Friday, October 31, 2014

Feeling Torn

Nora and I have reached that point in our breastfeeding relationship where things are...complicated. I realize each child has different sleep patterns and habits, but Nora's apparent sleep allergy is making for one tired (and often cranky) mama. At 20 months, she's still nursing anywhere from 4-7 times a night. On a good night, it might only be 3 times. On a really rough night, it could be up to 9 or 10. Lately, I've been feeling a bit of resentment that nursing is the only thing that puts her back to sleep. Do you know how nice it would be to have my husband be able to put her back to sleep?! This has prompted us (and by us, I mean more me) to consider some gentle night weaning. We've been looking at Dr. Jay Gordon's method, as well as the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers.

I don't want to wean Nora completely, especially now that what I fondly call "sickness season" is upon us. I know she gets so many benefits from nursing. I also know I'd get lots of benefits from waking up less each night :) However, even after making the decision to start night weaning, I've changed my mind a few times. We know we aren't comfortable with any type of traditional cry-it-out methods, but we are realistic in understanding that there will be tears. At least we will be there to comfort her and attend to her needs in ways other than nursing. My husband and I have been geared up to go a few times now, fully prepared that a weekend would allow us to nap with Nora during the day, as we know things will get worse at night before they get better. Yet each time, we've managed to find an excuse as to why this weekend just wouldn't work. I have been feeling some twinges of guilt, because I know parenting is a full time job, no matter what hour of the day or night.

However, I keep reminding myself that it is okay to think of my needs sometimes, and me being a happy mama will ultimately be better for Nora. Besides, judging by this photo, I know she's capable of sleep sometimes!

So tell me, mamas - have you ever night weaned? How did it go and what worked for you? How long did it take before your little one was able to go back to sleep without nursing?

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