Monday, August 31, 2009

Nursing into Toddlerhood

There's been a lot of change for Boo in the past month. We've pretty successfully night weaned. He still wakes up now and then and cries for milk in the night, but not nearly so often. And it doesn't take him that long to go back to sleep. I'm also working on setting more parameters around his daytime nursing. I'm really wanting to keep it to an "at home" thing now. We have our usual times - naptime and before bed. Additionally, mornings where there's no daycare kiddos when he wakes up and sometimes in the evening when he wants the extra comfort.

I feel bad though. We went out the other night and stayed out past his bedtime. He could not handle the fact that he wasn't getting his milk while we were not at home. And in his defense, it was bedtime. I stuck to my guns, but I'm not sure that was the best decision. He was horribly upset. Perhaps a more sensitive decision would be to not plan to stay out way past his bedtime until he's gotten used to these new rules. At the time I didn't feel as if I was being horribly insensitive...just firm. Looking back on it, I think it was too much too soon.

We've also had other changes in the house. In the past two weeks I enrolled three kiddos in the daycare. Woo hoo - that's good news. And so far I think it's going really well. But of course that's a lot of change for a little 2 year old to handle. Now instead of sharing me with one child, he's sharing with four kiddos. Plus, one is an infant who gets to be held and fed bottles of milk. Boo has definitely noticed this and has tried to ask for his milk when the infant is being fed. A simple "not naptime" or "not now...after daycare" does the trick. He's pretty used to that rule.

"Mothering Your Nursing Toddler" is a book that I read awhile back and it's a great read for anyone who chooses to nurse into toddlerhood. One thing that is great about this book is that it talks about setting limits when children are over 2. The author supports mothers setting limits that they feel are necessary to make themselves more comfortable with nursing their toddler. I think it's important for mothers who choose extended nursing as the right path for them to realize that extended nursing does not mean they have to be a 24 hour snack bar. I've actually felt really great about the limits that I've set. I still enjoy our nursing relationship, but I was starting to feel a bit burned out on it. Having parameters that I'm comfortable with have made a huge difference in how I feel about nursing my little Boo right now.

Well, remember that busy daycare home I mentioned? I must get back to it. No one's awake from nap yet, but there's a few more things I'd like to do before they are!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Milk Goes Night Night

Well, we've been working on night weaning Boo. We've had 4 nights of night weaning so far and he's doing a wonderful job. My main reason for night weaning is that Boo has this habit of clamping down once he's asleep and I have one side that's constantly sore for that reason. I don't mind nursing through the night because he climbs into bed with us partway through the night anyways. So it's not like I have to do anything other than turn the right direction and I can do that while half asleep. That's much easier than having to get up and bounce him, rub his back, sing to him, or whatever other method that would be necessary to soothe him back to sleep. However, since I'm now in pain on one side all the time it's not relaxing to nurse at night because the pain wakes me up. So we've decided that now is the time.

The first night he screamed and screamed and screamed for 45 minutes. Poor guy. I kept repeating that "milk goes night night". He was not happy about it. But with some singing he finally went back to sleep. The second night he cried for maybe 20 minutes and then fell back asleep. The third night he cried a little bit, not for very long at all. Then he turned away from me and cuddled up to daddy. I wonder if that was his way of being mad at mommy! Last night he didn't wake up and ask for milk at all! I think he will be pretty well night weaned by the end of this week. Yay! I'm so proud with how well he's doing with this!

It's hard as a parent to withhold something that your child loves so dearly. But I can see that he's adapting very well. And he still seems very secure in our relationship. So I hope that means that I've done some things right along with all of my lovely mistakes!

Well, I'm off to vacuum the downstairs before daycare starts this morning. Fun fun!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Training Wally

Well, I don't remember if I posted or not that we have a new family member. His name is Wally and he's freaking adorable. He come home when he was about 10 weeks old. He's a Welsh Pembroke Corgi. His coloring is red and white. He's a sweetie, but he's definitely your typical mischievous puppy!

