The No-Measure, No-Sew, No-Sweat Tutu

No-measure, no-sew EASY tutu tutorial (tututorial!!) by Beautiful Entropy

I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest all week (it’s kept me sane while I’ve held the couch down post-surgery), and it’s had me DYING to do some crafts. Today I saw my orthopedic surgeon, who gave me the go-ahead to use my arm a little bit (and he was careful to qualify that statement so thoroughly that he nearly retracted it entirely). I decided to make a tutu for W, who has been so sweet and understanding of me during my convalescence that I wanted to give her a present. However, I didn’t want to:

  1. Drag my sewing machine out of its current hibernating place, to which it retreats when I have guests staying in the guestroom.
  2. Measure anything (hey, feeling crafty doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not feeling lazy).
  3. Make anything I could possibly screw up.

There were a few “no-sew” tutu tutorials I found online, but most of them were *mostly* no-sew (which is to say, I would have had to sew the waistband. Didn’t want to.) In the end, I drew inspiration from these tutorials, but went it alone where it came to the waistband. I also took some chances that worked out well in terms of doing the whole thing without the assistance of a tape measure. The other cool thing about the way I made the tutu is that it has about 3″ of potential for letting-out in the waist, which means it will fit for a longer period of time. I’m so happy with the way the tutu turned out that I wanted to share the project. I figure if I can make this thing with one-and-a-half arms while I’m hopped up on pain pills, anyone working with a full deck and two hands should be able to whip it out in no time! More

Lessons In Chemistry and Physics From A Toddler

1) 1st Law of Thermodynamics — the energy of the universe is constant. That is to say, if one system or object gains energy, another system or object must have lost energy. As the day progresses, I steadily lose energy, and W steadily becomes more and more energetic.

2) 2nd Law of Thermodynamics — entropy is always increasing. “Entropy” is a fancy chemical word for disorder. ‘Nuff said.

3) Processes are reversible. However, a process that occurs spontaneously in one direction requires an input of energy in the reverse direction, and vice versa. It takes me significant effort to clean up the house. W can take it apart again with no apparent expenditure of energy.

4) Macromolecules bind to one another via an “induced fit” rather than a “lock and key” mechanism. If you pound hard enough, you can get the square peg into the round hole.

5) The laws of the macroscopic universe are constant, and effects are predictable and reproducible. When W squeezes the fruit smoothie pouch, fruit smoothie comes boiling out all over the floor. Every. Single. Time.

6) The most damaging types of radiation are undetectable by humans. Beware the silent toddler.

7) The true nature of a particle is a mathematic combination of all possible states of that particle. Like Schrodinger’s cat, a toddler can exist in multiple (and completely oppositional) states at once. Like ecstatic and enraged. Or exhausted and wired.

8 ) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that it’s impossible to know both the position and momentum of a particle at the same time. This is because the act of measuring the position affects the momentum, and vice versa. Similarly, the very act of checking up on a toddler’s current activity affects the toddler’s next action, making it impossible to predict with any certainty what said toddler might do next.

9) Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion — every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When W throws herself on the floor of the grocery store and starts screaming and ripping all her clothes off in an attempt to get me to pick her up, all I want to do is run. Far. Away.

10) Gravity. It works.

 

What lessons in the physical sciences has your child taught you?

 

 

Sleep Training and Night Weaning a Breastfed, Co-Sleeping Toddler — Part 2

If it's called "co-sleeping," why isn't there room for anyone else in this bed?

Recently, I’ve blogged about my experience beginning sleep training with W. It’s been a week, and we’ve had both ups and downs, so I thought I’d post on our progress thus far.

After the totally failed attempt to get W to sleep in her crib (in honesty, it’s a pack ‘n’ play) last Thursday afternoon, I didn’t even try on Thursday night. Instead, I cuddled her in bed, and then lay her down next to me. She couldn’t seem to settle, though, so eventually I got up and put her in her crib and rubbed her back. Very few tears, very little fuss. She went to sleep and stayed that way until about 2 am, at which point she woke and I brought her into bed with me, where she slept until 5 and asked to nurse…but I made her wait until 6.

