Weaning and night waking. Need advice.
Hi! I've gotten some great help here before, and I'm hoping someone might be able to help me out again. Sorry for the long post, but I think it will help to have some background.
My son is now 15 months. He was EBF until we started solids around 8 months. No bottles, no formula. We started him on sippys of cow's milk very slowly (one teaspoon at a time every three to four days) at around 10 months and at a year started giving him a sippy to have at his own disposal througout the day. He's gone from drinking maybe four ounces of cow's milk a day to about 12 to 16 ounces a day. He's become a great eater, and has consistently put on weight and grown very well (born at 50th percentile for weight/height, now at 50th and 95th, respectively). About two months ago I started weaning him during the day. Because I've always fed on demand, I went about this by breaking the day up into one or two hour periods and taking them out a week at a time. Now he's only getting BF go to sleep for bedtime, which is a short morning nap, a midday nap, and night time.
The problem I'm having is with the nights. He goes to sleep beautifully. I nurse him, we read a book or two, then I put him in his crib, awake, give him his teddy and his blanket, and leave the room. He falls asleep on his own quite happily, and always cuddles up to his bear making happy, giggly sounds and blows me kisses as I leave the room. (I know, he's adorable, right?!?!?). BUT, then he's awake four hours later, and every two hours thereafter, wanting to be nursed back to sleep.
This started about two weeks ago, when he took a spill out of the wagon and banged up his nose and lip. At that time, of course, I nursed him back to sleep to comfort him after having such a bad day and since he was likely in some degree of discomfort (though we did give him tylenol, of course). I just haven't had the energy to try anything along the lines of sleep training or anything else, but I'm now at the point where I need to be getting some sleep again.
I did use the Ferber method after one year for his night wakings (never needed for putting him to bed at night), as, again, he would start waking up around midnight and want to be nursed back to sleep every two hours after that. I know the Ferber method is not popular in this form, but unfortunately, I just couldn't do the night feedings anymore. I also have a three and a half year old, and as a stay at home mom without family or anything around, the kids are with me almost 100% of the time, and I was just getting too worn out from the night wakings to be the good mom they need me to be during the day. No one wants a tired, cranky mom every day of the week. I will also say that I actually read and followed Ferber's revised book. I didn't just let my baby cry his heart out all night, which some people seem to think is what Ferber is advocating. Sorry if I sound a little defensive on that point. I do have some degree of mommy guilt about that decision. But I was also not feeling good about losing my temper with and around my kids as a result of not getting enough rest.
So, I think his night wakings are some mix of the weaning and the fact that he's redeveloped his sleep habit of waking every two hours after midnight and wanting to be nursed back to sleep.
I would love any advice, input or insight anyone here has to offer. I truly appreciate anyone taking the time to help me out. Momma needs some shut eye!!!!
Blessed mommy of one amazing girl and one charming boy.