It’s like a lame joke: How do you night-wean a two year-old toddler?
Why, very gently.
Madeline and I have made good progress with the weaning project. The night-time nursing sessions have been gone for over a month now, and I’m feeling so much better. And we’re both sleeping better, which is also a good thing.
I did this on my own, and thus prepared myself to face hours of inconsolable wails. A few days before Night 0, I told Madeline that very soon I wasn’t going to have any milk for her at nighttime, but that she and I still could cuddle. On Night 0, before tucking her into bed, I told her that if she woke at night, I wasn’t going to have any milk for her; night-time was for sleeping, but that if she was hungry she could have some Cheerios, or if she was thirsty, she could have a drink of water.
Sure enough, Madeline did wake up shortly after midnight. She howled in my arms for about six minutes, but then asked for water and Cheerios. I tucked her back into her crib, and I didn’t hear from her again until morning. I was shocked. I guess that sometimes it *is* possible to reason with a toddler!
The second night was similar, except she was angry for a much shorter amount of time. These days, Madeline usually wakes up once and calls for me, but it’s a quick bed-side visit. Most of the time she merely asks for her cup of water to be refilled or a cuddle, and then she rolls over, taps her Ocean Wonders Aquarium on, and re-assumes her sleeping position. Two nights ago, she actually slept from 8:30pm – 7:15am without requiring my attention at all. Amazing!
Friday Links: The Carseat Version
- I stumbled upon Kids in Safe Seats, which is a volunteer organization promoting the safe use of carseats in the province of Newfoundland. Their information about the importance of staying rear-facing longer isn’t up-to-date, but they do hold free seat checking clinics (and the schedule is on the website). The neat thing about this organization is that they’ve been keeping stats on correct and incorrect installations since the fall of 2000. Thus far, only a little over 6% of parents are using their carseats correctly when brought for inspection. I’m stunned.
- One of the other parents on the parenting forum I’m a member of posted a link to Top 10 Cars for Kids in Car Seats, and it’s a really good article! To date, I’ve installed Madeline’s Marathon in an elderly Ford Tempo, a Toyota Camry, a Toyota Tercel, a Chevy TrailBlazer, Mazda Proteges of both the sedan and hatchback varieties, a Nissan Altima, a Mazda 6 sedan, a large Lincoln something-or-other, a Chevy Malibu Maxx, and now, a Ford Escape. Let me tell you, bumpy seats, oddly angled seat-backs, and protruding headrests are the bane of my existence. I agree with the article naming the Malibu Maxx to their Top Ten – the rear seatback reclined so I could get a better fit with Madeline’s carseat, and the entire rear bank of seats could be adjusted back so that there was plenty of room. My next fave would be my Tempo back in Calgary. It’s too old to have anything other than a plain-jane backseat.
- Car Seat Safety with Winter Coats is another timely article about how to check that your child’s warm winter gear doesn’t compromise the performance of their carseats. Everyone knows that thick coats are a no-no, right? Even if you live in Alberta and it’s 48 degrees below zero with the windchill factor it’s a no-no 🙂 Jokes about my traditional winter home aside, please read this article and make sure your little person will be safe in a crash. Keep the thick and puffy coats in the car in case you need them, but they don’t belong in a carseat.
This morning I was flipping through my October issue of Today’s Parent while Madeline sat beside me, eating her blueberry waffle, and noticed an advertisement for Nestle Quik. The ad caught my eye because the entire thing seemed to be trying to make the case that adding sugary, chocolaty stuff to regular milk is still nutritious, at least compared to soft drinks and juice. Well, maybe, but I still take umbrage that some people out there are trying to urge parents and their kids to take an otherwise nutritious glass of milk and adulterate it with empty calories. I know that some children probably won’t drink any milk at all if it wasn’t flavoured, but I doubt those families need to be marketed to at this point.
I still shake my head whenever I see the tv commercial from the Dairy Farmers of Canada that specifically advertised chocolate milk! I love chocolate milk, but I can’t understand why this product needs to be set apart for an advertising campaign. Does it make a difference to dairy farmers if I buy two litres of skim or two litres of chocolate milk?
… and that ends my Thursday rant.
Today is Friday, and that means that Madeline and will be having our traditional Friday lunch of scrambled eggs topped with shredded cheese. I’ve been making scrambled eggs on Fridays for many months now, and last week Madeline got in on the act. Doesn’t it look like my assistant takes her job seriously? She didn’t spill any eggs onto the countertop, I’m proud to report …
Lately it seems that Madeline’s favourite thing to do is be my little helper. She’s not as fond of helping with the laundry as she used to be, but give her a broom, and she’s happy. Even happier if she can help unload the dishwasher. The ultimate is helping me cook! I can’t even peel an apple without hearing a little "Me help!" and seeing a tiny figure dragging her step-stool towards the kitchen counter. I’ve had to repeat "the stove is only for mommy and daddy" many times, but we haven’t had a mishap yet.
