i'm working on some mini-nightweaning over here with the jude. i say 'mini' because it's not that i want him to stop nursing at night, i just want him to stop nursing every two hours at night. seriously, he still eats every two hours at night (and during the day for that matter). this kid is better than any clock, he eats every two hours to the minute.
i'm completely pro nursing on demand and cosleeping but... this isn't working for me. and i highly doubt jude is getting the rest he needs for growing when he's waking up that often and flopping all around punching me in the eye. plus, he has one tired mama. at six+ months he is old enough now that the night nursing is mostly for comfort not completely for calories. and again, i have no problem with him using nursing as a soothing and comfort method, but i also don't see any harm in trying some other techniques at this point. so, i'm trying to see what we can do to work out a better situation for everyone involved.
this is my plan: put him to bed at normal time (which is usually books at 7:30, bed at 8) and feed him again right before we go to bed. next the tricky part (and by tricky, i mean less lazy than just putting him on the boob)- try to use other methods to comfort him back to sleep so we can attempt to phase out that next feeding. hopefully after a week or two his body will stop waking up then. maybe, hopefully. feed him as scheduled at the next feeding (3am). at the next feeding, again try to phase it out with rocking, singing, patting, etc. nurse again right before we all get ready in the morning (breakfast time!). this would give me two four hour blocks of sleep if it works. it would be like christmas all over again! ...except christmas is what caused this mess, so maybe not christmas.
so, here's night one:
night cap at 11pm. we went to bed, the jude went back to bed.
1am- woke up screaming. i went in and held him for a few minutes, then patted him back to sleep. asleep in <15 minutes. i'm thrilled! (he normally would have eaten then)
2:45am- woke up. ate on each side. bonus points to my 3 o'clock alarm because i fell asleep. back into his bed.
5am- woke up, but had trouble going back to sleep on his own. he insisted on practicing crawling around on his knees at 5am, because babies are crazy. we slept together on the floor, but no nursing (i'm considering that a success- for now)
6:50am- i woke him up for breakfast and everyone got ready for the day.
notes: it went better than i expected for the first time trying it. especially at 1 it was pretty easy to get him back down which makes me think maybe i was being super lazy before. it's also remarkable how well i've adapted to our schedule, i woke up at exactly 1, 3, and 5 o'clock before he did. that's completely. ridiculous.
i'll keep you posted tomorrow on how it's going. i'm feeling positive, so far.
tips? tricks? thoughts?