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 well....you'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".
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.