Sweet Summer Nightgown for Girls – Super Easy, Lazy Pattern

Beautiful, easy nightgown!

I have a soap box I need to stand on for a minute. I hate, hate, hate the flame-retardant material used in nightgowns for kids. The fabric feels nasty to me, and (perhaps the bigger problem), having these nightgowns in my house is a constant reminder of the power the tobacco industry has wielded in the US. Seriously; by influencing national legislation to require flame-retardant materials in PJs that aren’t tight fitting (by definition, all nightgowns), the tobacco industry was able to save a ton of money on lawsuits. When parents smoked in bed and caught the house on fire, kids sleepwear was less likely to go up in flames. This legislation is so restrictive that cotton fabrics meant for children even have to carry a warning on the selvage:

IMG_5764

So, yeah. If you want a nice, breathable cotton nightgown for sweltering summer nights, you have to make it yourself. Or go to Europe, where you can actually buy such things. Making one seemed a little easier, so that’s what I did. More

Sleep Training and Night Weaning Update

I’ll sleep anywhere as long as I have Doof. Oh, and Mama.

So, I talked here and here about my attempt to sleep train and night wean W, and I thought you all might like an update (well, that, and also a reader asked for an update), so here’s the scoop.

Shortly after I wrote the second post on sleep training, we totally gave up on it. There were a few reasons for this, one of which was that I wasn’t emotionally stoic enough to handle her crying and carrying-on (sigh…weak, I know…and may I just add that it’s probably MUCH easier to sleep train a preverbal child than one who can yell MAMA in piteous tones), and one of which was that I realized, in the course of trying to sleep train her, that I like having her in bed with me. I determined this when, on the two occasions that she actually fell asleep in her crib and was still snoozing by the time I was ready for bed, I found I couldn’t sleep without her annoying, sharp little feet poking my thighs, and her sweet-smelling hair in my nose. Consequently, on both occasions, I lifted her out of her crib and into bed with me. Anyway, the sleep training went out the window, and I don’t regret it. For one thing, it’s made summer travels a LOT easier than they might otherwise have been. W is “at home” no matter where we sleep, whether it’s in a motel, at Nana’s house, or in a tent…all she needs to be happy are Mama’s arms (and Doof-the-lovey, of course).

I also (temporarily) gave up on the night weaning when I gave up on the sleep training; it just didn’t seem like she was ready, and since we got a respite in teething for a while, she dropped back down to only one nursing a night, which I was fine with.* Teething resumed about two weeks ago, though, and night nursing requests increased again.

*She still only has 6 teeth at 18 mos. What’s up with that!?

After one night in the tent during which she asked to nurse every hour on the hour (followed by a day during which I was an absolute beast because I was so tired and cranky), I decided enough was enough. I talked to her during the day about what a big girl she was (always a good way to get her to cooperate…she’s really into the notion of being a BIG girl), and told her that while babies needed to nurse at night, big girls like her didn’t need to. At bedtime we did her usual routine, and then I told her that “nene” (both the state bird of Hawaii and, oddly, her name for nursing) was going night-night too. Nene, I said, will be waiting for you in the morning. She did her pre-bed nursing while absorbing my running commentary, happily drifted off to sleep, and woke up at midnight demanding nene. I reiterated, but she was having none of it. She cried, she cajoled, she screamed, she hit and bit; as tantrums go, it was a solid 8…maybe an 8.2. Still, I held out. I cuddled her, rocked her, sang to her…and she slept in fits and bursts (though, short as they were, I did not) through the rest of the night, waking at intervals to yell at me and demand nene. We had three really bad nights, but on the fourth, her first request came further on toward morning, and her protests were weaker. A week out, we were sleeping through the night.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. I thought the day would never come. {happy dance}

So, that’s where we’re at. She’s sleeping with me, but she doesn’t expect to nurse until dawn. Every few nights she’ll fuss around 2 am, asking to nurse, but I just cuddle her and remind her that nene is sleeping, and she goes back to sleep herself.

Based upon some of the stories I’ve heard, honestly, I think I got off pretty easy with only a week of fit-pitching (knock on wood).

 

How about you, ladies? What’s happening on the sleep-and-feeding front?