We were visiting relatives over the weekend, and she categorically refused to sleep in the pack ‘n’ play that I brought from home, so we took a giant step backward.

Consequently, Monday nap was really rough; lots of crying and carrying on. I took her out of the crib and tried to get her to nap in bed, but she just crawled around all over the place and wouldn’t settle. The fact that naps (or at least, getting naps started) can drag out into an hours-long process that is emotionally exhausting (for both of us) and that I don’t have time for is one of the reasons I’ve been wanting to get her moved into a crib for nap. I don’t care whether she sleeps in a crib at night or not — I am happy to have her in bed with me — I just need naps to be enforceable. Anyway, after totally failing to get her to sleep in our bed for Monday’s nap, I put her back in the crib and left the room for five minutes. She cried, of course. When I came back, I helped her lie down and rubbed her back, and she went right to sleep.

While she was sleeping, I did a little thinking about my goals with sleep training and how to achieve them. I decided my major goals are:

  • To get her to go down for a nap — or at least quiet time — by herself (that is to say, without me having to hold her the entire time) and in a relatively timely fashion each day
  • To night wean her (no nursing from the time she goes to bed until 6 am)
  • To make sure that none of this ever seems punitive to her

With that in mind, I realized that the business (as on Monday) of taking her out of the crib, bringing her into bed, and then putting her back in the crib would have to stop. No matter how I try to hide it, I suspect she can feel my frustration in this situation, and I don’t want her to think she’s being put in the crib as a punishment. Therefore, I decided that New Rule #1 is that she goes down for a nap in her crib every day. If she wakes up partway through her nap and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get her back down, I will go ahead and lay down with her in our bed, but she starts the nap — that is to say, falls asleep — in her crib.

To help reinforce the idea that the crib is her personal sleep area, I decided that New Rule #2 is that she starts each night in the crib. If (when) she wakes partway through the night, I will bring her into bed with me, but she starts the night on her own.

I want to make things as easy as possible on her (and me) emotionally, so New Rule #3 is that after we do our pre-nap or pre-bed routine (nurse, cuddle, and so forth), I lay her down in the crib and sit in a chair next to it, rubbing her back. The last few days, this has been sufficient to get her to sleep about 50% of the time for nap, and 100% of the time for bed.

On the days that rubbing her back for 10-15 minutes doesn’t work to get her down for nap (she’s too wound up, despite being tired, or she keeps standing up), I have been leaving the room for five minutes. This is not done in a punitive way; I basically say something like Sweetie, it seems like you’re having a hard time relaxing. I’m going to leave for a while and let you get settled. I’ll be back in five minutes. Leaving BEFORE I get frustrated keeps the frustration out of my voice. She cries when I leave, but with only one exception, as soon as I’ve come back in the room, she’s let me help her lay down and she’s gone right to sleep. It makes me wonder if some days, she just needs the emotional release of crying.*

*I know there will be those of you who wonder whether she couldn’t just cry with me in the room if she does, in fact, need the release of crying, so as to avoid the “trauma” of me leaving. First off, I’m simply not convinced that walking out of the room for five minutes is traumatic to a 14-month-old. Second, though, I’ve tried that. When I’m in the room, she’ll sob for an hour or more on the days she’s having trouble sleeping. If I leave for five minutes, she cries for five minutes, but then settles AS SOON as I come back in. I’m sorry, but I just can’t be made to believe that an hour of sobbing with me present (and comforting her with words and back rubbing, but refusing to pick her up despite her pleas) is superior to five minutes of her crying with me out of the room, followed by complete relaxation and SLEEP.

