Night Weaning…Night One…Gordon Method

19 Mar

Well hello there.  It is currently 4:32pm in Arizona right now and I’m about ready to call it a day and go curl up in bed.  If only I could actually do that.  That would be nice.

Last night was night one of using Dr. Jay Gordon’s attachment parenting night weaning.  You can find a great article on his website here.  Before bed, I asked Keith if we were sure we wanted to start tonight as we have been pushing this off for weeks, but knowing that in one week Cameryn could be night weaned kept us focused.  I put Cameryn to bed around 8:00pm (and yes, she is still sleeping in our bed.  I can’t believe it either).  At around 11:30 she woke me up wanting to nurse.  I was just about to nurse her but realized she was leaking through her diaper.  No good.  Keith took C to her own room to get her changed while I put new sheets on the bed. 

Once we were all back in bed, I fed Cameryn until I noticed she was nursing for comfort and not for food.  I pulled her off and that is when the night got interesting.  Cameryn cried and screamed and wouldn’t stop.  A few times she cuddled into me and almost fell asleep, but each time she popped her head up and started crying. 

I finally had Keith go get her a frozen pacifier.  Cameryn has never been big on sucking pacifiers and only chews on them a bit.  Once she got the pacifier, she immediately started settling down.  Within about 5 minutes she was sleeping.  This is a sad fact, but it is the first time since bringing her home that I can remember that she fell asleep on her own while in bed.  She is a huge fan on nursing to sleep and that is how she always falls asleep unless she was in her swing or in the car.  So this was a major event in our house!  Smile

But it didn’t last long.  About 10 minutes later she was up again.  Great.  Since she had fallen asleep for a short amount of time I was able to nurse her again for just a minute as the plan lays out.  This actually worked out good because when I unlatched her she immediately went to sleep.

Once she fell asleep, it was right around 12:30am.  I of course couldn’t fall right back asleep as I felt a flood of emotions.  I felt awful that I just let my daughter cry for a straight 30 minutes and I was also questioning the method.  But I just remembered reading that in the morning she will act like nothing happened.  It was also helping me justify my decision by knowing that her crying was more of a whining cry and not a full all out cry the whole time.  I think she was just confused and angry more than anything.

Once we were all sleeping again, she woke up around 2:00am.  I fed her for just a minute then she rolled over and went to sleep.

Her third wake up was at 5:42am.  With the Gordon method you pick seven hours of what fits your family best of when to not nurse.  I decided to use form 11:00pm – 6:00am.  When I looked at the clock I tried to nurse her for just a minute and then have her fall asleep.  This worked, but ten minutes later she was crying again.  This time I decided that it was close enough to 6am so I was able to nurse her the way she likes and let her fall asleep while nursing. 

And that rounds up our first night using Dr. Jay Gordon’s night weaning plan.  I’m really looking forward to a week from now and I can’t wait for her to be able not to wake up so often in the night.  I think her crying really took a lot out of her because on night one she didn’t wake up nearly as often as she usually does.

We’re ready to take on night two and fingers crossed that maybe tonight she only puts up a fight for maybe 15 minutes before she decides to just sleep on her own!  Needless to say, I am very proud of my baby girl for doing so well this first night.



For today’s workout, I am actually surprised I worked out since I was exhausted when I woke up, I did 20 minutes on the stair climber and then did weights.  I did two circuits focusing on my triceps, pecs and legs.  I decided against intervals since my hip is still really hurting.  I made a massage appointment for Monday as they only had one available appointment for tomorrow that I couldn’t make.

I still haven’t done yoga and think I will just do it tomorrow.  I did however do about 30 minutes of foam rolling my IT bands, hips and glutes.  Wow.  I ‘m going to be sore tomorrow from it.  My IT bands are in awful shape, they are so stinking tight!


That’s it for me today!  Cameryn is standing at my legs crying for attention so I better wrap this up!  We ran errands all morning and I have one tired little girl on my hands who needs some snuggles.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a workout of the day, glutes, and also a night two recap!


