So, yes, I found myself at the Berkeley Parents network and read a good smattering of of posts regarding 5-8 month breastfed babies and sleep (or lack thereof). My exhaustion hasn't been tamed, but I do recognize that a) we are not incapable parents for not being able to schedule our baby to sleep through the night, and b) there are, in fact, advantages to night feedings. It's that part "b" that I find myself harking back to frequently in an attempt to stave off a breakdown.
- Night feedings will continue to encourage my milk supply, which needs all the help it can get;
- Night feedings help confer anovulation (i.e. birth control--controversial topic, here is a good overview--Miles does not need a sibling quite yet);
- Night feedings give me the luxury of "Goldilocksing" through beds all night. I start in the Papa Bear bed with Eric, and then after the first failed attempt at a full night of uninterrupted sleep, usually end up on the couch for the next segment of sleep. It is probably 6.5 fewer steps from the couch to the nursery than from the bedroom to the nursery, and in the middle of the night, 6.5 steps is a lot of ground to cover! The next, and hopefully final stretch of "sleep" (let's use that term lightly, shall we?) usually has me curled up in an adapted fetal position in the nursery chair. En route to my different beds, I do pass by the fridge and knock back a nursing ball or two.
- Peanut butter
- Crushed graham crackers
- Non-fat powdered milk
- Flax meal (you could use wheat germ, too)
- Chocolate bits
- Kashi Go Lean Crunch remnants (you know, the part of the bag with the crumbs that you always throw away)
***One final addition to part "b" of Nightfeeding: bonding. Every night, after my eyes have adjusted to the dark in Miles's room, I look down and see the most perfect boy. (It helps that the dark masks his cradle "crap" and scratched face). Miles does this funny "movement mantra" as I call it--it's not words he repeats over and over, but this repetitive nursing movement--like booby tai kwan do. Whichever arm is not smashed up against my belly, he holds it above his head and gently paints imaginary crescent moons across the top of my chest, brushing my collar bone. Over and over and over...his paper thin nails (the same ones that gash his face) tickle my skin with his movement mantra. It is when I close my eyes and just sit "present" with Miles while he composes his invisible Monet, that I want to bottle up the moment to save for the day when I am wondering how I am to survive the coming night.
(You thought you were getting away with no pictures? Fools!)
For all of those who still think we actually comb our sons hair into a toupee, here is what the poor child looks like when you try to "normalize" his hair: And then this is what he looks like upon waking up. (Thanks to Great Aunt Dilys for the sea turtle kimono outfit, and to Aunty Shirley and Grunkle Seth for Egypt, Miles's organic monkey pal).
Green-atude: October 14
Unplug unused chargers and electronics.
Ban the can. Buy foods that are fresh, frozen or dried.
Make smoothies using organic yogurt, berries, juice and a bit of flax seed (Ali's addition: make nursing balls!!!)
Keep keys from kids. They sometimes contain lead.
Get rid of household hazardous waste: http://earth911.org
Set up a yogurt buffet for your kids. (Miles is just fine with his milk buffet for now.)