Why does it matter?

Now that Baby G is approaching a year old, the question of when I’m going to stop nursing him is becoming more and more prevalent. Sometimes it’s casually inserted into conversation like the answer is no big deal and other times it’s pointed and almost bordering on concern.

There are multiple “camps” concerning breastfeeding. There are the moms who have zero intention of breastfeeding at all ever (and some can’t fathom why anyone would want to), there are moms who feel guilted into it so they attempt it and then make excuses why it didn’t work, there are moms who plan to do the obligatory 6 weeks and then quit, others who put a date, age, or milestone expiration date on it, the actually small group of women who cannot physically breastfeed due to medical or physiological issues (and if you research nursing at all this percentage is actually very small) and then there are others (like myself) who actually enjoy BFing and plan to let our child wean when they are good and ready. Obviously there are variations within any group so don’t get your panties in a twist if you didn’t see your particular situation. This is about me anyway, not you.

Then you have the observers. Those who don’t have children or weren’t breastfed or are men or who are part of some of the alternate camps of breastfeeding thought. A lot of who think they can determine when and where and for how long it’s “okay” to breastfeed.

When did it become “weird” to nurse a toddler? Who decided that once a kid can say milk or boob or whatever then the child is too old? When did babies stop being babies at one year of age? When I think of a toddler I think 2. Not 12 months. And why does it matter if you’re nursing a toddler? Basically, what’s it to ya?

Why are people so obsessed with this subject. I can think of a LOT of things parents do that are WAY more distressing and detrimental to a child than nursing them when they are 3. Or even 4. Recently the Time Magazine cover with the toddler standing on a chair nursing freaked everyone out. The Pro-camp thought it groundbreaking and affirming and the Anti-camp called it vulgar and freaked out about it. Personally I thought the cover itself was intentionally inflammatory and a little distastful. But it caused a lot of strong feelings both ways. And honestly, the best reaction to it I’ve read so far is this one. Well said. Read some of his other stuff too. He’s pretty funny.

So back to my situation. I love breastfeeding. It’s not sexual, it’s not selfish, it’s just a wonderful time I get to spend with my son. It’s nutrition and comfort. It’s time spent just with momma and during that time everything is alright in the world. Plus I’m providing him the BEST nutrition out there. Believe what you will but even formula companies recommend breastfeeding first. I’m not saying if you give your kid formula he or she will grow up stunted, undernourished, and socially inept. Quit reading into things! I have strong opinions about breastfeeding and this is my blog, dang it!

Ok, sorry. This subject makes *people* get a little heated. I choose to breastfeed Baby G because I believe that is what is best for the both of us. It fits our lifestyle and his needs. And I will breastfeed him as long as he chooses. And if he’s 3 when he weans completely, well, so be it. But that’s my business. No one else’s.

Advertisements

It’s midnight yet again

My little one refuses to go to bed at night. No, that’s not totally true. My little one refuses to go to bed at night in his bed. He’ll sleep just fine if we’re holding him. He’ll be calm and collected and perfectly reasonable. But as soon as you put him anywhere near his crib he turns into a flailing, rolling, crazed maniac. It’s currently 11:30pm and we’ve been trying to get him to sleep since about 10. I know that sounds late to put a baby to bed but we sleep in late. And generally I’m up late. With my erratic schedule at work (this week for example: off, 10-7, off, 12-9, 10-7, 8-5, 8-5) if we were to put him to bed early (say 8 o’clock), I’d miss most nights with him. So later works better for us.

Why is his bed lava, you ask? Well, dear friend, if you can find the answer to THAT question we will all be millionaires and get to sleep at night. Ok maybe not on the millionaire part but we might actually get to go to sleep at a reasonable hour if we chose. I’ve never been one of those who is on a specific side of the fence when it comes to “Cry It Out” tactics, but I have a hard time with both sides. I HATE letting Baby G lay in bed and cry. I hate it. It hurts my heart and makes me feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I’m abandoning my sweet child who is lying in his bed miserable and alone and terribly upset at being bereft of my presence. I feel like when I finally do go to pick him up he clings to me like I’m a life preserver and I’m saving him from a terrible fate. But at the same time… I also don’t sleep very well sitting upright in a chair. I don’t have a recliner and for whatever reason Baby G doesn’t want to sleep on my chest if I’m laying down. So sometimes, like tonight, I let him cry. I sit downstairs and listen to him crying piteously through the monitor and I feel like my heart is going to leap out of my chest. Some nights we can bounce him or pat him to sleep and that works. Some nights if you put him anywhere near his room, much less his bed, he breaks out into hysterics. I don’t know what makes the difference but I wish I knew what the right thing was.

Sometimes I just feel selfish. Maybe that little tiny boy is scared or doesn’t feel good or is lonely and he just wants to be cuddled. I don’t know. Maybe he’s just being a toad and doesn’t want to go to bed. So what do I do? Do I hold him and let him sleep on me? Do I give up my sleep so he doesn’t cry? It took 10 minutes tonight. 10 minutes of him crying after I had been upstairs for almost 40 minutes rocking him, holding him, and trying to get him to lay down. That 10 minutes felt like 30. We are 10 1/2 months in and I still don’t know what the right thing is. There are lots of people who use the CIO method and swear by it. There are lots of others who deem it a method of torture from the devil which will result in your child becoming a homicidal maniac who will eventually kill you in your sleep. I’m not going to throw stones at either camp. I think both tactics have valid points and have different times when they are effective  My biggest concern is what is right for Baby G?

Tonight, anyway, was a combination of cuddling and soothing with a little crying at the end. It makes me want to go upstairs and hug him and give him kisses but I guess that would defeat the fact that he finally fell asleep. So I’ll take myself to bed now and hope he sleeps through the night, and plan to snuggle him in the morning when he wakes up to eat. You know how I love those morning nursings.

Little joys

Here I am, at 6:30am, nursing my sweet one before I have to work. His little forehead is imprinted with several of his tiny fingers because he insists on laying face down on his hands in the bed. I’d show you a picture but I can’t do that without showing you a little more of myself than I think we are friends for.

So the point is, I love this time. I love this sleepy little baby who cuddles up against me, softly reaching out to touch my face or chest. Whether I’m sitting and eating breakfast like today or cuddled up in bed with him, the morning nursings are some of my favorite. He isn’t trying to look over his shoulder and see what’s going on, he isn’t popping off every few minutes to see who just walked by, and he’s usually very calm and serene. And today he has perfect fingernail impressions in his forehead.

I love that this is time just for the two of us. Our morning nursings are warm and cuddly and sweet. It’s just us and I can forget for a second how big he is getting and that I have to go to work. I can revel in his tiny little body and his sweet little hands and know I am his source of comfort as well as food. I can provide what no one  else can and it’s so special to me.