As suspected, my last optimistic post was a bit previous: Loudboy decided to go back to feeding all (and I mean ALL) night, very unsettled and refusing to eat during the day. It’s partly teeth, but partly that he just wants to feed all the time. So we decided to try cutting down on the night feeds. Loudboy is 13 months now, so we figured he was old enough to guide (gently) in the ways of righteousness (or the ways of sleeping at least a couple of hours at a time). I didn’t want to stop breastfeeding either, having read up on the benefits of breastfeeding after the first year.
Of course I consulted my SIFTW sisters, many of whom have successfully night weaned already, for cunning tips. This is what they came up with:
1. Increase the gap between the bedtime feed and the first feed of the night
2. Get your partner to take over some of the night wakings
3. If you’re co-sleeping, try wearing a top to make it more difficult for the baby to get a feed
4. Expect a bit of crying (sometimes a LOT)
5. Go slow and expect things to go backwards with teeth/growth spurts/immunisations
So Day 2 into The Plan and it seems to be working so far. I’ve gone for option 1 to start with, so not feeding DS for at least 4 hours after he’s gone to bed. If (when) he wakes up, my husband goes in to settle him. Instead of a feed, he gets a cuddle and the Gruffalo (again). So far, the longest it’s taken is about 10 minutes, which is less time than it usually takes me. He’s still waking later on in the night, and I’m still feeding him, but SLOW is the name of the game here. Last night he slept from 11pm to 2pm without a peep. Progress!