 

Essential Baby And Toddler Products

I’m recovering from last week’s shoulder surgery, which basically means I’ve been spending a lot of time holding the couch down and exploring the Interwebs. I’ve become addicted to Pinterest (want to follow me?), and have been madly collecting craft, DIY, and repurposing ideas for when I have the use of both hands again. Browsing through the baby- and kid-related boards on Pinterest got me thinking about baby products — both the ones I purchased pre-baby and the ones I actually use. The intersection of these sets is approximately zero, which is Geek for the things I bought originally are not the things I ended up using. If I could go back in time and give my pregnant self a shopping list, this is what would be on it:

 

How does one small person take up so much bed!?

A King Bed

Pregnant me picked out a beautiful crib, which my husband and my dad set up in the future nursery. My mother lovingly rubbed a fresh coat of wood conditioner on the cradle my grandmother had hand-carved for my mom when she was pregnant with me, and we put it in our bedroom near our bed. The plan was that Lil’ Bit (our gender-neutral name for the baby whose sex we’d decided to leave a surprise) would sleep in the cradle during the early weeks, and then we’d transition to her crib. Ha. W had different ideas, and within days, I (who had never even considered the idea of co-sleeping) found myself curled into a protective “C” shape around my daughter, who spent her nights blissfully alternating between sleeping and nursing. As W grew — and more to the point, as she became capable of some maneuvering – my husband and I increasingly found ourselves clinging to the edges of our queen-sized bed as W’s preferred sleeping position became increasingly sprawling. We finally gave up, sold the crib, sold our queen mattress, and bought a king. Should have saved myself the trouble and done it from the start; it’s SO much more comfortable. These days, my husband and I each get a good 18 inches or so of mattress, and W sleeps right in the middle, doing a fair impression of a starfish.

 

Comfortable Rocker/Recliner

Not only is it useful for nursing and rocking, it’s also comfortable enough for me to sleep in. This comes in handy when W is sick (especially if it’s respiratory), because she can lie tummy-to-tummy with me, which keeps her propped up and eases her breathing. We’ve spent many nights in this chair.

 

GDiapers

Ok, technically, I purchased gDiapers — a hybrid cloth diaper — before W was born. However, when she was about 7 months old, I got it into my head that there were better cloth diapers out there, sold all the g’s, and tried a bunch of other brands. To each her own, but I ended up exactly where I started, and am now convinced that g’s are the easiest and most convenient cloth out there. I love that I don’t have to wash the entire diaper after each change (for pee diapers, I just replace the absorbent pad), the colors and patterns are adorable, and gDiapers sells flushable, compostable, sustainably-sourced absorbent inserts as an alternative to cloth inserts. This flexibility is perfect for us; we use cloth inserts at home, and disposable inserts when we travel. Because the inserts are 100% compostable, we can actually bury them cat-hole style when we’re out camping, and don’t have to carry out a bunch of heavy, soiled diapers.

 

ERGObaby

It took me a lot of trial and error (and a lot of bought and re-sold carriers) to find the perfect one. I love, love, LOVE my ERGObaby. I purchased a Baby Bjorn before W was born, but returned it when I read that some health practitioners and groups (including the International Hip Dysplasia Institute) worry about baby carriers that allow the legs to dangle. When she was about a month old, I bought an Ergo and started carrying W in it while I did chores around the house or walked for fitness. I’ll admit that the infant insert (mandatory for babies under about 15 pounds) isn’t completely awesome, but once a baby is big enough to ride insert-free in the Ergo, it can’t be beat. I also love that the weight goes on my hips rather than my shoulders. I don’t know how we would have survived the early months of W’s nighttime sobbing without the Ergo and an iPod full of Paul Simon and Tom Petty (her favorites in those days); I’d sway and sing to her, and she’d eventually fall asleep against my chest. These days, we don’t use the Ergo much, but it’s still great for craft fairs and so forth where there’s a lot of walking to be done. Also, if she’s sick or very fussy and wants to be carried all day, it gives me a comfortable, hands-free option.

 

 

Chariot CX

The Chariot CX is, quite simply, the Worlds. Best. Running. Stroller. I did a complete review of it for Trail and Ultra Running, but in short, it’s easy to use and comfortable for W. It also converts into a bike trailer, regular stroller, and — believe it or not — trailer for cross-country skiing! We use it every day.

