The time had come. Mia was a little over seven months and I finally decided to start feeding her something other than breastmilk. Her first meal was a chef’s special: organic avocado. To no surprise, she made typical gag face as she tried to swallow it, and then quickly started pushing her lips together to say she was done. Once the shock of actual food subsided, we moved on to organic green beans, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, corn, butternut squash, and oatmeal. She would typically only finish one or two bites, but day by day she was getting more use to the texture and more interested in solid food. It’s tough to gauge a human who has only been on the planet for seven months.
Enough about the green stuff, as my husband would say. Breastfeeding is so convenient, a great way to bond, and a very healthy option. Many times I forget to feed Mia solid food because we are both use to nursing all day long. Mia was nursing every two to three hours during the day, but over the past month, she decided she also wanted to nurse at all hours of the night. That’s when I knew we needed to make some changes.
Like I mentioned, things had to change in order for Mia to get more restful nights and for me to keep my sanity. Mia was seven months at this time, and she was still in our bedroom in the Arms Reach Co-sleeper. Actually, if I am being completely honest, she was in our bedroom resting in the co-sleeper, and then would magically appear in bed with me, latched onto my boob. Initially I thought this was a good idea because it allowed her to get a snack and then fall back sleep. Until the next hour, when she would smell food inches away from her face and wake me up… again and again and again. Some nights were better than others, and this wasn’t happening every night. Some nights she would sleep eight hours straight. But as she got older and smarter, she realized that mama was one cry away, within arms reach.
Simply put, I was putting off sleep training. Waking up during the night with two girls was starting to take its toll. I was beyond tired. Thank goodness for my husband who would help when our two-year-old had a nightmare or a full diaper. It was time to sleep train Mia, and I couldn’t put it off any longer.
On January 29th, sleep training commenced. I followed the normal bedtime routine: change diaper, put on a cozy, long-sleeved bodysuit, zip up the sleep sack, turn off the light, turn on the sound machine, nurse her in the rocking chair, give her a pacifier and then finally, burp her. I held her in a cradle position, and normally would have walked around swaying her side to side for about a half hour before she drifted into a deep sleep. But this time, I knew she was tired and I decided to set her down while she was still awake. She fell asleep and it was a piece of cake… just kidding.
She cried, groaned, and fussed some more. It hurt me to walk out of that room while my baby was crying, but I knew it was best for Mia, and my own sanity. I walked to the living room and sat down with Levi on the couch. After five long minutes of crying off and on, I went back in and told her everything was okay and that it was night time.
She cried off and on for another ten minutes, and I went in to briefly comfort her again. The crying became a little more intense this time as she didn’t like watching me leave the room. My heart began to hurt, and I started questioning whether or not this was the right decision. Lucky for me, right then she finally fell asleep and looked like a little angel.
I expected to be up all hours of the night sleep training, but the unexpected happened. She slept so well in her crib that I woke up the next morning with my heart racing. All of these horrible outcomes were running through my head. What happened to my baby? Is she okay? What time is it? Much to my surprise, she was perfectly fine, well-rested, and had a big smile on her face. The Lord gifted me with one of the greatest parenting presents… sleep.
Mia is wearing 12 month clothing now, but it can vary between brands, as each brand fits differently. She is getting so big and sitting up by herself. Naturally she has a few tumbles from time to time. She looks as if she wants to crawl and move around, but that optimism is often followed by a face plant. It can be difficult with our hard wood flooring for our babies to enjoy getting on their knees or taking risks. But for now, she is becoming more playful each day and has become the sweetest, big baby in the world.
MORE IN THE LIFE OF MIA
The sister bond between Piper and Mia is undeniable:
Play dates with cousins and tagging along to see mama’s friends:
We started taking more walks when the weather allows:
She is still the happiest, sweetest baby girl. Just like her sister.
XO, KATLIN LINDSEY