About Me

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I live in Kent with my husband, toddler Tilly (henceforth known as Monkey) and another baby due in November. We have two cats, Duncan and Lady Macbeth, and four chickens who kindly lay us eggs daily. We live in the picturesque seaside town of Broadstairs. I enjoy reading, knitting and cooking. I'm trying to be a bit 'greener' (not sure how successfully), and to be a gentle parent. Extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping don't freak me out, we use cloth nappies and try to follow some of the ideals of Attachment Parenting. If that sounds as if I know what I'm doing, I don't! I am also a psychotherapist with an interest in Focusing-oriented therapy, and I have a small private practice in the area.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

My baby is a toddler

Something has happened in our family, a transition. It happened quietly, smoothly, seamlessly, comfortably. My baby goes to bed without me. In fact, she is now a toddler (but of course she is still my baby). It began about a week ago, I fed her until I thought she was asleep and put her in her cot, but she wasn't fully asleep and rather than getting upset and imploring me to carry her back to my lap and my breast she simply lay on her front, whimpered a little and dropped off to sleep. Each night since then we have simply carried her up to bed when she has shown signs of tiredness and popped her in her cot. She kneels down and then, with her bum in the air like this, she falls asleep:

For the last two nights her daddy has put her to bed as I've been at work. I'm really happy for him, and I'm thrilled that she can soothe herself to sleep. And a little part of me is sad that our bedtime-feeding routine is no longer. This is ironic because for months I bemoaned the fact that she needed to nurse to sleep and was fretting about how to get her to go to sleep by herself. Isn't it amazing that I didn't have to do anything? I didn't 'get' her to sleep, she did it all by herself. And I certainly didn't have to train her or condition her behaviour in any way.
My baby needs me still, of course, but she needs me in different ways. She still wants me to carry her, but she also wants me to hold her hand as she walks. She wants to breastfeed but she also wants bread and cream cheese. She wants her mummy, but she also lights up when her daddy comes home from work. I can't cling to her baby-ness, I have to let her grow and explore, but of course I still have to nurture and protect her, she is still so small and so new, and the world is so big.

8 comments:

Mon said...

Definitely a development to crack open the champagne for. lol

Mine is doing this too, although we co-sleep still, but she finds her own spot and position and settles down. Of course, she then wakes several times, but still..... :)

Daisie said...

Nathaniel sleeps with his bum in the air like that too, his arms folded under his chest, very cute.

She will always be your baby, Elizabeth will be eight in a few weeks time (how did that happen) and sometimes she still needs to rest her cheek against the skin of my breast or tummy just so we can be close. They need you in a different ways but thay always need their Mummy.

xxx

Joxy said...

Awwww, bless her :-)

willow81 said...

It's funny, I do really miss the co-sleeping. It happens that she sleeps more soundly in her own room, which is fine, but I find it really unsettling that my baby is in her bed *in another room* and behind closed doors (to stop the cats getting in). I go through stages of restless sleeping where I imagine that she must be beside me and when I can't find her I wake up and in half-sleep look for her on the floor of my bedroom. Sometimes I even wake up DH saying "where's the baby, where's the baby!".

Earthenwitch said...

It happens so quickly, doesn't it? We are still feeding before bed, but the witchling has gone into a cot awake but very drowsy for some months now; she's happy to settle herself down, I think at least in part because we have never left her to cry. As you say, you don't have to DO anything to get there - it just happens one day. :)

Cave Mother said...

Wow, it is hard to imagine my little one ever settling herself, but I must keep the faith that it will happen one day. By the way, I like your new banner picture.

docwitch said...

Oh yes...suddenly, one day it happens. These sudden leaps still take me by surprise. And some I'm more ready for than others : )
That's a lovely step for your wee girl, and I just love the image of the little bum in the air.

TheOrganicSister said...

Aww revel in that babyness for as long as possible. I kick myself everytime I think how fast I allowed those days to pass without enjoying them. One day they don't need to go to sleep, the next they're traipsing off for a sleepover and don't want to come home! (Not that that isn't good in its own way too! ;)

~Tara