Growing up and moving on

I mentioned in a previous post that I had decided to wean Aiden from nursing. The decision came about quite naturally (in a way)...


Let me start off by saying that I am very very thankful to have nursed Aiden so easily and for so long. He took to b-feeding right away and never looked back. I never had any pain or any other problems associated with nursing and really enjoyed the fact that Aiden could eat/drink anywhere and for free! Right from the beginning he nursed on demand almost every 2 hours, and anywhere from 8-14 times every 24hours. This continued right up until his 12th month when I realized that if I didn't offer it to him, he could quite easily go all day without it!


Night time was another story though, and he was clearly in a habit of waking every 2-3 hours to nurse. I was exhausted, grumpy and taking all my frustrations out on Yoshi. I resented him because he never had to wake up during the night and he didn't understand how tired I was. I didn't understand how tired I was. When Aiden became 13 months old I realized I hadn't slept for more than 3 hours in a row for over a year and it wasn't doing me any favors. Something had to change.


The day before Mother`s day (May 11th) I met up with some other foreign wives here in Osaka for a picnic. I told them my frustrations and was met with understanding nods. Two of them had VERY similar stories and both decided to implement the cry-it-out method at the 13 month mark and moved their babies to cribs in separate rooms... because their babies were up all night long too.


CIO (cry-it-out) wasn't going to work for us because Yoshi prefers that Aiden co-sleeps (and we have only 1 room!!). Co-sleeping was something I had never considered before Aiden was born, but because Aiden was up a lot during the night, it made it easier for me to attend to him while he was right next to me.


That night I decided that I would feed Aiden to sleep as usual around 9pm and that would be the last time. Forever. It didn't really feel sad because I really think I gave him all I could give. I respect mothers who continue b-feeding until their babies are 2 or even older, but it just wasn't going to work for us (me). Aiden woke up screaming several times during the night and writhed around on the bed in the most horrible way. He was red, sweaty, breathless and panicking and I wanted so badly to just feed him and make it stop. But for once my stubborn nature saved me. I said to myself that if I was going to be awake feeding him anyway, I should try to use this time to soothe him in other ways. I patted, offered him a bottle with a mix of water and baby Pocari (ion water?), shh`d and hugged him... played youtube videos to him and waited... after an hour or so, he cried himself out. The same thing happened a few hours later and the next few nights were the same... but the time between screaming fits slowly started to increase, and before I knew it, he slept for 5 hours in a row! I was a new woman the day after that, I had so much energy and couldn't stop smiling.



I have to mention that the days following my decision to quit night nursing cold turkey were VERY painful for me. I resorted to cabbage leaves in my bra and painkillers to ease the pain, and things finally got better after a week or so... not back to normal I hasten to mention... I am a size smaller than I was before :(


It is now 3 weeks since May 11th and things are SO much better. Aiden is sleeping for much longer stretches of time and when he wakes, he drinks a bit of water from his bottle and soon drifts off again. We are still co-sleeping and he still wakes me up with kicks and feet in my face, but for now it is ok. I have sleep again, and I am happy!


p.s. Aiden still will only take daytime naps in the Ergo or stroller and it still takes about 1 hour for him to settle down and go to sleep at night, but we are making progress and from my new positive, well-rested point of view, I can wait a bit longer until we tackle all those issues!

Comments

  1. I'm so glad you are able to sleep better! Can't believe its already almost two weeks since I saw you guys... :( I will keep up the stalking though!xx

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  2. I soooo feel for you !
    My boys are twins, young men now already, but I had the worst time when they were babys.
    They took turns crying and I was a living vegetable for a long time before they gave me a break.

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