Co-sleeping and Nursing Toddler- no tears night weaning ideas?

Sandra - posted on 11/30/2015 ( no moms have responded yet )

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I have been co-sleeping and nursing with my son for almost 2.5 years. I absolutely love being able to cuddle with him and comfort him throughout the night but he still wakes quite often and I think we both can use better sleep. We experience 3 scenarios : 1) A "good" night in which he wakes up about 3-4 times and nurses back to sleep. He's never fully awake and often he wakes himself up from dreams (I hear him talking in his sleep and he wakes up sort of but is disorientated), if he nurses right away, he falls back to sleep easily. 2) A restless night when he's up more than 4 times and wakes himself due to sleep talking and/or nurses back to sleep and almost drifts back but will have restless legs or just cannot get comfortable (so we need to start over with the nursing) and repeat the cycle. 3) A night with intermissions. If he is fully awake, he will sometimes acknowledge that "mommy milk is night night" so I will need to walk with him and rock him to sleep on my shoulder. This usually does not happen right away. He will turn on the light and ask for books and snacks. Usually, I can only rock him until he is sleepy and then we wind up nursing. I already tried gentle weaning and it backfired. I started telling him a few months ago that my milk is going to go "night night" - but, he then stopped wanting to go to bed. Every night he tells me "I stay up. No night night" (until he nurses to sleep). If I were to go back to trying this again, I think I'll end up with a toddler who will be up for hours reading books, snacking, etc. When he is very alert because he is not nursed back to sleep, he is really up (turns on the light, gets a book). My attempts to go back to sleep do not work because he is inconsolable and will not let me even hold him (which is not typical for him, he's usually a cuddler even if he's upset...just not when it comes to sleep). I can't figure out why he's more restless (legs wake him or prevent him from going back to sleep) on some nights more than on others. The routine is pretty standard. The sleep talking for both nap and bedtime and consistent. He's just a light sleeper and when he starts talking he wakes himself up.

Does anyone have suggestions on who to night wean that do not involve crying? Or perhaps ideas to improve his sleep and restlessness?

Thanks everyone for your ideas and support !

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