Monday, September 10, 2007

I have been replaced by a serving of yogurt

Last week I decided to stop nursing Henry. Actually, since mid-June he's only nursed once a day, usually around 5:30 or 6:00am. The routine was typically - Henry cries, either Joe or I would go get him, put him in bed with us and I would nurse him while everyone fell back asleep. In my niavete I thought I was doing this to earn myself a couple extra hours of sleep. But all I really got was a lot less room in which to sleep (since Henry typically laid perpindicular to Joe & I thus taking up most of the space in the bed), less sleep, and a lot of cuddling from a 1 year old.

So, I decided to wean him off this morning ritual. It was the most heartbreaking thing I have had to do as a mother. Henry's protests were relentless. He cried for two days straight. And, while crying he would pull at my shirt trying to expose my breasts so that he could satisfy his craving. The mornings were especially bad, I assume since that is when he was used to nursing. For several days he woke up at 5:30am, refused to go back to sleep and refused to stop crying. So we went on walks to calm him.

The biggest change came through two decisions: Joe & I decided to sleep in the living room on an air mattress so Joe's morning routine wouldn't wake Henry while he was trying to overcome his addiction and I replaced his morning feeding with a serving of yogurt. Sleeping in the living room was a brilliant idea of Joe's because it gave Henry the opportunity to learn to sleep longer without intervention from Joe or I.

Then there's the yogurt... Henry's new comfort object. First thing in the morning Henry wants yogurt. If he gets upset, Henry wants yogurt. If you open the fridge when he's around Henry darts towards the fridge and grabs, yogurt. I am so glad we discovered yogurt.

Now, Henry's day ends at 8:30pm when he goes to bed and begins at 8:00am when he wakes up. No early morning feedings, two happy parents, one happy baby.