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PomegranateSeed 07-26-2012 07:06 AM

Night Weaning (Jay Gordon) + Crib for Bed-sharing Toddler
Has anyone tried Jay Gordon's method of night weaning? How did it work for you?

I have a 13-month-old son who not only co-sleeps but who also won't sleep alone (much less in his crib) ever. I go to bed with him at 8-9 pm and can't leave. We want to start working on independent sleep, but I don't see it happening without also night weaning.

Would you do both at the same time or first night wean and then crib train? We live in a one-bedroom condo so we will continue room-sharing, just with baby in crib much of the night, hopefully. I'm fine with nursing him early AM and then keeping him in the bad. I just want my evenings back.

(And neither my partner nor I are able to handle the hours of hysterical wailing to the point of vomiting that ensue when we leave him alone in the crib so no CIO please.)

keen1981 07-26-2012 07:12 AM

Idk his method but I might wean. My husband hold lo's. I sleep in a different room. There IS crying. But a few nights of gentle loving parenting stopped that. And I was able to own my life again.

MamaLump 07-26-2012 03:14 PM

We are in the process of nightweaning with Dr Jay Gordon's method right now. I wouldn't try both the nightweaning and crib at the same time. That would just be cry it out.

I don't know how it would work for the early hours though. The method has you start with a 7 hr stretch. So for us, DS gets to nurse all e wants until 11pm. The key though is after the initial part where you are unlatching him early, is having DH take over all nighttime parenting in that 7 hr window. It might be best to start of the night before DH's first day off cause the first night might be rough. But remember, crying in the arms of a parent who loves you is NOT the same as CIO. Baby may be mad and confused, but not scared. He'll have Dad.

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tibeca 07-27-2012 07:56 AM

Re: Night Weaning (Jay Gordon) + Crib for Bed-sharing Toddler
It doesn't sound to me like the problem is cosleeping or nursing at night. It sounds like the problem is that your baby is afraid to have you leave. This is common at that age as they go through separation anxiety.

Perhaps more than working on either of those you could work on figuring out how to sneak out of bed once your little one is asleep? I have found that for my little ones the key was to allow them to nurse until they were in a DEEP sleep. then remove my nipple from their mouth. They would generally wake slightly so I would pat and soothe them back to sleep. After they were deep asleep again, I could slowly move out of the bed. At first you may only get 10-15 minutes before they wake back up looking for you. As they learn that you always come back, they will start sleeping more regular stretches.

Once you figure that out, either of the above 2 may become unimportant.

If you really want your baby to sleep in their own space, I recommend a twin size mattress (either on a very short frame or on the floor). That means you can nurse them down in their own bed, but you don't have to move them once they are asleep.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to night wean. But be sure it will really fix your problem. I nightweaned DD1 while pregnant with DD2. She was waking every 2 hours all night long. I had no delusion that nightweaning meant better sleep. Even at 4 years old (over 2 years since night weaning) she still wakes regularly EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!

MamaLump 07-27-2012 08:48 AM

Just as a word of encouragement, DS nursed to sleep at 8 pm last night and didn't wake again until 1 am!!!!! I am still in shock he went this long. If he can do it, so can your DS. And he went back to sleep with Daddy's help. He woke a couple more times, but I didn't take over until 5:30. It was earlier than our plan, but he has never gone that long without nursing before, so we caved.

I also second the mattress on the floor. Easier than the crib. Just make sure your bedroom is baby proofed.

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Liaklong 07-31-2012 10:43 AM

Thanks for posting this! Glad to hear it's working for you also (:

PomegranateSeed 07-31-2012 11:19 AM

Re: Night Weaning (Jay Gordon) + Crib for Bed-sharing Toddler
10-15 minutes sounds about right. maybe i'm crazy, but i feel like the nursing and separation anxiety are connected. if he opens his eyes, he needs to nurse to go back to sleep. i feel like night weaning is just important for us for the baby to gain some independence.

we are still bed-sharing, but on night 5 of gordon's night weaning plan. working like a charm so far.

colin-mylilguy 07-31-2012 11:53 AM

Re: Night Weaning (Jay Gordon) + Crib for Bed-sharing Toddler
I think tibeca gave some really good advice. Is this your first baby, OP? I went through the same situation you are describing with my LO and I felt frustrated, too. I understand how you feel.

I don't know if you want some comforting advice, or if you would see it as such, but separation anxiety is a hallmark of this age for babies. For me, knowing that it was a very real emotion they feel and a very normal developmental milestone made it easier for me to be there for my little guy, in the way that was the most comforting and reassuring for him. Once I realized that this separation anxiety was not just difficult for me but also difficult and stressful for him, I felt more compassion towards him and felt like I could "wait out the storm", so to speak, with him so that I could make it a little easier for him. They don't have these needs to annoy us, after all. They are just figuring everything out, a little at a time, and sometimes they need extra comfort and reassurance from Mama. It is a phase, just like learning to crawl or walk, that eventually they master but it doesn't usually happen in a day or even a week. Knowing that also helped me to be patient and help him through this phase, instead of forcing him to struggle through this difficult experience without the reassurance he was used to. It was so much more peaceful that way, for everyone.

Instead, I adapted. I brought my lap top into bed with me. DH would come hang out with me in bed, too. We watched movies on the lap top with earphones in, while snuggling in bed, all together as a family. I read books, looked through magazines I didn't have a chance to look at during the day-time craziness. I even paid bills and made "to-do" lists to plan for the next day.

I found this time that I was "stuck in bed" to actually be a great blessing. I even went to bed early on days when I was really exhausted. It was great! :)

And ya know what? The phase passed.

I think it took a few months. Some take longer, some take less, but it does pass. And now I can leave after nursing him to sleep at night and he sleeps for 2-5 hours before needing me again.

I still love nursing him at night and I love nursing him to sleep. I love how peaceful the whole process is and that he makes that association with sleep.

I guess I'm just trying to gently say that it isn't always worth giving up something wonderful for a phase that will pass on it's own. As one who looked up this method and considered using it, I thought I might be able to share my experience and it might be helpful/encouraging/insightful... I know it is frustrating to not be able to do exactly what you want to do, but you might be able to do other things that you might find to be enjoyable and meet that need you have for "me time". And maybe it might help to know that this phase doesn't last and if you do "give in" to his needs right now, you are not creating a monster or doing something that will permanently lock you down... You are just fulfilling a need, giving comfort and reassurance and when that need is met, your LO will move on and things will change again. Things are always changing, after all. ;)

:hugs: I hope you find something that works for your family and gives you peace.

And to answer your questions about the process, I just wanted to mention that Dr. Jay Gordon doesn't actually advocate night weaning children under 2 years old and only offers a method for those who absolutely feel that they must wean (as a specific goal). If you have other goals, there might be alternatives that would meet everyone's needs, better than night weaning. Dr. Gordon admits that there will be tears in this method of early night weaning and it isn't enjoyable but his method is more gentle than other methods out there. He also does not advocate night weaning and separate sleeping at the same time, as that would be very stressful on the baby. He actually encourages co-bedding even during night weaning, as a way to give comfort to your child when you aren't nursing them any longer. HTH clear up some things. :goodvibes:

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