The one time leaving the room for five minutes didn’t work and she still couldn’t settle, I picked her up and rocked her for a while, then lay her back down…and she was fine. So New Rule #4 is that there are no hard and fast rules about HOW she goes to sleep, only about WHERE she goes to sleep. If she needs to get out of the crib and cuddle more, that’s ok. If she needs more back rubbing one day, and none the next, that’s ok. This rule has been the most important one so far, because it makes sure I’m consistent about getting her to sleep in her crib, but allows me to use different techniques to help ease her into sleep, so it’s reduced emotional trauma (for both of us) while encouraging continued progression with our sleep training.

For the last few days, this has been going pretty well. It seems like the night weaning is almost taking care of itself; she’s been sleeping until about 2 am in her crib, which has completely eliminated the requests to nurse between bedtime and 2. When she wakes at 2, she finds it so relaxing to snuggle next to me in bed that even though she’ll ask to nurse, she falls asleep easily without actually nursing. She’s been waking at around 5 asking to nurse, but I’ve been making her wait until 6, and I’m hoping that she’ll get that figured out eventually.

 

Any comments, questions, or suggestions?

 

 

Sleep Training and Night Weaning a Breastfed, Co-Sleeping Toddler — Part 1

We have sleep problems, as I’ve mentioned before. I’ve been sitting on the fence about sleep training for quite a while, and have been reading Alice’s posts on the topic (like this one) over at Science of Mom. I’m totally convinced that there are good reasons to sleep train W, which include (but are not limited to) these:

1) I have not gotten a full night’s sleep since W was born. There was one night back when she was 5 months old that she actually slept all night long, but it freaked me out so much I spent the night waking every 20 minutes to make sure she was still breathing.

2) She really has no “self-soothing” skills, and she’s old enough now, at nearly 14 months, that I think they might begin to come in handy.

3) I’m sure that the frustration of dealing with our sleep troubles (sometimes we spend 4 hours trying to get 40 minutes worth of nap, and sometimes it takes 3 hours to put her to bed) is affecting how much fun I am the rest of the time.

4) I have to work, so once we take mama’s work time out of the day, and then subtract the “mama and W are fighting about sleep” time, there’s not much day left. And that sucks for both of us, because she is SUCH a fun little toddler.

I read the book Bedtiming, by Drs. Marc D. Lewis and Isabela Granic, and thought it was AMAZING. The book’s bottom line is that it doesn’t matter so much how you sleep train, as when. There are certain developmental windows, they assert (and back up with solid evidence), that lend themselves better to sleep training. Lo and behold, we’re in one of those windows. W is past the first bout of separation anxiety, and is an emotionally stable little trooper for the time being. We have a solid bond. I have no concerns that sleep training her at this point will “damage” her in any way. So yesterday afternoon, I set up a cozy bed for her, nursed her, explained the bed, and told her that mama would sit with her while she went to sleep. She cried. I patted her back, ran my fingers through her hair…she cried. After about an hour, it was clear that she wasn’t going to sleep with me there, so I left. I came back and checked on her periodically. She cried a LOT, but I felt ok about it. It was clear she was mad, not scared, and that made all the difference to me. Long story short, it took us 2.5 hours of crying to achieve a 30-minute nap. Sigh.

Today, I nursed her before nap and once again explained the bed. I put her in, and she started crying. I left for 5 minutes. When I came back to check on her {still crying}, I spoke to her softly and helped her lie back down. I stroked her hair. She sighed, curled up with her bear. Closed her eyes. I stroked her hair for a minute longer. If I’d stayed, stroking and whispering to her, she probably would have gone to sleep. However, I decided that wasn’t going to help us too much, since she’d just wake again 30 minutes later, and would find me gone…and that would be the end of nap. I reasoned that she needed to learn to soothe herself to sleep. I told her I loved her, and left. She started crying. Her crying escalated. I didn’t respond. Finally, she pulled out the big guns: “Mama! Mama! MAMA!” she yelled, sobbing.

