Midsummer Night’s Dreamfeed Part 2: The Plan in Action

Taking notes in the middle of the night is an interesting process. You all are lucky that you don’t get an accidental text from me in the night that looks like:

“3:15 minor hugs in chest 4=39 roll fuss”

Bless my poor phone for keeping track of this sleep journey so I can type it coherently for you here.

If you read my previous post, you know our sleep history with Benton and that we are now doing a bit of training to make nights more restful for everyone. Especially meeee.

We have now completed stage one of the plan that I am predicting will work for us.  We are two days into stage two. Here is the nitty-gritty of how it went:

Stage ONe: Night One

Going into the plan, I was fairly nervous about how loud this would get, but I still felt confident in my decision to start night weaning. No turning back! I inform my Twitter mamas that I am embarking and much luck is wished. Virtual mama power is inhaled. Special concern was given to make sure B was well hydrated, fed, and nursed in the daytime. READY!

During stage one, I am allowed to nurse B to sleep, and when he wakes up. BUT I am not to let him fall asleep on the boob as he would prefer to do. He can also be comforted in any other way that I choose during this stage. He just must fall asleep without nursing.

  • 8:00: B has been nursed to sleep while I lie next to him.
  • 9:50: B wakes and I nurse him for a couple of minutes and then remove him. He cries while I pat and try to cuddle him. 10 minutes later he falls asleep holding my hand.
  • 11:00: B wakes up, is nursed, removed. He yelps in protest, but rolls over and sleeps.
  • 1:15: B wakes up, is nursed, removed. We do the cuddle cry routine for 4 minutes and he falls asleep.
  • 2:00: B wakes up, is nursed, removed, sleeps without protest.
  • 3:30: B wakes up, is nursed, removed, sleeps without protest.
  • 4:40: B wakes up, is nursed, removed. Pathetic yelps for 10 seconds. Sleep. I am having a really hard time staying awake during nursing since I usually do most of this barely awake or dozing off.
  • 5-6:20: Constant wake ups and fuss every 15-20min. I didn’t nurse during this because I started to worry about rewarding all the fuss and kept thinking he would stay asleep. Finally nursed him for breakfast.

Oy. Looking back, this was probably the worst night, but MUCH less crying than I expected. I was feeling positive that the next night would be better.

STAGE ONE: Night Two

  • 7:45 B has been nursed to sleep.
  • 11:45 B wakes up, is nursed. He seems hungry so I let him nurse a little longer than the night before. I remove after a bit and he shuffles around the bed to get comfortable on his own. He fusses twice, but puts up little protest.
  • MYSTERY Wake up: This was my fault somehow and I don’t recall what happened. I think it was shortly after he went down and I accidentally woke him.
  • 3:30 B wakes, nurses and goes back to sleep with no fuss. The peasants rejoice. I am thrilled to see the clock and become giddy.
  • 5:30 The usual drill. NO FUSS!
  • 6-6:30 Breakfast nursing in bed.

This was a great night for us and I was feeling like he was starting to understand that sleeping was more fun than waking up a million times. It’s worrrkinnng!?!?

STAGE ONE: Night Three

  • 8:22: B had a late nap this day and went down later than usual. He was nursed to sleep.
  • 3:00: FIRST WAKEUP. I freak out. Yay. This hasn’t happened since he was a tiny baby. Or ever. He is nursed, removed, then he sits and cries for 30 seconds. I cuddle him and he lies on me. He rolls to be on his own and holds my hand. More fuss but laying still. Then some shuffling. Dozed but woke up and fussed at a ten minutes later after restless sleeping. Finally asleep after more shuffling and a nursing session again at 3:50. Asleep by 4.
  • 7-7:30 Breakfast in bed for B.

So that was the end of the first stage of the plan. I felt like we made a lot of progress, and would recommend it to co-sleepers with older babies or toddlers who don’t want to night wean, but would like to nurse less in the night. 

