Adventures of a Free-From Clothbum Mum!

Cloth nappies, dairy-free living, reviews and parental ramblings!

Nightweaning a toddler: Nursies when the sun shines

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As a full-term breastfeeding mum, I’ve found that getting advice as to how to help to support my son during the ending stages of our breastfeeding journey quite hard.

Most family and friends haven’t had experience with feeding an older child. Most doctors don’t have a clue (although one lovely one told me all the benefits regarding protecting the mother from certain cancers and the obvious benefits to the child’s immune system.)

So, when I heard about this wonderful book, I thought I’d give it a go to help us with gentle night weaning.

‘Nursies when the sun shines’ is a wonderful, beautifully-drawn book that helps support and reinforce the idea that the breastfeeding child doesn’t need a feed at night. It has gorgeous pictures and repetitive phrases to help your little one understand that night is just for sleeping.

We started reading the book at bedtime back in about June and it took about three months for the message to completely sink in to my very stubborn but utterly gorgeous little man’s head.

But! Once he’d processed it – he stopped feeding at night.

He settles more quickly and had more unbroken nights of sleep. It was brilliant! I think we timed the reading of this book well as he was ready for that stage and we didn’t force him or rush him before he was either biologically or emotionally ready.

I got this fab book from Amazon and would recommend it wholeheartedly to all natural-term breastfeeding mothers.

daisytheclothbummum was not paid for the content of this post. These are all my own thoughts and opinions and I paid for the book myself

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The Family Bed: Helping a toddler recover

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Sleeping arrangements in the house are always something that differ greatly from family to family. Everyone does it differently.

Do you snuggle your child to sleep in your arms?
Do you shush them gently, patting their back and then edge away?
Do you sit by their door, shushing and reassuring them that you are there?
Do you do a cry it out method (CIO) and maybe do some form of rapid return until your little one is settled?
Do you put them in a hut at the bottom of your garden and hope they eventually quieten down…

Ok – so the last one isn’t a good option, but I know people that do versions of each of the above (excluding the hut one!!) and they all talk about their individual pros and cons.

We’ve gone mainly down the co-sleeping route in our household. It suited us best as our little man has been breastfed and snuggling next to Mummy, curled in the natural C-shape that a co-sleeping Mum seems to do, has been wonderful.

Gradually, over time, we’ve managed to get him to move more into his own room and were really starting to break ground with him. He was enjoying his own bed. Relishing in the independence that he was developing but safe in the knowledge that he could snuggle up with us if he needed or wanted to and wouldn’t be told ‘No’.

And then he went and broke his leg ten days ago.

Everything went backwards and our little increasingly-independent lad has now become quite needy and desperate for cuddles and companionship.

I don’t blame him. He’s sore, he’s having some horrible dreams and he just wants his Mummy and Daddy.

So, for the past week I’ve been sleeping with him in the double bed in his room. Whilst that’s been great for giving us all space, it’s not been exactly ideal as I’ve missed hubby and our bed, so I started looking at various options.

Would a single bed fit alongside ours? Nope
How about a small single? Yes – but the cost of good mattresses and finding one that was a similar height to our bed was proving to be quite difficult.

Then I had a brainwave. One that, quite frankly, should have occurred to me ages ago as we’ve all been snuggled up in a double (which has been rather snug…)

I’ve adapted his existing cotbed and managed to lash it with bungee cords to our bed. It’s THE perfect height and the mattress fits safely and snugly against ours thanks to some rolled up towels shoved down the side (going to be replaced with a wedge of nursery-grade foam soon).

He loves it and it means that if he does need to come through to us in the night, we’ve all got space. He’s still got the double in his room, which also means that if people come to stay then we have somewhere for them to sleep that isn’t taken over by a star-fish toddler. Fantastic!

What does your family bed look like? I’d love to see how creative some of you have got!

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