Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weaning...is a weird word.


Here's hoping all of you had a lovely Easter Day..
Ours was wonderful and filled with family and friends.
It is days like this that I reminded of how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in our lives.
Our extended family is close (too close, some have said! HaHa!) and holidays are always fantastic.



 Alright, who wouldn't gather 'round this sight?
Cousin friends:)


Baby L with his grandma and my Aunt Vicky:)
She serenaded him with a lullaby and his head seriously dropped.




W's hair is now long enough to fit into a little ponytail...or "boy tail" as we've been calling it:)
he's changed in the past 2 weeks and I'm catching up...
We've pushed both his nap and bedtime back...a half hour earlier for nap, and we're now fully committed to a 7:00-7:15 bedtime. In the past, it's what we have aimed for, but by 7:30, we'd still  be blowing bubbles in the bath. Yes well!

I feel like his sleep is more recuperative now that we're giving him even more of a chance to settle in. Lo and behold, and no surprise here, he's not nearly as cranky or clingy. In a moment of bravery; knowing full well the sleepless nights that would lie ahead, I also committed to night weaning him this past weekend. It's been something I've been feeling the need to do, for the sake of both W and I.
The first night was rough when a 45 minute tantrum ensued at 12:30 am. Jay and I are both using the reply, "Mommy is sleeping, Daddy is sleeping, and (his word for nursing) is sleeping, too. Wesley is going to sleep."
....A drink of water if he needs one...and sometimes 4 drops of children's rescue remedy.

He wakes about 2 more times during the night and is upset when he is again reminded that there is to be no nursing. Each time, however, he is less and less agitated and falls asleep on his own. He sometimes asks for a song ("Frosty the Snowman", always. Why, I am not sure. Of all songs! But you should hear my rendition at 3 am. I think I am falling sleep in between words...)


By morning, I'm exhausted and stumbling out of bed. But, I know that this will pass, like all things, and I feel that we have made the right choice. I recall W's earlier days where I joyfully nursed him on demand, and loved doing so. I was committed to letting him wean himself in every way. 33 months later, I'm looking at things differently. 

We're down to nursing before bed, in the morning, before nap, and after nap. I'm actually somewhat happy to do so during these times, and that's how it ought to be. It was too much for me during the night. And all throughout the day. And I think it may have been for him, too.


I'd be grateful if you'd share your nightweaning/weaning stories in the comments below.

15 comments:

  1. Ah, yes night-weaning! I wish I had done it much earlier with my 1st son, but he probably wasn't ready. Like you, I knew it was time for all of our sanity's. Take heart, you will all get much better sleep in a few days! I knew it was time, when it didn't seem to soothe my boy anymore, almost a desperation of sorts. My 2nd son has slept through the night since he was about 2 weeks old. Really.
    A great book called "Nursies When The Sun Shines" is awesome as it deals specifically with night weaning. (Even more fun is that "Nursies" was our word.) Good luck! Keep at it!

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  2. My goodness W's adorable with his tiny little boy tail and sitting amongst the purple flowers! Your Easter looks beautiful

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  3. it was so hard and yet so easy. ezra had just turned four. i was having the hardest time letting go as was he, but physically i couldn't take it anymore and it was making me resentful. it was time. i told him lovingly one night that he wouldn't be having "nene" anymore to fall asleep at night (that's all it was for the last year) and that he would learn to fall asleep in other ways. i told him that having nene was a special thing between us and that i would always cherish and love the memories of our time together. something like that. and he cried for a half hour maybe and then fell asleep with me tickling his arm. he didn't cry anymore after that. but... i still cuddle him every night until he falls asleep. and he's five.

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  4. We took a similar approach to yours (around age 2), told our son that my milk was asleep until morning. We also started alternating bed time, so Monday I'd put him to sleep, Tuesday my husband would, etc. That worked so well! We also told him he could only nurse at our house and he soon stopped asking except for wakeup milk and before sleeping (nap, nights I put him to bed).

    We carried on like that for a few months and then I got pregnant and it became SO PAINFUL to nurse him. I had to wean him. It broke both our hearts :(

    I haven't decided what I'll do if he asks to nurse when the new baby is nursing.

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  5. We are in much the same situation. My littlest will be 3 in May and I am now night weaning now. We still nurse to bed and in the morning, he no longer naps.
    My oldest self weaned at almost 3, but I believe it was because I was 8 months pregnant. The day time nursing I believe should be done by the child, but the nighttime nursing is different. We need to be strong and healthy and well rested if we are to give our best to our children. We need sleep and so do they. It felt harsh, but sometimes it needs to be.
    BTW, I am originally from Bucks County PA and it is wonderful to read about your adventures.

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  6. I nursed for 7 years straight, tandem twice. It was on the whole awesome. I nightweaned my oldest at 2, but she didn't fully wean until 3.5 and it was easy to nudge her into independence. My son nightweaned at one, he was sleeping well with me and then began waking more han normal to nurse, Daddy stepped in as co-sleeper and all was settled.he nursed until 3. My youngest nightweaning happened somewhere in between 1-2, i can't even remember! I did wean her the earliest, at 27 months. I think I was just tired at that point. Be kind to yourself. Really anything more than 2 years is wonderful and you will reap many benefits for you and your child.

