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night weaning: night 1 (+ 1st dental visit)

Yes, you read that right! We have FINALLY begun the weaning process. Took us long enough, right? Here’s what we did and how it went. I wanted to follow Dr. Jay Gordon’s process since it deals with co-sleeping and I like his stance on nursing and co-sleeping. However, I recently tried the short nursing session he describes for the first three nights (cut nursing short by pulling baby off the breast) and it wasn’t happening. I was afraid for the safety of my nipples! So we just jumped right to no nursing during the night. Our goal is to be done with night nursing within two weeks, and then be done with nursing all-together in four weeks. I am okay with slipping this out a bit if needed, but this is my initial goal.

Yesterday afternoon, I started talking to Monkey about how “go-go” (this is what he calls milk) is going night-night. I said, “When the moon is out and it’s dark, go-go goes night-night. No go-go at night. When the sun comes up and it’s light, then you can have go-go.” He listened intently and talked about the moon and the sun and go-go and seemed to get it. I was even able to stop him from nursing all evening before bed like he normally does by telling him, “It’s dark. Go-go is night-night. You can have one more go-go at bedtime and then no more until the sun is up.” He stopped trying to nurse (!!!) and instead we read books. And here’s how our night went:

  • 7PM: We did our normal night routine (read, brush teeth, nurse, walk/sing/rock to sleep). NOTE: We are now switching the order of this routine to be nurse, brush teeth, read, walk/sing/rock to sleep. Tonight was night one of that and it went fine (with Monkey protesting having his teeth brushed as per usual).
  • 8:30PM:He woke up and I tried my “no go-go” routine but he wouldn’t go back down so I nursed him. My plan was for the overnight anyway, but I thought I’d try it.
  • 9PM: We went to bed and I was able to just cuddle him with no nursing to go to sleep with us.
  • 10:30PM: He wanted to nurse. I told him no and explained again about night and go-go. No dice, so DW got up and walked him around singing and got him back to sleep.
  • 12:30AM: He wanted to nurse and I repeated my line and he got pretty upset. He cried pretty hard for about 15 minutes while both DW and I comforted him and told him go-go would be back with the sun. DW got up and walked him around singing and got him back to sleep.
  • 1:30AM: He was at it again. There was a very small amount of crying (~5 minutes) and then he just refused to go back to sleep. We tried keeping him in bed and getting him to go to sleep until 2AM. At that point, I got up with him and we hung out for about an hour with me telling him it was night-night time, he needed to go night-night, go-go was night-night, Mommy was night-night, etc. At 3AM, I tried walking him around but he wouldn’t go down. DW got up with him and after a couple of tries, finally got him back to sleep around 3:45AM.
  • 6:30AM: He was up for the day. At that point, I told him he could have go-go because it was light out, but he didn’t want it (!!!). After maybe half an hour, he nursed, but it was brief.

Nutty, right? But there was no nursing at all between 9PM and 6:30AM. We made it through the night. And as bad as this night sounds, we’ve had many many MANY similar nights with night-nursing. So, it wasn’t any worse than one of our normally bad nights. I’ll keep up these entries until he’s fully night-weaned. Wish us luck with night #2…

Today we also had Monkey’s first dental appointment. We are so relieved that he does not have any cavities. However, we are not brushing well enough (which we knew) and he has a few areas that we really need to focus on (molars and bottom front). He did well with the dentist looking in his mouth and “counting’ his teeth. He freaked the hell out when the actual cleaning happened. He is scared of the electric toothbrush we have at home (so we don’t use it), so this wasn’t much of a surprise. It was sad and I felt for him, but it was also really fast. Our appt. was at 3PM and we were out of there by 3:15PM. We go again in 6 months.

And here endeth this ridiculously long post!

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