River is 21.5 months, and has never been a good sleeper. She’s always woken up in the night, but for a while now has been waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse, which is making me crazy.
I decided to do Dr. Jay Gordon’s night weaning technique, starting with step 2, since nursing to sleep wasn’t the problem, but rather just needing to nurse when she woke up in the night.
We started by yesterday evening talking about how she could have milk at bedtime, but after bedtime the milk was going to sleep until the sun came out. She seemed to understand, and we talked about it several more times before bed.
The first time she woke in the night was around 1:00. She cried for about 5 minutes when she couldn't have milk while I sang and patted her back. I told her that milk was asleep and she could have some when the sun came out. She eventually seemed resigned to it and laid down to sleep. The second time around 4:00 she cried for a little bit but then laid down after a while. She was up a lot between 4 and 6, crying a bit where I’d go in, or just laying in bed awake. At 5:45 she woke up again and I could see her sitting up in bed and signing “milk!” on the video monitor. I went in and again said how milk was asleep until the sun came out. I tried to give her some water but she wasn’t interested. Eventually she laid down and went to sleep.
She woke up again for the final time at 7:45, and I went in and said, "Look! The sun is up! milk is awake!", she nursed and was happy to go about her day. I was exhausted, but glad that it seemed the first night of night weaning went quite a bit better than I had anticipated.
Hopefully tonight will go well!