Posts Tagged ‘weaning’

Night weaning pauses for now, back to our regularly scheduled programming in the entry I’ll write later today.

March 13, 2011

For those of you held in thrall by our nightweaning adventures, this little choose-your-own-adventure is sucking pretty bad right now. Last night we mixed two techniques – smaller feeds, plus very watered down.

Big mistake. Big, big mistake.

Maybe this is one of those things where you have to do one or the other. Or maybe it works for other families.

For now, this family is going back au natural – back to full night feeds on demand. We’re upping access to snacks in the day, having bigger delicious bottles at night, and we’ll probably sleep a lot better.

Perhaps that’s how weaning helps you sleep. Not because your kid sleeps more (Snort fed hourly after midnight last night, Coco had a feed too), but because you realise how awesome it was to only wake up two or three (or four) times a night, in total.

We regroup in two weeks. Next weekend we’re driving hella lot for a Christening, and the clocks change, so it’s probably not the best time to go all hardcore again. We’ve struck a deal that the next time we go No Milkies, it’s me. Allllll me. I’m up all night, and then TMD gives me a vacation day the following one.

At any rate, it’s Sunday. It’s morning. Nothing is open in the mornings on a Sunday in this country, and it’s gloomy out. We need to find something to do so I don’t go crazy from never having contact with the wider world. Oh! TMD is also picking up a load of cloth diapers/nappies I got from freecycle.  I know it’s maybe exciting, but not more exciting than figuring out what we can do today.

Whatever we do today, it will include much foodage….and the blessed relief of knowing tonight is full fat full bottles.

Fail!

March 12, 2011

God. I was writing a detailed post about our massive weaning fail, but Snort came up next to me, hit some key, and the whole thing was erased and unrecoverable. I’m too tired to rewrite it.

Needless to say, TMD cracked like an EGG. Ten minutes of crying and the kid got his bottle.

It felt dramatic and tiring and epic (for all the reasons my invisible post would say). When I climbed back into bed, it was only 11:26 pm. That was the second night waking from him, but nowhere near the last.

Jesus.

Night (and nap!) weaning.

March 11, 2011

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This is the face of night weaning. This little boy who cuddles and kisses his doll, this little boy who went up to another boy about a year older than him at playgroup yesterday…..and gently stroked his face before giving him a big fat kiss on the cheek! This little boy is the reason why nightweaning was invented.

For those who don’t know what nightweaning is, it’s simply (ha!) the process of stopping milk feeds during the sleeping hours. We are doing (well, have done!!) nap weaning as well. It is perfectly natural and healthy and normal for a baby to continue to have milk throughout the night at 18 months, 24 months, and beyond.

We always said the minimum age we would do anything about milk at night, or sleeping in general, was 18 months. We planned to go all naturally on this one, but TMD’s sleep deprivation is unfunny. So we started weaning about a week ago – and they are 19 months today.

First, naps. I have to say – don’t shoot me, people – I think night and nap weaning is one area where formula feeding comes up trumps. It generally seems to be a bit easier than those kids who are latched on the whole time to boobie.  The babies have been used to having a bottle as they are in bed, just before naps. Snort is used to having a bottle if he wakes during nap, as well as more milk once he wakes up.

We always have had success by introducing change to naps before nighttime, so we thought, ‘Fuck it. Cold turkey.’ The first day he was a bit pissed, to put it nicely. He screamed up a blue streak before nap – and it’s worth saying we still would never do controlled crying or crying it out. Eventually he accepted a fresh muslin (his lovely) in place of milk and went to sleep. He woke once and screamed for 30 minutes while I quietly freaked out. He also woke Coconut, so it was like an Angry Baby Party. Again, once he realised the milk wasn’t coming, he went straight back to sleep. With mama singing, of course – though at this point I think I’m singing for me, cause I don’t think they need it anymore.

That was it. The next day, maybe 10 seconds of fussing before nap. He woke up once and immediately settled again with some shushing and a hand on his back.

The third day he never woke up. NEVER WOKE UP. Neither did she. This is fucking unheard of, people. My kids are still having one 2-3 hour nap per day, and after about 2 hours sleep can get very restless.

We are now at the point – we have been for awhile, but no more bottles! – of me saying, ‘Okay, guys. Time to sleep. Everybody go to your room.’ Both kids toddle straight off to their room and get into their beds. And SLEEP.

What the fuck.

Nightweaning – now, we are following the plan of Dr Jay Gordon (it may be ‘-an’ rather than ‘-on’ if you fancy a google.). He’s an attachment parenting advocate, and his plan is aimed at breastfeeding, co-sleeping babes. Ours are obviously not on the boob, but they have some co-sleeping – namely when TMD passes out on the floor next to their beds in the night.

The idea is that they still have full range access to milk before 11 pm, and after that on the first 3 days restricted access after that. So, short feeds and then straight back to bed. This shit worked like a fucking dream. We kept reducing bottles – Snort was a bit upset when we got down to 90ml bottles, but got over it and went straight back to sleep. On the third night of this plan, he had his usual 10:30 feed and then ONLY ONE FEED FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT.

Cue ‘omg’s and ‘zomg’s.

I knew a friend (hi, you-know-who-you-are-twin-mama!) was reducing bottles, so we opted to do this and be a bit more gentle. IE, add in an extra three days of very reduced feeds before we went to Dr Jay Gordon’s next step – which is NO MILK after 11 pm. This shit scared us.

Snort might be kissing random strangers and giving hugs out to all and sundry, but when he is half-asleep and wants milk? You don’t cross the kid. It wouldn’t be unheard of for pure fire to shoot out of his mouth and scorch us with his rage.

Last night was the first night of really reduced feeds. It was shit. Shit. Shit. He had – I think – three feeds after 11 pm. It was so shit that tonight we go total milk free after 11 pm.

No problem for Coconut – she often goes the full twelve hours with no peep, or may want one tiny feed. But for Snort? Jesus. JESUS. JAY-SUS. Wish us luck, because, yo, we’re going to need it.

Still – touch wood – naptime is going so fucking swimmingly that I do have hopes for the night. And comfort in knowing that we are not taking away milk and mama/mummy comfort. He’ll have us right by him every step of the way.

(And short cute Coconut story – this morning she picked up an orange and exclaimed in joy, ‘Orange!’ She then began to squeeeeeeeze. It dripped all over the table and she was shaking from the effort of pulverizing this thing. She then smiled and calmly said, ‘Juice.’)

What about you guys? Anyone needed to nightwean? What were your experiences? Any advice?

I think the next steps are getting through this no milk stuff – Dr Gordon talks about cuddling and then putting down awake, and then moving to shushing and back patting or whatever. Snort does not want to cuddle at night when upset, so we’ll jump straight to attempting to offer comfort otherwise. As per usual.

I need to reread all the stuff, but once we’ve got post-11 pm licked, well, at some point we’ll look at dropping that 10:30 feed. I don’t want the kid to starve, though.

Okay. It’s Friday morning, and my kids are cooking up a storm at their play kitchen, so I’m going to enjoy what might be my last wide awake good morning for a few days – unless of course the universe feeds Snort through an invisible tube in his belly button throughout the night so he doesn’t bother to wake for milk and get upset when it’s not there.

Yeah. I didn’t think so.