I don’t have much going on today so I thought I’d share a few words about how things are going with sleeping and breastfeeding.
Codie is a year old now and she’s in sort of an in-between stage with naps where if she has just one nap mid-day, she can’t quite make it to bedtime without getting belligerent, but if she has two naps, she’s not tired at bedtime and won’t go to sleep. Since the well-being of the entirely family revolves around how well the children are sleeping, I try my best to accommodate her.
Last week I failed at accurately forecasting her nap time and she fell asleep in the car on the way home from the library. Ordinarily when this happens, she’ll wake up as soon as we pull into the driveway and refuse to go back to sleep, but on this miraculous occasion I was able to successfully transfer her from the car to the crib without waking her up.
I can’t really complain about her sleep habits though because she does usually take good naps now and she’s almost ALMOST sleeping through the night (again). I know I say that every week. I’m really optimistic.
Right now, I’m working on a no-cry method of getting Codie to sleep through the night. At bedtime, I nurse her until she’s riiiight about to fall asleep and then I put her down awake, but good and drowsy. If she cries, I just try again. When she wakes in the night, I nurse her for just a few minutes and then try really hard to put her back down awake. Picking up a theme here? She HAS to fall asleep on her own or else mass hysteria.
I talked to our pediatrician about this and he said he’d just taken a continuing education course about baby sleep junk where they actually discussed the whole falling asleep on their own thing. I mean, it makes perfect sense. Imagine how weird it would be if you fell asleep one place and woke up somewhere else. (Like, not after getting wasted.)
The other thing is that yeah, I am still breastfeeding.
And I’ve figured out why moms breastfeed until their kids are grade school– it’s not because they want to, its because they don’t know how to stop. When it’s 3 a.m. and she’s clawing for my boob with the force of a thousand suns, I can’t refuse. I want to go back to sleep and I want Codie to go back to sleep and nursing seems like the quickest way to make that happen so that’s what I do. I am the bottle. I am the pacifier.
My plan is to continue to breastfeed for as long as she desires (I mean, within reason, I think I’ll lose my mind if I’m still breastfeeding this time next year), but to somehow get to a point where we don’t RELY on it for sleeping. I know she’s not hungry and doesn’t NEED the milk for nutrition. It’s an emotional attachment. And if I’m being honest, I have an emotional attachment to her too.
And since she does essentially go to sleep by herself (mostly) I don’t think this point is too far off. We’re making progress. It wasn’t that long ago that I was nursing her completely to sleep, and doing that 45 times a night. Baby steps.
Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes.