Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PSA: How to wean a baby

(The title doesn't lie, so if you aren't interested in hearing about how I weaned my babies, you'll want to skip this post.)

I nursed all of my babies.  The shortest time was 10 1/2 months, the longest time was around 18 months.  They all went from:

*nursing ALL! THE! TIME! when infants

*nursing first thing in the morning, before and after (multiple) naps, before bed time, and during the night


*nursing first thing in the morning, before naps, before bed time, and during the night


*nursing first thing in the morning, before the ONE nap, before bed time, and during the night


*nursing first thing in the morning (I always HATED to give this one up because it would let me get a little more sleep), before the nap, and before bed time

After going down to two feedings, one of my babies just wouldn't nurse one day (he was about 11 1/2 months old), and so he was weaned, but I chose to wean the others. 

When I knew I wanted to wean the baby, I started replacing one nursing session with a bottle, sippy cup, or snack (depending on how old the baby was) every few days.  I didn't replace another nursing session until I wasn't feeling overly full from having replaced the last one, but it only took 2 or 3 days for my body to adjust to each missing session (This, of course, will vary according to each person's milk supply/production). 

Usually, at the very end of nursing, my baby was down to one nap.  I replaced the nursing session before naptime with stories and songs (making sure I had given the baby a drink before we went to his/her room).  Once my body had adjusted to that, I replaced the  bedtime session with stories and songs.  About this time I got to this point with Marie, she got a cold and had a stuffy nose, so she couldn't nurse very well.  Her cold lasted a few days, in which she did no nursing, and a few days after her cold had passed, when I was rocking her for her nap, she suddenly sat up, looked at me, and patted my shirt.  I told her that mama's milk was all gone, she cried a little, and that was that.

This method of weaning took a few weeks, but I never suffered (like I did at the beginning of nursing, OUCH!), so it was worth it to me.

So!  My REVOLUTIONARY! tips on how to gradually wean your baby from nursing are:
1.  Replace one feeding at a time with a bottle, other food, or an activity (depending on the age of your baby). 
2.  Wait until you aren't feeling uncomfortable from skipping one nursing session before you eliminate another one.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Example of a Crappy Day Package #1

A Lovely, Lovely Person* sent me a Crappy Day Package a while ago, and I thought that everyone who comes here looking for "Crappy Day Present" might like more ideas, so here you are:
(She also sent some dissolving-capsule sponge toys for the children, and a horse toy for Marie, but the children were package-magnets that day and were ALL OVER that box before I could get their things in the picture.)
  1. Cute, happy looking socks
  2. BEAUTIFUL, BRIGHT, NON-STAINED kitchen towels
  3. A pretty bandana (in the very back) that was used to wrap the horse toy
  4. Some wonderful handmade soap that smelled so good that I REALLY wanted to LICK IT (I resisted.) (It was hard!)
  5. PRETTY clothespins!!

I think these were my FAVORITE!  They are so PRETTY:  pink background with a green paisley design.  I use clothespins to close various bags in the kitchen, and these will be MUCH more pleasing to the eye than the plain brown ones!
Thank you again, Lovely Person, for brightening my (and my children's) day!!

*I will be keeping Crappy Day Present senders anonymous so that the sender doesn't have to worry that Person Q is going to see what they (the sender) sent me and possibly feel bad that their (Person Q's) package was not as fabulous as mine ;-).  But if you don't worry as much as I do aren't worried about that, you are welcome to claim your package in the comments!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PSA: A fun parenting/behavior modification technique!

As I was trying to organize the school things this morning, I came across some notebooks I had forgotten about that reminded me of another thing I do to modify unpleasant behavior.

The children CONSTANTLY often complain about various things, so when that starts to get on my nerves, I quietly start writing their complaints down in a special notebook I keep for this very purpose, labelled "(Child)'s Complaint Book".  They are just the basic, wire-bound notebooks (WHICH JUST HAPPEN TO BE ON SALE RIGHT NOW (although I'd absolutely be willing to pay full-price for this purpose if I had to) IF YOU NEED SOME!).  I do this in a notebook for two reasons.  First, it is easy to keep track of, and, second, it is REALLY funny to go back after a few months and read what they were complaining about!  Examples of ACTUAL, past complaints, in their original format, at my house: 

  • I didn't want to have a race.
  • I don't want to wipe everything!
  • I don't want to write 100 things
  • you mean I have to write all of them before I can enjoy any privileges!?
  • I don't want to write 7's!
  • I don't want to read it out loud!
  • Why don't you want even the tiniest bit of food on my shirt?

(Unfortunately, quite a few of Ian's complaints are missing because he is pretty hard on his notebooks, and it is hard to find the notebooks that don't have the easy tear out feature.)

  • I don't like that I have to read it.
  • I just don't like this new chart!
  • I don't want to copy the words!
  • I just don't like it!  No!
  • I can't scrub that hard!  I can't!
  • I don't want to!  I'm staying outside!
  • I just can't do it!  I'm just having such a hard day!
  • Mom, it's too big!  I want to play a game first!  I'm just too little to do this!  I just need a day off!
  • I want dice math!
  • I want it!  I just need that ruler!
  • No I won't!
  • Why can we only have 1?  I want TWO grilled cheese sandwiches!  Why?

(Note:  some complaints are disguised as questions!  Do not hesitate to write down ANYTHING that is a complaint, no matter how it is disguised!)

ANYWAY.  So, I write the complaints down all day, and the next time the child wants ANYTHING (snack, meal, television time, computer time, any electronic time, play with friends, etc...) I say something like, "I didn't enjoy listening to you complain all day, so, to help you remember how unpleasant that is for me, you get to write every one of your complaints (X) times before you can (do whatever they wanted to do)."  I determine the number of times they need to write each complaint based on:  their personality, abilities, and number of complaints: 
*usually 1-2 times, per complaint, for those who are just learning to write, or are stubborn as a mule, or are ALWAYS in trouble
*somewhere between 5-10 times per complaint for those who know how to write and just need to be reminded that complaining is obnoxious.

So!  Get out a notebook and a writing instrument and ENJOY the complaining today!  Picture the look of COMPLETE DISBELIEF on your child's face when you hand him/her the notebook and explain the new consequence for complaining at your house =)!