That was it for me. I came running, scooped her up, cuddled her. She snuggled against me, sniffling. I sat down on my bed — our bed — the bed she’s slept in with me since she was two days old, and held her. She fell asleep against my chest. SO much harder to sleep train someone who can talk!

So I’m writing this now while she naps in our bed, curled up against my leg. We failed at sleep training for today. Funny thing, though; I don’t feel like a failure. The one previous attempt I made at sleep training (when she was about 10 months old) ended with us both in tears. I felt like a terrible mother for putting her through that. I felt like a terrible mother for failing to stick with it. I worried I’d damaged our relationship. I don’t think any of those things right now. Sure, this afternoon’s nap turned out differently than I’d hoped. And yes, I made a choice that caused my baby to cry — to cry out for me — and I am sad that she was sad. But I know I didn’t damage her.

Do enough reading or surfing the Internet, and you hear really bad things about sleep training. Like that it causes changes in a child’s brain, leads to fear, threatens attachment. None of this is supported by science. In fact, I wonder whether the ones who are most affected by sleep training…are us. The parents. See, if I’d left her in her crib this afternoon, she’d have gone to sleep eventually. She did yesterday, after all. And she would have woken up happy and ready to play, just as she did yesterday. And she would have forgotten the entire thing, just like yesterday.

But I wouldn’t have.

I would have put it out of my mind for the afternoon, and then tonight, while I was trying to go to sleep, I would have replayed it over…and over…and over. Despite knowing I’d done her no harm, and that she was completely fine, I would have heard her cry in my mind hour after hour as the night dragged on. Just like yesterday.

I didn’t pick her up because of her. I picked her up because of me. Because I was done with sleep training for the day. Because while she may be in a “developmentally appropriate” sleep-training window, clearly I’m not quite ready yet.

 

Have a sleep story to share?

 

 

Attitudes About Breastfeeding — A Tale Of Two Doctors

I wrote this during a quiet moment when W had hand-foot-mouth, after our first visit to the pediatrician but before she was hospitalized. In the craziness that followed, I didn’t get around to publishing it right away.

Do I have to stop nursing just because it's my birthday?

My poor W is sick. It started on Wednesday with vomiting, and then a high fever by afternoon. The next morning, she had some suspicious-looking sores on her lips and chin, so off to the doctor we went. Apparently, she has hand-foot-mouth disease, which I’d never even heard of. Having a toddler is a crash course in microbiology. Anyway, she has blistering sores all down her throat, which makes it painful for her to swallow. The pediatrician said that we were looking at about 5-7 days of high fever and difficulty eating and drinking, and that dehydration was the major concern. I mentioned that I was still breastfeeding, and her response was, “Oh, WONDERFUL! That will be so soothing to her. She’ll be able to nurse even if she can’t get anything else down.” The doctor was right; nursing is about all W has been able to do, so I’m very thankful we have that option available to us.

Yesterday, I had to leave my sick baby at home so I could go see my orthopedic surgeon for a pre-surgical consultation. Thanks to a skiing accident a few years ago, I have a torn labrum in my shoulder and a capacious capsule. The repair he’ll be doing sounds like a combination of woodworking and dressmaking; he needs to screw the labrum back on, and “take up” the extra capsular space with — as he described it – pin-tucking. Anyway, as we were discussing how the surgery would proceed, I asked if it was a problem that I was still breastfeeding. His response was “You’re STILL breastfeeding? {Insert appropriately horrified face here} At 13 months? WHY!?” It went downhill from there. He told me I needed to wean her because of the general anesthetic during the procedure and codeine afterward, but when I countered with the resources I’d found that stated otherwise, he said he didn’t really know, and to ask my pediatrician. He essentially told me that he didn’t want to talk about it anymore; he’d had enough of talking about breastfeeding. Alrighty then.

