"Weaning is going to be a wocky woad."
- my husband :)
I'm afraid he's right.
But I'm also sort of thinking that weaning, per se, isn't going to be the issue. Or at least not the main issue. Yes, on occasion Jonathan will tug on my shirt and ask...but it is fairly rare. The bigger problem is that nursing to sleep is his routine. Not just nursing before sleep, but nursing until completely asleep. I have, in the past, tried to nurse him to "almost asleep" the way they tell you to in the books, but it just doesn't work. I have a kid who wakes up the moment I move away and wails unless he's completely out. (To be fair, he has on occassion nursed to calmness and then gone to sleep in his crib...but these exceptions are few and far between.)
So I think the issue is sleep, really, not nursing. And I am not looking forward to dealing with this one. Jonathan is an incredibly stubborn little boy. We've seen that since he was very small, and it is getting more obvious as he grows. I know that eventually, this trait will become perseverance, and will probably be one of his greatest assets...but right now...! The most basic things are often met with stubborn disobedience and then tantrums. Repeatedly. Naptime, even when he asks for it, can be a pitched battle. This afternoon Gabe listened (I was out of the house, thankfully!) to Jonathan cry for an hour and a half because he had awakened as I moved away after nursing him down, and we decided that it really was naptime and he really did need to stay in his crib and fall asleep. (Jonathan had been acting tired earlier, had requested to go "ni ni" and nursed himself to a light sleep, so we knew that he did need the nap.) I hate doing this, and it goes against almost everything in me, but I don't know what the better option is. The "help your baby sleep gently" books haven't worked for us from day one, and not for lack of trying them. My mom says that they wouldn't have worked for me, either, which is somehow comforting and also not very helpful. I gather I wasn't a very cooperative baby. ;)
I think the hardest thing about this happening now is just that - it is happening now. While I'm pregnant, and tired, and finding life to be very hard. I'm already set to cry over next to nothing, so dealing with tantrums and screaming naptimes feels like more than I can handle. I will handle it, but I am less than certain that I will handle it well under these circumstances, and that is another worry to add to the pile.
I wish there was a checklist that I could follow that would promise a happy, sleeping, weaned child at the end (and preferably throughout, as well.) But all the checklist books don't seem to apply to this child. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps all the "how to" books for child rearing only really work on passive, easy children.
So: does anyone out there have a stubborn, strong-willed child that has been weaned successfully? And who goes to sleep without a battle? Because if so, could you please tell me your secret? :)