This entry is to record Mal’s weaning process. At 22 months old, I finally think that it is about time to wean Mal off. Recently I realised that Mal could take more than an hour to nurse. He refused to let go of me even when he was dozing off. He wanted to be nursed continuously, throughout his sleep! This was definitely not doing any good to his sleep and I took it as a sign that it is time for him to be weaned off.
For 1 month or so, We tried different methods to put Mal to sleep without nursing him. We used methods we heard from friends and read from books but all seem to fail….at least for me, I think that they just ain’t right for Mal. Just an instinct on my part.
I finally found a way that I am comfortable with. I will let him cry out while staying beside him when he cries, I will pat him, console and talk to him. On the 1st day that I successfully put him to sleep without nursing, that was 2 weeks back, it was during his afternoon nap. Mal cried for an hour. I stayed next to him on the bed while he cried, pulled and tugged on my shirt wanting to be nursed. It was hard to hear him cried. Finally, I carried him while he continued to cry and eventually dozed off to sleep due to exhaustion. Half an hour later, he sat up on his bed and cried and dozed off again…10 minutes later, he cried again and dozed off again. I was sure that his intermittent crying during the nap was due to distress. Finally 20 mintues later, he woke up crying. Mal normally only cry after nap when he does not have enough sleep. That night, I decided to take a break and nursed him to sleep as I don’t think he should be deprived of his sleep.
The next day, I repeated to Mal that he is a big boy now and should not be nursed like a baby. He seemed to understand but when it comes to sleeping time, he forgot all about what he was told, and started to cry again. I had to talk and console him again and it took another hour or so for him to settle down and sleep. This went on and off for a week. I would access the situation to see whether Mal was over tired due to the weaning process as he was not sleeping as long as usual. If he was, I will break from the process and nurse him to sleep.
Finally after 2 weeks, some improvement can be seen. With me lying beside him in bed, Mal would toss and turn, whine a bit before falling asleep on his own. It may take 15 minutes to an hour for him to doze off. He can now go to sleep without being nursed!
I should be working towards not nursing him to sleep in the middle of the night so that when he wakes up in the night, he will know he needs to fall back to sleep on his own again.