It’s finally done. The thing I had thought would take a lot of effort and was dreading and putting off just happened by itself. Anna is now fully weaned for more than two weeks. She was down to one feed in the middle of the night for quite sometime and I was sure that she would protest a lot when I finally decided to discontinue it. I had a vague target in my head of eighteen months because I actually wanted to feed her till that time. But Madam had other plans and one night she just didn’t get up and cry for the feed. She just slept through. I’m mostly very, very thankful that it’s over. But a tiny, tiny part of me misses the special bond we had. Previously I would instantly wake for Anna’s smallest whimper, even though I could sleep through all other disturbances. Now my sleep doesn’t break so easily. Sometimes R has to wake me if she’s very restless and I’m still asleep, which never happened before. But that’s just me being sentimental.
The very, very welcome bonus is that she is also sleeping through the night. People started asking me whether she was sleeping through the night since she was about six months old. All the baby books also say that babies are capable of sleeping through the night and need to be ‘trained’ to do so. Unfortunately this was also the time that Anna started waking up more at night – every two hours or so. Other than the first six weeks, that was the time which was the worst regarding her sleeping pattern. There was so much advice – put her down later (tried that and she slept even worse), wake her up when she gets up the first time after going to sleep and feed her some solid food so that she isn’t hungry in the middle of the night, don’t feed her when she gets up at night and try to put her back to sleep without the feed (I spent a few very horrible nights trying to do this) and so on. Finally I decided to trust my instincts and take the path of least resistance – I fed her whenever she woke up and the result was that both of us got a decent amount of sleep. Baby books be damned. The biggest support at that time was an article I read on the net that sleeping through the night, like crawling, walking etc is a milestone which each baby reaches when they are ready. Sure they can be ‘trained’ to do so earlier, but even if we don’t do anything at all they will reach it some time or the other.
I’m so glad now that I didn’t give up then. That I gave Anna all the comfort she needed for as long as she needed it. Now she mostly goes down by 8 pm and wakes up for the day between 6 and 6:30 am. She tosses and turns at night, moans in her sleep, sometimes she’ll either snuggle against me or R, sometimes I have to cuddle her for sometime if she cries, but the point is that she sleeps. She gets up fresh and happy. R and I are getting an ample amount of sleep. Touchwood and anti-jinx and kaala teeka and all that.
Next on the agenda – potty training. I haven’t started yet and have no clue how to. But I think she is ready now. The books say most babies are ready between 18 months and two years but some aren’t ready till they are 3 0r even 4. That does seem extreme to me but then I have learnt to never say never. I’m putting it off to after Diwali but should definitely start then. Thankfully I am not squeamish so the mess shouldn’t bother me too much. Please God of potty training, make it easy.