As with everything having to do with sleep and BG, this hasn’t been as cut-and-dry as we thought it might be. After a few nights sleeping with just J, BG was sometimes sleeping longer stretches and was certainly not asking to nurse as much. In fact, he was startling to settle himself to sleep much more. Then he hurt himself pretty badly one day by falling with a toothbrush in his mouth (we are still beating ourselves up about this), so J and I decided that night weaning was on hold and that I would sleep with him and do what it took to keep him comfortable. Fortunately, he did not have an all-night nurse-a-thon, and in fact slept pretty well. The next night, J tried to take over again, and he simply refused to sleep after his first wake-up at 1:00am or so. This is unusual for him because despite his many wake-ups, BG has always been good about going back to sleep fairly easily and quickly.
We decided after that that a change was in order, especially because J had to go back to teaching today. This meant that last night, I was going to sleep with BG, and from the time he went down to around 6am, I was not going to nurse him at all. It had become clear from the previous couple of nights that even though the boy was sleeping longer, he still knew he could ask for “na-na” when he woke up. Last night, he could ask, but I had to tell him no.
Oh, did it suck to say no.
The first time he woke up, he asked to nurse and tugged at my shirt. When I held my shirt down, he started crying, but he would try again and again. After he calmed down a little and wanted to try to fall asleep again, he tried asking again, and I reminded him that na-na was for daytime that nighttime was for sleep. He replied, “Oh, nooooooo…” and melted into positively devastated tears. Eventually, J popped in, and he calmed for her a bit, and then I walked and walked and walked him to sleep.
Two hours later, he was awake again, asking for na-na, but this time he got mad and started pulling my hair. It took an eternity to get him back to sleep walking and swaying with him, but he finally did fall back to sleep only to wake up the moment I tried to put him down. We did this for an hour until 6:00 rolled around and J and I both decided it was enough, that we would turn the lights on, declare it daytime, and move out to the living room to nurse.
Today, he has nursed every five minutes it seems, just to make sure he still has access. I fear tonight will be another hard one. Every time I’ve read or heard others tell their stories of night weaning, however, it seems that after a few nights, they get it, so I’m hoping my son doesn’t take long. I don’t know how long we can all stand this. At least tonight my wife will have ear plugs to help her sleep.