Monday, June 17, 2013

Bedtime Weaning

This weekend, we started the process of weaning The Baby - at least, weaning him off of nursing himself to sleep and nursing himself back to sleep in the middle of the night, when he wakes up. It's been a reasonable process so far: when The Baby asks for milk ("Mum milk, please!" he says, as he paws at her top), she tells him, "Mum milk is sleeping right now." He's not happy about it, but he does accept it. The actual going-to-sleep process, for him, has been a little tricky: I've had to kick her out of the room for the past two nights while I snuggled the little critter to sleep. Side note: he's actually letting me snuggle him to sleep.

It's a hard thing. Not many people nurse their babies as long as The Wife has done, so far, with all three. The Boy stopped because of chemo issues (which we regret, incidentally) at 15 months. Little Bear stopped around 18 months because The Wife was pregnant again. We're kind of thinking it like potty training - he's close to the age where, if we haven't started, he's going to develop an attachment / attitude about it. Since we're starting the weaning process (he doesn't need the milk, but he hasn't yet developed a comfort mechanism like The Boy's thumb or Little Bear's fingers) and started the potty training process (no pants, in general, around the house and frequent trips to the potty), we're fairly confident that he'll have a bit less of an attitude about the whole thing.

Maybe we need to get him hooked to a blanket or toy?

We've been re-evaluating the entire going-to-sleep thing, lately. We've allowed ourselves to have a group snuggle in bed, watching soft tv shows until they fall asleep, and that's not the best use of resources. We're starting to do a group gathering for stories (maybe a quick show - one of the Scholastic storybook shows or something like that), then snuggles, then letting them sleep in their rooms. It's just taking too long to put them to bed! While I love and treasure the snuggles and the intimacy, I really don't enjoy the 90 minutes of time it takes every single night to sit and watch the same tv shows with them.

Considering that we've been filling out a star chart for their violin practice, maybe we do a bedtime chart? We tried that a year ago to no avail. It might work better. Then again, consistency is the issue - like, we've fallen off the wagon on the behavior chips lately. Now, that's what I've seen - The Wife might be doing them, but I haven't been around much over the past couple of weeks.

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