Most of the time I’m thrilled that Madeline wants to help – it’s the first step to being a contributing member of the household, of course. It’s usually cute. It is hard, however, to remain calm and patient when my little helper wants to help by taking her wee little broom to the pile of dust and debris I’ve collected, sending it flying towards the perimeter of the room again. Or when my little helper helps me wash the lunch dishes, but creates an urgent need to mop the floor. I don’t insist on keeping a spotless house, but I find it really frustrating when something that I’ve just cleaned/tidied up gets dirty/messed again right away … One of these days she’ll understand. I guess this is just another one of things that I have to be patient about.
Final Friday in September Links:
- Chris discovered the Kids in the Kitchen section on the Food Network (Canada) website. There are recipes for quick and healthy lunches and snacks, as well as an entire section devoted to Jamie Oliver. I wouldn’t make all of the recipes to share with Madeline just yet, but I love having a place to look for more ideas when she tired of our usual culinary routine
- This recent post at Ask Moxie is about smoothies (with spinach in them – I kid you not!), and it includes several recipes. We still have to try them, but I’m waiting until I’m less squeamish about buying packaged spinach.
- The Cost of Safety at This Sister’s Journey. Reading this post just made me feel like giving Madeline a hug …
Maybe it’s the two years of sleep deprivation mixing with various chemicals in my brain, but for whatever reason, lately this extended breastfeeding thing has been like taking a stroll through the bad part of town. When Madeline snuggles in for her second, third, or fourth snack of the night, my mind is invaded with wild, crazy, and horrible musings. I wonder how far across the room I could throw her from a seated position. I wonder if shaken baby syndrome could be brought on by really fast rocking. And more things like that. So, I think it’s time to step back and wean for both of our sakes. Perhaps this is my body’s way of saying that it’s time to move on.
I didn’t really plan on it being my decision to end this relationship with my little girl – I’ve held on to the belief that Madeline would lose interest in nursing on her own for many many months, but I will admit that I don’t see that event on the horizon anytime soon. Obviously, Madeline missed that memo. I’ll have to do the nudging, and deal with the wrath of a toddler scorned.
I have no idea what is wrong with me or why nursing invokes such scary and negative feelings. I haven’t stopped or started any medications. I’m even starting to work out regularly again. Surely other moms have been there/done that, but gosh, it’s the most unsettling thing to be up alone with Madeline at 2 am and trying to keep it together. Minutes have never ticked away slower.
Madeline and I lunched at Tim’s today with a pair of other moms. While rushing through my soup, I lamented that dining with the Shmoo used to be fairly low-key. She’d sit happily and eat finger-food, play with crayons or playdough, or sort those little packets of sugar. But lately, I’ve felt that walking into any restaurant with Madeline has been like walking through the gates of Jurassic Park instead. Today, I was saw Speedydactyl, who ran a circuit around the bank of tables as I placed our order at the counter. Speedydactyl thought it was also fun to run into the men’s washroom (sidenote: why was the door propped open anyway???). Grabosaurus helped herself to her little buddy’s cookie before I’d even sat down at the table myself. She was not interested in hearing about polite dining behaviours from me; maybe we needed a lesson from Tablemannersasaurus instead? Next I was visited by Standonchairus Rex, who did sit properly on her behind when asked, except she’d pop right back up again. This exercise repeated itself several times. I was really unimpressed with and tired out after this tour of prehistoric behaviours. Madeline’s paternal grandparents are arriving for a visit sometime today, and I know that Chris has planned several meals out. I’m kind of wishing I knew where to get a dinosaur-sized dose of mellowness for Madeline …
May I present the newest member of Madeline’s sippy cup collection?
I hope that this Nalgene Grip n’ Gulp
proves to be the answer of our leaky sippy cup woes! In any event, Madeline seems to really like her new beverage containers, and I’m happy because when she outgrows the spouts, we can just buy regular replacement lids! Whee! I love things that grow with a kid!
Cool stuff for this week:
I get really excited whenever a mail truck pulls up outside our house! Maybe it’s a stay-at-home mom thing, but it’s thrilling to be home when packages arrive! Yesterday a truck pulled up here and dropped off a package containing my complimentary copy of Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler. I was part of Ann Douglas’s book panel. What was really neat, though, was looking in the acknowledgements section of the book and recognizing the names of four of my friends as well 🙂
I’ve been getting once-a-week emails from Today’s Parent as part of a Toddler nutrition series, and there have been several recipes that I have bookmarked to try out. I thought I’d share the links: