Hope you all have a wonderful month filled with love and happiness!
With us, we co-sleep, and our challenges are clear, and I like to think very commonly amongst co-sleeping parents.
First off, yes our son sleeps in our bed. I know there are many risks to having a child in your bed, but I do try to minimize the ‘standard’ risks as much as possible. One he doesn’t use a pillow. Secondly, he sleeps on my side, not in between my husband and me. I have a barrier making sure he cannot roll off the bed.
One thing that sucks is when he goes to sleep I have to go to bed as well. If he stirs and I am not beside him, he will instantly wake up, and bedtime will be prolonged for another two or three hours. Sure maybe that is because he also breastfeeds, but I do believe this is due to the co-sleeping. The lack of body warmth beside him wakes him quickly.
Another challenge is the lack of sleep. You may have heard that you get more sleep with co-sleeping, but that is just not true. While my son sleeps the whole night through, every time he moves or stirs I wake up. Call it mommy instincts or what have you, but the number of times I wake up outweigh the ‘extra’ sleep I get by already being in bed after breastfeeding.
Now it’s not all horrible. One thing that co-sleeping was wonderful for was breastfeeding. We are now going on 17 months of breastfeeding.
It also helped put the baby back to sleep quicker during those midnight feedings when he was younger. For one they are already in bed, and your body warmth will quickly lul them back to sleep. Which will help overall the amount that your baby sleeps.
My son is currently 17 months old. We still co-sleep, but lately the minimal amount of sleep has had me thinking it is time to get him to his bed. There is only so many cups of coffee this mama can consume in a day!
So overall for us co-sleeping was the way to go, I will let you know later on how that goes,
Flying anywhere can be difficult when you have a child, even more so when your flight is over 12 hours long. That is what I dealt with this weekend.
You may have read in our last post that we are now living in Japan. And while our adventure has just only begun, I am looking back to our flight and giving you all the dirt on how we survived.
First off let me say that we had three flights within 24 hours. Our first leg of the trip was 3 hourslong. Since we had to be up and out the door by 4 am, my little slept almost the entire first flight. So that was easy peasy.
I should also mention that he had his own seat on the flight which was a lifesaver since I got to lay him out.
Then came the layover, which was not bad. I let him run around the waiting area a bit in hopes that he would tire out and sleep more on the plane. I also hoped that having my parents over three days before our flight keeping him up during naps would make him extra tired for the flight. Well, it didn’t help.
The first hour of the flight went by pretty quick, and between being newly on the plane, wanting to discover the personal TVs and trying to look at the people around him he tired himself out quickly and fell asleep.
That only lasted about a good hour.
After that began the battle to keep him entertained, TV only caught his attention by spurs of moments. He’d see an episode here or there throughout the flight, but nothing continuous. However, it did give me a small 30-minute reprieve every so often.
Toys, overall this was the most prominent lifesaver. My son is very into animals and dinosaurs right now. To make the toys even better I made sure they were new toys he had never seen before. The awe and excitement of not only having toys, but new toys was terrific. I want to say he spent a good hour with each one when first opened.
I would say, for future flights, I will probably buy about ten small new toys, wrap it and give it to him every hour or so. Like this, he is always busy with a new toy. For us, this was where the biggest form of entertainment was.
Towards the end of the flight, he became extremely exhausted. He had bearly slept, and back “home” it was about 3 am. At this point, he began crying and very irritable. I got up and took him to the bathroom and let him walk in there. Yes, the bathroom was small, but he seemed content in walking those three paces over and over again. I could have let him walk the aisle, but my kid is way too friendly, and I was afraid he’d wake someone up to “talk” to them. For us, the bathroom was the best option. We were in there for maybe 5 minutes, enough to calm him and the crying. Then once back in the seat, I managed to get him to go back to sleep. He slept for the duration of the flight … 45 minutes. Oy!
Once again, in the airport, he was awake and walked about until it was time to board the plane once again. Once back on the plane for our short and final 1.5 hr flight he fell asleep before we even took off. At this point, the local time was 6 pm. He slept through the flight, through the luggage claim ordeal, through the car drive, and even putting him in bed. He did not wake up until 5 am in the morning, poor thing was exhausted and more than likely very Jetlag.
I cant say flying with a toddler is easy, but it is not as difficult as you’d think. As long as you have snacks they like, some tv, and toys, things will go ok.
For me, the stress before the flight was much worse than the actual flight.
I hope this in some way helps you, whether it be to prepare or ease your mind. Just remember at the end of the day they are kids, and people will more than understand. Even with his crying at the end, I kept getting told by the surrounding passengers how amazing he behaved. Maybe people just expect kids to cry the whole time, who knows.
So deep breath, all will go ok.
What happens when your husband is Military, and you get placed temporarily (read four months) in a hotel, in a city that is not going to be your final destination, and you have a 1-year-old?
You get a zoo membership of course!
Reality is, being a military spouse is hard, but you have to learn very early on to make due with what you have and what you are given. Otherwise, the results can be devasting as not only a person but a family as well.
So about a week into our stay in our temporary “home” (read standard hotel room), I realized the walls were very quickly closing in on my very active, then 14-month-old, son. Toys, books, and cartoons were just not cutting it anymore. I needed to find another outlet for his energy that would be entertaining for him and save my sanity at the same time. So that weekend we all went to the zoo.
As we were going to go and get our admission passes, I saw the military tickets were $14 per adult and my son would be free as a child under two. My eyes then went a little south and saw the member section, and Military annual was $89 for two adults and unlimited children of members. My brain quickly turned into a calculator. Each visit to the zoo would cost us in admission fees $28. So if we could come just four times in the four months that we were going to be here, it would more than pay for itself. After very little convincing, my husband agreed and got us the membership.
In the past four months, we have been to the zoo a total of 17 times. So that means we have saved $387. You cant do better than that!
I know some of you are wondering how the hell do you not get tired of going to the zoo so much! Well one, I have a toddler who LOVES animals. I am pretty sure I could take him there daily, and he would never tire of it. Secondly, we don’t do the whole zoo every time. Sure there are some days we walk it all, but mostly we’ll do a loop or segment per visit. Making each visit on its own a new adventure since we didn’t see those animals ‘last time’.
Of course, there are certain parts we see all the time. Tigers and the monkey sections are always a must. He just loves screaming ‘ooo-ah-ah-ah’ at the poor orangutangs that have no idea why the little imp in front of them is screaming and bouncing around so much.
Even though for me as a mother and wife, it has been difficult living in a hotel room for the past four months, these zoo adventures are something I will cherish forever.
I have learned to take the bad with the good and make the most out of any situation.
So if you are unsure of what to do, just go to the zoo!
Until Next Time
We hear the stereotypes all the time, the crazy uber liberal breastfeeding mom that walks around everywhere shirtless.
There’s also the hermit breastfeeding mom that never leaves home for fear that the baby may need to be fed in the ten seconds she manages to step foot outside of the house.
Yes, they may exist. You may know one, or maybe even be one! But the reality is, those are the extremes of breastfeeding, most are just regular moms.
Then you hear the horror stories. The teething child that clamps down on nipples. The one lady who’s kid bit off a chunk of said nipple, the pincher, the distracted nurser, the hour long drinker.
So how did I survive breastfeeding for this long? Simple, I didn’t listen. I shut my ears to the “stories” and decided to experience nursing my child for my self.
That is not to say that I didn’t deal with my share of horrors because believe me I did. But there so many sweet moments in between that just made it all worth it.
I lived through an oversupply issue, which for you just enoughers or those that don’t make enough, it’s not as great as it sounds. Severe constant engorgement (even with my ‘baby’ being 16 months old), the endless purchases of breast pads, mastitis (which I have miraculously avoided), plugged ducts, pumping for ‘relief.’ The list could keep going.
There was also the whole him exposing the nerves on my nipples thanks to his monstrous sucking powers. Side note, it was just his sucking, there was no lip or tongue tie, latch issue involved. We were checked, by at least five professionals.
We lived through nipple confusion which lasted six weeks, only to go back to the breast and refuse bottles. I mean the kid still refuses them, wouldn’t even take water from it, though he now just uses cups and straws.
Of course, he is a typical child and hates nursing covers, so I had to learn how to breastfeed in public without using a cover, as discreetly as possible. By the way, the double shirt method is probably the best way.
Those were my bad, the moments that made me question my sanity for continuing the path that caused me so much pain. But I did continue because it brought me so much joy.
I get asked by new moms how do I do it? And why am I still breastfeeding at 16 months, with no signs of stopping?
Well, how do I do it? I just do. Whenever he needs milk, i take out my breast and feed him, regardless of my surrounding or needs to myself. Why? Because this little being is solely dependant on me and I want to be able to give him what I believe I could best give him. And whats better than milk created by the person that created him, milk personally tailored to him and his needs. That is what I think of when I question myself or feel some pains caused due to breastfeeding. I focus on the broader picture.
As to why I am still breastfeeding my now toddler. Well, you try telling him no.
Breatfeeding isn’t a one-way relationship. It is a relationship your little person is highly invested in. Not only is it a food source, but it is also a soother, some quiet time with mom, a cuddle session, a snack, a boo boo fixer, it is so much more to them.
Plus, there is nothing wrong with adding those extra nutrients and vitamins in there when they go through an “only chicken” phase.
So this is my breastfeeding journey. It has been long, and gone on for more than the ‘average’ time frame, had its ups and downs, but it is mine. There are many stories out there, and sure you can read them all in hopes to prepare yourself for your breastfeeding journey. Or perhaps you are here reading this in hopes of a magical answer to make it instantly better and easier, but sadly that doesn’t exist.
Some have very easy and smooth journeys, some have some bumps along the way as I did, but the goal is the same. To do the best you can do for your child.
If you can push through the bumps and continue breastfeeding, congratulations. Welcome to the “you’re breastfeeding a toddler” group, be ready for all sorts of comments on what a weirdo you are for doing so. Know, you are not alone.
What happens if you are one of that 40 % of women who don’t make it to breastfeeding past three months? You grab your bottle, prepare the formula and feed your baby. You are doing right by your child. You breastfed for however long you could or wanted to and now you formula feed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Know, you too are not alone.
If you can take one thing from this, I hope that you understand each journey is different. Do not expect yours to be like anyone else’s. So close your eyes, and enjoy your time breastfeeding, because before you know it, it will be over.
Until next time!