I was having a hard time even deciding what to do because most sleep training seems require the child sleeping in a crip or in another room. We do neither so it was important to find a method that allowed for bedsharing. Then I found Dr. Jay Gordon's nightweaning method of sleep training. Dr. Jay not only allowed for bedsharing, he preferred it, so we dove off the deep end and are giving it a go.
I wanted to record our efforts in case others were interested in trying this method out.
The First Three Nights
At any time before 11 p.m. (including 10:58) nurse to sleep, cuddle and nurse when he wakes up and nurse him back to sleep, but stop offering nursing to sleep as the solution to waking after 11 p.m.. Instead…..
When your baby awakens at midnight or any other time after 11 p.m., hug him, nurse him for a short time but make sure he does not fall asleep on the breast and put him down awake. Rub and pat and cuddle a little until he falls asleep but don’t put him back on the breast (or give him a bottle if that’s what you’ve been doing). He must fall asleep with your comfort beside him, but not having to nurse to feel comforted enough to drift off.
I decided our 7 hours were to be 11-6, giving me 7 hours of sleep (hopefully). This first night, Sebastian did great. He went to sleep at the breast at exactly 11 pm. He slept until 2 am or so. I briefly nursed him and pulled him off before he was asleep, and then he slept through the rest of the night.
Sebastian was out by 11pm and was asleep for four hours. I'm thinking, awesome, this is going to work. I nurse him briefly again but he gets pissed when I pull off. He had full out tantrums with crying and kicking for two hours off and on. Alex and I rocked him, sang to him, held him...he refused all of it, hitting us and flailing around. I kept telling him "Baby night night, mama night night, dada night night, na nas night night" (Na na is what he seems to say for nursing) and he would flip out at the "na nas night night" part. So he understood what was going on but didn't like it. Finally he passed out at 5:30 am. Surprisingly enough, he woke up happy and smiley. I made a big deal about how na nas were now awake and he could eat as much as he wanted. That made him smile.
I was so afraid we'd have a repeat of night two. Luckily, we did not. He was down by our cut off of 11pm. Before he was asleep I told him that na nas would be going to sleep as well and he didn't react. He slept until 5 am! At that time I nursed him for a minute and pulled off. He protested for a second, then rolled over and went to sleep.
Tonight it gets tougher with me not offering to nurse at any waking before 6am. I'm sort of scared.