UPDATE: *** the morning after: Well, classic, classic classic. Not a peep. he woke at 9:45 pm and complained for about 4-5 minutes (seemed like aneternity for me) but I was determinded to let him work it out himself so he was aware he could put himself back to sleep without me. He did. And then nothing until 7:15 am! Of course I woke up at 4:30am and sat up worried something had happened and eventually poked my head in to make sure everything was OK. Ahhh, mamahood. Thank you all for your kind words and support. I am still going to be strict about no milk at night, but this whole situation was just another example of how when you're really at your wits end they change their ways and go back to their regular old selves. xx m.
Preface: for those who have not been following my extended breastfeeding updates, my little one is almost 17 months now and I am still feeding.
Well, after three nights of what seems like newborn behaviour (waking every hour, screaming, tantrums until being given milk, etc.) I have had it. Of course, I am going to continue breastfeeding during the day - his regular 3 feeds- morning, before the afternoon nap, and before bed, but I am seriously pulling the plug on any nightfeeds E-V-E-R. We seem to have gotten into a vicious cycle where L'il B truly expects to be comforted by my boob and nothing else will do, and to say the least: it is not working for me, my sanity or my body. He self-settles for his sleeps, fully awake in his cot, takes about 10 minutes to nod off and most of the time sleeps through the night. But when he does wake up, he insists on a breastfeed. The past three nights he has thrown the whole routine in the garbage and has decided that when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he can't get back to sleep on his own and calls out for me. This is fine, I can see that he might be going through some separation anxiety and needs a little more comfort and cuddles than usual (I have taken him to the doctor to chack for an ear infection or other ailment and he has been given the all clear). But when my breasts (which is well and truly empty in the wee hours) are being used as a never-ending pacifier, I have to draw the line.
Please let me know what you think of this resolution, and if you have any tips, or if you totally disagree with me and think I should continue to feed him while he goes through this stage. I am all ears.
In the meantime, here I go. Night one. I am expecting at least 5-7 wake ups (as has been the past 3 nights) and this time, Mummy is not giving in. No matter how much rocking, singing and patting my husband and I have to do.
As I told, L'il B tonight, "Say Night Night to Milk, see you in the morning Milk". It's going to be a long night...