Neither Colin or I could go cold-turkey on night time feedings so I'm instituting a plan right now to start pushing him to go through the night without eating, even if he can't do it without waking up. Sorry kid, the all night snack bar is closed (the open all night aspect of it is closed anyway!) Once I get him to stop eating then I will go "balls to the wall" with Tracy's plan. So here is a quick outline of the plan as of right now.
- He goes to sleep without nursing to sleep. He actually started moving in this direction on his own and I just pushed him further. In the weeks after Switzerland he was ending the nusing session, sitting up on my lap and then resting his head on my chest. If he tried to go back to nursing I simply didn't (and continue not to) let him. This does result in some crying but there have been no real tears involved, he is simply letting me know this is not the way we usually do this. I just change possitions and songs freqently and he eventually goes to sleep. (Honestly this has been easier than I thought, he cries more when I try to clean his face than from not being allowed to nurse)
- We set a "goal time" for how long he has to wait before eating. He generally goes to sleep around 7/7:30, the goal time the first night was 10.
- After three nights at that goal, we add 1 hour to the goal time.
- Beyond the goal time I'm more flexible, but I have started adding a new goal time 3 hours after the first. We start to have trouble around 4am because he has often decides to be awake for an hour or two at that time, so I'm very motivated to just put him back to sleep as fast as possible at that hour.
- Once he is going the whole night without eating (which will hopefully make him a better eater during the day) I will then institute the Pick Up/Put Down method to break him of needing us to go back to sleep (I have a faint hope that he will wake up less once he knows there is no food invovled, but so far no dice). It is just what it sounds like. Colin cries, I pick him up and as soon as he stops (and not a second later) he gets put back down, at which point he will cry again, and you repeat until you basically exhaust the child into sleeping. If Colin were younger she says it would only take three days for him to sleep through the night but he is 8 months old so she is guessing it will take a week plus. You can see why this is appealing!
- Meanwhile, I am trying to break Colin's nurse to sleep association at nap time. We are further behind at nap time because of the No-cry's advice, but we are trying to move forward. I hate messing with naps because I have just gotten him back on track taking two good naps (1.5-2hrs) but I know in the long run it is better for him (and me) to fix it now. It is hard through because if I push him to much I miss the window and that just sucks!
Wish me luck!