I sadly didn’t make it to the Q&A today, and I had my questions all ready! 🙂 I have two issues I am trying to work with, one per child. 🙂
I am currently trying to night wean my 18 month old, and some nights I am just too exhausted to cope, so I end up going back to our normal nurse all night while co-sleeping routine. Is this going to make it way too confusing? I actually have done three nights of weaning, and three nights of relapse, and I am afraid to start the weaning again if I won’t be able to keep it up. I read two great articles on the website about weaning, so I feel like I know how to do it and listen, etc., but I feel most unsure about this on again off again way that we have started the process…and if I should try to proceed. I found out he has cavities, so I feel like just continuing as we were is not an option since I don’t want his teeth to have more damage.
For my 3.5 year old, he wants to wear underwear at night, and we have been trying that for about a month or so, and at first he had great success if I woke him up one hour after he went to bed to go potty. He had 18 nights straight without accidents, and then success started to become harder to come by. Again, partly because of exhaustion on my part and not always being a reliable person to wake up and take him potty, and partly because he is not always cooperative. He NEVER wakes up because of feeling the need to go, and waking him up is very difficult. So, I have ended up frequently putting a diaper on him at some point in the night for most of the last month….or having a wet bed at some point. Wet beds are no fun, but when he wakes up with a diaper he often (not always) says things like, “No, Mommy, I don’t wear diapers any more! Diapers aren’t for peepee/poopoo.” So, I feel like he wants to really make this change. Since we have started having less night time success, there are also more frequent day time accidents, and he is more dependent on me for every time he goes to the potty. Soooo….I feel like I am throwing him off, but dealing with these two night time issues kind of has me running on empty.
I don’t think I am providing the consistency that my boys need in either of these cases. I have talked to my listening partner about these things, and I don’t feel very triggered by these events at this time, for the most part. My main concern is just how detrimental the back and forth between nursing at night or no and underwear at night or diapers may be. 🙂
Also, Kathy, I submitted a question via the contact us area because it felt a bit private. Would you be able to check to see if it reached the right person?
I did Elimination Communication with both my girls (4.5 & 2), wherein they don’t wear diapers at night. I created an environment for success regarding wetting the bed or getting up to take them. I agree it’s intense when you’re exhausted to have to help them too. And eventually, I imagine, they will take themselves…but that seems far away.
We have a sheep skin which repels water (pee) and a towel we put on top of that, so when it happens I take towel off, wipe pee off sheepskin and then put a new towel under the baby. I have found that there are still moments where accidents happen, especially if they are over tired. But most of the time, once they start to realize there’s nothing ‘catching’ the pee, they start to either sit up & wake, or call out for you.
Maybe letting your 3.5 yo know, you have to wake me when you have to go potty or having a small potty in the room for him to take himself might give him more empowerment. Saying we have to work together b/c mommy isn’t always able to get up might encourage him…just making suggestions.
And night weaning has been a bitch for us! I will be no help in making any thoughtful responses here. Best of luck! Many wishes of ease and happy sleeping.
I’m so glad that you reached out here, even though you couldn’t make it to the call. Yes, we got your email and I’ll respond off-loop.
In regard to night weaning, I am going to get input from other Instructors who breast fed. As my son is adopted, I did not. My guess is that it would be best to wait until you are fully resourced, and can see it through. I know that Patty says if your kiddo gets sick and you revert back for a few nights, don’t worry. But I’m afraid one night on, one night off might be tough on both of you. That’s why , you might think about working on only one project at a time.
If you’d like your project to be night weaning, here is the good thinking from a couple of other Mom’s. One napped during the day, which you might not be able to do with a toddler. The other had made several attempts, and this last time, she really resourced herself.
I just realized, this 2nd one is more about night waking – but night waking is coming from the same source of tension as night weaning. So I think this Mom’s story is valuable – especially her thinking around it and how she resourced herself.
