night waking

When to Stop Night Nursing

April 4, 2013

She’s so cute. She’s just adorable. SweetPea makes every day fun, easy, and a joy to watch she and her brother roll through life. We often say if she weren’t so cute, there’s no way she would have made it with night nursing a full year. No. Stinking. Way. Am I crazy for having awakened every 3-4 hours to nurse a baby? Well, obviously when babies are born and the first several months of life it’s vital for their growth and development to nurse 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. That’s science and the standard medical recommendation. Most people probably aren’t still up with their 11 7/8 month old, though. We haven’t night weaned for a number of reasons. I’ll start with those and then move on to unroll our very big plan to night wean when she hits one on April 10th–coincidentally also my birthday!  1) Why not to night wean too early. When your newborn nurses, the suction & compression tells your body: “Make MORE” and in those early days and weeks, your milk supply becomes established. In my layman’s terms as a non-educated lactationist: you create the supply & demand set up so that your milk glands are geared toward producing a certain amount of milk. It’s hard to increase that later in the game. Nurse early, nurse often. When your growing baby nurses at night it packs on the pounds. If your baby is like SweetPea and on the smaller end of the spectrum (>25%…

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Toddler Night Sleep Trouble

May 17, 2011

The world of sleep changed for SuperBoy as soon as he could crawl, sit up by himself, and (eeeek) stand up in his crib. So at 9 months we faced teething-related night waking, sitting-up-crying while-asleep, and many sleepless nights. A few thoughts on toddler night sleep problems & potential solutions. 1) Be forgiving. To yourself, for moments of frustration, and to your baby, for his inability to express what’s preventing sleep. Be realistic that no solution is a one-size fits all. Be realistic that your own child may respond differently to the same night parenting technique. Be realistic that anyone who says their child sleeps perfectly is probably deluding themselves or embarrassed to admit to normalcy. 2) Reasons for awakening. Try process of elimination: a) Habit? b) Hunger? c) Diaper? d) Fear/Noise? e) Poor sleep during the day (bad sleep begets bad sleep)? f) Stress/Changes at home? g) Sick/Teething? 3) Habit. Sleep training works, sleep awakening at night training works too, unintended though it may be. What time is bed time? What are your bed time rituals? If you don’t have consistency in how you get your child to sleep, it doesn’t make sense to expect him to maintain consistent sleep patterns. Bed time for the first few months was arbitrarily throughout the evening. He’d fall asleep from 8 to midnight, nurse, and then sleep from midnight to 3 or 4am, nurse, then sleep til 7 or 8am. I hated getting up multiple times so I’d stay up until midnight so…

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