Tuesday, January 25, 2011

accidental parenting

We all have our habits, our way that we decide as parents to bring up our children. This usually comes in the form of a some settling technique or tool. My tool was the breastfeeding. Both my little people did not take to the dummy. There was a part of me that was thankful for this and then another that was wanting them to take it. I too, like one of the readers commented the other day, introduced the dummy later to try and get Taj off my boob. He never took it. He saw it as a toy. As something to play with while he still begged for what he knew was his comfort.

The one thing I have told myself is that they grow out of these stages. The cuddles are amazing. There is no describing what it feels like to have your little one nestled right up next to you while you both sleep. I have no doubt there will be a day where they do not even want to cuddle me, let alone be seen cuddling me. I am sure I will be the parent that will do everything to embarrass them with cuddles in front of their friends! Just like licking your finger and taking the food that they have left behind on their faces. I swore I would never do that to my children. But here I am doing it, and I love it! (I forgive you mum).

So how did I stop the feeding with Taj? I believe luck, but I also watched him in everyday life. I observed him and watched how he was a sponge. Listened to the things he would point out around him, or the questions he would ask me. They are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. He understands everything I say. You can see it ticking over in his head when you have a conversation with him. To stop the feeding I explained to him that the boobie had gone. The milk is no longer there anymore. Really when you think of it, it was me that he wanted in the end, not the boobs. He wanted me to be there with him. The boobs are the same as giving your little one the dummy, or the bottle, or a blanket. These are all tools that help them feel comforted. We can be the new comfort for them.

I was however lucky to have him here the first night I said no and then the second night he was at his dad's house. They say it takes three days for a habit to go. I kept saying no, but not the actual word no. I explained to him that the boobs had gone. There were tears. I replaced the milk with water, which he loves.

There is no doubt it is hard to take away something that makes our children feel safe and comforted. But when it comes down to it, it is us as parents that they really need the comfort from. I am no expert. The whole process might have just been luck. But like most mothers and parents I am just doing what I think is the right thing for my children and hoping for the best outcome. I stuff up. I cry and wonder why I have done some things. But I keep going and hope that one day they will understand the rules and respect me the same way I had respect for my mum. In saying this though, today I spoke to two brick walls. Not for a moment, but for the whole day I walked around with two brick walls.

Now I just have to work out how to get Taj to sleep without me laying next to him to fall asleep! Tips anyone?


  1. Putting him to bed with a t-shirt or something of yours that smells like you might help. How about a dirty old bra! Ha ha maybe not....! It will comfort him when you are not next to him. And be strong and consistent. It will be hard but try not to give in on the odd night and lay next to him because you know it will put him to sleep. It will confuse him and just draw out you trying to create the new habit. We have just gotten Jarrah back into a great habit where he puts himself to sleep...I think I mentioned it to you. And we found being tough and consistent was they key. And now we have so much more time to ourselves at night. Good luck hayley!!! Xxx

  2. Oh weaning is a big deal, mine all breastfed to sleep, which led them to wonderful calm sleeping patterns (all the girls fed to 18months, my boy, the last to 2 years).
    Try this, say, i'll be in your room (take a magazine or something quiet to do) & say "if you get up or talk or play or make a noise, i'll get up & go, if you are quiet & lay there, i'll stay" this way he's feeling like you're treating him with respect & it's his decision that you are there. Also saves any frustrated yelling & you might actually get some reading done. Before you know it, he'll be sleeping without you by his side, in a few minutes. Good luck.
    As for cuddles, my eldest is in high school & i still give her big hugs & kisses, i wouldn't have it any other way, when she wakes up, when i leave her at school, when i pick her up, when she goes to bed & just because. They all get a zillion kisses & cuddles. Love Posie

  3. I used a method similar to Posie Patchwork. I initially would hold her hand say good night and each minute I would take a step closer to the door. First time was hideous and wondered what I was doing but by day 3, she would just go straight to sleep.
    You will work it out - in your own way. You're a smart wonderful lady - and a mum. We always work it out. Mum's rock. Boobies rock too lol.

  4. Hello Hayley,
    Similar idea to the same 2 posts, JP has been a bit clingy since we came back from our stay in the UK - it was driving me mad the other day - I started off stroking his hair for a couple of days, then moved to the chair in his room and then have now moved to the room next door. If he cries out I reassure him I'm still there but don't jump up and rush in straight away, we had a bit of a back track the other night when I was at my wits end with the screaming, but (touch wood) the last two nights he's gone straight to sleep after a story and slept for 10/11 hours without a peep.

    Take your time and he'll get there. Good luck
    Al x



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