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Thread: How to night-wean

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default How to night-wean

    After I cried 5am - 9am today, I've decided that something needs to be done about being this exhausted and this close to a full-blown break-down. I work full-time, and even with cosleeping I just cannot deal with constant night wakings of my 10 month old anymore. It's not that she wants to nurse, but she wants to latch on and off, on and off, on and off (for 10-20 minutes), until I'm totally awake and cannot go back to sleep. When I try to offer a pacifier, she pushes it away with both hands and cries. She usually does this in the wee hours of the morning (4-6am) and then goes back to sleep. I stay awake and feel awful and tired during the day at work.

    I don't have the heart to do CIO, but I need her to let me get some sleep. I'm not able to handle work and mothering and not getting remotely enough sleep without becoming an insufferable monster of a wife and an irritable monster of a mother.

    Any advice on how to night-wean her at least partially would be really appreciated.

    P.S. Yes, I know this is all normal, but I just don't seem to have the stamina to weather this. Either I get more sleep or end up on anti-depressants.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

    Several mamas around here have used the above method.

    When I night-weaned Lilah, at 20-24 months, I didn't actually do it. My husband took over bedtime and then after three-ish months he took over the whole night. Could your husband take over bedtime? Or half of the night? So that you can get some more sleep?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    Have you tried giving her anything for teething? Have you taken her to the doctor to rule out infections?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    teething and/or ear infection are my thoughts
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    also even Dr. Gordon doesnt recommend night weaning in the first year.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,920

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    i am so sorry you are having such a difficult time. Balancing motherhood and full time employment can be just insanely hard.

    For baby sleep issues i like the book the no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley. lots of ideas to try, but no firm rules or prescription like most sleep manuals. but night weaning (even if you did do cry it out) often takes time. It sounds like you need sleep now.

    is there someone else who can take baby for comforting back to sleep part of the time at night?
    can you find anytime for naps-weekends, or after work?
    if you are literally sobbing with exhaustion, any possibility to temporarily reduce work hours, do some flex hours, take a personal day? your family and your employer both need you in good health.

    is anything else interfering with your sleep-anxiety due to stress etc.? BTW post partum mood issues can occur up to a year following birth. personally i had some bad pp anxiety almost a year after my second child was born.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Shakedown St.
    Posts
    1,176

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    with everyone else. It sounds like it could be teething. If so, a dose of ibuprofen at bed time might help a little.

    Also if stress might be adding to your exhaustion, make sure to get a little light exercise every day. I know that this is insanely hard when you are working, but it really can help. I take a walk with my husband and son after dinner every night (or have my husband do dishes while my son and I go for a walk if the kitchen is really trashed ). This not only helps my state of mind, but the fresh air and extra stimulation has always helped my son sleep better too.

    It's not much help now, but my son did start sleeping much better once he started walking (which was more running). I think the extra exercise necessitates more solid blocks of sleep for him. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: How to night-wean

    Eliminate the teething and ear infection possibilities, and then proceed. FWIW, I did something very similar to the Jay Gordon method with my first when she was around 10.5 months old. It worked well- got her down from 5-6 feedings per night to just 1-2- and it worked in under a week. However, I tried again with my second daughter when she was around the same age and could not get it to work. I think she just wasn't ready at the same time her older sister was. So try your best to "read" your baby's readiness if/when you do proceed. Some kids can be night-weaned at nder a year, and others just can't. I hope you have one of the former!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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