OK. So perhaps I spoke a bit soon the other day when I wrote this post about weaning for good.
I had the best intentions and I made it two days, but then the early morning wake-ups were kicking my butt. And also, my boobs hurt like whoa, which I could’ve looked beyond, but the sleep? Not cool.
Here’s the thing. Fern usually sleeps like a champ. Her bed time is typically between 8:00 and 8:30 PM and she usually wakes up around 6:00 or 6:30 AM, at which time I would do a quick nursing session (quick as in 3-minutes quick) and then she would go back to sleep until sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Occasionally even longer!
The mornings that I cut out that early nursing session? She was up at 6:00 and I couldn’t get her to go back to sleep. I rocked her and she fell asleep on my shoulder, but then when I put her in her Pack n’ Play (She sleeps in her teepee all night until she wakes up at the 6:00 AM hour and then she goes back to sleep in her play yard for the last couple hours of sleep), she just cried. I tried letting her cry for a bit, because almost always lasts for just a minute or two before she’s back to sleep, but it was no use. I let her cry for a good 20 (+) minutes before realizing that it just wasn’t going to happen.
Now here is the part where you’re probably going to tell me that she’s probably just “ready for her day” when she wakes up at that time, but I would politely disagree. If she truly was ready for the day, then she wouldn’t fall back asleep for 2 (+) hours when I nurse her for only three minutes. I’m not buying it.
Granted, part of my reason for wanting her to stick with this sleep routine is because I do my best work early in the morning. I can get up around 6:00 AM and crank out a couple of blog posts before she starts her day, which is perfect. Naps aren’t always super dependable for working (i.e. her half hour nap yesterday) and I still have to get other stuff done each day. Life isn’t just blogging. But, even though I really do need that time to work in the morning, I mostly just think she’s still tired. These past couple of days with the early wake ups have made her a total grump. All. Day. Long.
So, what’s a mama to do?
I was wondering if maybe she was possibly hungry and toyed with the thought of leaving a little snack cup of Cheerios or something on her dresser where she could come get a few when she woke up in the morning, but then the thought of a choking hazard while I wasn’t around (however unlikely) convinced me that it wasn’t a great idea. Perhaps a cup of water? I have no idea. I mean, it’s not like she’s super hungry or anything since we don’t have 20 minute morning nursing sessions or anything so she’s really not even getting much milk. Ugh. Why is this so confusing?
Also, I tried making sure she was plenty full at bed time in case it was the hunger thing that was making her not be able to fall back asleep, but it doesn’t seem to be the case, because she ate a TON last night and still woke up at 4:30 AM this morning. I tried rocking her back to sleep and she fell asleep for a minute, but when I laid her down… same thing. Tears and wailing. So, I gave in and nursed her. Because, seriously? 4:30 AM…not happening. EVER.
So, here’s where you come in seasoned veteran mamas…
How did you get through early morning weaning without having a toddler who wakes up at 4:30 AM every day?
Any suggestions ou have for making this transition easier would be much appreciated.
Totally at a loss here.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: