Once upon a time there was a new mother who gained a beautiful darling little boy and lost the ability to sleep. When will I sleep again? She asked her friends, those with a few children each, and whom she therefore regarded as the experts on all things baby. Soon they promised. Wait until he's on rice cereal, and when this didn't work, try more weighty solids, bananas, fish, or chicken will keep his belly full until morning but when this too failed, they all promised one thing: When he's done weaning he'll sleep through the night, most definitely. Most certainly. Are you sure? the new mother whispered through a yawn. Oh yes, they said, at least, that's how it was for our kids. And the new mother smiled as her eyes shut and her nose dipped into the tea cup because while we all believe our children to be absolutely one-of-a-kind unique we listen to the stories of those who have been in the trenches with the hopes that in this one particular area your child will color inside the lines and follow in the paths of children before him and sleep, sleep, sleep.
The weaning process has begun and we're down to one morning session plus the wakings that occur through the night. While he is content now with the bottle and I could wean him completely if I wanted, the honest answer is I don't want to stumble down the stairs and clear the gate at the bottom to make his bottle- nursing is just easier and helps lull him to sleep for a little while longer in the mornings when my perky bunny is up at 6:30 ready to attend to his business meetings and return the important phone calls from Tokyo requiring prompt attention [why else would anyone in their right mind wake so early?] It's not the most comfortable sleep but gives me a chance to gather my bearings and wipe off the cobwebs on my sleepy brain [as many as can be dusted- some are permanently stuck I'm afraid, it appears drugs are not the only thing that kill brain cells- sleep deprivation may have lasting effects too.] Waleed's doctor told me not to introduce a bottle once he was past one year of age, but its the only way he'll drink his milk and oblige me to sleep for his naps and at night and I'd rather he get milk than no milk at all. As much as I expected to feel my heart break in pieces to wean him, its been gradual and that has helped all parties involved both physically and emotionally. Plus there are definitely benefits to having back one's body such as the ability to guilt-free drink a cup of coffee again and letting K take over bedtime, something he's longed to do but. . .
I was also hoping for sleep. And so far cow milk is not offering the promised panacea. He naps like an angel but his night sleep is not long and uninterrupted. He still wakes twice a night and he wants to imbibe something before he returns to sleep. I tentatively tried cry-it-out a few nights but it appears he's developed endurance and can go for much longer than I have the willpower to bear. So I change his diaper and I nurse him to sleep. Even two minutes of nursing will suffice, but nursing I must do if I hope for sleep to return. Twice a night. Every night. I don't know if he's hungry or rising from habit or if its teething or if he's waking from dreams [which apparently begin bothering them around now] or a plethora of other reasons, but despite the full-fat organic cow milk, he's still waking. I weaned him. I've arrived at the promised land. Where's my promise?
Still, he's worth it. The soft curls, the smile the size of Nebraska. I'll do it for him. I'll have plenty of time when he's grown and not quite so desperately in need of me, to get all the sleep I need. I will miss these sleep-deprived days. Right?
Any advice on the matter of sleep [and the lack thereof] much appreciated!
**and ofcourse last night? he slept all night! It's like he reads these posts! But- his diaper was soaked through- I suspect this might be more the reason of his wakings than any other. . . if anyone has any advice [bigger diapers?] I'd love to know. . . hate depriving him of his feed before night since I think he needs it.