Weaning at night according to Gordon: This is how it works
Nighttime weaning using the Gordon method is considered a gentle method of weaning at night, developed by the American pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon was developed. In summary, it is a 10-night plan in which nighttime breastfeeding is gradually replaced by stroking and coaxing, with the aim of getting at least 7 hours of sleep at a time, without the child having to move out of the family bed or you have to leave alone at some point. In this article you will find out whether night-time weaning using the Gordon method could be the right method for you and how exactly it works.
Table of contents:
1. How long is nighttime breastfeeding normal?
There is no general answer for this. Every child has different needs, the fact is that the brain develops during sleep and it needs sufficient energy to do so. While some children no longer need food at night before their first birthday, others need food at night well beyond their first birthday. As long as you as a mother have the feeling that your child is hungry at night, there is nothing wrong with continuing to offer food at night. Weaning at night using the Gordon method is intended for children from their first birthday. It is important to mention that breastfeeding at night not only serves to satisfy hunger and thirst, but also the need for closeness and security.
2. Who is night-time weaning using the Gordon Method intended for?
Your child is older than 1 year, wakes up frequently at night and only goes back to sleep when you breastfeed him? Would you like to gradually introduce your child to the new situation and continue to respond to your child's needs at night with closeness and physical contact? Then the Gordon method could be right for you. The US pediatrician also lists the following criteria:
- Both parents should agree on the change
- You are convinced of this approach and have a good feeling about it
- The general conditions should be good (baby healthy, no moves or vacations or settling into external care during and around this period, development spurts...)
The inventor also recommends stopping if doubts or concerns arise during the change.
3. This is how the Gordon Method 10 night plan works:
First of all, it's about choosing a fixed period of time (7 hours) during which you no longer want to continue breastfeeding while sleeping - in the pediatrician's version this is from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., but you can choose this adapt to the individual needs of you and your family and, for example, move it forward or back by an hour.
Weaning at night: The first 3 nights
The difference to many other methods is that you can continue to breastfeed your child to sleep as usual and also breastfeed before the selected time (11:00 p.m.) to continue sleeping (if he or she wakes up). The following changes only from 11 p.m.:
In the first 3 nights you comfort your baby when it wakes up and cries by stroking it, holding hands and encouraging it. You hug it and breastfeed it, but only for a short time. The important thing is that it doesn't fall asleep at the breast, but rather undocks it beforehand and ultimately falls asleep again only through your proximity, stroking, humming or coaxing. This is how you proceed for the next 7 hours, regardless of whether your child wakes up after 15 minutes or after 3 hours.
Sometimes it can be helpful if your partner is involved. After 7 hours, you can breastfeed to sleep again as usual if your baby wakes up and cries.
Weaning at night using the Gordon method is most comfortable in the family bed, but this method can also be successful in your own bed. It is important that your baby does not fall asleep while breastfeeding within the set time.
Wean at night: nights 4 to 6
For the next three nights you will continue as you did the last few nights, but now you will no longer breastfeed. This means you breastfeed your child to sleep as usual, but from your set time point onwards, if your child wakes up and cries, you comfort him, stroke him, hold him in your arms, but you no longer breastfeed him.
Here Gordon emphasizes that (large) protests are very likely to be expected. Some children go back to sleep after a few minutes, others protest loudly for an hour or more. It is important that you are aware of this and support it with understanding and confidence. Your child is in a new, unfamiliar situation and wants familiar, loved help. Here too, your partner can be of great help. After the set period of time, you can breastfeed to sleep as usual.
Wean at night: nights 7 to 10
According to Dr. Jay Gordon, if the previous nights went according to plan, your baby should now be able to go back to sleep with just your presence, caressing, holding hands and your voice, he should no longer be teased. You can continue to breastfeed to sleep before and after the set period.
4. Benefits of nighttime weaning according to Gordon
In contrast to other “sleep training” methods, you remain in physical contact with your baby and do not leave him alone to deal with the changes. By breaking the habit of nighttime breastfeeding step by step, your child has the opportunity to get used to the change better. Another advantage is that you don't have to completely give up the magic of breastfeeding with this method.
5. Disadvantages of nighttime weaning according to Gordon
For some children it can be confusing that breastfeeding is not offered for a certain period of time. Which can lead to a lot of protest or even the failure of this method.
6. Conclusion about weaning at night according to Gordon
When nighttime breastfeeding becomes a burden, this method can be a gentle way for many families to say goodbye to nighttime breastfeeding. However, weaning at night is not a guarantee that you will sleep through the night. Your child will also sleep through the night one day without you changing anything when the time comes. Promised.Guest post by Marina von Schlafenzeit:
Website: https://www. Schlafenzeit-baby.com/