Wednesday, August 20, 2014

//N I G H T W E A N I N G//

Night-weaning.

I know it's what you all want to hear about.

So here goes:

Anyone who knows us knows that Johnny is not a great sleeper. He is 15 months old and has yet to sleep through the night, and he's always been a terrible napper. He sleeps great when he's nursing but aside from that....no bueno. This past winter we started putting Johnny in his crib for the first time ever.  And this summer we finally fell into a good napping routine, but our progress in the sleep department has been slow.

We practice a more attached style of parenting, which for us can be summed up in these 3 rules:

    1.We try to observe Johnny's needs and give him what he needs when he needs it.
    2.We believe that babies cannot be spoiled. 
    3.We follow our parental instincts.

I believe in attachment parenting. I believe it's multifaceted, and looks different from family to family. I also believe it's not for everyone, and I respect your decision to use more main stream methods of child-rearing. 

We, however, practice an attached style of parenting that has lead to do crazy things like co-sleeping, and extended breastfeeding. Johnny has never "cried it out" and I often sit in my bed with him while he naps to get him to sleep longer. I believe that we are giving him what he needs, and I'm so thankful for all of the bonding we've been able to do. But after 15 months (more if you count the end of my pregnancy) of sleep deprivation, after having my face poked and bladder kicked all night long, after not having time to myself, not even while sleeping for over a year, after feeling so over-touched that I snap at my husband when he tries to kiss me (sorry honey!) I'm beginning to feel that my co-sleeping days are numbered.

We decided that when we got back from vacation, and before Alex starts classes again would be the perfect time to try to night-wean Johnny. Alex doesn't have to stay up late studying, so he can get up to get Johnny back to sleep when he wakes up, and eventually he'll realize he doesn't need milkies during the night and sleep like to proverbial baby that must exist somewhere (ahem....Nell). Right?

Well, it's been one week of Alex doing night times and the latest we've made it before Johnny is in bed nursing away is 4:00 am. Are we doing sometime wrong? Are we just weak? Do we just need to muscle through one truly miserable night  of "cry it out" and then he'll be sleeping like a champ?

I so want to Johnny to be able to sleep on his own, but when I stop and consult my mothering heart I just know that I can't let him "cry it out." He's not ready for it, and I'm not ready for it! Someday I might need to cut him off, but now is not the time. I have to stick to my mama instincts.

But I would love to hear from other parents out there. I have read that attachment parenting can be very hard in the early years but pays back manifold when children get older. Has anyone had this happen yet? I believe we're doing what Johnny needs, but it's really hard right now. Someone please say that it gets easier? And if you have and good tips on how to get a major mama's boy to night-wean, I am all ears!

Now, I will spam you with pictures from the last leg of our vacation.  We made an overnight stop in Chicago to see some of my cousins and ran into down town just long enough to see the bean and get our feet wet in the fountains of Millennium Park. Next time we do Chi-Town, we'll do it right.













8 comments:

  1. We only were able to transition with AA going in and rocking our little chica to sleep for weeks on end. Weeks. Then suddenly one night she slept through. I think I cried. Tears of joy. 13 months+ and hadn't ever done it. Does he have to nurse or can Alex rock him down? That was what did it for our little no-sleeper. This baby is my redemption points for having such a toughie.

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    1. Johnny will let Alex rock him to sleep the first few times he wakes up, but he usually reaches a point around 3 or 4 am where he just won't settle down unless he nurses. Once he's in our bed he actually sleeps pretty soundly, but we don't because he rolls around and kicks us a lot. Hopefully he'll make it through the night SOMEDAY! And hopefully he will be our worse sleeper!!

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  2. We've been rocking Iggy to sleep, and every night transferring him a little bit earlier to his crib. So we start bedtime routine at the same time (generally) and wait less time each night before laying him in his crib. The idea is that he will get used to falling into a deep sleep in the crib and not our arms. So far so good, but there were a few rough nights. He's usually in our bed around 6-7am. Each night has been progressively easier. Good luck!

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    1. Glad to hear that each night is getting easier! It actually has gotten better over here since the first couple nights Alex did the rocking. Johnny will let Alex put him down the first couple times he wakes up, but after a certain point won't go back to sleep unless he nurses. Hopefully that point will get pushed back a little more each night!

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  3. GREAT photos...beautiful family!! Your baby is simply adorable...and I so remember those days as if they were yesterday...my kids are now 14 and 11 and wow, it goes in a blink....

    Thanks for sharing
    xoxoxo
    ~Chris

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    1. Thanks for reading, Chris! Yes, I have been told by many how fleeting this baby-time is in the big picture, so even when it's hard I remind myself to drink it in and savor it all.

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  4. Hi! I just found you on Instagram 'cause we're attachment parenting, co-sleeping, extended-breastfeeding ... and night weaning. :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

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