Friday, August 01, 2008

Wonder How Long It Will Take ME to Sleep Through the Night?

When Nutmeg was 18 months old, we decided it was past time to night wean her. When she woke up and cried twice a night, we tried taking her into bed with us but not nursing. Of course, she kept crying. Since she lived in our room and there was only really room for one of us on the living room couch, we had no choice to either keep trying to make her stop or lie there, miserably, with our pillows over our heads, worrying about the downstairs and upstairs neighbors. Eventually I put together a book called "Nutmeg can sleep all night!" with photos of her in her crib, sleeping, and gloriously nursing in the morning surrounded by a crayoned rising sun.

With Pebbles, I promised myself I would not wait until 18 months because we know now that babies that age are the most stubborn creatures on earth. When donkeys get extra stubborn, they are sometimes refered to as "18-month-olds." This is a little-known fact.

Now Pebbles is nearly 18 months, and here I was still going to her at around 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. every night. I say I "was," because, two days after deciding it was past time, Pebbles is night weaned.

If I've learned one thing in nearly five years of parenting and blogging about it, it's that blogging about a newly achieved milestone immediately undoes said milestone. But this one isn't going to come undone. Know why?

Because this milestone was hit by me, not Pebbles. I just stopped going to her. She hasn't stopped waking up, but since we have our own bedrooms nowadays, and there aren't any neighbors in the house before dawn (let's hope), I don't really care.

Actually, she stopped waking up at 11 p.m. after the first night. (Oops, wasn't supposed to say that. Throwing salt over shoulder.) She's still waking up at around 4a.m.

Whatever. I'm not making another book.


Abby said...

Carrie - wow! 18 months, huh? You are a nursing champ! We just made it through our first month of BFing, and thankfully it wasn't too bad. Thanks for the inspiration and congrats on the easy weaning. Here's to uninterrupted sleep!

Carrie said...

Abby -- To clarify, we haven't weaned Pebbles completely, just stopped going in to breastfeed during the night. Something most parents do much, much earlier, heh. I nursed Nutmeg for 2-1/2 years and stopped because my milk seemed to dry up during my next pregnancy. This time, I imagine we may go longer, but I'm not really sure. I'm of the belief that weaning is not something you need to schedule -- you do it when at least one of you feels the need to stop.

Congratulations on getting through the first month. That is hands down the hardest part. Once you're well established -- which for many parents hasn't yet happened by 4 weeks -- you may find that continuing is easier than weaning. So convenient never having to pack bottles, so nice to have an instant way to soothe the child after vaccinations or whatever. Now that Pebbles is such an active toddler, if I didn't get to nurse her I would barely get the chance to cuddle her at all.

Sara said...

I laughed out loud at, "Whatever. I'm not making another book." But hey, nice work on the night weaning!!