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Monday, October 22, 2007


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I love reading about your experiences with this kind of thing because we seem to have similar parenting philosophies (or perhaps tactics is a better word? I'm not sure there's much that's "philosophical" about what I do--just what comes naturally and what seems to work), and because I get to see a few months into my future. I think we may be headed this way once our baby's over a year old. My fingers are crossed for you!

I am still so amazed at how different babies are. I can't even remember the last time Jackson nursed to sleep. Reading this makes me feel better about putting my collection of sleep books in the freezer. They always seemed to be describing a different kind of baby and the only thing that really worked for us was saying, "This is our kid, this is what he needs, this is what we'll do until he needs something else." Which, I don't know. Maybe not the best tactic? I have no idea how many potential bad habits we may or may not be encouraging, but instead of sleep-deprived and completely neurotic we're sleep-deprived and peacefully resigned. Now if only he'd sleep past five...

Hang in there! When I was trying to night wean my first dd, it was so hard and I kept wishing I had someone to share it with. (DH was sleeping in another room... what a blessing that Brian is able to help out!) She was about 20 months at the time, and did cry for over an hour in my arms that first night. She is a well adjusted 6 year old now! It seems like only last night that we did the night weaning thing. My 2nd dd night weaned much easier, and slightly younger. My now 10 month old sleeps about the same as Camilla. But I keep reminding myself how short a season this really is. I look at my older two asleep in their beds for the night and I try to enjoy that she wants to be held all evening, and only wants to sleep in our bed. Such precious moments these are. Hope better sleep will come for your whole family soon!

Good luck, Arwen! I am continually grateful that Jack has been sleeping through the night for several months now, and I don't think it's a result of Andrew's and my stellar parenting skills. I think we're just incredibly lucky. We haven't used a family bed because for two main reasons: One, it isn't safe to leave Jack in our bed alone (I am wondering what you have set up, actually, because it's very mysterious to me). Two, after a certain point, neither Andrew nor I could get any sleep if Jack was in the bed with us because it's hard to sleep with someone poking you in the eye and standing on your kidneys. So that is probably why we resorted to letting him cry for 31 minutes that one time. It was that or lose my temper with him! And in all honesty, I think Jack had been trying to tell me for a while that he liked the rocking and all, could I please put him down in his bed so he could get comfortable?

SomMaybe having him in a crib hastened the self-soothing, or but I think we also have the opposite of a high-needs baby. But I think Camilla is lucky to have you two as parents, because you are giving her what she needs!

Nevertheless, I hope that by this time next week, you've gotten 8 hours in a row. Just imagine!

We night weaned basically in the same way (though without a 'method'...I simply couldn't stand nursing on and off ALL NIGHT...and having Gui crawl over me every time to get the 'fresh' was driving me batty. :-) We started around the same time, and also put Gui into a mattress of his own on the floor...he slept longer when we weren't beside him (though I was still nursing him to sleep), and when he did wake up and come to the bed, Liam put him on his side and comforted.

We had set-backs over the months (all that moving and readjusting) but this worked well for us!

Good luck. :-)

I like your perspective on the sleep thing. I SO wish that I had read Ask Moxie when I was pregnant instead of all those *&%#! books. It's hard remembering that this all won't last forever sometimes, though. I think I was operating under the false impression that they just start going longer and longer until they finally sleep through the night! Yeah right. She slept through the night for about a week at 2 months, and then for a week at about 3 months, and pretty much not ever since then. We've had a few 45 minute nights, too. Aren't those fun? It doesn't help that I have a close friend who merely places her baby in the crib with a pacifier. She then falls alseep on her own for 12-14 hours!!! I'm thinking it might have been better for my and my husband's psyche if we didn't know that kind of baby existed. :)

Good luck with the night weaning! Sounds like you guys are off to a good start.

