Weaning, just like most aspects of breastfeeding, can be tricky and confusing. When to do it? How to do it? How to stop everyone, especially me, from crying? OK, just kidding (sort of) about that last one, but to be totally frank; every time I dropped a feeding I was questioning my decision to wean. Still, like most things that are challenging, there is much to be learned, right? Specifically, there are things you learn about your baby when you night wean.
Perhaps it’s because we’re finally getting enough sleep to look at our child clearly, or maybe it's because we're slightly more patient now that our own sleep is most likely increasing and improving. Perhaps it’s even because we're getting the swing of this whole parenting thing, so we're more confident in saying we're not only learning, we know what we're learning. Or, maybe it’s a combination of all of the above, or none of the above and I'm still not getting a necessary, humane amount of sleep. Whatever the reason, it’s a revealing time for both mom and baby since one is starting to feel more human, and one is starting to act more human.
If you’re in the trenches of night feedings still, allow me to share what’s in store. Or, if you’re already through it, we can revisit what probably happened that you may have been too disoriented to commit to memory. Of course, for those of you who have yet to experience it, hang in there. Your time will come.
They’re Physically Capable Of Sleeping Longer Than 90 Minutes At A Time…
Actually, wait, scratch that. I need to clarify. By the time night weaning occurs, a baby has probably demonstrated that he or she is capable of sleeping that long. However, for them to do it at night, when it’s dark out so you don’t have to get up from a deep and restful sleep to breastfeed? That’s the stuff dreams are made of.
...And How Cute They Are When They Sleep For That Amount Of Time
How is it possible for them to become even more cute? I don’t know, but something happens around that third hour that makes them heart-meltingly adorable.
How They Function After A Full Night Of Sleep
Maybe their eyes will be a bit brighter or their smile a bit fuller. Maybe they’ll unlock the mysteries of the universe and use that baby sign language you’ve been teaching them to share it all. There’s no way to find out until it happens, you guys. Life is a mystery.
How They Respond To You After You’ve Had A Full Night’s Sleep
What a crazy coincidence! After my child’s first full night of sleep, I’m suddenly more patient, more kind, and quicker to think of the right lullabies to suit his mood. Life’s funny sometimes.
They’re Already Growing Up So Fast
For new parents, there is so much build-up to the sleepless nights (I swear, I was warned about the exhaustion more than anything else) that when the light appears at the end of the tunnel, it’s slightly jarring. How is my child already doing this?
Night Feedings Aren’t The End-All, Be-All Way To Connect With Your Baby
Daytime snuggles really aren’t any better or worse than nighttime snuggles. OK, sure, they’re more likely to be interrupted by my dog barking at the mail carrier, or the bright sunshine streaming through my window, but other than that, daytime is just as wonderful a time to bond as nighttime.
They Can Also Be Responsive To Their Other Parent
What’s that? It’s my partner’s turn to get up for the baby so I’m blocking out the entire world right now. I can’t hear you over the sound of this pillow on my head.
What Happens To Their Diapers After A Full Night Of Sleep
I was probably better off not knowing this.