Night 2 was pretty simple. We got into bed with our books at 6:30pm, she ran to the door and pitched a little protest for me to let her out to go play in the living room. I told her that it was bedtime and that all her stuffed animal friends were going to sleep. I had to bring her back into the bed twice after she tried to run off again. Then i just let her wander the bedroom for a few minutes while i laid in bed and told her that i would be there to help her when she was ready to go to sleep. She then climbed into bed to give me kisses and wanted to chat and she snuggled up into my arms and tousled around a tiny bit until she got comfy in my arms. Then she took my hand in her hand and turned her head towards me to give me a kiss right on the lips! My absolute favorite thing ever. Then she closed her eyes half way while i rubbed her back and stroked her head. She was asleep within 40 minutes from the time she was standing at the bedroom door trying to run away to the time she was finally asleep. It was amazing. Effortless. Painless. Loving. And sweet as can be.
She awoke at 11pm and i nursed her back to sleep, and then she awoke a a few more times between then and 7:15am. I have the say that she is definitely more sensitive about the boobie in the middle of the night, clinging to it for longer and with more angst (for lack of a better word), since taking it away as a sleep aid at the start of the night. While this seems counterintuitive to my end goal of reduce wakings later on, i think this seems like a perfectly natural reaction at this time. She is greiving the loss of the boobie at sleep time and clearly she is a bit anxious about being denied again when she awakens for it in the midst of the night. I think that this will dissipate as she makes peace with this transition and masters this new skill.
Night 3 was a little more efforted. She resisted getting into bed for about 15 minutes, and she cried in protest and frustration at our bedroom door because she wanted to go play, not sleep. So again, i let her roam around the room and told her that i couldn’t force her into sleep but that i was right there for her to help her whenever she was ready. I find releasing control or force and allowing her to come to me in her own way and time is always the best way to go. Eventually i lured her in with soft, whispered stories. She climbed into my lap and we read a few books snuggled up together. Then, without any resistance or tears, she tousled around for a few minutes and ended up falling asleep between my legs as i brushed her hair. She awoke at 9:30pm and was nursed back to sleep. And again she nursed a lot in the middle of the night. Unideal, yes. However, i trust that this is just part of the process. I’m asking a lot of her, seeing as how night nursing is something that babies have been doing quite naturally since the stone age. Yes, we are living quite far beyond the start of the historic eras, but our babies are still wired, as all animals are, with certain developmental needs and expectations. At 15 months her intense survival needs have receded and she can therefore handle this boundary, but it doesn’t make it any more easy or seemingly natural to her. So we pace ourselves… with gentleness, compassion and generosity.
These little ones are so full of surprises! I am constantly kept on my toes as Veda always keeps me guessing. So i look forward to each nights’ unfolding to watch as she moves through the grief and masters the ability to fall asleep all by herself a little more each night.