Family of N

Adventures in Night Weaning, Part 2

Posted in Health, Parenting by Laura on October 19, 2009

After getting the dirt from the Professor on how night #2 went, there’s not much more to add. We put Savannah to bed at 10:30 with no trouble at all. She woke at 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 4:30 before a 5:00 waking where she got to come to our room. She went back to sleep easily each time, except maybe at 11:30 where it took something like 10 minutes.

Last night was more interesting. I put her to bed at 9:30 — commenting to the Professor that it was too easy! The Professor had to get up early this morning to teach, so I was on duty overnight this time. We hoped the smell of my milk (or my maternal weakness) would not make things harder.

When she whimpered at 1:30, I came to check on her, and she was still asleep. I heard a few more whimpers in the next hour before I finally decided to check again at 2:40. She was awake, and didn’t look too groggy. I wondered how long she’d been awake.

I sang to her; I explained that she needed to sleep in her crib now, and that she could have “milky” when it was morning. I put a reassuring hand on her, but she pushed it away. (This is normal for Savannah… she’s never been much calmed by physical touch.) She made the sign language sign for milk and I even heard her stomach grumble. After some time, she made her potty signal and I assumed she had been awake long enough that she had wet her diaper, or maybe she just needed to go and that was keeping her awake.

After 30 minutes or so, I resigned myself to picking her up to rock her to sleep. She resisted being cradled and didn’t look any sleepier after fifteen minutes of rocking. I put her back in the crib, which prompted fierce crying, but she didn’t seem terribly sleepy still.

An hour after I had entered her room, I gave up and got the Professor. Poor Savannah wailed all the louder, thinking I was leaving her, but calmed down easily when we returned.

I went back to bed at 3:40 and the Professor worked his magic. The bread machine started kneading at 4:00 (doh!* why did we set that thing to go overnight?) and slowed down Savannah’s progress toward sleep, but at 4:07, the Professor returned, triumphant, to catch an hour and a half of sleep before leaving for school.

Savannah slept from this time until 7:00, at which point she was Most. Welcome. to come nurse, as it had been ten hours since I last fed her! She ate hungrily and we slept happily until 8:30.

Last night was good progress. I hope we won’t have many more of the awake-for-an-hour-and-a-half nights, but really I feel like we’re close to the holy grail of baby sleep. Will I get 7 straight hours of sleep tonight? Check back later for that story… I’m as eager to know how that one goes as you are!

*No pun intended. 🙂

Adventures in Nightweaning, Part 1

Posted in Health, Parenting by Laura on October 18, 2009

Savannah is 12 months old and still wakes to nurse every 2-3 hours at night. The Professor and I have been talking about nightweaning “soon” for some time now, and Friday night, we finally decided to give it a whirl.

Ground rules were:

  • The Professor would be the one to go in to her on Friday and Saturday when she wakes so she wouldn’t be tempted by the smell of my milk.
  • We would not leave her to cry alone, and we would comfort her as well as we could, but the intent was for her to sleep in her crib, not in our arms. I don’t know if this is called crying it out (something I’m not a fan of in general), but we agreed to let her cry until she fell asleep in her crib.
  • I would nurse her to sleep around 10pm, and after that I would not nurse her until her first waking after 5 am, when we would bring her back to our room to sleep. She could nurse as often as she wanted once we brought her to our room.

The results after two nights? Well, the first night she cried for 45 minutes after I put her down in her crib at 10pm. Then she just decided to stop crying and, charming girl that she is, started handing the Professor the cuddly bunny that we put in the crib with her (“Daddy, I’ll give you the bunny if you pick me up!”) and babbling to him, evidently saying something about the blankets in her crib, which were nice and snug, keeping her from sitting up and rolling around. After another 30 minutes she finally dozed off.

She woke up again at midnight and 2:30am and went back to sleep pretty easily both times. The first time, she was sitting up when the Professor got to her, so he picked her up and then ended up having a little trouble when he set her back down, as she bolted awake as she always does. The second time, she was still lying down when he got to her, and she stayed asleep pretty well.

She woke up at exactly 5am and was pretty eager to nurse by then! It was much easier than usual to convince her to latch off when she was done.

Last night… well, I can’t give you the full story until the Professor wakes up from the long night. 🙂 But although she went to bed much easier initially, she did wake more frequently. Check back later for the rest of the story!

What Savannah Eats at 51 Weeks Old

Posted in Food, Parenting by Laura on October 1, 2009

    Savannah’s birthday is one week away, and we’ve been working hard preparing for the festivities. By introducing the ingredients in cake and ice cream to Savannah’s diet. 🙂

    Well, actually, that hasn’t been the sole focus of the foods we’ve added to her diet, but it has been on our minds. But with her first birthday approaching, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the foods she has tried so far. So here goes:

    • My milk  (she drinks about 10 ounces on days when I’m in the office from 9-5)
    • A version of Super Porridge containing brown rice, millet, oats, and green lentils.  This is the bulk of the solid food she consumes.  We still call it “rice cereal” even though we’ve stopped making it with only rice.
    • Sweet potato (occasionally with cinnamon and/or vanilla)
    • Green peas
    • Egg yolk
    • Cheerio’s
    • Puffed millet
    • Banana
    • Broccoli
    • Carrots
    • Yellow Squash
    • Apple (she doesn’t like them, though)
    • Pear (not too impressed with these either)
    • Yogurt (she tolerated this mixed with sweet potato but not with pear)
    • Ground beef (torn off bits of my hamburger)
    • Potato
    • Butter beans (fresh from Harmony’s garden!)
    • Mild cheddar cheese
    • Buttermilk biscuits (they were too good not to share)
    • Grapes (peeled, of course)

    Compared to what I hoped to have introduced at this age, I’m pretty happy with this list. I had wanted to get to spinach, green beans, beets, tofu, zucchini, peaches (well, we tried, but she was very insistent that we Never Do That Again), beans, and chicken. And I do wish that we had found more fruits that she likes. (Maybe this is what comes from introducing them late… we went after vegetables first because supposedly babies who have bananas, peaches, or pears first are forever destined to be Picky Eaters who don’t eat their vegetables. Hmm. Now we have a Picky Eater who won’t eat fruit. Perhaps a balanced approach is better?)

    But yes, overall, I’m happy. She’s getting lots of good nutrients, exposure to lots of flavors and textures, and practice picking things up. (Puffed millet is probably smaller than necessary… poor Savannah often gets lazy and leans her head down to pick up a few with her tongue. You can hardly blame her… it’s much more efficient than struggling to pick up one at a time!)

    She drinks water out of her straw cup, but it’s hit or miss whether she ends up with most of it spilling back out of her mouth.

    Except for finger foods, she hasn’t made much progress towards independent eating or drinking yet. (In other words, she’s not interested in holding the spoon… she’ll hold the handles of her sippy cup, but won’t tilt it up when the straw isn’t in.)

    So, where do we go from here? Well, tomorrow we’re having breakfast for dinner and plan to give her some scrambled egg, which will be her first time eating egg white. For her birthday we want to make chocolate cake with pink frosting, and ice cream. (Her first serious dose of sugars… oh, my.) But other than that, I guess I just rambled off the next list of foods to try… spinach, green beans, beets, tofu, zucchini, beans, and chicken. Do you think she’ll like them?