Monday, January 11, 2010

Let The Baby Drive


I stole today’s blog title from a book with the same name. It was one of many books I devoured before our son was born. The premise is easy to figure out.
It’s a fitting slogan at my house these days.

As regular blog readers know, my son, who turns 15 months on Jan. 21, was, up until Dec. 31, nursing every two hours throughout the night.

Until recently he was nursing from anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes up to a hour. I wasn’t worried nor overly concerned; I am starving each time I wake up during the night and if I allowed myself could eat a full meal each time I get up to nurse or pee.

I figured my guy was hungry. Like mother, like son.

However, my goal has always been to wean my little guy during my vacation between Christmas and New Year’s. My friends, who had already weaned their children, suggested a strong resolve and the ability to listen to my little one scream for two hours straight.

I had actually tried weaning my son earlier in his life, but I didn’t have that resolve and after listening to him scream for 10 minutes or so, I gave up, nursing him to sleep.

Since going back to work in November, my little guy was spending more time in our bed then in his. By brining him into bed with me, my son could nurse on demand while allowing me to get some needed sleep. I enjoyed it. So did he. My husband wasn’t a fan of that situation.

So on Dec. 31, when our son cried, I went into his room, picked him up, hugged him and told him I wasn’t nursing him at night any more. I put him down, gave him a drink of water from his sippy cup and rubbed his stomach. He cried for a few minutes, flipped over and fell asleep.

For the next week, he would get up every two hours for a bit of comfort, a drink of water and a rub. When he wouldn’t settle, I would leave him to his own devices, which often included him playing with his music box and chatting (Dad, Dad, Mum, Mum - getting louder and louder) for a hour or so. I also discovered during this time that it was best to just let him cry for a few minutes rather than trying to comfort him.

Then, three nights ago, it happened. He slept for six hours straight. The next night, six and a half hours. Last night, seven hours in a row.

So this is my advice for first-time mothers: Listen to your instincts. Don’t worry about your family members, friends or even doctor’s suggestions. Instead, listen to your heart and your head.

After my son was sick, he and I spent the next several months sleeping together on the couch. One day I knew he was ready to sleep in his bed and he did. Then I knew he was ready to have his daytime naps in his bed and he made the transition from my arms to his bed quite easily. And now he is sleeping in his bed at night without me having to endure a screaming/sobbing baby.

So, moms, Let the Baby Drive.

3 comments:

Betty said...

I'm with you 100%. Mom's know best. I've always said, go with your gut feeling and DON'T listen to friends, doctor's, books on how to parent (YUK, they probably don't have kids or they're in jail or on drugs). What's right for someone isn't always right for you. You go girl, raise your son the way you feel is right. As long as he is fed and loved he'll grow into a wonderful person. I believe you can't spoil a child with love.

Stephanie said...

I am so very happy for everyone in your household. Sleeping through the night is an important step in development and I'm happy to hear that everyone, including the little man in question, is on board. All the best to you, I hope you all enjoy your sleep as much as I do :)

Mundanemomma said...

I'm so glad it worked out for you! And I'm glad you didn't have to listen to endless hours of crying. It just goes to show that there is no one right answer to a problem, especially when it come to children!