Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sleep, sickness, and nursing past the first year

I haven't had much time to blog recently; Starbeans has been sick with a cold he caught from a birthday party we went to this weekend. Sunday night he slept for perhaps 2-3 hours, in half-hour increments. He would scream and wail if we went near the bedroom; so, for the entire evening, we either:

  • Took a bath
  • Walked in circles around the house
  • Rocked in the rocker in front of the television, watching PBS (I learned all about the free-trade movement, how Hawaii was formed, watched a Part II of William Golding's Sea Triology on Masterpiece Theater, and saw a 1985-vintage episode of Reading Rainbow)

I slept for 15 minutes around 6 am (or 7 am, according to my body-clock -> daylight savings). It has been a rough few days. I wonder what it is like to have more than one child sick simultaneously? It must be terribly stressful. I did fine once I realized that I wasn't going to get to go to bed that night; but before that, I was pretty frustrated. Poor, sick Starbeans. He's on the mend now, thankfully.

I've been thinking about breast-feeding recently. I plan to do extended nursing with child-led weaning. I'm not sure exactly how long we'll go, what nursing will entail for a 2 or 3 year old, or even how weaning is done, but these are my plans thus far. I'm flexible. I composed a list of why I am so glad to be breast-feeding beyond the "normal" year. Starbeans is 15 months old.

  • I/we really enjoy it: nursing is very special. I feel good knowing that his needs are being met, both physically and emotionally. For him, it is a built in snuggle session and down-time as well as a tasty snack.
  • Nutrition, of course: I never have to worry whether he is getting enough to eat; milk covers (or completes) all the bases. I assume that as the years go on, nursing will be more of a supplement than a daily standard; but at this point, I would say that he is getting his nutrients half-and-half, from both solids and breast milk.
  • Calming: post-nap crabbies disappear with nursing. It provides a nice transition back into the Land of the Living.
  • Handy for traveling: the boob is so convenient (and portable) for us while we're on the go for both thirst and hunger.


Jenell said...

Nurse on!!

I nursed Wesley until 15 months (he weaned himself), but then weaned Ollie a few weeks later when I realized I was pregnant again. It was a hard decision and it didn't feel very good to do it on my terms and not his. I do feel that I needed the strength and energy for the new baby, but I don't think it was in Ollie's best interest. So nurse little Starbean as long as he wants, and don't let anyone criticize you!!

...and a bad memory...James, me, and both boys (at 8 months) were all vomiting sick for two days. It was frightening to realize we simply couldn't care for them. I begged my mom to come over, even tho it meant that she got sick, too. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

purple_kangaroo said...

So sorry he's sick! I hope he feels better soon, and that you get more sleep soon.

TulipGrrl said...

My first two were weaned prematurely. (I had started nursing assuming we'd go to a year and then we'd see. . .) And while any breastfeeding benefits baby, it was "early" for us to wean at 6 & 7 mos. . .

The third was weaned at 15 mos, just before the fourth was born. I was touched out and frankly didn't have any encouragement to continue nursing or to tandem nurse.

The fourth weaned at three. I was around some who thought that was waaaay tooooo oooold to be nursing, but they usually accepted my explanation that with an international move, the baby needed as much immune system support as he could get, and that included extended nursing. *grin*