mini nightweaning

March 16, 2010

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?


Mickey D.

I've read that the husband should go in in the middle of the night to soothe him back to sleep. That way Jude won't think he's getting fed. You know, once Mom is there he thinks the milk is coming.

Best of luck!

Ky (Two Pretzels)

Oh, oh, oh! That's awesome. Sounds like night number one went really well.

I've read the same thing that Mickey D has read.

Also, does Jude have anything that comforts him in the way of a stuffed animal or blanket? Lila has this bunny (that we must wash nearly every day because it STINKS) that she loves to fall asleep with. She tosses it, sucks on its ears, legs and feet and drapes it across her face, etc.

When we were doing night-weaning, we'd pat her... and give her back her bunny... It helped a bit.

(Again, BEST of luck. Sounds like you're right on par!)

the grumbles

thanks ladies! i've also read the thing about having the guy go in and do the night comforting. so far, jude doesn't seem TOO panicked that his beloved milks are right there but not accessible, but if he starts to flip out about it we may have to try that.

Ky- yes, he has a little monkey blanket friend that i've been pushing on him since the beginning. he sort of seems to like him and we carry it around everyplace, but i don't think he's going to be a blankie kid. his thumb is just too damned awesome and tasty.


I would love to be able to give advice on this, but the only thing that has helped Athena sleep longer is I moved her bedtime ahead a couple hours. When she went to be early, she got up for drinks A LOT. Now that she's up later, she sleeps all night.

Do you guys think it's too late to find a comfort thing for Athena to switcheroo from me? Cuz all she wants to hold onto all night is me. And when I say hold onto I mean stranglehold.

Betsy B. Honest

Good luck!

I'm all for this. I've had to do some night weaning with each of my kids at about 9 months old. Just to bring em down to about 2 feedings at about midnight and 5 a.m. It worked great. I didn't follow any plan, just my own instincts and best judgement.

Something told me they weren't hungry they were just getting into some wierd pattern that was interfering with a good nights sleep for all. The way I see it is if somebody fed me a doughnut every time I rolled over in my sleep and smacked my lips, I'd probably develop some sleep issues. Not that your breastmilk is fried dough.

Hmmm. Perhaps it's safe to conclude one is ranting when one ends ones comment with "not that your breastmilk is fried dough."

Amber, The Unlikely Mama

We're still working up to re-starting the preliminary steps in night weaning. Super pissed that vacation brought us back to square one!

At least we already know that she doesn't "need" to eat at night since she can go all night without when Peter sleeps in her room. It just sucks that she won't always be soothed by me alone without the boobs. I really wish Peter was the girl sometimes :P

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