Of course the title of the post makes it sound like I was more active about the process than I actually was. After making a bit of progress with night-weaning earlier, it was a bit of a stop-start process. Basically, Isaac got incredibly stubborn at times, and like all the months that went before, I was just too soft-hearted (and plain lazy) to see it through. Some nights Isaac would wake once and cry a little, but other nights he would wake more often. And it was easier to simpler nurse him when he woke so he slept for another couple of hours rather than fight with him, and have him wake up an hour later and then fight again. So we reached a steady state where he’ll wake up around 2-3 times a night (at 1, 3-ish, and 5/6-ish).
But! Around three weeks around, we began to see some changes in Isaac. First, he sometimes woke at 1-ish, would sit up and grumble a bit, and then just tumble over or snuggle into me and continue sleeping. Second, he started waking up less often, and dropped the 3-ish waking. Finally, over a few random nights, he would sometimes wake up and I would be too sleepy to nurse him in time, and he’ll cry a bit and continue sleeping. So one night, I decided to not nurse him on his waking. He cried for maybe 10-15 minutes, then slept. But what gave us the confidence to continue was the fact that he slept all the way till around 6, instead of waking up an hour later.
So over the past two weeks, I’ve stopped nursing him at 1 am entirely. He’ll cry a little a first, then less, and less. This was unlike his younger days when his crying would actually escalate — which was why we never got through any form of “sleep training”, however mild and gentle. He would actually cry more the second day then first, more the third than second and so on. By the fourth day we usually decide that it was simply not the right time and stop. But this time, he did fuss less and less, until the past few nights when he didn’t even cry at all! He still wakes for a bit at between 1-3 a.m., but he’ll just look for me, snuggle into me and fall asleep again promptly, all the way until around 6 a.m. (which is a fine waking time for me).
SO YAYYYYY! Finally our stubborn little baby is able to go an entire night without nursing! Plus, he doesn’t need soothing when he wakes! It’s been getting better over the past three weeks so I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed that we’re finally onto that sleeping through the night thing for good.
It struck me though — that perhaps the readiness of a child is really important, and every child is different. I would have loved to have had a baby who slept through the night for twelve hours at a stretch at two months (which apparently, I was when I was a baby), but as it is, Isaac is a bit of a stubborn one, he’s needy and attached to me especially at night, and he’s just… different from other babies. Still, we’re getting there, and despite nights when I would scold him in between, I’m glad we arrived here rather gently. But I think I’m the one who has to re-learn sleeping through the night now because after all these months, I find myself waking at the times when he used to, even when he doesn’t wake anymore!
To end off, here’s a picture that illustrates how stubborn Isaac can be — he was completely exhausted, but just had to keep going and going, unless he literally dropped off mid-play on the bed in this awkward position!