 

 

 

A High-Quality Humidifier

Upper respiratory infections are hard on babies and their parents. When W is stuffed up and coughing, she doesn’t sleep — and therefore, neither do I. Sitting with her in the rocker/recliner helps, as does holding her in a steaming shower. Running a humidifier with some eucalyptus and thyme essential oil in it (or this vapor oil from Northern Essence) really helps, though. The essential oils seem to help open the airways, and the mist decreases swelling of the respiratory membranes and loosens secretions. I prefer cool mist to hot, simply because it reduces the risk of an accidental burn.

 

Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy

Newborn W had real trouble with eczema. The first pediatrician we took her to told us not to use lotion on her. The doctor’s “logic,” if you want to call it that, was that lotion-free skin would begin to produce its own moisture. Well, we live in Arizona, and the humidity here often runs in the low single-digit percents. The dry skin coupled with some early antibiotics she had to take produced a wicked case of eczema (antibiotics kill helpful bacteria as well as the bad ones, which can sometimes cause eczema in sensitive individual). I eventually found Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy, which works wonders as long as we use it regularly.

 

Northern Essence Diaper Rash Salve

Because we use cloth diapers, we have to be careful about diaper creams. Most contain zinc oxide and a petroleum base. The zinc oxide stains cloth diapers, and the petroleum base can coat the cloth and make it repel moisture, which leads to leaks. Northern Essence makes an awesome, developed-for-cloth diaper salve. It’s gentle on W’s skin and doesn’t damage her diapers at all. Despite having somewhat rash-prone skin, she’s never once had a diaper rash, which is as good a product recommendation as any! Northern Essence also makes awesome gentle baby wash and detangler, and the coolest thing about them is that you can pick from hundreds of scents (many of which are essential oils). I love the Sleepytime essential oil (lavender and vanilla), and W loves “Monkey Farts,” which is sort of tropical.

 

Nose Frida

I tried a couple different nasal aspirator bulbs in the early days of motherhood, but gave up on them quickly. They never seemed to work, and they terrified W. A few months ago when she had a really bad cold, a friend told me about the Nose Frida, which is basically a mom-powered nose-sucker. It’s smaller and less intimidating to W than an aspirator bulb was, and I love that I control the power and duration of the suction. She doesn’t seem to mind it, either. Squeamish moms, rest assured: the tube is long enough that you will NEVER get snot in your mouth, and there’s a sponge filter that prevents any material from entering the tubing. Another benefit of the Nose Frida over a nasal bulb is that it comes apart for easy cleaning.

 

**This is a completely unpaid post. None of these brands sent me a stroller, diapers, a baby carrier, or anything like that, and I wrote all this good stuff about the products because I just love them so freakin’ much. But if you’re from Chariot (or Ergo, or gDiapers, etc)  and you’re reading this and are super impressed and grateful and want to send me money? Let’s talk!

 

What were/are your “can’t live without them” items?

 

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?

 

 

Easy DIY “OK To Wake” Timer

Homemade sleep alarm -- nightlight plugged into a digital timer.

So, W is understanding more and more language these days, and I can explain increasingly complex ideas to her. I’ve been thinking of getting one of those alarm clocks that let kids know when it’s ok to get up (without having to tell time), because she tends to want to wake at around 5:30 in the morning…and I don’t. My hope is that if I get her an alarm clock of sorts, she’ll cuddle with me quietly for about half an hour between the time she wakes up and the time I feel it’s reasonable to get out of bed. I know that even with her improving language skills, communicating this is probably a long shot at this point…but it’s worth a try. Even if it doesn’t work now, it’ll work someday.

There are lots of options for kids’ sleep clocks out there; some change color at a specific time, others glow, and some show pictures of a sleeping or playing cartoon creature. The clocks are expensive, though; they tend to run in the neighborhood of $40. In scouring the interwebs for a good deal, I ran across this site, which (in addition to doing a comprehensive review of sleep clocks for kids) suggested saving a bunch of cash by making your own sleep alarm. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself. Major DUH moment. A homemade sleep clock is a simple thing to put together. You can get little light timers like this one for about $5 bucks; digital ones are a bit more. Plug a nightlight into the timer, and you’re all set; when the light goes on (or off — you could do it either way) it’s ok to get up!

I think we’ll give it a shot!

 

How do you let your munchkin know when it’s ok to get up?

 

 

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?