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Two More Steps Forward (with my fingers crossed)

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Well, we've still got plenty of time for set backs, but the last week has gone fairly smoothly in terms of weaning.

In fact, Emmitt has gone to bed without nursing for seven nights in a row now.

It started last Monday. I was leaving for Chicago the next day to speak at a conference and was going to be spending the night while Greg stayed here with the kids. I thought it might be a good idea to try putting Emmitt to bed without nursing him, sort of to prepare him for Tuesday night.

We went in and I changed his diaper and got his pajamas on. Then we sat and rocked and I sang to him for a bit. I put him in his crib and tucked his blanket in around him and put an Emmitt sized teddy bear in there with him.

(We'd learned a few months ago that if Greg went in to take care of him in the middle of the night, the fastest way to get him back to sleep was to curl up with him in the spare bed. Emmitt would still wake up several times, but instead of crying, he'd roll over, grab Greg and go back to sleep. So, we thought we'd try giving him something he could cuddle.)

Sure enough, I only had to get up with Emmitt one time that night and it wasn't until 6am. I heard him at 1am and 3am, but he simply fussed for a minute and went back to sleep. My guess is he fussed, rolled over, grabbed "Grommit" and fell asleep again. (Yay!)

So, off I went to Chicago with prayers that Emmitt would fall asleep easily without me on Tuesday night.

Prayers answered.

I talked to Greg on Wednesday morning and he said Emmitt not only went to bed with NO problem, but he also slept through the night!

I was a little worried that since I'd been gone for a night, if I took Emmitt to bed on Wednesday when I got home, he'd want to nurse. So, I took Elnora to bed and Greg took Emmitt.

We've been doing that ever since.

We've had one night in the last week where he didn't want to go to bed and started fussing after Greg left. My mom was here that night and went in. She noticed his night light was off, so she turned it on, picked him up and rocked him for a few minutes. He quieted down immediately, burrowed into her shoulder and fell asleep.


He's sleeping a little better at night too. Twice in the last week I've had to get up with him and nurse him back to sleep two times. Every other night, I've only had to get up and nurse him once during the night. (And two of those days, it was around 6am, meaning he'd made it from 9pm to 6am.)

And so, I call it progress. We've still got a ways to go to get him sleeping through the night and to have him weaned and it has taken two months to cut out the bedtime nursing, but we're getting there.

My advice to other moms who are weaning or planning to wean? Plan on it taking time. Lots and lots of time. As much as I want Emmitt to wean and as much as these last few months have been really rough on me (and by association, our family), I just wasn't ready or willing to cut him off.

I planned five months to get him weaned. We're about two months into that. I hope he'll be weaned by the end of the year, but we'll see how things go. If he hasn't weaned by New Years, I'll start using the night time weaning method recommended by Dr. Jay Gordon to try and speed things along a little bit.

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  1. Blogger Jane | 6:58 PM |  

    I am glad it is going well! I am reading "How Weaning Happens" by Diane Bengson, and I highy recommend it!

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:08 PM |  

    My son is about the same age as E. He started being much more independent at bedtime when I had to be away for a one night hospital stay. He did just fine with Dad...so we tried to keep it going. Now, 4 weeks later, we can go from bath to books/prayers to crib with no fussing or crying. He just rolls over in his crib and goes to sleep. I'm still amazed every night that it happens. I think removing me from the equation for a few nights was a turning point. Dad carried him to his crib every night. And now, I can lay him in his crib too. Who would have thought that he would ever let his milk walk right out of the room without a fight?

    We still happily nurse 2 or 3 times a day.

  3. Blogger Meera | 9:31 PM |  

    i'm readin your comments with interest since i start plannin on weanin next year. Can u let me know what you replaced the b.milk with, do you just give him more reular milk instead?

  4. Blogger Unknown | 7:07 AM |  

    Congrats on the progress!

  5. Blogger The Curries | 7:30 PM |  

    When my daughter, Eileen, abruptly stopped nursing at 14.5 months, she also abruptly began sleeping through the night.

    Coincidence? I don't think so. :)

    Wishing you continuing good luck.

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