Thursday, June 28, 2007

Filled and Complete

I've been slowly making my way through a stack of books. Albeit a little late on The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, and The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. Sears. I wished I had read them earlier when it seemed like everyone and their mother was asking me if my baby "slept through the night yet". If nothing else, I could have held the book up to shield myself from the looks on their faces when I responded, "no". Both books made me feel better about my mothering style as what I've been doing all along by instinct seems to be the suggested modus operandi. As a co-sleeping and breastfeeding mama, I just go to bed with Satch because it seems the most natural and nurturing thing to do. Both books state quite clearly that babies are, by nature, designed to wake at night because sleeping puts them in a vulnerable position. They also state that the child will eventually sleep through the night on his own, but maybe not until after the age of two. I guess I just have to keep reminding myself the "eventually will" part. Though self-weaning, Satch does wake me to nurse. First I say gently, "milk later, mama go nite nite, Satch go nite nite", and sometimes he'll roll over and go back to sleep. If he persists or fusses, I let him nurse. A good night is when he wakes 2-3 times...a bad night is've seen the posts.

And here Sears's book makes some very good points. He writes:
  • "Although in the last century of Western culture we have learned to think of breastfeeding in terms of months or even weeks, historically, in most cultures, babies have nursed for at least two or three years."
  • "We think of weaning as a goal we must strive toward, whether it's weaning from the breast, or the family bed, or childish behaviors. In ancient writings, the term "weaning" means "filled" or "completed". Children are not truly ready to move on to the next stage until the needs of this stage are filled". He goes on to write that when a toddler is weaned before he is willing, he will cry".
  • "Life is a series of weanings for a child: weaning from your womb, your breast, your bed, and your home. The pace at which children wean, go from oneness to separateness, is different for every child, and this should be respected. In our experience, the most secure, independent, and happy children are those who have not been weaned before their time".
I'm finished with these two books so if anyone wants my used copies, you'll find them (along with a bunch of other stuff that I cleared out of closet) HERE! (if they're gone it's because someone purchased them already)

And I just want to thank all of you for your kind words, your support, well wishes and Buddhist services because I graciously accept any positive energy flowing in my direction. And while these books don't really change my situation (because I plan to continue the stroll along the au naturale A.P. path and allow Satch self-wean from the breast and family bed), they certainly make me feel more connected to my mother instincts, to my son and to nature.

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posted by Wendy at 6:36 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wary of statements like these: In our experience, the most secure, independent, and happy children are those who have not been weaned before their time. It's anecdotal evidence, passing itself off as science, often merely by virtue of the accreditations of the author. There's no real measure here other than observation, and most of us do in fact see things the way that we want to.

Probably, overall, kids from reasonably secure backgrounds are secure, independent, and happy regardless of how the mother chose to wean them. That it is the mother's choice is the inarguable matter, and mothers should take comfort in the likelihood that their kids will turn out fine (just like many other kids who self-weaned or were otherwise weaned) and not banter back and forth about which is the "best" way. The latter just isn't supportive.

My $0.02...


7:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you for your thoughts Nicolle. While I acknowledge that Dr. Sears's statement is based on his own observations of the children he sees in his pediatric practice, we must also acknowledge that observation remains at the heart of science and is the final arbiter in forming and proving ideas.

The subject of this post is not about "which way is the best way". It is a recounting of some interesting points that I discovered in my reading. These are quotes that resonated with me because as I wrote, "they made me feel better about my mothering style.

It has been my experience that when someone takes offense to something that is in no way antagonistic, there must be some unresolved issue within.

Indeed, a blog is a diary and a diary is nothing more than banter.

8:05 PM  
Blogger missymey said...

thank you so much for sharing this. i am at a similar point with my 1.5 year old son. up until two months ago, he was sleeping most of the night (would wake once or twice every couple of nights) in his crib. as of late, he is up more often than that and most nights, winds up in bed with us. we co-slept for the first nine months and took to his crib without a problem.

my husband and i both feel that this 'regression' (if you want to call it that) has happend for a reason and that we need to meet his needs. so we are fine with nurturing him in whatever manner he needs. but there are moments when i question our approach.

posts like this or writings like dr. sears' or those in mothering magazine always help to reaffirm that what i am doing is the right thing--because it is led by my mothering instinct.

so thank you.

ps. satchel is so cute and seems to have an amazing spirit to him.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Shana-Lynn said...

Wendy, they made me feel better too!

11:09 PM  

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