Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nightweaning

Inspired in part by Cinnamon Gurl's hilarious post about her decision to nightwean, we've decided to give it a go ourselves. Actually, we've been trying to do this for some time, but our efforts kept getting interrupted when Pumpkin would get sick and throw up (she is apparently a baby who doesn't like snot in her stomach. Who can blame her?), after which we'd be told to "feed her less volume more frequently", and we'd end up feeding her every two to three hours throughout the night. This would seriously setback out attempts to get her to drop one of her night feedings.

At our 9 month check up with the pediatrician, though, she said we could ignore that advice at nighttime and proceed willy-nilly with nightweaning, even if that means we let her tank up before bed. She suggested the standard "decrease the amount in the feeding" method that we'd been trying all along. We decided to go with the "increase the time before feeding" method I'd read about in one of Moxie's posts instead. We are flabbergasted (and a bit afraid to talk about) how successful this has been. When we started last Friday night, Pumpkin was waking up to eat three times: once around 11 or 12, once around 2 or 3, and once around 5. The last two nights she has only woken up to eat once: at 2ish on Wednesday night and at 3ish last night. During all of this she has had a cold with a nighttime cough. There has been some crying when she wakes up and Daddy won't feed her, but not every night, and not nearly as much as I expected.

I'm positively giddy from getting 4+ hours of sleep so many nights in a row. And I'm furiously knocking on wood hoping I havne't just jinxed us for tonight.

Anyway, if you're thinking about night weaning... consider the "increase the time before feeding" method. I'll post again if (when???) we get her to drop that last feeding. I'll also post on whether she eventually stops waking up at night at all (which seems almost too much to hope for).

4 comments:

  1. Good advice! I hope it continues to go well for you guys!

    It's been going pretty well for us, also. Especially because I am out of town for a couple days, leaving baby home with daddy. So far, she's sleeping until around 6 both mornings! I hope that continues when I get back!

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  2. Good luck and hoping for no jinxes! Sadly, Swee'pea still doesn't sleep through the night, but the nightweaning helped a bit.

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  3. I think I will start trying this. Sleep is getting much better, but we still feed 2-3 times a night. I have tried decreasing the volume and I don't think it has made any difference.
    Good luck, I hope it works for you guys.

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  4. Caramama, I'm deeply jealous. Pumpkin sleeps until 6... but wakes up 1-3 times in the night. We only feed her once now, though.

    Thanks for the good wishes, Cinnamon gurl! We don't expect her to sleep through the night. She is not as, um... wakeful? high energy? as your adorable Swee'pea (seriously, he was unbelievably cute in the latest pictures you posted), but she is not a sound sleeper. Of course, neither am I, so I think that might just be her genetic destiny...

    Mason James, you should start sleeping better and give your Mommy a break! (:
    Decreasing the volume never got us very far. We always got stuck at about 3 oz in a bottle. We were shocked at how much better increasing the time before the first feeding worked. We were going to move the feeding 15 minutes every other night, and she just started moving it 30-60 minutes later every night.

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