Reflections on Night Weaning (at it again…)

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Night weaning is hard, even when it’s easy. Avery’s only nursing twice a day now, to sleep at nap and bedtime. It’s a big change from nursing all night long, snuggled beside me. We’re doing this to give her a gentle nudge toward sleep independence, but it’s just as much about me breaking my dependency on nursing away her every tear, every cough, every nightly stir. That has been such a wondrous gift, and although I’m theoretically ready to make the separation, my heart never will be.

I miss her as I lay in my bed and listen to her snore through the monitor. I feel jilted that I can’t lay with her all night anymore (part of our night weaning plan). I feel anxious waiting for her next wake up, wondering how difficult it’ll be to get her back to sleep, how many tears she’ll shed, how long the protest will last.

We have officially been one week without night nursing. I’m going to give it another couple of weeks before claiming that the transition period is over, but so far Avery’s doing a really good job learning to get back to sleep without nursing. Last time what broke us was her 3-5am insomnia, and her being sick. Both of those things are happening again, but we’re powering through this time. With every month older she gets, she can also understand better what’s expected of her at night, and that makes me feel better about it.

With the huge decrease in nursing comes a change in hormones. I’m getting some signs that I might be ovulating for the first time in almost 2 and a half years. Yes, you read that right – I haven’t had my period since we conceived Avery. It has been a wonderful, crampless, dry, and clean part of my life. I’m not eager for it to return.

One final reflection on night weaning: choosing to night wean was a decision I made for my marriage over my child. That alone has a lot of complex emotions associated with it. And while my wife is purely excited, I have to keep reminding myself that my marriage deserves to get priority over the child this once. It will all trickle down to benefit Avery in the long run. If my wife and I are a satisfied, happily married team, Avery will have a good relationship role model to look up to in her parents.

7 thoughts on “Reflections on Night Weaning (at it again…)

  1. I never did weaning intentionally. I wanted to several times because I was infertile while nursing. I did not get my fertility back for 24 months. I had a miscarriage shortly after and them my milk supply just went away, so that was the end of nursing at 31 months. It was a LONG time to nurse. I fully understand your feelings about missing the bond you share with your baby from nursing. But it’s also nice to have room in your own bed…. Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m sorry to hear that you had to chose between fertility/pregnancy and nursing. I hear that from a lot of the parenting community, too.
      I always assumed that I’d never have to put effort into weaning… I assumed Avery would get tired of it around 2 years old, and I’d slowly dry up and everyone would be happy with the way it went. But sometimes our priorities shift…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is one of those parallel posts that describes our life. I’ll write a post about night weaning too, but we are right there with you. Trying just to nurse to sleep. It’s so hard when they give the cry that lets you know they feel so betrayed. I think it’s getting better for us, but it’s been up and down.

    Liked by 1 person

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