Night weaning attempt #1: fail

11.17

I can’t believe it, but Jack is going to be a year old soon! My husband and pediatrician had suggested not night-weaning completely, but decreasing the number of night feedings for a while now, and I finally gave it a more serious try the last two nights. I kept putting it off because it’s so easy to just roll over and breastfeed at night, and then Jack goes right back to sleep (we cosleep with a crib sidecared).

My pediatrician who is pretty nice suggested picking one feeding (I chose the next one after 1am, so around 2 or 3am) to get rid of. He said try to pat the baby back to sleep or use another method besides nursing, and after a while the baby will learn to sleep though that feeding because he doesn’t have a reason to wake up and won’t expect food.

That makes theoretical sense, and I know Jack will got 4 hours without eating often during the day, so it seems reasonable that he doesn’t necessarily need to wake up every 2 hours at night for a short nursing session. However, I was really hesitant to try to mess with his eating and just naturally feel that he is doing what he needs to get enough calories or whatever.

Anyway, I tried two nights ago and last night because I felt like I should, and it did not go well. Both times he fully woke up after a minute or two of rooting around and being patted (which never works for us). He started crying really hard, so I walked around with him and put him in the carrier until he fell asleep, but as soon as I transferred him to the bed he woke up again and got really upset. It broke my heart to hear him that upset because of something I was doing :( I was also super tired and I hate having to get out of bed, especially multiple times, during the middle of the night. I ended up feeding him both times after a while, but it took a long time for him to calm back down and fall asleep, and he woke up a lot the rest of the night.

The following day, I was exhausted even though I napped with him. Waking up and walking around really messes with my sleep, while just waking up and feeding him in bed is not a problem.

I hope that I can try again later on and maybe he’ll be more ready. I can see how a method like this could work better for a baby who is easy to soothe, but Jack is more of a high-needs baby who easily gets very upset and doesn’t calm down quickly, even with my help (let alone by himself!) At least I’m so thankful we are cosleeping which makes breastfeeding at night really not a big hastle, so I don’t mind waking up every few hours for the next few months :)

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