Comfort nursing among many other things is controversial. Parents give and receive advice, opinions, and thoughts about just about everything. My latest thoughts have been about comfort nursing.
Marijka solely nurses. She basically refuses the bottle lately and won’t take a pacifier either. When and if she’ll take a bottle it’s only from me. I’ve come to the decision that all this is ok with me. Children know more than many give them credit for. I’m mom and sometimes babies just need their mom. Most of the time now I can tell when Marijka is hungry and I can tell when she’s tired. She is beginning to tell us when she’s overstimulated or had enough of loud noises, busy places, or even other people.
There is an obvious look of recognition on her face when she looks at her dad and I. She knows us. She knows we are familiar and safe people. The world is a big and scary place for a tiny dependent human being. She needs to feel close and secure at times. I’m ok with comfort nursing (it’s only in the evenings) because I see her beginning to self soothe during the day. It’s not like she’s unable to soothe herself or always wants to nurse. She is totally sucking her fist with a passion and especially when she is trying to soothe.
However, at the end of the day when she’s tired and just wants her mom she may nurse a little more frequently. She may not be hungry after an hour and half but she needs to know I’m close and wants to bond. If that means through nursing whether it be comfort or cluster feeding I’m ok with that. I will always be available to my baby girl as long as I’m able. Snuggling works as often as nursing to let her know I’m here and I’ll never let her go.
Her dad and I must be doing something right because she’s a happy, healthy little girl. She sleeps amazingly at night and is an overall content baby. Last night she ate at 7pm and didn’t wake up until 1:45am to eat again. Then she was up at 4:45 to eat and is snuggling with me now but should wake up anytime to eat again and start the day. Typically she only wakes up once overnight between the hours of 9-6. I’ll take it!
Today’s Marijka Monday is going to focus on dependency. We all know infants are dependent beings. They come into this world completely helpless and look to their caregivers for everything. Marijka, like other infants, communicate their needs mostly through crying. There are other signals as well and I feel Paul and I do an ok job reading those so crying is at a minimum.
The hardest part is when M decides she won’t be settled by anyone or anything other then me. It amazes me how she knows me. There are times I just have to pick her up and she is instantly calm. She seeks me out and screams until she’s in my arms. Not Paul’s, not anyone else’s it has to be mine. She knows me and sometimes she just needs me.
Earlier this past week I was feeling trapped. I felt like I couldn’t even go to the bathroom because she couldn’t be comforted by anyone or anything else. I had a brief moment where I felt like I would never be able to leave for more than 15min because if she got into one of these “I need my mom” moods she would be hysterical until I came back. I know this is just a phase. I also know there are some times where she will only coo and smile at Paul. I still think she’s a lot more chatty with her dad than anyone else. You can see the love between them and it’s priceless. Sometimes I envy that bond but then I remember I’m mom and I don’t need to worry. It’s obvious she recognizes us both and loves us both uniquely. It’s quite amazing.
So I’m here for her. When she goes through those moments she needs her mom and only her mom I’m here. I hope when the time comes, that she has to be comforted by someone else because I’m unavailable, that she’ll be flexible.
She’s doing so well lately. It’s been amazing to see her develop her own routine. She’s going to bed earlier now. It used to be between 9-10 and now it’s as early as 8pm some nights. Then she wakes up anywhere from 1-3am then again between 5-6am and then pretty much goes 2 1/2-3hrs between eating and is taking about three naps a day. I love having some idea of what to expect.
Evenings can be tricky but they can also be so smooth. Like this evening we went on a walk after she ate between 4:30-5pm. We got back between 7-7:30 and she ate around 7:40pm and was asleep somewhere between 8-830 for the night. I’m going to guess she’ll be awake somewhere around 1-2ish to eat again. Last night she ate at 7:45pm and woke up around 2:30am to eat next. These long stretches have been amazing. Another reason we’re doing something right during the day.
Other times she’ll cluster feed between 5-8pm. She’ll be unsettled and in and out of sleep. She wants to eat at 5, then again at 6:30 and then again between 7:30-8pm. She’ll fall asleep sometime before 9 but those evenings are a bit more exhausting for me because I can never tell if she’s still hungry, tired, or just wants to be soothed. Speaking of soothing she’s found her fist. She sucks on the back of her hand which is usually in a fist. Sometimes she’ll get a couple fingers or her thumb and she’ll suck away. She’s really beginning to self soothe and it’s so great to see this develop. She is such a good baby. She enjoyed her first Easter, is growing too fast, and cheered her daddy on in the BAA 5K this weekend…
M is sleeping on me as I type this. Last night she was really off. I chalked it up to the shots she received Wed. Then today we went to a music class at the library. It was fun but a little overstimulating for M after a few minutes.
I find myself having to remember now that she’s more alert and taking everything in around her she’s bound to be overstimulated easier. I’ve noticed a coupe times where she looks uncertain and just wants to be close. I realize she has to be exposed to the world in small doses and still feel safe and secure at the same time. That’s why I absolutely love my carriers. Baby wearing isn’t something I thought much about but knew it was for me once I found out I was pregnant and especially once I had M. Paul or I have pretty much been wearing her in either the Lillebaby or Moby wrap at least once a day since birth.
We’ve commented how now that she’s more alert and aware we can see her peeking her little head out to take in the world. Yet she can feel safe and secure by being close to us at the same time. She looks like a little turtle or bug. I’ve been noticing I’ve been calling her baby bug and lady bug lately. Along with baby girl which has always kind of been her nickname with me, along with M of course.
Since arriving home from the library she’s been a little off. I think the music class may have been a little much for her. She finally fell asleep and is now passed out on my chest.
One thing I’ve noticed is how much M loves being on her tummy. I wonder if the carriers have anything to do with this. She prefers her tummy to her back for sure. This means she hates the car seat so the stroller is rarely used. In fact when I’ve taken the stroller somewhere I usually end up pushing the diaper bag and wearing M. Now she will tolerate her back for short periods of time (a little more than what most kids will allow for tummy time) and does sleep on her back all night. Of course I’m pretty convinced she’ll be a tummy sleeper once she can roll over. I’ve already noticed her wanting to be on her tummy for naps and I’ve been battling this internally because of SIDS. If she does fall asleep during tummy time I’ll usually roll her over once she’s completely asleep. Sometimes she stays asleep and other times if she really needs a nap and she wakes up instantly I’ll just hold her for that nap. We’ll have to see how this progresses. Since returning from Montreal where most of her naps were on the go, I’ve noticed this more. She’s been fighting sleep too since becoming more alert. All of this is normal just a bit challenging at times.
I love my little bug. She is worth it all especially when she looks so darn cute! I have to say thanks again to her namesake who shared more clothes with us then M will be able to wear in her entire life. I just went through the 0-3 and 3 month bins. The 3 month outfits are a bit big but she looks so darn cute in these outfits I don’t care.
Have a great Easter weekend everyone!