Originally Posted by anewmama
I think what I am doing more than anything is weaning myself. I am absolutely for whatever anyone wants to do regarding night nursing and co-sleeping. But I think that I have trained myself as much to nurse her even when she might not need it. Last night, she nursed last at 10:30 and then even though she woke a few times, she was very easily put back to sleep by my sitting up with her and patting her. She fell asleep on me and then I just rolled her onto the bed. By 4:15 this morning, when she woke, I fed her.
I wish though I had woken on my own and fed her before she cried. What I want to break pattern wise at night is that she cries and then gets fed. So this morning, she did get fed after crying but it was time to feed her I think. She went back to sleep easily after nursing briefly.
I really think the most difficult part of all of this is trying to sort out what the baby needs and what we think they need... I know for me personally, I trained myself to feed her before she even really asked to be fed. IT's just a hunch that this is what has happened and I feel confirmed by how relatively easy it's been to get her to go back to sleep with patting and rocking and other comfort.
But I am open. If she gets sick or has teeth coming in, I will not adhere to a rigid schedule. But I think my first response from now on in our little window will not be to nurse first. we will see...
I totally know what you mean - it feels so strange to NOT just offer the boob immediately, but then it feels so awesome and empowering (IMO) to be able to soothe DS without it. I'm so happy that your DD is able to go back to sleep without the breast and without much crying. I think that's a prime situation.
Going through this (and deciding to) has made me shift some of my thoughts about parenting and babies needs vs. wants. I still feel that babies wants and needs are the same thing in that first year and am happy I could give DS whatever he needed. But, as he's older, more communicative and can understand more of what I tell him, I am realizing that I need to be setting some boundaries so that I don't go crazy! You're right, it is quite a shift going from doing everything your baby wants to learning how to say yes to some things, but not all. And, to not feel guilty about it.
On a similar note, I was complaining to my DS the other day that even the littlest tasks seem so hard to get done with DS around - like folding laundry, for example. I told him that I could just park myself and fold the laundry and let DS run around and play like he does, but there is something in me that feels guilty for not interacting with him 100% of the time. And, when I say it out loud, it sounds totally irrational - it's good for DS to not always be entertained by someone all day, but it's hard for me not to feel like a neglectful parent sometimes even if I'm just taking five minutes to get something done. Maybe that's just my personality. But, it's kinda like night weaning - I give DS so much during the day (all you can eat breastfeeding, a constant playmate, fun classes together, etc.) that I'm not going to feel guilty for wanting 7 hours to sleep at night! But, it's hard not to (for me, at least).
Originally Posted by anewmama
I appreciate how hard it might have been to find the right words to post some of this. I frankly feel the pressure to co-sleep and nurse on demand all night creates tremendous stress for many moms. I see it in the posts here. And I see me becoming one of those moms who feels she can't do it differently. I nurse on demand in the daytime. We have lovely nursing naps. I will not let those go or change that. But I need a whole fresh new approach to night time. And I respect whatever choices people make. I will not CIO. But I think I can find other ways to comfort her and help her sleep. If she ever can't be comforted, I will after a time, feed her. But I just can't nurse her at the slightest whimper anymore at night.
I hope this means my daughter might show more interest in food. Her repertoire is so limited. Anything green goes from her tray right over the edge to the dog. Every delicious concoction I come up with she rejects. Her only delight is vanilla yogurt and mandarins. I give her mandarins even though it's a bit early for citrus because she totally loves them. I spike the yogurt with oatmeal and flaxseed oil. And she eats freeze dried fruit. But this is more or less it. sometimes I can sneak in other stuff, but nothing she has taken a huge fancy to.
I also know what you mean about the posts here sometimes making these things more stressful. I love MDC and think it's an amazing resource, but yeah, sometimes I just have to log off for a while because it can be daunting to be reading about the MOST natural food, toys, sleeping situations, babywearing vs. strollers, etc. It's sometimes hard not to think of it as a measuring stick, like, if another mom has the energy to wake up three times a night to nurse and her baby is two, am I failing because I'm at the end of my rope and my DS is only 13 months? The answer is, of course, no!
I am there with ya about the solids too. My DS was really starting to get into solids about a month ago and then he has been on this hunger strike and way more into seeing what it feels like to smash and flick things onto the floor. And oh man it can be so irritating when you've come up with all these great foods for them and then they just dump them out. I have had to breathe very deeply a few times (more than a few times!) this week.
Thanks for posting - it seems like you and I are on the same page here.