Sunday, 2 November 2014

Night weaning - the saga continues

In my last post for the Breastfeeding Diaries, I was considering night weaning. I thought at the time that Toddler was showing signs of wanting to night wean ... nup, wrong about that one!! The problem now is that she's almost dry at night now, but the night feeds tip her over the edge from time to time.

So this week we decided to try night weaning. It was half term so my husband was off work, theoretically meaning I'd be able to catch up on lost sleep during the day. I looked up this guide to gently night weaning by Dr Jay Gordon, which I'd read months before but had never got round to trying. If you don't have time to read it, it basically goes something like this:

Night 1 - Feed child when they wake for a feed, but put them back in bed awake and settle by patting/stroking etc.
Night 2 - Repeat.
Night 3 - Repeat.
Night 4 - Pick up and cuddle child, but do not feed. Put back in bed awake and again settle by patting/stroking etc.
Night 5 - Repeat.
Night 6 - Repeat.
Night 7 - Do not pick up child, settle in bed with patting/stroking etc.
Night 8 - Repeat.
Night 9 - Repeat.
Night 10 - Repeat.

And continue until child stops waking up. Great! Night weaning in just 10 nights! Sign me up!

Except, when I tried it, it looked something like this:

Night 1 - Feed child, but as she instantly closes her eyes, have no clue of whether she's properly asleep or not and end up putting her back to bed asleep by accident.
Night 2 - Feed child, catch her just about on the cusp of sleep so a little back rub suffices. Feel like all is not lost, ignoring fact that she's getting a bit of a cold.
Night 3 - Repeat.
Night 4 - Pick up child and cuddle for a bit, then get confused over whether Night 1 really counted so end up feeding her anyway. Get her to bed just before she falls asleep, again a back rub suffices.
Night 5 - Pick up child and cuddle, but by now the 'bit of a cold' has descended into a full-blown snot-and-cough-fest. Feel guilty. Feed her but still console self with the fact that she goes to sleep in her bed. Just.
Night 6 - Snot-and-cough-fest continues. Abandon night weaning attempts altogether.

So either night weaning in 10 nights is not really realistic as life (and snot) gets in the way, or ... I'm just a bit rubbish at night weaning.


  1. There is absolutely no way a linear flow chart like this is going to work is there! It needs to be more of a complex diagram featuring revert to night one if child has cold type approach with all sorts of yes/no options in it! Lovely post. You'll both get there. Thanks for sharing with the Breastfeeding Diaries

  2. Ooh a diagram, now there's an idea for a post! Or it would be if I didn't have such woeful IT skills that I'd have to hand-draw it and take a photo!! We've abandoned night weaning for now as we're both going to be busy with work for the next couple of months, but you can bet that next time we can give it a go she'll get another cold or cut a tooth or something!