Re: need advice on night weaning/partial weaning
Sounds like you're going about night-weaning the right way! And it sounds like your daughter is plenty ready, too- if she wasn't, "milkies are sleeping and you can have them in the morning" would be cause for a screaming fit, not just a gentle tug followed by back to sleep.
Here are some things I did that I felt helped me night-wean my 2 year-old:
- Before bed, explain what is to come. "You're going to sleep, mama's going to sleep, milkies are going to sleep. Everyone sleeps all night long! In the morning, when the sun is up, you can have milkies again." In the morning, reinforce the lesson: "You slept, mama slept, milkies slept. Good job! Everyone slept all night long! Now it's morning, the sun is up, and you can have milkies again."
- Keep a sippy cup of water available for night-wakings. Sometimes a night-waking toddler is really thirsty.
- Wear a restrictive top to bed. Your toddler may be less committed to nursing if she can't easily get her little hands on your goodies.
- Stay consistent. Giving in one night but not the next will only confuse your child and prolong the process.
- Don't be surprised if there's some screaming. But remind yourself that it's okay to stand firm, and that as long as you're offering some form of comfort (backrub, song, gentle talk), you aren't emotionally abandoning your child. Crying with a loving adult right there is not, IMHO, the same as CIO alone in the dark.
I'm that nursing before sleep is the hardest session to eliminate. It was the last one to go when my daughter weaned. However, at age 2 I was long since done with nursing all the way to sleep: I would nurse DD before bed, but not allow her to fall asleep on the breast. I would put her in bed awake, rub her teeth down with a clean, wet washcloth, and then either me or my DH would lay down with her until she fell asleep. Maybe that sort of compromise would work for you?
Also, my next concern is how to work on the nursing to sleep which is the next one I'd like to eliminate, and seems like the hardest- she's nursed to sleep all her life, and I don't mind her nursing at night, just want to get her out of the habit of doing it to fall asleep, especially with the teeth issues, but also to make it easier to transition her to her bed...
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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