  • Have you ever had to night wean a child?  Any tips?
  • What workouts are you looking forward to this week?


16 Responses to “Night Weaning…Night One…Gordon Method”

  1. Erin March 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Good luck with everything! We just got our 11 month old to sleep in his crib about a month and a half ago. He wasn’t sleeping in our bed, but was sleeping in his swing.. It was a tough couple of weeks, but so worth it in the end! He still naps in their though, we’ve got to work on that!

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you so much Erin! It is so tough! Probably more tough on the parents then the child. Did he cry a lot? Getting Cameryn to sleep in her crib will be our next step after tackling big weaning! I am really not looking forward to that as just putting Cameryn in her crib usually ends up in a crying disaster in two seconds. What method did you guys use with your son?

      • Erin March 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

        I agree it is prob so much harder on us than them! I could not handle the cry it out method, it just broke my heart ): Before we attempted the crib at night, I would get him used to it during the day by putting him in there for a few minutes a day while I would do something like fold his laundry- or even just sit in the floor and talk to him. So then we started to try it at night.We would put him in the crib with a bottle and some of his favorite toys, and then my husband would turn off the lights and lay in the floor in front of the crib. Levi would play with his toys for awhile, and then fuss, but not cry, and eventually just go to sleep. The first couple of weeks it took about 45 min-1 hr but now after laying down for only a few minutes, Stu can sneak out of there and Levi will play until he falls asleep. At first he would only stay asleep a couple of hours and the only way we would be able to get him back to sleep was to put him in the swing. But now he either sleeps through the night or wakes up once and will go back in the crib after some bottle and a diaper change. Also I’ve read that if you are producing milk (I still pump 4 times a day!) then the baby can smell the milk in you- so it’s easier on them for the dad to be the one to put them down. I don’t know how accurate that is, but Stu is the one who puts him down most of the time. Sorry for the super long response, but I hope this helps some!

      • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 20, 2013 at 7:35 am #

        This helps so much. It is so nice to hear about what other moms are doing. It gives me ideas! I think once we transition Cameryn to her crib Keith might need to be in there with her. I’ve heard about babies being able to smell the milk as well. I think that is actually the reason she wakes up so many times at night. I am also not a fan of crying it out and feel awful that Cameryn has been crying during the night. I wish I could just snap my fingers and she would be night weaned and sleeping in her crib! 🙂

      • Erin March 20, 2013 at 7:40 am #

        I know It’s so tough!! Soon enough she will! It will be tough the first few days, but I know Levi really surprised us with how well he did and I bet Cameryn will as well (:

  2. kechiko March 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Hi! I’ve been a long time reader but never commented. Just wanted to wish you luck on the weaning. I too nurse my son to sleep unless he’s in the stroller or car so I understand what you’re going through. We just transitioned our son to a crib (per dr’s strict order) and it was hard but everyone has told me the sooner the better, and he gets better uninterrupted sleep now (when we coslept he woke every 2 hours to nurse!) I still sleep with him for naps.. guess we’ll have to tackle that next :/

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      Thanks so much for the comment and reading the blog! How old is your son? Is it so hard but needs to be done at one point or another. Now looking back I wish I had gotten her to sleep in her crib when she was five months. I remember trying but it was so hard. I enjoy snuggling Cameryn all night long and love waking up to her in the morning, but I think co sleeping has ran it’s course and we would all be better off and get more rest if she wasn’t in our bed. If you don’t mind me asking why did the doctor have strict orders to get your son into his crib?

      • kechiko March 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

        He’s 8 months. I too enjoy snuggling and the wake ups.. if it were up to me I’d happily cosleep for a few years! We have 2 doctors.. one in CA and one in MA.. the CA dr said at our 6 month wellness visit that baby needed to sleep in the crib bc it only gets harder, and to stop nursing to sleep bc once he gets teeth it promotes tooth decay.Our MA dr said that baby needs to learn to sleep on his own and just isn’t a believer of cosleeping. Fyi both drs are male.. perhaps a female dr might feel differently.

      • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 20, 2013 at 7:27 am #

        We have a female doctor but she isn’t a big cosleeper supporter. She also was pretty stern that I stop nursing at the one year mark, but I take everything in stride and just go with my gut. There is also a male doctor at the clinic who supports nursing mothers past one year and cosleeping. It is just so hard with all the conflicting ideas, but I think it all comes down to what the parents are comfortable with.

  3. HollieisFueledByLOLZ March 20, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    I was just wondering how you were doing actually and to my pleasant surprise you popped up on my reader. Since I don’t have children, I can’t even imagine this process but I wish you the best of luck. Also that is seriously incredible you were able to get a work out in after all that!

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 20, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Kids are great but man, they are a lot of hard work! I’m hoping to do my best and get back on the blogging wagon! Even though I’m not commenting or blogging a lot, I have been keeping up with all your posts! 🙂

  4. Alicia March 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m glad to hear that the first night went well. WAY TO GO Mommy!! I really do think it’s SO MUCH harder on us than them. I’m so torn about it the sleep situation as well, I sometimes wish I would have trained him to sleep on his own at an earlier age, especially when it’s 3 am and he’s fussing! lol Then around 8 am, once I’ve had my coffee, I think to myself that it’s not so bad after all. haha!

    I commend you for sticking to it, that’s the biggest step right there. Whatever the outcome, don’t beat yourself up about it. If this method works that’s awesome, if not, it’ll be alright. 🙂 YOU are a GREAT MOMMY no matter what!!

  5. Jaya March 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi there! Coming out of lurkdom to chime in, because we’ve just been through quite a sleep training journey ourselves and we can all use support getting through the rough patches with sleep! We night weaned our now 11 month old over the course of a week without any real method, per se. This was when our babe was around 8-9 months old. We were co-sleeping and he was up pretty much every 45 minutes at night…since the day he was born! We started out by really trying to get him to nurse more during the day, stretching out his feeds a bit and then only offering milk if it had been 4 hours since his last feed at night. Every other wake up, he got as much of any kind of soothing that he needed, even if it meant sleeping on Mom or Dad. It hardly took 2-3 days and he was easily down to 2 feeds, sleeping a bit longer and nursing so much better during the day. Next, we moved the crib into our room and put in side-car position and got him sleeping in there by still nursing him down, but just getting him used to sleeping on his own mattress. Next, we used the Baby whisperer method (loosely) and just gently put him down and used a sleep phrase every time he woke and stood at the crib rail. We stayed with him, patting and soothing him whenever he cried. This took us from 5 wakings down to about 2-3 a night over the course of just a few days! Next, we put the fourth rail up on the crib, did tons of play time in there and then started putting him down asleep in the crib for naps too (still tackling the short nap beast – any advice is welcome!!) and kept just doing the put down method every time he woke. Now he wakes once (on an awesome night) around 4ish, nurses and sleeps again until morning. On a bad night, he wakes 2-3 times, but can be soothed to sleep pretty easily, if he doesn’t just go back to sleep on his own within 5 minutes of fussing. Our next step is to move him into his room eventually, but our bad nights are SOOO much better than our good nights used to be! I love the Gordon method and philosophy, but I just couldn’t make it to a year, so we forged on with our plan. You are doing awesome and remember that just a bit of fussing sometimes gives a baby the space they need to get back to sleep. You’re giving C so much love and support and I’m sure she will be sleeping like a champ in no time! I love sharing sleep stories and learning from other Moms…especially other Moms who don’t have these mythical, sleep tough the night babies! Sorry for the super long post, but once I get started on the sleep stuff, there’s no stopping me! Good luck and keep us posted!!

  6. Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    So how did it go? Is she weaned now? I hope everything is going well!!!!

    • Trainer Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life March 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      No! I really need to write an update! We are still on night four. I was so tired going into night four that I just needed sleep. So we are still in limbo with the first three days!

      • Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily March 27, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        Oh no 😦
        Fingers crossed she’s totally night weaned for you soon, I remember how hard that was!!!

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