Friday, June 08, 2007

I have decided to nightwean Bryn...

In the wee hours of this morning I made the decision I´m ging to nightwean Bryn. I've mentioned that I've been contemplating this to a few of you over the past couple of weeks because Bryn is feeding every 20 minutes or so through the eveing, from about 6.30-7pm onwards. Most nights he doesn't go to sleep until at least 10.30pm. On the nights, like last night, where I get him off at about 7pm, he's up about an hour later and stays up until I go to bed, feeding constantly. Then when we get to bed he feeds hourly until we get up, and sometimes more, depending on what else is going on.

Luey did a version of this, except with Luey it was from birth. Bryn has always fed through the night, but until he was about 14-15 months old, he would go to bed around 7-ish, be resettled 2-3 times before I went to bed arund 11pm-12am, and then feed 2-3 times during the night. Somehow, coinciding with walking (though I'm sure the two aren't directly linked), his sleeping has become a lot more restless.

He is tired! I know this because in the past week or so he's taken to sleeping in to 11am where he can. He's asleep right now. This means, I could also sleep in till that time, but then I'm finding it hard to sleep at night myself, and I'm already feeling physically and now mentally drained from the night time routine we have going...

Sow, in the wee hours of last night, when he cried out for the four time in an hour for "Meh" (yes, last night was particularly full-on, perhaps because we'd had a big day out?), I decided I just can't do this any more. I hugged him while he cried and talked to him, and after about 10 minutes or so, he settled back into sleep and didn't wake for a least a couple of hours (I don't know what time it was because I don't have a clock, but it was before the boys woke up, and he didn't stir until they were nearly ready for school (and Dave and Luey started have a loud dispute over whether or not Luey needed a beanie, grrr), so a couple of hours at least)...

Tonight I'll make sure I have a bottle of water handy, and he'll have lots of hugs and quiet reassurances, but I'm starting the process of nightweaning, and of getting our sleeping back to a pattern that works for both of us. He'll still have meh going to bed, and getting up in the morning, but in between it'll be water for thirst and hugs for comfort.

8 comments:

Nic,Beren & Freya said...

((hugs)) I dont know how old Bryn is, but youve done a brilliant job feeding him at night this long. Gosh I know I wouldn't have the patience, and Ive only been doing it 6 months.

HipbubbyMama said...

Good luck with it Sif! I hope it goes well and is relatively painless for you both :)

loz said...

Sending you both lots of love and luck through this change

Amanda O. said...

Huge hugs Sif, I can totally understand as I got to a point myself where I was just fed up and exhausted and decided pretty much to start doing the same. I haven't said as much because I know it can be a rather charged topic but we've pretty much nightweaned very gradually over the past few months as he was feeding as you say - nonstop all night long, looonnnggg feeds, me not getting sleep, L being tired and feeding not because he was hungry as such but because he was used to waking and milk was right there yk? So we started with Nic comforting him down every other 'feed' time and now we're at 85% of the time he's maybe waking once, letting out a single "ehhhh" and settles with a gentle shhh-shhh, no night feeds. Tough decision but you have to do what is right for you and Bryn as individuals imo.

Sif said...

Thanks everyone :)...

Nic, Bryn is 22 months on the 16th of this month. @hich means he's about 7 weeks younger than Luey was when I finally nightweaned him.

I had thought I wanted to try and hold out till Bryn was at least the same age and Luey was, but with Luey I wanted to wait until he was 2 (came up two weeks short).

The thing I waited too long with Luey, and I ended up so sleep deprived it affected my health and contributed to the two seizures I ended up having in short order after nightweaning finished.

I don't want to push myself that far again.

Besides last night I felt deep resentment towards Bryn and had started saying no, then "giving in", which I firmly believe tells him I'm doing it against my will, which I believe will impact on his self-esteem.

Anyway, I realised last night that he doesn't ask to breastfeed in public, and even when I offer in public, he won't take it, and happily drinks water from a bottle. This something he learned during summer because he'd sometime ask for meh while in the ergo and I'd offer him water first, because stopping and getting him out and finding a place to sit and feed him wasn't always easy.

I'll still feed on demand through the day and increase day feeds if that's what he asks for, so I don't feel I'm about to completely traumatise him or deprive him per se, it may be a contentious issue, but basically not for me at this point...

Leah said...

I think you sound really calm and resolved about it, so I imagine it will go pretty smoothly :)

Juniper said...

Fingers crossed it goes smoothly Sif. I remember this stage all too well, and nightweaning didn't work very well for *either* of my kids... I think I managed with DS when he was about 3.5yrs ,and I just could not handle getting up to nurse *two* kids throughout the night.

I am going to be asking you for advice on this in a few years time! Hugs, hope it goes well!

Stitch Sista said...

Hey Sif, hope it continues to go smoothly for you. Night weaning F was one of the best things I ever did way back when and I'm just waiting for the right time with M (feel guilty doing it just yet, as she's still got a few teeth to come etc). So I'm holding out as long as I can with her, but as she starts to increase her nightly feeds the idea becomes more and more attractive.

Teenagers and the failing parent...