Part of me is annoyed by the orthopedic surgeon’s response; after all, nursing is not only still important to W, it’s probably the only thing keeping us out of the hospital for dehydration right now. I thank my lucky stars we’ve got this available to us. Part of me is hurt. I’ve been really lucky to have had no negative interactions as a result of my breastfeeding. This is the first time someone’s made me feel like a freak about it, and it stings. Part of me is scared. I really, REALLY want to do what’s best and safest for my baby. There’s enough information out there for me to know intellectually that it’s ok to keep breastfeeding despite my surgery…but emotionally, I still worry.

I was pretty frustrated yesterday, and kept thinking I felt so good about nursing after seeing the pediatrician; why did the orthopedic surgeon have to make me feel so awful? Last night, though, I rocked my hot-as-lava baby, pushing her damp hair off her forehead and listening to her rapid, shallow breathing. She opened her tired eyes and looked at me, opened and closed her little hand in our sign for nurse. With her first swallow of milk, she sighed. Her whole body relaxed. The peace of that moment swirled up around us both. I no longer feel the sting of the second doctor’s words; in fact, I know now that nursing is how I’ll help explain to W that everything’s ok after my surgery. It’s how I’ll comfort her even though Mama won’t be able to bathe her or carry her, and even though Mama will be sleeping away from her for the first time ever.

That I’m still nursing my baby is not me trying to make a “statement” of any kind, or fit into a particular parenting philosophy. I’m not a “lactivist.” It’s just something we do when she asks, which isn’t often anymore, unless she’s sick. In answer to the second doctor’s question — WHY!? — I now have a response. We’re still nursing because it’s a phase of development that she’s still in. It’s like babbling, or crawling, or thumb-sucking. It’s something she’ll do for a while, but won’t do forever. I won’t push to extend this phase, nor will I try to curtail it. For now, it is something she needs, and that’s enough.

 

Post-Script — As I review this post before publishing, I am amused at how worried I was about nursing W despite my surgery. The general anesthetic won’t affect her at all; if it’s still in my system, I’ll be asleep. If I’m awake (and able to nurse her), it won’t be in my system anymore. With regard to the codeine…well, as I write this, W is sleeping on my lap, narked out on Vicodin because her blisters from hand-foot-mouth disease have gotten so bad. Before the Vicodin, they tried codeine. She’s been on the drugs for three days so far, and I expect we have at least another day of them. So, am I worried about the bit of codeine she’ll get via my milk for a few days? No.

 

What sorts of responses to breastfeeding have you had from healthcare professionals?

 

 

Auguries of Innocence — A Toddler’s World

The other day, W was a little stir-crazy and I was trying to find something fun to do with her. She’s still little enough and unstable enough that playgrounds are tough for us; she gets intimidated (and totally bowled over) by bigger kids. I decided we’d try Gymboree, since they do a “first class free” sort of thing, so off we went. The setup is great; they’ve got all sorts of pint-sized play equipment for little ones. We had gotten there a little early, so W had several minutes to explore and play before class started, and she was delighted with the opportunity to run amok. I wanted to like Gymboree (despite my sticker shock at the price of classes); I thought it would be a great opportunity to get her some regular social interaction, as well as providing a nice indoor option for summer (since it gets hot enough here to fry eggs on the outdoor playground equipment). Try as I might, though, I just couldn’t get excited about the classes. They start an activity, and it takes the tiny tots a few minutes to get the idea. Right around the time the kids really catch on and start to participate…off the teacher goes to another activity. Heck, I get it (and shift gears) faster than a 12-month-old, and being there made ME feel like I had ADD.

