Sleep & Settling

How To Night Wean Your Toddler in 3 Easy Steps

night weaning

I think Jay Gordon’s  advice about night weaning is a great place to start.  I referred to it often when night weaning my son, however his weaning plan didn’t exactly suit our situation, so I adapted it to suit us better.

Keeping in mind my little boy was 3 and a normal night for him was being fed to sleep around 7pm in his own bed, then waking around midnight and coming into our bed to feed for the remainder of the night. Some nights he would feed continuously from midnight until 6am. When he started the day – it was very much like a “dummy” for him. He also had a single bed, so I was able to fit into his bed and sleep with him.

The main motivation for me weaning him and hopefully getting him to sleep through the night without me was I was pregnant with our second baby at the time. I really wanted him well on his way to be weaned night and day, and sleeping through the night, BEFORE the new baby arrived.

The Upside Of Having A Bad Sleeper

“What?!” I hear you gasp, at the very thought of there being an “UP” side of having a bad sleeper. Well, yeah, there are some. At least for my little boy.

Elliot is now coming up to four years old, and up until a couple of months ago, we had next to no routine. No matter how hard we tried to get this little guy to go to bed, and stay asleep, it was just not happening.

What Not to Say To A Sleep Deprived Mum

sleep deprived mum

The twins have me on my toes again. Just when I thought we were past the worst of the night-waking in our house, here I am, back in the land of sleep-deprivation. Make that accumulated sleep-deprivation. Because a one-off night of waking up to children can be recovered from with an extra coffee the next day and an early night. But when it’s multiple nights of interrupted sleep, it starts to affect everything.

Proudly Raising Dependent Children

dependent children

I’m raising dependent children. No, that’s not a typo. I know that independent children is supposed to be the thing that parents want to achieve, but it’s really the last thing I want to do. Like, literally the last thing I do as a parent will be when my child becomes independent. That’s when they move out, get a job, rent their own place, start doing their own laundry and when that day comes this Mumma is going to celebrate with a bottle of champers! But really, that’s at least a decade and a half away! Right now, with a 2 and 5 year old, independence isn’t the lesson of the day.

Safe Cosleeping isn’t Dangerous

Cosleeping is natural, normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. Most people will share a bed with their baby and some stage. According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association website “One Australian study found that 80% of babies spent some time co-sleeping in the first 6 months of life.” Which is why it’s important that healthcare professionals inform parents about the safest ways to sleep with their baby, because even when parents don’t plan to cosleep, sometimes it’s the only way anyone can get any sleep.

Living With Sleep Deprivation

Undoubtedly sleep deprivation is one of the more difficult aspects of parenthood – particularly early parenthood. Sleep deprivation can cause a range of problems for parents, including poor concentration, clumsiness, forgetfulness, irritably, anxiety and depression. If you feel like you aren’t coping speak to your doctor or children’s health nurse.

Bonding

For many new parents this isn’t something that takes thought or action, for many parents bonding is instant and as natural as breathing in and out and the bonding begins during pregnancy and continues effortlessly after their baby is born. For others feeling a deep bond and connection to your baby may not be as instant.

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