Friday, August 18, 2006

Night weaning moves

I reckon by now it's high time I got my boobs back. So a couple of nights ago I embarked on a night-weaning programming to get The Little Madam used to sleeping without a minimum of one or two breastfeeds per night.

The only thing is, I'm not sure it's working. Maybe she really can't go more than 9 hours without food (her birthday sleep-marathon notwithstanding).

The programme goes like this: First, work out how long she feeds at night. Then, each following night, when she cries out for boobie, feed her for one minute less than the night before. When she protests - and by god she will - cuddle her until she goes to sleep or will at least settle back in her cot. Once down to a two-minute feed, omit the feed altogether and just go for the cuddle. The next night is when you start the actual sleep-training (i.e. let her cry for a bit, then go in to check on her, then leave, repeat until she's put herself to sleep).

The first night I timed her nightfeed, she clocked in at seven minutes.

Then TLM got her jab, so I put the programme on hold for a couple of nights.

Night #1 of night weaning, I unlatched TLM after seven minutes; the boy and I then spent about 45 minute resettling her. Then she fell asleep until about 6am. Total amount of night sleep lost - about fifty minutes.

Night #2 of night weaning, I unlatched TLM after seven minutes again because I thought I'd take it a little more slowly. I unlatched TLM, then upset her when I dropped the clock, which made a loud, echoe-y clatter on the floor. It took about 45 minutes to resettle her. Then she woke again at 3.30am and did this slow wail that sounded like she'd settle down, but didn't. I went in about an hour later, fed her for seven minutes, and spent another 45 minutes resettling her. Total amount of night sleep lost - about two and a half hours.

I need a carrot to keep going; I will now peruse catalogues for non-maternity bras and shirts that don't open or lift up easily.


charlotte said...

Good luck! It's such a hard process, but it sounds like you're doing it the kind way. I read a book when I was night-weaning my lot, called The No-Cry Sleep Solution, that described a lot of what you are doing, plus more tips. It really helped me help my babies disassociate boob and sleep. Once the two became separate, we achieved beautiful, blissful nights of sleep! They now (at ages 6, 4 and 1) all sleep wonderfully and I'm sure it was because we weaned gently. It's no fun while you're doing it - my thoughts are with you ...

Scholiast said...

Hello. I don't mean to criticise, but it seems we do things differently over here (after all, we're on the other side of the planet!)..

To Little Madam, you're food. Babies can smell breast milk across a room easily, possibly even through (thin) walls. Having "food" to comfort you when you're not getting any, is not very efficient. That's why my hubby did this..

Baby cries, hubby goes in, comforts, walks out. Repeat... We also had the advice we might put baby in the pram, in the bedroom - that we'd just moved baby into - (if baby persevered) and "go for a brisk indoor walk" until sleep took over. Worked like a charm!

We'd braced ourself for a two-week no-sleep nightmare. After 1 1/2 night, baby slept through the nights. Still does...

Just a thought!

happy and blue 2 said...

Maybe you could just put a dairy cow in the crib with her. They have lots of milk. It worked for my sister. I think. Unless she just photoshopped the cow in her crib to trick me..

Violet said...

charlotte:thanks for the encouragement. On night 3 she slept through from 6pm till 5am, then on night 4 she woke only once. She got a 5 min feed and her daddy took over the resettling - all up, only about 15 mins of sleep lost.

scholiast: feel free to voice your own opinion, I don't mind! I agree that getting hubby to go in and resettle works better - but sometimes I have to do it because he's not home or it's late and he has to go to work in the morning, or simply because it's "my turn" :-)

happyandblue2: ah, well my little one isn't allowed dairy until 18 months, so perhaps I could put a sack of rice in her cot (she drinks rice milk) ;-)