Here’s the thing…these little one don’t NEED us to try so hard to entertain them. They don’t get bored with an activity a few minutes in, because everything is so new to them. I think this is something that’s easy to forget, because we (the grownups) are so used to (and bored with so many aspects of) life. W and I went for a walk the other day. She walks well now holding just one of my hands. I figured we’d cruise up to the park a few houses away from us. What I completely failed to take into account was that she’d be so fascinated by EVERYTHING she saw on the way to the park that we’d never make it…out of our driveway! After all, until now, I’ve carried her to the park or pulled her in her little red wagon. She’s gone with the flow (she’s great about that), but given the opportunity to set the pace, she’d rather check things out a little. I watched as she examined the landscaping, rock after rock after rock. They’re just granite, I thought to myself. But…she doesn’t know that. They’re all the same, W, I muttered under my breath, bored with standing in one spot for so long. But…to her, they’re not. I have years of experience, and well-developed heuristics that neatly and quickly shuffle the landscaping stones into a single category. They’re so commonplace to me that I barely even see them. Heck, if you asked me right now whether the granite in our front yard is orange, brown, pink, or yellow…I’d have to go look. To her, though, the rocks are all different. Some have sharper edges, while others are worn. Some have black and white inclusions, while others are uniform in color. Some particularly special ones even have little flecks of shiny mica in them, and they sparkle in the sun. She puts them to her lips, and her sensitive mouth and tongue feel that they’re warm where the sun touched them, and cool where they lay in the shade. She is experiencing a world that I no longer see until I force myself…and even then, I can only make myself see it for a moment before my brain is back to putting things in categories and boxes. Before I’m back to thinking about my upcoming lecture, and what to make for dinner.

She will learn to categorize. She will develop heuristics. She’ll have to; these mental shortcuts help us to make decisions quickly, and operate more efficiently. Without them, an adult would be ineffective in daily life. But for now, I need to remember that she sees things differently. I try to stop myself from thinking I wanted to take you to the park, and you’re staring at the damn rocks in the driveway, and start thinking What do you see when you look at them? What do you feel? What do you taste? Show me. There’s plenty of time for her to grow up. Right now, the world is new and beautiful in a way it won’t ever be again. It will be a triumph of development for her to learn to categorize more quickly, but it will also be a great and tragic loss. All the beautiful rocks will become…invisible.

Sometimes I think all these activities, all these classes — the music lessons, the Gymboree, the toddler sports — they’re for us. They’re not “Mommy and Me” so much as they’re “MOMMY…and me.” W doesn’t need that stuff. She could spend all day in the driveway looking at the granite and be just as happy. Heck, she’d probably be happier, because she wouldn’t feel so confused. She wouldn’t be whisked from one activity to the next as soon as she started to make sense of what was going on.

Remember this, Mama, I tell myself as I watch her examine each blueberry I’ve given her for a snack before she puts it in her mouth. They’re just blueberries to me. To her, each one looks different. Each one tastes slightly different. My brain works faster than hers, but…better? It depends on what we’re talking about. I’m better at ignoring the details. I’m better at failing to notice small changes in the world. I’m better at doing things quickly, in the same way, every time. But she, well, William Blake said it best:

To see the world in a grain of sand,

And heaven in a wildflower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

She sees a world I’ve forgotten exists. I can get to the park faster than she can, both physically and mentally. She knows it’s not about when we get to the park, it’s how.

 

What do you notice about how your child sees the world?

 

 

Go The #&%$ To Sleep! (So I Can Too)

Many of the more “personal” posts, I’m keeping for W as a sort of journal of her baby/toddlerhood. I thought long and hard about whether to save this one for her, since it’s got some tough stuff in it. In the end, I’ve decided to do so. I know that over time, my memories of the trials of motherhood will fade, and (blessedly) what remains will be mostly the good stuff, the sweet stuff, the stuff that will make me want to say to new moms, “Oh, treasure these days! They go by so fast!” (Which, incidentally, though I’m sure it’s true, is something NO ONE should EVER say to a new mom). When W is a mom herself someday, I want to be able to give her a realistic accounting of how I felt when I walked in those shoes. I want her to know that there’s nothing wrong with her if she feels resentful of her baby (despite loving said baby more than anything), or if she wonders what she’s gotten herself into, or if she sometimes feels like every parenting decision she makes is wrong. I want to show her these posts and say to her, “W, check it out. Here’s what I experienced, and sometimes it sucked royally, but when I look back, I wouldn’t have traded the experience, and everything worked out fine.” Oh, and also? I want to believe that some day, that will be true.

