Friday, March 30, 2012

Night Weaning - Week 3 of 3

Click here to read Week 1 of 3 and Week 2 of 3, if you haven't already.

Night 15

Despite sleeping in and having a decent nap, Sasha started crying for milk at 8:30. I was in the middle of getting Spencer to sleep, though. Then Sasha helped me make a batch of dough for Mama Jeeper's Oatmeal Lactation Breakfast Bars and we didn't finish until 10:30. She nursed, but not to sleep. We tried again an hour later, though she set her bear on Spencer, getting him started waking up.

She almost got to sleep on that second try. I find myself getting irritated when it doesn't work quickly, but I did let her nurse for only 5-10 minutes. I was hungry, too, and don't like to step out of our room for food when she is still awake.

The third try was a charm, but she didn't get to sleep until after midnight. I went to bed at about 1 and Sasha woke up shortly after 2. She settled really easily after going potty! Then she slept for... SEVEN hours!! Without help!

Night 16

I kind of hoped Sasha wouldn't nap, after sleeping in this morning. I'd like to back bed time up again. Having her in bed earlier was nice. She is taking up all of my quiet me-time. By the time she goes to sleep, I'm too tired to enjoy any quiet time. Alas, she took a nap at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

She asked for milk shortly after 10. She nursed for about 10 minutes, then wanted to go get Ronni (who had just gone to bed). We came back into our dim room and read some books. I was done before Sasha. She fussed and was ready for more milk / night night. That was at 11. Spencer had started trying to wake up while we were reading.

I put her into bed at 11:30, but she wasn't quite asleep yet. She fell asleep soon after, on her own. I rather like putting her down sleepy, but not asleep, and then her going to sleep on her own. I think this is a learning process for us and I hope she is benefiting.

Sasha started to stir at one point in the night and seemed to be trying to get comfortable. I spun her around in a better direction, covered her up, and she settled back down on her own, without ever having woken up all the way! She slept all night! She did wake up a little earlier than usual, but she got a full 8 hours of solid sleep. Woo!

Night 17

Sasha had a short nap in my lap today. In fact, I don't normally leave her attached once she has fallen asleep, but we were having our taxes done and I just left her there... until she bit down! AAACK! Reminder to self: Sasha bites down on nipple in her sleep!

She started asking for night nights around 9, though she asked for milk pretty much all day long. We nursed for 10 minutes at 9:30 and she went straight to sleep. I got her tucked into bed, under the covers, without her waking at all.

She tossed, turned and rotated in her sleep, but she slept until nearly 8:30! Without any parental tricks!! I don't remember the last time she slept 11 hours, but it used to be a regular occurrence.

Sasha asks for milk all the time now, but it seemed more like a bed time request starting at 9. I was having trouble getting Spencer to stay asleep, though, so I had my hands full. Besides, with her late nap, it was doubtful that she was actually ready for bed.

Night 18

Even having slept so well the night before, Sasha still napped from 2 until almost 4 o'clock. She started asking for Night Night Milk at 10 o'clock. She seemed awful chatty for bedtime, but I figured we'd give it a shot. We got ready for bed and I let her nurse for probably 15 minutes. When I put her to bed, she chatted with her teddy bear for a while.

She was still awake at 11 and we agreed on 1 more episode of "Bow Ba Bow" (Blue's Clues). We went back to nursing after the show. This time, she fell asleep in fairly short order. So she was in bed by 11:30-ish.

Sasha fussed a couple times in her sleep. The first time I set her bear next to her and she settled. She didn't snuggle him, she just settled. Later when she fussed, I covered her with her comforter. She wound up sleeping close to 9 hours straight!

Night 19

Sasha took a late nap today because of some running we did. She asks for milk all day, but seemed to be more of a bed time request around 9. I finally got Spencer down and then nursed Sasha just before 10. She nursed for 20 minutes before I put her to bed, still awake. Five minutes later she was back on the tit. I let her nurse for 10 minutes before putting her back into bed, awake. Again. It was a rough evening and I really just wanted her to go to sleep, but nursing her for too long turns my stomach. Within 10 minutes, she was up again.

Just before 11, Sasha literally asked for 5 minutes of milk. I nursed her for 5 minutes and put her to bed. She was literally up within 3 minutes, asking for 5 minutes of milk. I think I lost track of how many times she tried to nurse to sleep.

She finally went to sleep just before midnight, so it only took 2 hours to get her to bed. I was falling apart. I'd like to keep the long sleeping, but adjust to an earlier time, TYVM!

I woke at 5 to Sasha sitting on her potty! She has always (normally) fussed until I put her on it. She was a little difficult about settling back into bed. I finally got her into our bed with my back to her so she could hold my hair. She woke fairly early in the morning, too.

Night 20

Sasha took an early nap, but we had to scoop her into the truck (in the cold air) 45 minutes later. She still rested a bit during the ride across town.

She wanted night night milk and I put her off for a little bit because she didn't seem tired. I always give in, though. She nursed for 15 minutes and didn't go to sleep. If I'm a little sleep deprived, this behavior infuriates me. I can't seem to help getting absolutely pissed off. It makes me want to refuse to nurse her the rest of the evening. I think this is understandable if you look at nights like last night, when she nursed about FIVE times before getting settled in for the night.

Tonight, though... just some of me rethinking how we do bedtime and one flailing fit... 2 nursing sessions, nearly an hour apart. She finally went to bed by 11.

She fussed a little in her sleep through the night and even yelled in her sleep once in the morning! Still, I just re-covered her each time Spencer woke me and she did just fine.

Night 21

I really screwed myself on this one. I let Sasha go down for a nap at 4:30. And she napped until 7:30! Then I realized we were going to have to get up early the next day, too. Spencer had an appointment at 9am. I did let her nurse again at about 8:30, juuuust in case she might go back to sleep. Nothing doing. I did, however, manage to get her to bed by 11:30.

Sasha woke up by about 6:30 and with Daddy being home... she just would not settle. She wound up in front of the TV in the living room while I tried, desperately, to get a little more sleep. I think I wound up with 3-4 hours of sleep total.

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. We've been at it 21 days and I've definitely seen an improvement! I consider her night-weaned, even though she still asks for milk. We'll stick with this routine until such time as we feel it doesn't work for us anymore. I think if / when she gets sick, I might feel differently about letting her nurse during the night. As it is, I feel like letting her even once would set my nights up for disaster again as far as refusing to let her nurse. I've certainly seen that letting her have milk more often during the day has trained her to ask for it all day long.

That may be my next issue to tackle. I've found myself thinking of weaning altogether. I loathe to consider weaning on my terms instead of hers, but sometimes when she nurses for a long time (over 10 minutes), my stomach turns. I don't like the way it feels and I'm just uncomfortable with it. Other times, its fine. Even when it feels like she is pulling milk all the way from my spine, I don't mind it. I appreciate that her nursing is (hopefully) helping with my dwindling milk supply.

When I'm nursing her with sleep (nap or bedtime) in mind and she doesn't fall asleep, I find myself getting irate. I don't like the attitude I get toward her in those situations. That said, I don't like feeling as though she has duped me into nursing her under false pretense, either.

Have you experienced anything similar? How did you handle it?
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