Sunday, 8 July 2012

The "W" word!

This post contains lots of talk (and pictures!) about boobs and breastfeeding.  You have been warned.

From the day he was born, Zachariah has been a boobie monster.
He's absolutely never slept through the night, which I was OK with, because he's grown so beautifully.  He's not too fat or too small, so I've always felt like if he was nursing that frequently that his body and his metabolism probably needed it.  As we near his second birthday, however, MY body needs sleep.  I'm quickly turning into a basketcase.  So this week, we began the process of night weaning.  Because Zachariah sometimes wakes up every single hour, I began with a shorter time period than suggested - four hours - between 10 PM and 2 AM.  Once we've got that down, I'll stretch it to six hours, and then eight.
Day 1: Sunday, July 1
Zachariah woke up almost every hour between 10 and 2.  Jonathan bounced him in his hammock a couple of times and I bounced him a couple of times.  All of the times he woke, it didn't take very long at all to get him back to sleep.  Maybe between five and ten minutes.  He woke just after 2:00 and I brought him to bed and nursed.
Day 2: Monday, July 2
I worked and got home maybe 9:30ish.  Zachariah woke up shortly thereafter, and I nursed him until a little after 10:00.  He woke up once at about 1:15 and Jonathan bounced him back to sleep very quickly.  At 2:30 he woke and came to bed to nurse.  Only problem I had was that he woke up for the day at 5:13.  Ugh.  I am not a morning person.
Day 3: Tuesday, July 3
Basically the same story as Monday.  I did, however, notice that Zachariah only woke a couple more times in the night to nurse after coming to bed with me at 2:30, which is a vast improvement over previous nights.  He woke up again at 5:15 or so and it took a good hour and a half to get back to sleep.  I probably wouldn't have bothered with continuing to try if Jonathan wasn't off of work for the 4th.
Day 4: Wednesday, July 4
I expected this night to be goofy.  We went to see fireworks, and didn't even attempt to begin putting Zachariah to bed until we got home at around 10:15.  He went down fairly easily, but woke several times before 2:00, and continued to wake throughout the night.
Haha!  I tricked you!  This is neither a boob nor a sleeping baby!  ;)
 Day 5: Thursday, July 5
This was the worst night so far.  I had to work, so didn't get home until around 10:00.  Jonathan said that Zachariah had woken up four times between going to sleep at 8:30 and when I got home.  When he woke again at 10:15, I nursed him.  I'm beginning to think I should switch our block of time from 10:00 - 2:00 to 11:00 - 3:00.  Although unless we really continue to back-slide, I want to increase to six hours next week, so it would not be as big of a deal.
After nursing at 10:15, Zachariah continued to wake up frequently.  At 12:45, he woke and I noticed that his diaper was especially wet, so I changed him and held him to bounce and sing to him, instead of leaving him in his hammock to bounce.  After probably 20 minutes of this, he looked at me and asked to nurse, so I did.  For probably 30 minutes.  FINALLY, at a quarter to two, he went to sleep and slept for a couple of hours.  This was the first time since night weaning that I needed to nurse.  We're not doing full on don't offer, don't refuse weaning yet, as I do still offer sometimes when I can tell that he's overwhelmed or exhausted, but I definitely don't refuse when he asks.  Sure do hope Friday is going to be a better night.
Day 6: Friday, July 7
A much better night.  I did not have to work and was able to nurse Zachariah to sleep.  He woke up about 9:30 and I nursed him one last time before we went into the four hour weaning block.  During that four hours he woke up once, and easily went back to sleep.
Day 7: Saturday, July 8
UGH!  Zachariah woke up a lot.  I mean really, a lot.  At 1:45, he awoke, and it was evident that he was not going to go back to sleep without nursing, so I let him go ahead 15 minutes early.  He continued to wake up throughout the night, and awoke about 3:00 for an hour and a half.

After a week, I'm not sure how successful I feel like we've been.  I suppose, if you're only looking at weaning, we're not doing too badly.  Unfortunately, it's not the nursing that I have a problem with, it's the frequent waking, which I'm not sure has abated.  I'm definitely going to stick with the four hour time block and not go to six just yet.

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