My husband and I are proud parents of an amazing 13-month-old girl. She has never been a good sleeper. DH and I have tried all kinds of tricks: making the room warmer, cooler, moving up bedtime, moving back bedtime, creating a ritual, giving her lots of BM before bed. Nothing works. We both work full-time, and after a year of constant sleep-deprivation, decided to try a sleep consultant.
The sleep consultant thinks that night weaning is important to improving our child's sleep patterns. She notes that our daughter often suffers from confusional arousals (milder night terrors), indicating that she is sleep deprived. The consultant suggests we continue co-sleeping for half the night, but cut out all night nursings, and no longer allow my daughter to fall asleep on the breast. This is a key part of her plan.
I pump 10 oz. a day for my daughter to take at day care. She has refused cow's milk in a sippy, so far, so this is the only liquid she takes all day. I worry that, if we wean her at night, she will grow dehydrated and my supply will tank. DD is also a picky eater (the consultant feels that this will improve if she is no longer filling up on BM at night).
We have a friend who followed the consultant's advice, and her LO suddenly slept 11 straight hours. The mother did "fall off the wagon" during teething, though, and had to start the process all over again.
What are your thoughts on the relationship between night waking and night weaning? Has anyone found that it works? Do I need to worry about my supply, or trust that my DD will take to the sippy by necessity. (Related question: should I put cow's milk in a bottle for her, or what? Things are not going well in that area, either.) I had been hoping to stop pumping at 18 months, but if I'm not nursing her at night, either, then that would mean weaning her altogether, which I don't really want to do yet.
So confused! Thanks for your help!