If you decide that perhaps you will just take on the Bed Wetting, here is Patty’s article about bed wetting. She talks about helping our kiddos with the fear that makes them release pee in the middle of the night. I believe there is also a biological reality in that some kiddos – particularly boys – wet the bed later, as their brains have not yet developed the chemical or process that wakes them up when they need to go. Whether it’s biology or fear, you could let go of the idea of needing him to stop wetting the bed. Instead you could set a LIMIT that he has to wear pullups.
If you just set the limit that he has to wear pullups and you didn’t force him, but PROPOSED the pullups, holding them up for him to see… you may get some really big feelings. If it is tension that is causing the bed wetting, then using the Pullup Limit for him to bump up against and have big feelings around, could be the opportunity for him to release the tension. You may see that he starts to stay dry because he is having good cries around having to wear pullups. Releasing tension is releasing tension. We don’t have to release a specific kind of tension related to a specific circumstance, behavior or situation. Does that make sense?
The most important thing is for you to be relaxed about both bedwetting and night weaning. I truly believe that we have to get to the place in our Listening Time where we cry hard about the situation and we let go of any of our own tension around things changing NOW or even soon. Over and over again, I see that when I am relaxed around a situation, it often gets easier without me having to DO anything.
But you have a lot on your own emotional plate right now, so you might not want to take on ANY emotional projects. How about if you just work on YOU being resourced? More ideas on that coming…
You are such an awesome Mama, Brooke! It’s great that you are here reaching out. You are doing so well!!!
Peace & Smiles,
Hand in Hand Certified Instructor
Thank you so much, Kathy and Tarja!
Tarja, we did some EC with my oldest, and I remember reading what you are talking about. Thanks for mentioning it, as those methods certainly could help with the logistics side of things! 🙂
I will definitely check out those articles, Kathy. What you shared about the possibility of tension/fear causing the bed wetting really resonates with me, so I feel like those articles and the limit regarding wearing a diaper will help me to help him. Thank you!
Last night I got brave and decided to try full night weaning with my youngest – even cutting out the final nursing session (to sleep) that he is used to. It actually went pretty well, and this is night two of him going to sleep without nursing.
I think you are so right about making sure I am resourced.
I just wanted to add, I have done the sleep self guided course and Patti says that yes be well resources but consistency isn’t necessary. So don’t worry if you can’t do every night. However, Kathys advice about tackling one issue at a time is wise. I have four kids, two teens a toddler and 5mo. I often tackle more than one issue at a time but only one at what I call per shift lol. So we just finished a developmental leap for my baby so haven’t tackled anything that requires me to be available or “working” at the times she was fussy – so independent sleep for both her and my toddler were put on the back burner. But I did take on some of the teens issues as they were needing my energy at a different time of the day so didn’t require juggling. We are now finished with the developmental leap so I’m moving on to independent sleep (and night weaning) for baby, but toddlers independent sleep is still in a holding pattern as I could technically handle both, as they have different bed times but it would wear me too thin.
On consistency, I’m already seeing improvement in night waking having started the night weaning process with a couple of nights on, a couple of nights off, a couple of nights on. What patti says in the sleep video is if you can call in the cavalry so you can do it every night and sleep during the day while someone else looks after the kids, great. But not everyone can and even then, it might be too emotionally taxing for you to do it every night. So she says do as much as you can and explain to your kiddo what’s going on. So if I know I’m going to try staylistening instead of feeding I say to her as I put her down, sweetie there won’t be any milk until morning. If I change my mind in the night when the staylistening is taking too long or I’m more tired than I thought I say “sweetie you’ve worked so hard I’m going to give you some milk and we will try again another time”. Patti also says it’s fine to set a time limit for how long you’ll staylisten before going back to other ways to settle (nursing, rocking, pacifier, whatever) so unless I’m super well rested, I do 30 minutes per waking before I go to nursing.
I don’t have any night bed wetting advice, but good luck!