I'd been calling around and calling around looking for training for him. I finally found someone. She has a new to the business even though she's been doing it with her family for years. Her business is called Tip Top Dog Training. So far I like our trainer. She's come to our house once and I've been working with the plan that she gave me. We'll meet again next week to see how he's progressed and go from there. I love that her philosophy of dog training is very positive. She uses the clicker method for training dogs. I can definitely see already that Wally is going to do well with this kind of training. He seems very smart and quick to catch on.

We did have to start with a bit of punishment which neither I nor the trainer were thrilled with. But unfortunately Wally thinks he's running the show at this point. He's been nipping quite a bit and was not caring much about time-outs alone as a method for curbing the nipping. So when he nips I have to hold him down and say "Enough". Once he stops trying to get up and/or nip at me he's allowed to get up. Any jumping on or nipping at Boo and he's immediately crated. This results in a puppy who is carried to his crate practically every other minute that he is out of it! But with consistency Wally will get better and learn to keep himself under control when he's out so that he doesn't have to go to his crate.

It's really nice having one on one instruction right now. After another session at the house we will likely resume lessons at her facility. This will be great because she has a couple of different dogs that will be good for helping to socialize Wally and help him learn his "doggy manners" when it comes to interacting with his own species. Also, this will help him with bite inhibition.

Boo was not sure at all about Wally when we first brought him home. He has come a long way, and I mean a really long way! He loves Wally. He loves to give him biscuits. And if he was allowed shoes, legos, and anything else you can think of! I can see that they're going to be great friends. I'm so glad that we got a puppy while Ayden is so young. He was starting to develop a fear of dogs and I definitely don't want him to grow up afraid of dogs.

Puppy training is time consuming. Wow. I mean, really time consuming. But it is fun too. I enjoy our sessions together. They are a kind of stress relief for me. Already I can see how much Wally adds to this family. I think once he's properly trained he will be a million times more enjoyable than he already is. Getting a puppy was a huge decision and I'm so glad that we took the plunge!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big Boy Bed

Boo is officially in his big boy bed. We have one of those cribs that converts to a toddler bed with a rail. The rail only covers a portion of the side though. I'm not sure if this is standard? Anyways, he's adjusted really well to it. He got some Cars toddler bedding from his grandparents for his birthday (we put in the request in anticipation of this He's super excited that "McKeen and Mater" are on his bed. He's done really well. I was nervous how naptime would go. Monday was easy. He fell asleep before getting in his bed, so I just carried him there and put him in bed. Tuesday he was not asleep before nap and went into his bed awake. He laid there quietly and looked at me. I left the room and told him "night night" which is what I've been able to do with his daytime naps. He usually plays for a bit and then falls asleep. So I was curious how we would do when he could get out of bed. Well, I plopped myself down in the computer chair in the office. The office is across the hall from the bedroom. Anyways, before too long I hear little feet pitter pattering across the floor. So I get out of the chair and he must've heard me coming. I saw a flash, and I mean flash, of Ayden streak past the doorway. By the time I got to the doorway and poked my head in he was laying in bed face down. He must really think he fooled me! Anyways, I told him that he had to stay in bed and go "night night". To which he crinkled up his face and let out one of those "I don't like this" cries. That was short-lived. I heard him talking to himself for awhile after I left the room again. After it'd been quiet for awhile I poked my head in and sure enough he was asleep!

Wednesday he went right to sleep and today also. Although today he didn't stay in bed. He fell out of bed. I was sitting here in the office goofing around online/cleaning the office when I heard a BIG thud followed quicklky by a cry. Poor little guy fell out of bed head first. He has a HUGE knot in the middle of his forehead. Nothing that a little TLC and cuddling didn't fix. But he's definitely awake. He's sitting here right now talking about his favorite subject - trains!