STAGE TWO: Night One

At this point, although I know he can fall asleep on his own now, and will likely wake up less, I am still nervous about how he will deal with no nursing. I have trouble falling asleep because I am anxious about the first wake up.

  • 8:00-8:25 Nurse to sleep.
  • 11:26: Wake up. Cry. Cuddle. Sleep within 7 minutes.
  • 11:55: Roll off (floor) bed onto pillow. WTF? This has never happened. He is repositioned into the center of the bed and he is asleep within 2 minutes of cuddle cry.
  • THEN A HUGE STORM HITS. I don’t sleep at all. B sleeps through. I am super annoyed and edgy.
  • 1:50 B wakes and shuffles around and fuss cries. Asleep within 10 minutes.
  • 2:45-4:00 Constant shuffling, dozing, cuddling, fussing, repeat. I still haven’t slept.
  • 7-7:30 Breakfast in bed for B. I have slept from 4-7. Dumb.

This wasn’t as bad as expected, and it is the longest he has ever gone without nursing. For me? Being a light sleeper really sucked that night. The storm ruined me.

Stage two: Night Two

I went to sleep feeling like it would be easier than the night before. No storms on the horizon. We had a really long day of with lots of social activities, so I expected him to be pretty tired from all that. (As I am typing this, he is napping. He woke up and fussed for a couple of seconds and went back to sleep !!!!!!!!! Exclamation points are warranted, folks.)

  • 8:20-8:50 Nursed to sleep. He went to bed late because we were at a friend’s condo eating cake pops and such.
  • 1:35-1:40: B wakes up and has a 2 minute cry. I lay my hand on his chest and hum baby beluga. He sleeps.
  • 3:15: B wakes up, lies on me. Rolls off and falls asleep. Minor fuss.
  • 4:30: Wakes up and shuffles around. Some fussing. Sleeps.
  • 7:30-8:00: Breakfast in bed. Later wake up than normal. Yay.

This was a great night.

So we will continue down this path. The plan is gentle on me and Benton, and my mama guilt hasn’t shown up at all. During the next stage, I am not allowed to pick him up, which I haven’t been doing anyway. So I guess eventually he will minimize the wake-ups and–GASP–possibly maybe Sleep Through The Night? I will let you know how we are doing. I feel great about all this so far.

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12 responses to “Midsummer Night’s Dreamfeed Part 2: The Plan in Action

  1. You can do this! We did something similar with Tommy when I was at my breaking point and I am so glad we did.

  2. This is so interesting to read. This sounds like a plan I could use since your experience sounds very similar to mine. M is nothing like my older 2.

  3. Oh, I am so pleased this is working out for you.

  4. I love this. So interesting to read. Hope your “light sleeper” stage goes away once you have a good routine down.

  5. Amazing. I am reading every word and am so pleased that this is working! And, I love that Benton holds your hand at night. So precious.

    Your’e a strong mama. Good for you guys. YAY, sleep!

  6. Amazeballs. There is hope for us cosleeping weirdos! Yay! 🙂

  7. I am so happy it’s going so well with steady progress!

    And as a fellow light sleeper, storms always do me in too. I can NEVER sleep through them.

  8. This is great! I am so happy it’s going well, slowly but surely. He’s a smart little guy, he’ll figure it all out 🙂

  9. You bed-sharing journey sounds a lot like ours. My daughter is almost 2.5 yrs old and I still have trouble sleeping with her in a separate room. I love having her sleep next to me, however I’m getting tired of the night nursing. I’ve been trying to ignore her when she first wakes and sometimes she goes back to sleep, but I think I need to start removing her from the breast before she falls asleep.

  10. I’ve been eagerly following your Midnight’s Summer Dream journey. My little girl is 8 months and we’ve been planning the night weaning for a while. I’ve been reading “No-cry Solution” book but I’m interested in your method too. When you get a chance, could you update us with your progress, please? I wish you and Benton beautiful restful nights of sleep. 😉

  11. Henry was just like Benton. He was still nursing every two hours at two. I made the mistake of replacing night nursing with a binky. You are a much wiser woman that I.

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