There’s an excellent post on Science Of Mom this week on baby sleep and CIO (cry-it-out). In addition to being well written and informative, I personally find the post very timely. In fact, I find myself holding my breath, hoping and praying that in her next posts on the subject (Alice has promised a series of at least three), she’ll reveal The Secret To Good Sleep (no pressure, Alice!).

I know this isn’t going to happen. I know there is no Secret To Good Sleep. If there were, there wouldn’t be so many damn sleep books out there. There would be one, presumably called “The Secret To Good Sleep.” And the author would be wealthy, venerated, and possibly crowned empress/emperor of the world. Or at least should be.

We have sleep trouble. W sleeps with us; she has from the time she was two days old. We didn’t intend to co-sleep, but quickly realized that it got everyone more blessed shut-eye, since pre-co-sleeping, it was taking 2-3 hours per nursing to get her fed and back to sleep again (at which point she’d sleep for about half an hour, and then cry to be fed once more). Once we moved her into our bed, nursings were quick and easy, and right back to sleep for everyone.

However…

She’s now on the doorstep of her first birthday, and while she goes through short phases (a few days) of only one or two night-wakings, most nights, she’s waking 4-5 times. Each time, she wants to nurse back to sleep, which is a problem for me for two reasons:

1)   I have never been able to sleep while she nurses; the sensation is not compatible with sleep for me.

2)   I worry about nursing cavities, based upon my review of the scientific evidence.

I’m not categorically opposed to the idea of sleep training/cry-it-out in some regard, except that:

1)   I don’t think it will work for W. The one time I tried a modified CIO with her for naptime, she sobbed for a solid two hours, turning herself red and retching.

2)   I know several moms of toddlers with W-like personalities who have to redo CIO every time circumstances change (they go on a trip, new teeth come in, baby gets sick). I might be able to stomach one bout of CIO, but I really don’t see myself being able to handle doing it over and over again.

3)   I would really want to look at the science first, which is why I’m eagerly anticipating Alice’s post (except that I’m still not convinced it’ll work for W).

I’ve read a LOT of sleep books that are gentle/non-CIO, including Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry books (Sleep Solution and Nap Solution). I’ve read Dr. Jay Gordon’s stuff on gentle night weaning, and I wonder if night weaning would be a good solution for us, except that:

1)   When we tried to do the first night of Dr. Gordon’s plan (nurse baby, but don’t nurse to sleep), W screamed for HOURS. We gave up, because;

2)   Both hubby and I work full time. I have the benefit of being able to work from home at least part of the time, but I still have to be sort of sentient.

As long as I’m listing things that are complicating life right now, I’ll list one more: I’m having mixed feelings about continued nursing (even during the day). Sometimes, I really love nursing her. I love the special relationship, and I love that if she’s upset or scared or she’s just fallen and banged her chin, I can nurse her to comfort her. I love the quiet times when I can just sit and hold her, and we can rock and nurse. However, I resent — frankly, I can’t STAND — having her follow me around whining and making the “nurse” sign when I’ve JUST nursed her, I’ve offered her a snack (“real food,” so she’s not hungry), and I know all she wants is to luxuriate in my lap with a nipple in her mouth. I am not a dairy cow, dammit! Sometimes, I love nursing. Other times — I’ll be honest here — I feel like she’s sucking the life out of me one mouthful at a time.

It’s like the older she gets, the whinier she gets about nursing. She plays with her daddy, she asks my mother’s helper to read to her…but me? She just follows me around making the “nurse” sign and whining nay nay NAY! (her word for nurse). I guess I’m just resentful that sometimes it seems all I am is a giant pair of boobs.

 

So…I’m appealing to the wisdom of the masses. Got any ideas for me? Failing that, want to just make me feel better by sharing your own tale of sleep (or nursing) woe?

 

 

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