Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nightweaning thoughts (2)

The nightweaning process continues. I posted before on my attempts to wean Cecile from the breast at night by un-latching her after just a few minutes... the idea being that she would then start to shift her calorie intake around to the day.

It worked... sort of. By the third night the protests every time I unlatched her and attempted to put her back to bed were getting less and less, and she did seem to eat a little more in the daytime. Trouble is, the number of nightwakings were not diminishing; in fact, she went from two wakeups to three, leading me to suspect that the feeds were enough to tease her but not enough to satisfy. I was having problems going back to sleep each time too--maybe because I wasn't getting the sleepy hormones that kick in towards the end of a feed for both mummy and baby. Not good. I mean the whole point of nightweaning is for both parties to sleep more, right?

Soooo... I decided to simply stop. Just not breastfeed at night any more, period. Line in the sand and all that. I hadn't been planning to do this for a couple more months, but something had to change. So I gritted my teeth, reminded myself that she was a big girl, was having solid foods and had actually slept nine hours at a stretch for a while at four months old (before we went to the UK on a visit and ruined it all), and decided to go for it. If she woke up, I would comfort her in other ways, but no nursing.

First night: Dreamfeed at 10:30, wakeup at 12:30, wakeup at 3:30. Wailed inconsolably for a LONG time before finally collapsing in exhaustion.

Second night: Same thing but fell asleep after a few minutes each time.

Third night: Dreamfeed at 10:30, then ONE wakeup at 4:40!!! Progress at last!

Part of me wonders at how sensible it was to embark on this when she is teething... her lovey Sophie the Giraffe is getting a right gnawing these days. But the fact that I've recently been having thoughts of continuing nursing past 12 months (providing we're both willing) has actually made me more determined to start setting some limits on nursing now. I want to make sure that "the ball's in my court" by the time she becomes a tantrumming, manipulating toddler. I've been warned by several other mums that it's a lot harder to change things once they are older!

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