Re: How to night wean a 3yr old?
I applaud you for keeping on with night-nursing for 3 years! I nightweaned my DD when she turned 2. I was done, done, DONE.
Here's how I did it:
- Before bedtime, talk to your child about the night to come. (Guess you'll have to talk over the screaming...) "Honey, Mama's going to sleep. You're going to sleep. Nursies (or whatever you use as your nursing word) are going to sleep, too. Everyone sleeps all night long. You can nurse again when the sun comes up."
- In the morning, reinforce the lesson: "Good job, honey! Mama slept all night. You slept all night. Nursies slept all night. Let's nurse again now that it's morning!"
- Keep a sippy cup full of water available. A night-waking child may be genuinely thirsty.
- Wear a bra or restrictive pajama top. If your child can't easily get her hands on your goodies, she may be more likely to give up.
- Accept that there may be some tantrums. But don't feel like you must give in and nurse your child just because she is crying- so long as you are offering some form of comfort, even if it's not her favorite one, you are being a good, responsive mom.
- Accept that you may be getting even less sleep for a while. It takes time for a new sleep pattern to become established.
- Be consistent. The night-weaning process will be shorter and less painful if you can stick to your guns.
Finally, this isn't something I did, because my daughter was too young, but I've noticed that as she gets older my DD will do a lot for a sticker. Maybe you could give out stickers as rewards for successful nursing-free nights?
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!"