It’s happened. It has finally happened. I night weaned Asher and he now sleeps through the night (for the most part).
I was waiting until Asher turned six months old and started solid foods to see if he would sleep through the night on his own, and well, that kind of happened but he still needed a bit of a nudge. At his 6 month check up, his pediatrician reiterated what I already knew and told me that he didn’t need to eat during the night. However right around this time we had a lot going on, with a bunch of house guests, a wedding, a massive growth spurt and general chaos, so I decided to wait until all the craziness died down to night wean, which was really good, because the aforementioned growth spurt hit which had him waking up every 2 hours during the night demanding to be fed. right. NOW.
So on Monday, June 24th, I told Raf that tonight was the night. I was going cold turkey. I wasn’t going to nurse Asher and he was probably going to be quite upset about it so we should brace ourselves for the sleep loss ahead.
We went about his bedtime routine as normal: bath, bottle, prayers, stories, song and bed by 7pm, but this time I told him that I wasn’t going to nurse him during the night and that it was ‘sleep sleep’ time and that he could nurse again in the morning. He didn’t wake up (well, he did, but it wasn’t a real wake up and he put himself back to sleep before I had even fully awoken). The next morning I was amazed when he woke up at 7am, but I told Raf that this was probably just a fluke and that it was likely just the tale end of his growth spurt so we shouldn’t get too comfortable because surely tonight we would witness his dissatisfaction. Well, Tuesday night the same thing happened. He slept through the night, with only the briefest of wake ups. 12 hours. I couldn’t believe it and was now cautiously optimistic. Maybe, just maybe, he had figured this whole thing out. My little boy, so easy, so happy, so agreeable. Of course he would sleep through the night with little else from me than just explaining to him how things would go down. My sweet angel.
Wednesday night he SCREAMED for over an hour between 3am and 5am. He wasn’t crying, he was screaming. He was MAD. I went in when he first woke up and patted him and told him it was ‘sleep sleep’ time and that I loved him and that everything was okay, then I left. I went back in every 20 minutes after that until he fell asleep. I think it was 3 more times. I felt terrible. It was awful to listen to him screaming like that and thrashing his tiny body about in his crib, but the previous 2 nights had proven to me that he in fact did not need to nurse. So I kept my head down and pushed on through. The next morning he awoke at around 7am and was all smiles and babbles, which definitely helped eased the heart ache I was feeling.
Thursday night I was prepared for a repeat of the night before but instead he legitimately slept through the night without even a peep.
Friday night he woke up screaming around 2am. So I went in and did the whole thing: pat, kiss, sooth but as soon as I left he stuck his thumb in his mouth, rolled over and went to sleep.
And that was that. He now sleeps through the night. Of course, in the past week he has been trying really hard to learn to crawl so there have been several nights when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning to the sounds of him cooing and grunting in his crib as he attempts forward motion. I just go in, put him on his back and tell him it’s time to sleep and he goes right back to sleep. It is amazing.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the night weaning, or because he’s started solids, or simply because of the summer heat, but he seems to want to nurse 1 or 2 more times during the day. I’m not complaining, I get to gaze down into these hazel gray eyes. There isn’t a sweeter view in the whole world.
If you’re interested in reading about how we trained Asher to fall asleep on his own, check out: Sleep Training // Part 1.