my breath.

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About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
This entry was posted in Chicago, Late Night Post, Parenting, Sleep and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Night Weaning

  1. Lindsay says:

    I’m really pulling for you and hoping he night weans relatively painlessly for both of you.

    As you know, my attempt at night weaning Evelyn at 18 months was a big, fat FAIL. Right now, she does the first stretch of night in her own bed after I nurse her down. She sometimes gives me a 2 hour stretch (most common) and sometimes gives me up to a 7 hour stretch (most rare). Then for the rest of the night, I pull her into my bed with me and she nurses off and on all night (more ON than off). I just don’t even know how to deal with this. My previous experience has scarred me.

    I have two weeks off after this week and was thinking of starting then…at least then if I don’t sleep, it won’t matter as much.

    I will be anxious to hear how things go for you and try to pull some tips from what you’re doing. Good luck, friend.

  2. I think your two weeks off is a perfect time to do it! He did fall asleep on his own next to me for the night, after he nursed. He just woke up and coughed a bunch, so that was 4 hours compared to the usual 2. Nursing him when he wakes but then being done and having him fall asleep off of me seems to be gentler but also getting us longer stretches. I don’t know if this is night weaning or something else, but I’ve been getting wicked hot flashes.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’ve only just recently night weaned my daughter. She’s 3.5, and this really makes me with I’d tried harder to do this a year (or two!!) ago. I’ve failed miserably a couple of times, so the process we’ve made is encouraging. Heart wrenching, but the benefits have outweighed the sense of loss. I never intended to nurse her for this long, but my goodness – she is *devoted*. It was so much easier with my first two – it can depend so much on the child’s personality, I think.

    She does still wake up asking for “may may”… I tell her no, offer water and offer to hold her, which for us means her sleeping on top of me. Not ideal, but easier to sleep than with nursing. About 8/10 times, when I tell her no, she cries angrily and rolls away from me into her bed! Makes me sad, but the extra sleep sure helps us cope throughout the day. Her crib is side-carred to our bed, so she’s right there even when it’s going well. I’m thinking the next step needs to be moving her fully into her own bed, but this crib doesn’t convert well, and we can’t afford a bed for her right now.

    She is tiny for her age, and tiny even for who she is right now, after a bad cold last month… We’re trying to get that last pound back on her little booty, and I feel guilty denying her. Again, there is an upside, and it’s her increased appetite during the day.

    It sounds like things are going well for you and Wallace!

  4. I couldn’t read your full comment before so I just came back to it! Your nurser seems very similar to mine. I am hoping increased day appetite and better sleep for both of us will be worth this. He was less upset tonight for bedtime than I had expected. I nursed him and then got us ready for bed. He asked a few times but didn’t all out lose it so that was good. Now to hope the rest of the night goes as well!

  5. Miranda Gallegos says:

    Hey… Remember me? Well. I was struggling with Caleb at night as well. Caleb and Wallace are the same age. Caleb would wake up 3-5 times to nurse every night. One day I decided I needed to give up soda to feel healthier. Soda was my only source of caffeine. Since I’ve given up caffeine Caleb has been sleeping through the night. I didn’t think caffeine impacted nursing so much but for Caleb it did. It took 3 days for the caffeine to get out of his system before he started sleeping through… just a thought. Good luck.

  6. That is great that thar made such a huge difference and that fast! I don’t really drink caffeine. The ocassional green tea maybe. Another thought for you – pop has lots of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Those are also know to effect sleep!

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