Attachment. | Being Jane

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Attachment.

This week we are on the final stretch of weaning our 15 month old daughter from breastfeeding. All we have left are two night feedings. It isn't easy. The type of parenting we do makes this week a bit harder.

We are an attachment parenting family. We co-sleep, bed-share, babywear, exclusively breastfeed, and don't cry-it-out. We made the choice to implement these practices because of instinct, not because of wanting to go against the grain, or to be a hippie, or because we wanted to follow a "style" of parenting.

We chose to co-sleep and bed-share because initially my daughter had tummy troubles due to sensitivity to food allergens so she nursed and cried frequently at night. Because of this I got MUCH more sleep having her next to me and nursing her "in sleep mode" than if I was getting up every time she woke. We also preferred her being close, and looking forward we've decided we want to do this with all of our children.

**Photos of my girls have been removed to protect their digital footprint**

We babywear because our daughter liked to be close. It was easier for me to plop her in the sling and go hang laundry or vacuum than to try to balance her on my hip and lose an arm ;) Babywearing also is awesome because the snuggles are endless. There's nothing like your little one falling asleep against you as you mosey about the house or grocery store.

**Photos of my girls have been removed to protect their digital footprint**

We exclusively breastfeed because I have her with me 24/7, as she goes to work with me, and it was never necessary in the past to use one frequently. My husband gave her a bottle once, I did once, and a babysitter twice. She never liked them, never liked pacifiers either, so it just became something we did. I think it benefited me because my milk supply definitely never had a chance to dry up! Ha.

We chose not to let Emma cry-it-out because it just didn't feel good to us. I realize for some parents this works, but for us it didn't. We didn't like letting her scream in her bed because she really needed help falling asleep, especially with her tummy problems. She would turn purple, gag, and choke so we knew it wasn't for her. Now, we have a very special bond and a wonderful bedtime/nap routine that consists of rocking, walking, and singing until she is limp. I know that must sound laborious but they are truly only little once, and I know in a few years she won't want so many mommy snuggles, and right now I get to hold her close and sing sweet words to her as she sleeps on my shoulder.

Because of these practices, weaning is hard. Having Emma close to me at night, all night, makes her frustrated when she knows the possibility of nursing is there, but I won't let her have it. Not letting her CIO is something that makes weaning hard because we won't let her just fend for herself and "deal with it". Instead we hold her, love on her with snuggles and kisses, reassure her with words, and hum soft songs.

So far we are only nursing at 12am and 3:30am. Last night was a hard one because she did nurse at both times, but I tried to cut the second one short, which made her mad. After that she wouldn't calm down enough to sleep soundly and kept wailing. I knew she had been fed, but not long enough to make her fall fully back asleep, and she knew it too. My husband stepped in after about an hour of patting, singing, and bouncing, and walked around the room with her. He was lucky enough to have her fall asleep on him and they slept like that sitting up on the bed until 9am this morning. Looks like we are in for a treat this week! Pray for us :)

**Photos of my girls have been removed to protect their digital footprint**


Love & Joy,

Leanne

7 comments:

  1. As her mama you know best how to parent her! So glad you were able to find something that works for you as parents and for your little one! Good luck with the rest of the journey! :)

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  2. I think it's great how you comfort your little one! :) Right now, I think I "travel" too much in my sleep on the bed to bed share. When I become a parent, I will have to reevaluate. -L

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  3. Just came across you blog! I'm a new follower! I will be praying for you. I have a little one that had tummy issues when we was younger and slept with us a lot. I totally get that and you just have to do what is right for your baby and your family. Now that he is two and a half he has moved into his own bed and sleeps so well! I never thought he would be a good sleeper but when he was ready - it happened. All children are different and need different things and different times. You are a good mommy :). I hope you guys get some rest and the transition goes well. Take Care!

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  4. We co-sleep too, and babywear, don't do CIO, & baby girl is still breastfed at a little over 12 months. I was actually just reading up on baby led weaning. ;)
    And yeah, we are not big ole hippies either. We are just doing what feels right for us as parents. <3
    Oh, I am not looking forward to the time when we start weaning. She is probably my last baby, the last little one I will nurse and I will probably end up missing it more than she will.
    But I know the day will come...
    Hang in there!

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  5. We're very similar in this, Leanne! I didn't even realize that what I was doing was considered "attachment" parenting until about six months in as it was just something that came naturally to us. I think for me it had a lot to do with the fact that I decided to breastfeed exclusively as well (she's not a fan of bottles or pacifier's either), so having her sleep with us at night was easier. We did transition her to her room around 6 months but I still rock her to sleep every night and nurse once / night at this point and if she cries out any time afterwards we bring her to sleep with us! This process has not necessarily been easy but it's what works for us.

    She'll be one on Tuesday and is very slowly starting to self-wean. I imagine she'll be completely weaned around 18 months, but we'll see! Nonetheless, I LOVE the closeness this "style" of parenting has afforded us as I'm sure you do too! I'm SO happy to have found your blog and I wish you and your family all the best in the next few weeks!!!

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