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Monday, December 31, 2007I've held off posting this for a few days because I have an irrational fear of jinxing things. ;)
But, for those who have wondered how our continued weaning efforts have gone over the holidays (especially now that you know we've all been sick) here's an update.
I *think* (knock on wood, cross your fingers, say a prayer and all that jazz) we may be done.
Emmitt hasn't nursed in 9 days.
As you know, Greg took over putting him to bed the first week of December. We got zero arguments out of Emmitt about this and viola, he was weaned from his before-bed nursing. About every third night, he drinks a bit of milk in the rocking chair with Greg before going to bed, but most night, they just go in and rock in the chair while Greg sings and then puts Emmitt in his crib. This left him nursing only when he woke up during the night.
For most of December, Emmitt woke up once or twice a night. Generally, he'd nurse the first time he woke up and would simply want comforted (i.e. picked up and gently rocked for a few minutes) the second time.) Starting the week before Christmas, he only woke up once a night to nurse and then went back to sleep.
We went to my parents the weekend before Christmas to visit and while there, Emmitt managed to once again get the beginnings of a cold. The first night we were (Friday the 21st) there, he woke up three times, nursing two of them. The second night (Saturday) he woke up once. I went in and got him, offered to nurse and he turned his head away and said "no." Not one to argue, I simply rocked him for a few minutes and put him back in bed.
He slept until morning.
On Sunday night, he slept from 8pm to 7am.
Monday we drove home, took him to urgent care and got a script for his once again raging sinus infection. (ears were clear, yay!)
Monday night, he slept through the night.
And Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday.
Saturday he woke up twice, but since I was sick, Greg got up with him. He rocked him a few minutes each time and Emmitt went right back to sleep.
Last night he slept from 8pm to 9am.
No crying, no fighting and the only refusing going on was from him that last night I offered to nurse.
So I think we may be done for good. (Yay!)
Honestly, I seem to have gotten off pretty easy. Since night-nursing was all we had left and since he's suddenly sleeping through the night, I didn't really have to "cut" any more sessions. Heck, even the ones I did cut, we never got any argument from him over. I simply stopped offering and he didn't miss them. It took about three months total to wean him this way, but there were no tears or torment involved.
(Which seems ironic in light of the heat I took over my so called "forced" weaning of him.)
That said, I did figure we needed a plan for moving forward. Right now, it's easy not to nurse a kid who isn't waking up. I'm not sure how this will go if he does start waking up again.
What we're going to do is start switching who puts Emmitt to bed. Greg and I will take turns back and forth between putting each of the kids to bed. (Right now, he puts Emmitt to bed and I put Nora to bed.) It's been a full month since he nursed before bed, so I'm confident I can get him to bed at night without him wanting to nurse.
Then I'll have to ask Greg to suck it up for a month and get up with him if he wakes up at night. If that goes well with no complains, then we'll start taking turns getting up with him.
Overall, I'm feeling pretty confident though. I think taking things as slowly as we did has worked really well. We also planned it so we'd be weaning between 13 and 15 months. I'd talked to several LCs and child development experts who said there's are several "stages" where kids are more open to having their daily routines changed up and that these are the idea times to wean. Most agreed that between 13 and 15 months was a pretty easy time to wean, but that if you made it to 16 months, you generally needed to wait until 19-22 months for another "window."