Nothing brings a mother more peace than to watch her child sleep blissfully upon her breast. I coined that just now. It is one of my sources of peace – nap time. Bed time. Well, it used to be. Until the “I am going to fight sleep” stage occurred.
I am one of the biggest attachment parenting advocates you will ever meet. With Lizzie, we refused to do cry it out and she is still sleeping in our bed. I believe down in my heart that the entire philosophy of attachment parenting is to trust a mother’s instincts and raise your children in a harmonious household according to each individual child’s personality and development. Lizzie needed so much more of mommy than David does at her same age. She was nursing constantly and if I’d had a mei tai she would have been in it. David shocks me every time he plays happily on the floor without me – something Lizzie hardly ever did at 10 months old. Or 2 years old.
But one thing they both have in common – needing me to help them sleep. I don’t mind the nursing to sleep. It is a special time for us to bond and unwind from the day. But lately David has been getting full after nursing and throwing a huge fit afterwards. I took him to the doctor today and she said he is a very healthy boy. So it must be emotional. After I was done nursing him and all my mommy comfort wouldn’t soothe him I gave him to someone else. Eventually he came back to me. He slept fine if I was holding him, but the minute I put him down, Bam! You’d think I cut his arm off or something!
So I am seemingly left with no other option but to let him have his cry. I tried to hold, cuddle, nurse and sing to him. When all of that failed I put him in the crib (where he was safe) and let him wear himself out. I was on edge the entire time. He would reach for me, wailing incessantly. Thankfully I stood my ground and he fell asleep after 15 minutes of crying. He slept for about an hour and woke up again. That is when I nursed him and now he is in bed.
I want David to be able to fall asleep in his crib. The night routine should be: Bath, brush teeth, pajamas, pray, nurse, crib. Then when he wakes up in the middle of the night he will most likely end up in bed with us again. A mama has to sleep and I am just not ready to deal with night weaning yet. I can’t remember if he wakes up in the middle of the night to nurse or not.. I really can’t. I like sleeping through that part.
So every nap time will be a learning experience for him. As will bed time. Soon he will learn that the crib is a fun place to sleep and if he sleeps there he will eventually end up in mom’s bed anyways.