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Extended bf - started night weaning last night, feel dreadful, buck me up?

(87 Posts)
phdlife Sun 07-Sep-08 21:50:48

Ds is 17m and while I can live with the good nights where he only wants one feed, two is more usual, 3 not uncommon, and when he's teething he just sees me as a giant dummy - and old enough now to start being very cranky indeed if I attempt to stop him chewing/pulling/sucking all frelling night.
With the result that, last week, I ended up with inflamed, permanently tender nips, and resolved to have a go night weaning. (AIBU?)

So we read the Jay Gordon thing and resolved to cuddle ds but not feed him, to start with, between 4 and 6 am. (He usually feeds sometime between 6 and waking at 7.)

Well, he sobbed his little heart out. Utterly devastated. For half an hour solid, then at intervals until it was getting light and finally, feeling like the Worst Mother in the Universe, I let him have a 2-minute suck and he fell straight back to sleep. He then slept - without any more feeds - til 8:45.

So now I feel terrible because I gave in which I guess probably confused him, I'm going to have to do it again (and again and again), and after one night I'm so tired I'm starting to think that hell, 3 feeds a night isn't so bad!

How long before he might get the message? Will he regress soon as the next two molars start hurting? How do you know if you're doing the right thing?

fishie Sun 07-Sep-08 21:56:26

have you a dh/p around? my rule when i went back to work (13m) was no feed between 11pm and 3am, dh got to do the settling. not an onerous duty, was the only time ds was ever tired!

thisisyesterday Sun 07-Sep-08 21:57:38

awww, it sounds tough,. have you got a copy of the no cry sleep solution?
it has some really good tips for helping them sleep through.

it certainly isn't an overnight thing, but is much gentler than letting them cry

supercollider Sun 07-Sep-08 22:02:22

Oh dear, poor you. I weaned my DS1 at around this age and he too was horribly upset.

On the other hand, you're only talking about two hours - it's hardly terrible parenting (although I know it can feel like it).

I wonder whether, in a way, it would be less confusing (although more upsetting in the short term) to go for the full six-hour period (?) that Gordon advises - that way your DS can begin to get the message that it's sleepy night-time feeding that's on the way out. At the moment you're asking him to distinguish between a feed at 2am (OK) and 4am (not OK), which might be very disorientating for him?

How do you know whether you're doing the right thing - well, that's the killer question! I suppose you need to think about how pissed off you are with the current arrangement and try to decide whether it would be better or worse to go through some emotional distress to get more unbroken sleep. It's a difficult thing to weigh up. For what it's worth, in hindsight I wish I'd cut DS1 a bit of slack (but then I did full-on cold-turkey weaning of a demand-fed, co-sleeping 16-mo-old, which was crazy, looking back on it).

phdlife Sun 07-Sep-08 22:03:49

ds has never settled for dh, he sees dh as Mr Playtime and only mama for sleep. That's another thing we've got to sort.

Thisisyesterday short of giving him the breast, there was nothing I could do to stop him crying, I held him and cuddled him and sang and rocked and patted the whole time, he just couldn't understand why he wasn't getting to feed. He wasn't falling for any lousy water, either.

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Sep-08 22:06:22

hi phd
keeping an eye on this, too wimpy to do the same but if you come up with the magic formula...
Not sure if I want to go down this route but am possibly considering it

thisisyesterday Sun 07-Sep-08 22:06:23

oh yes I realise that, have a baby much the same lol
the NCSS basically works on weaning them off gradually.
to start with you start taking htem off the breast before they're totally asleep. if they cry to stick it back in again, and then try again,.
basically just keep doing it until they will accept it coming out and then falling asleep alone.

then work on it from there

whomovedmychocolate Sun 07-Sep-08 22:06:26

I managed this by moving the time of the first feed by five minutes a day for two months (we had a few relapses). But did manage it in the end without tears. Most kids can be distracted for five minutes without dissolving and now DD sleeps through the majority of the time. It is bloody hard though, I feel for you.

chunglimum Sun 07-Sep-08 22:07:49

We did Jay Gordon at 2 years and it felt horrible but it was really time! It took two weeks before she really slept through and it seemed forever but it worked and I really couldn't see any way round it. The relief was huge all round, we all started to finally get some sleep. We haven't gone back on it unless she is really ill (she's now 2.7). Don't know if that is at all helpful but I feel for you... have heard of babes that only took 3 nights... good luck. I still think that his is the best/ least cruel way of doing it.

chunglimum Sun 07-Sep-08 22:10:59

Should add that we had been doing NCSS for the preceeding 12 months so it was all very gradual, which I think is the best way...

phdlife Sun 07-Sep-08 22:14:08

oh yes, he doesn't get to fall asleep on the breast. Even at night, it's been so painful lately that I've been popping him off, with varying degrees of complaint. What does NCSS do? Just let him feed for shorter and shorter each time til finally it's not worth the trouble?

WMMC, could you explain a bit more? not clear [sleep-deprived-thicko face]

thisisyesterday Sun 07-Sep-08 22:19:34

yeah basically just keep taking him off before he is quite finished.
I can't remmeber all the ins and outs, read it a while ago for use with ds, who is younger than yours.

but it's def worth a read

phdlife Sun 07-Sep-08 22:22:36

have just gone and read Jay Gordon again.

realise I had it quite wrong, mixed up with someone I read on here. feeling even thicker now.

going to bed, oh - there's ds squeaking now! that's my cue...

boogeek Sun 07-Sep-08 22:25:03

I don't know whether this will make you feel better or worse but we started with the NCSS/night weaning (can't exactly remember what or in what order) from about 15 months with DD1 - she started to sleep through the night at 21 months. With DD2 we have been much more laid back and inclined to think she will get there eventually anyway (much less worried about cosleeping, much more willing to do whatever is necessary to get as much sleep as possible, much less energy to be shushing and patting at 3 am etc)...has just started to sleep through. At 21 months. Proves my theory that you can do what you like, all it does is make you feel better to be Doing Something and they just do their own thing regardless ;)

theSuburbanDryad Sun 07-Sep-08 22:38:17

<<marks place in thread>>

So. Tired.

Must. Get. Sleep. Soon.

Thanks for the Jay Gordon link - i hadn't heard of him before. Too tired to read now but have bookmarked and will read later.

Slink Sun 07-Sep-08 22:44:11

I must read jay gordon too. My dd is 21months and i am still demand feeding, there are days when she won't feed all day then there are days when she does. At night she has two feeds but again it can change, i have tried weaning several times but i find it stresses the family and esp dd and i, so we are going gradually, I go with whats best for me and babe. xxDh bless is dd's playmate too.

tori32 Sun 07-Sep-08 22:53:26

I started by putting dd2 down for afternoon sleeps awake but much earlier at 4mths, to get her used to not suckling to sleep. She is only 5mths now but can fall asleep by herself. Usually she does feed to sleep at bedtime, but on occasions where she hasn't fallen asleep i.e. dd1 disturbing her I have been able to put her into the cot awake and she will go to sleep without rocking etc.

tori32 Sun 07-Sep-08 22:53:27

I started by putting dd2 down for afternoon sleeps awake but much earlier at 4mths, to get her used to not suckling to sleep. She is only 5mths now but can fall asleep by herself. Usually she does feed to sleep at bedtime, but on occasions where she hasn't fallen asleep i.e. dd1 disturbing her I have been able to put her into the cot awake and she will go to sleep without rocking etc.

alittleteapot Sun 07-Sep-08 22:54:39

phdlife our paths cross again! Can't believe you started Jay Gordon last night and we're starting tonight! Think you did do it bit wrong as doesn't he say feed first three nights then put down awake?

It's so so difficult - dd is 14 months now and as you know I've been battling for months with whether or not to sleep train. We finally tried the Andrea Grace method the other day - we're a bit different in that dd is still fed to sleep. She says feed but put down awake. I did this and DD was SO distraught. Devastatingly distraught. She didn't look just angry she looked confused and greatly distressed. After 10 mins I decided she hadn't fed enough so fed her (breaking the rules). She fell asleep immediately but woke when I put her down again. I let her cry for 10 mins more. At first it was sleepy sobs but soon cranked up again. dd looked like she'd be sick before too long and i just picked her up and fed her back to sleep. I just couldn't do it.

So tonight we try Jay Gordon in case she is less distressed by not feeding to sleep once she's already been asleep. What the heck, it's worth a go.

I'm in the same boat as you - she's waking 3 times at night (plus 3 in the evenings) and when teething sucks for hours at a time. Also, I really do want to ttc now, really really, and still no movement on that score. thought things were getting back into the swing but no. And she's simply not interested in dp after bedtime.

Solidarity to you and don't feel rotten - you've held out so long and you'd got to a pretty desperate point.

Maybe you should have a look at Andrea Grace. Her thing is to gradually reduce the minutes you allow them to feed until it's down to 0.

Don't know. I think if it wasn't for the ttc thing I'd just crack on with going with the flow, despite the sleep deprivation and all the associated brain malfunctions it brings.

Will report in in the morning.

Good luck - I hope you have a better night tonight. FWIW I have spent tonight searching old Jay Gordon threads on here. Lots say first night terrible then easy after that. So hopefully the worst is over for you. Let us know.

alittleteapot Sun 07-Sep-08 23:01:26

tori that's interesting. i feel there was a window at 5 months that i missed where dd was no longer a helpless newborn but where a bit more encouragement might have helped her towards independent sleep. But it's easy to say that in hindsight, and overall I'm really pleased to have stuck with the demand feeding etc.

tori32 Sun 07-Sep-08 23:08:59

Sorry, I didn't mean it badly or hind sight. My point is do you put him down for an afternoon nap and if so does he go down without feeding iyswim. If he sucks to sleep in the afternoon could you could try independent falling asleep then. Once he has got that sorted try moving on to nights iyswim.

alittleteapot Sun 07-Sep-08 23:18:15

yes, it's a good thought. i know you didn't mean badly - didn't mean to imply i thought you did! it's actually something i've thought of before but always stuff to do. kind of need to devote a week just to doing it perhaps. Right, must go to bed now, not exactly helping my sleep deprivation being on here at this time!

tori32 Sun 07-Sep-08 23:27:06

Good Luck smile

tori32 Sun 07-Sep-08 23:27:07

Good Luck smile

phdlife Mon 08-Sep-08 11:27:34

hi alittleteapot! yes I realised last night I'd done it wrong - got muddled up with some MNer who said she gradually rolled back the non-feeding period (first few nights, no feeds after 5am; then none after 3am, then after 1am, etc).

So started over last night - two feeds but tried to make sure he came off before falling asleep, as per JG. Not sure it worked as he doesn't really wake up for feeding, just moans (and will wake if he doesn't get fed!) Hard to tell if a not-very-awake baby was more awake or asleep after a feed! Tried to pop him off sooner rather than in his own time though, fwiw, but can see him just being devastated again when I try not feeding him in 3 nights' time.

And yes, wanting to ttc is another motivation here. that and the fact we are getting ready to move - I need every available braincell!

So how did it go for you last night?

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