Good for you! If you're this exhausted, then Camilla is probably tired too, and you'll both benefit from better sleep. I reached this point at exactly the same time with each of my 3 kids. I felt really ready to night-wean at 1 year and it went great. A couple of difficult weeks and a bleary-eyed husband, but a much happier baby and mom in the end. Best of luck!

Re: Bryan helping out in the middle of the night. My husband and I had a deal that after our girls were weaned (at about age 1), he was on night duty, exclusively for the most part. This was designed to make up for all my multiply-interrupted nights while I was nursing. The unforeseen bonus? Even when they were toddlers, if they woke up in the middle of the night they came to wake him, not me! He's the best . . .

THANK YOU for that link. I'm totally going to copy you and try this. Genoa is 17 months old and I am so sick of spending half the night with my nipple in her mouth. I know she'll put up quite a bit more of a fuss than Milla, but DUDE, enough is enough and we've tried literally everything else.

Keep us posted on how it goes!

I was thinking of you the other night because our first night in Arizona I brought Bronwyn into bed with us and let her nurse on demand all night long simply because I was TOO EXHAUSTED to do anything else. We missed our flight and after having left our house at 5AM we finally arrived in Sedona at 2AM Arizona time. She woke up about 3 or 4 times.

I felt, too, that we couldn't use any of our usual comforting tactics in a strange environment and she needed to be close to us until she was comfortable in our new digs.

The next day I was vewwy cwanky. Jim was pretty sure I grew talons and fangs and attributed it to the arid Arizona climate, because as far as he was concerned, Bronwyn slept through the night as usual. What crying? (Jim can sleep through anything and usually does.)

She was on schedule by the next night (so who me? I'm NOT whining) but then it occurred to me. Arwen has been doing this for a year.

I am even more impressed with you than usual. Particularly since you seem of good temper to me. Through the blog, anyway.

Congrats on the night weaning. I think you'll find it going easier than you'd imagine it would. Keep us posted.

I know this is not what you want to hear, but I really wish we had tried "ferberizing" our son earlier. The first time we did it, he was 2.5. After a time, we found he was waking a lot in the night again, sleeping in our bed, etc., so we did an encore around the age of four. I think it's important to distinguish the "I'm crying because I'm scared and I need you" from the "I'm crying because I'm not getting what I want." You can do Ferber while sitting quietly in a chair next to the crib, patting the baby on the back occasionally. Something to think about if the night weaning doesn't do the trick. Good luck!

We are in the midst of nightweaning, too (and we share your philosophies about sleep nearly to the letter). I've found - and I don't know how much of this is a general toddler thing and how much is my kid - that he doesn't come fully awake, just looks around in his half-sleep for boob, and my husband actually has to wake him up so he'll stop panicking (as soon as his sees his Daddy he goes right back to sleep). It's been hard, but two weeks in and he is consistently sleeping a total of about 10 hours a night with only one interruption, two at the most.

Thanks for writing this! I'll have to check out the link you mention.

I think that your plan sounds great. I am not sure why you don't think it "counts" as cry-it-out, but I definitely agree with you that the kind of crying that you are letting Milla do -- i.e. the hey I am not used to this and that makes me a little mad oh wait I'm falling asleep zzzz... -- is in no way bad or even sub-optimal parenting. We did something similar with our son at around 13 months and were so glad we did.

I have decided just two days ago that I am going to night-wean too. Nicky is almost 2 now and I am getting extremely tired of waking up 3-4 times a night because he is crawling over me to get to the breast.

So far, I've been doing this downstairs, on the sofabed (so as not to bother DH) so he's still sleeping with me, I'm just not nursing. He yells for about 2 minutes, then finally gives up, turns around and goes back to sleep. I hope that after a week or so he will get the picture, and just turn around and automatically go back to sleep. None of my other kids went past a year still waking up at night (because I never co-slept with any of them) so this co-sleeping was quite the adventure for me. All new. I'm curious to see if it makes much of a difference later on. Nicky was high needs too, but it seems, not quite as much as Camilla perhaps.

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