Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Rather Notable Entry in Cadence's Journal

2/22/2011 No more nursing at naptime - looks like you are officially weaned!

This has made naptime interesting, since up till now you always nursed to sleep. Sunday you wanted to put yourself to sleep - it took two hours and a couple reminders it was naptime, not reading time, but you did it. Yesterday you fell asleep in my arms in about two minutes flat. Today was a mixture of holding you and letting you rest in your crib, and it took about an hour. We'll see what our new "routine" turns out to be!

Yep, you read that right. After a long journey, blessed with absolutely no tears over not getting "Mama milk", Cadence is done nursing.
I have mixed feelings on the subject. On the one hand, I've been done nursing Cadence for a long time. It just wasn't something I savored anymore... but I know there will be times I miss it. I know I already miss getting to sit and read for a few minutes every hour!
Are you ready to hear about Cadence's journey to food?
Well... it starts like this. Once there was a little girl who nursed every single hour she was awake. She insisted on being swaddled to do it, and would sometimes also insist on having her head covered up. She gagged on everything else that went in her mouth, including bottles.
When she was about 15 months old, she started being able to eat things like yogurt and bananas. She still gagged on them occasionally, and certainly didn't eat a large quantity, but she proved she could swallow.
By 18 months, she could chew and swallow anything she wanted to without gagging. But - she still didn't want to. Finally at the end of August (about 19 months) we arbitrarily eliminated a nursing in the morning. It may not seem like much, but - do you have any idea how freeing it was to have an extra 15 minutes between feedings? She seemed fine with this, so a few weeks later I did it in the evening. The problem was, this little girl is... well... little. And she still wouldn't eat.

Finally by the end of November we had a somewhat set routine of only nursing 7 times a day. She would also eat enough once in the morning and once in the evening to sort of count as a meal. Sort of.

In January I decided I would only nurse her when she was going to sleep or waking up unless she asked for it specifically. She never once asked for it. She would ask for cheese. She would ask for pepperonis. She would ask for a drink. But she never asked for Mama milk.

From then on she weaned herself. It was like the less she nursed, the less she wanted to nurse. It was a miracle! I was concerned we would have many battles, crying, refusing to eat, wanting to nurse - after all, this was the child who nursed every hour. But there was not one single tear shed over the process. And the real miracle? She eats. Constantly. Anything. Any consistency, and crunchiness, and size bite... she eats it.

So now, less than a week before she turns two, Cadence is officially done nursing. And she is officially eating like a real, live, toddler!

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