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Thread: HELP: night weaning!

  1. #1

    Default HELP: night weaning!

    I have 16m twin girls: ELise *usually* sleeps through the night (she did this on her own with little encouragement from us) and Thea, a high needs baby who wakes several times to nurse back to sleep. Thea usually goes to bed around 8:30 -- she seems to sleep longer in a swing (but is going to outgrow that soon) rather than the crib, but will wake back up anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hrs later (4hr is a good night!). I usually bring her back to bed with us and then let her nurse on demand when she wakes up at night (about every 2-3 hrs). She usually goes back to sleep very easily after nursing in bed, but screams & cries if you try to get her back to sleep without nursing! The twins are in separate rooms so that they do not wake each other up if they do cry in the middle of the night. So far co-sleeping with Thea has been the best way for all of us to get enough sleep (I work full time and she started reverse cycling when I went back to work at 6m -- prior to that she was able to go 5-7hrs).

    My ped keeps telling me that the only way to get her to sleep through the night is to try CIO and move her out of our bed. I am not a big fan of that and would prefer to try other approaches first. So far we have had no luck with the "No Cry Sleep Solution". DH and I have both tried to rock, walk, etc to get her to fall back to sleep without nursing, but she gets very upset and I usually give in and nurse her as it is so much easier.

    I am worried that the Elise (the non co-sleeping twin) will start to feel left out or jealous, so I would like to get them back together in the same room if they can fall back to sleep on their own and not disturb each other. We never did CIO with Elise and now that her molars are coming in she regularly wakes up in the middle of the night. DH is usually responsible for getting her back to sleep in the middle of the night (as Thea always seems to be nursing when Elise wakes up :-) and it often takes an hour to get her back to sleep. If I night-wean Thea, does that mean she will sleep through the night (generally) or will I still be faced with frequent night-wakings, but have a harder time getting her back to sleep?

    WIll "sleep training" or night weaning really be harder as she gets older? What approach works best with a high needs toddler?


    Gotta run - Thea is up!

    MAC

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    You said molars and I say wait!! This is a hard time, and she's probably just not ready right now. Try again after her molars are in, you might have a new baby!
    This is definitely not forever, and I think when she's really ready you will probably have more success with getting her to sleep on her own. It's a milestone really, and she might need some time.

    What are some other ways you could include Elise? Maybe you could all go in their/her room in the morning and snuggle in the early morning hours or take a walk with her and have Dad play with Thea. She probably doesn't realize all this extra time Thea is taking! This is also a time where Thea might need more parenting than Elise, and then later on it might be the opposite.

    Hang in there mama
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  3. #3

    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    Thanks! My gut feeling was to wait with Thea until after the molars come in - particularly since her sister is having a rough time with them.

    Usually Thea wakes up first, so dad does take her with him on dog walks, making breakfast etc so that way I have some one-on-one time with Elise to cuddle in bed and nurse. I am on my own for the 10 am nursing session, so still tandem feed them, but do try to give them individual nursing time when I get home for work (dad plays with the other) and nurse them individually at bedtime (dad will read and give the other a cup then).

    Is it true that with CIO approaches you have to start all over when they have night wakings due to teething, colds etc?

    MAC

  4. #4
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    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sailor-mom View Post
    Is it true that with CIO approaches you have to start all over when they have night wakings due to teething, colds etc?
    Well I'm definitely not an expert in CIO! I believe that when you help your child to sleep on their own, with loving guidance, it's something they can come back to and do again with ease. A solid foundation of sleep if you will.
    I see it as if you cram for a test, a month later you probably won't remember anything. Where as if you've studied it for a long period of time, your more likely to retain the info.

    HTH!!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    Not sure I can help much but just wanted to offer some encouragement! I think it sounds like you are doing the right thing - I have twin brothers and it can be easy for other people to think they should always behave and react the same but the truth is that they are separate people, different babies - and like with non-twin siblings their needs can be very individual. And it is true that their need levels can swing - my brothers used to rotate being the *spirited* one! You sound like fantastic parents to me, sharing your time and meeting your girls' needs as the individuals they are! I'm sure you'll find a way to get them sharing sleep again in time xxx
    "You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you" Kahlil Gibran

  6. #6

    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*llljessica View Post
    Well I'm definitely not an expert in CIO! I believe that when you help your child to sleep on their own, with loving guidance, it's something they can come back to and do again with ease. A solid foundation of sleep if you will.
    I see it as if you cram for a test, a month later you probably won't remember anything. Where as if you've studied it for a long period of time, your more likely to retain the info.

    HTH!!

    We have tended to let them fall asleep with us (nursing, rocking/holding) and then transfer them to the crib asleep (or almost asleep -- still working on the getting to sleep on their own without crying). I feel that DH is "frustrated" that Elise has "forgotten" how to fall back asleep easily on her own. Once she started STTN, we would let her go about 5 min if it seemed that she was just turning over and resettling, but now she seems to be bothered by her molars with more serious crying and difficulty getting back to sleep! -3 out of 4 are in, so I am hoping that the next one comes in quickly and her sleep returns to its previous pattern! Thea is just getting hers so I am afraid we are in for a repeat! They also just got over Hand, Foot and Mouth disease so more reason for feeling pain in their mouths

  7. #7
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    Default Re: HELP: night weaning!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sailor-mom View Post
    We have tended to let them fall asleep with us (nursing, rocking/holding) and then transfer them to the crib asleep (or almost asleep -- still working on the getting to sleep on their own without crying). I feel that DH is "frustrated" that Elise has "forgotten" how to fall back asleep easily on her own. Once she started STTN, we would let her go about 5 min if it seemed that she was just turning over and resettling, but now she seems to be bothered by her molars with more serious crying and difficulty getting back to sleep! -3 out of 4 are in, so I am hoping that the next one comes in quickly and her sleep returns to its previous pattern! Thea is just getting hers so I am afraid we are in for a repeat! They also just got over Hand, Foot and Mouth disease so more reason for feeling pain in their mouths
    I can see how your DH is frustrated! It might help him to know that things like this will crop up with sleeping, no matter how bad or good they slept before. It's not relative to a good/bad sleeper, or a good/bad parenting job. It just is. It's a normal thing. All the pain in the mouth area is cause for night waking - but I think if she STTN for you guys before, it will come again soon. Tell him to hang in there, Thea really needs your patience right now!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

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