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  7. I nursed for 7 years straight, tandem twice. It was on the whole awesome. I nightweaned my oldest at 2, but she didn't fully wean until 3.5 and it was easy to nudge her into independence. My son nightweaned at one, he was sleeping well with me and then began waking more han normal to nurse, Daddy stepped in as co-sleeper and all was settled.he nursed until 3. My youngest nightweaning happened somewhere in between 1-2, i can't even remember! I did wean her the earliest, at 27 months. I think I was just tired at that point. Be kind to yourself. Really anything more than 2 years is wonderful and you will reap many benefits for you and your child.

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  8. I would have liked to wean my little angle gently however, unfortunately it happened during his week long hospital visit when we almost lost him. Leading up to his stay he had been nursing almost constantly to cope with everything that was happening to him; and after his surgery and helicopter ride to the children's hospital an hour and 45 minutes away I was forced to pump milk to save myself from engorgement. And once he was awake for the first time after the whole crazy transition, MRI's and tests I got to breast feed him again however I was so raw and chapped from his breast feeding lead up to the whole situation that it was impossibly painful to breast feed (I was so sad that this was painful for the both of us at this time). However everything worked out for the best and once he was actually weaned he started to sleep all the way through the night for the first time ever.
    I wish it had happened differently, but once it was all said and done it's never been better.
    Much luck and patience to you during this time~

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  9. My middle child is 3.5 years old, and we are currently doing a slow night weaning. I nurse him before bed. He may come into our bed at night, but he may not nurse until 6:00am. I put a little clock in his room, and even though he can't really tell time, I showed him how the hands look at 6. The clock doesn't really keep him from asking to nurse, but having responsibility of the clock and learning how it works made my little man so proud! The nights have been challenging, but I see progress. This week, Grandma and Papa put the boys to bed while my husband and I had a much needed date night. (Baby went with us, but it still felt like a date!) Despite having no nursing before bed, J did just fine.

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  10. Oh my dear, this is a hard road, and thankfully short lived! But of course in the middle of it, with the tears, sadness and frustration, it seems forever. And oh goodness- they can get SO MAD!
    An LLL leader once compared it to someone snatching away your cup of coffee you are used to every day the same time of day, for no reason you can understand!
    And my goodness there is a big difference in nursing a an older toddler- 3 or almost 3 year old. Some babies this age become so dependent on it that life becomes difficult. My first son was so attached to it, that he became nearly desperate and would rather nurse than play- and I couldn't even sit down. I had to make some changes! My second son was more mild about his daytime nursings than the first, but he had trouble giving up nighttime, of course.
    And yes you do come to that place where you are all happier, and baby W. too- the peaceful nursing relationship you had before will be there again, just having changed a bit just like W. himself. :)
    Funny how we have these parenting plans when they are small and as they grow and change, so do we. I do this every time, though more at first than now.
    HUGS

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  11. I started weaning the girls around the same age, starting with nighttime first. Nursing them around the clock started to take a toll on my health and my patience. Once we night weaned, they started sleeping through the night and we all woke up refreshed and able to enjoy that special bonding time together. =) Our relationship is richer just in a different way now. sending you peace and blessings through this time!! xoxo

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  12. I'm the oddity here, both of my children preferred to sleep through the night rather than wake up for a feeding so they night-weaned themselves around 6 months or so. My daughter nursed until she was 14 months when she decided that she had had enough. My son was such a hungry little guy I actually dried up by 10 months! I was devastated about it and tried everything I could to make more milk but I finally had to come to terms that my nursing days were over. And now at 7 years old I am already fearing the teenage years by how much he eats! ;o)
    Oh and I'll mention too that once my daughter was fully weaned my son was conceived shortly after! ;o) tee hee!
    Best of luck to you and enjoy the extra sleep! It truly makes such a difference for everyone when you all have a full night's sleep!
    xoxo
    ~ joey ~

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  13. Weaning is such a personal thing, and we all do it in our own way. Each child weans in their own way. I weaned 5 babies (my youngest is 25 now!) and I remember feeling sad about the way each of mine weaned until the last one. He was the one who weaned completely naturally with no fuss, pain, or trouble (at age 5!) I was completely at peace with it and so was he. My others, well I had regrets. But, looking back, and having 5 adult sons (oldest 40) none of them seem to have been harmed or or had lasting effects from their weanings. They are all doing great! When things weren't as I wished them to be, we eventually just moved on to the next stage of our relationship as positively as we could. In general, I had great relationships with my boys, and the weanings, in the long run, were just a tiny part of a very long relationship. There are bumps in every relationship. And don't be hard on yourself! You are a wonderful mother who is doing her very best. That is enough.
    darlene

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  14. What a lovely Easter Rebecca. I haven't gone through weaning yet, but I wish you patience, love, and strength while you and little W work through this.

    http://barefootinthewoods.blogspot.com/

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  15. Thank you for your Rescue Remedy recommendation! Fantastic stuff!!!

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