Today Laurel turns 20 months old! As unbelievable as that milestone is, it seems even more incredible that I've not had a good night's sleep in 20 months! (That might be a slight exaggeration, but very slight.) As we move towards two years old, we're trying to make the adjustment from parenting a baby to parenting a child. AND IT IS HARD!
Tim and I are still very much in the attachment parenting camp, but with that comes the realization that baby's needs eventually level off with the family's needs instead of claiming total and sole priority (which, I believe, are a must during infancy). While Laurel is still breastfeeding and I'm still happy with the arrangement, I will say that the night nursing is getting a little out of control and sleep-depriving for everyone (we cosleep). That being said, Tim and I are now seriously looking toward the possibility of night weaning. So far I'm leaning towards Dr. Jay Gordon's plan, which is a gradual one that should only be done once a child reaches 12-18 months old. I have no idea if it will work for us, but after being up 10 times, we know something's got to change!
Here's a link to Dr. Gordon's article "Sleep, Changing Patterns in the Family Bed," http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html.
The basic idea is that parents pick the 7 hours a night that they most want to sleep (example: 11 p.m to 6 a.m.) and stay within the following boundaries for those times.
First 3 Nights:
When your baby awakens, hug her, nurse her and comfort her, but but her down awake. Provide comfort and nursing, but not until the child is completely asleep.
Next 3 Nights:
When the baby awakens, pick her up, hug and cuddle her, but do not feed her. Putting her down awake is a crucial part of this whole endeavor because it teaches baby to fall asleep with a little less contact.
Next 4 Nights and Beyond:
When the baby awakens, talk to her and comfort her, massage and pat her, but do not pick her up or feed her. By the end of the ninth night, she will be falling back to sleep with only a rub a soothing voice.
All of this is done within the confines of the family bed.
Now, I know I have a fairly strong-willed child who loves her nursies, so I'm not sure what the next ten days will hold, but I hope and pray that we as a family can move past our current exhaustion to a healthier and happier nighttime for all.
Spring Speaking Schedule
1 week ago