Weaning my daughter humbled me…but not in the way you think.

The weaning process has been solved. The past week has been filled with many attempts at the whole crying it out thing with my 18 month old daughter with many sleepless nights from my husband trying to talk her out of tantrums, soothe her by letting her sleep on his chest, etc. All this while I cared for the newborn in the other room, she would scream “mama” which at this stage, could be either one of us. Well I’m here to tell you that I’ve been humbled and touched after what happened tonight.

Tonight, I decided that I was going to do something different. My husband is weary and during this entire week, out levels of patience have waned. I couldn’t bear to think of waking one more morning like the angry bear I did this morning. So what was it that I did different? I let go…and I listened to her.

Instead of caring for the newborn first, I handed him to my husband to soothe and I decided to take a shot at soothing my daughter to sleep. I picked her up, and even though I anticipated a fight, I just decided to hold her. As she started to protest, I began rocking side to side. Eventually, she realized I wasn’t placing her in her crib to walk away, and she rested her head on my shoulder. Then, I began to sing. I sang “a Dream is a Wish” from Cinderella to start. This melted her down to putty as she snuggled in and nuzzled my neck.

After singing this through three times, I decide to place her in her crib. She began to cry for a second which I expected and in response kept singing. The minute I started singing, she flipped into child’s pose immediately which is what she does when she wants me to tickle her back to sleep. So, I kept singing. I went on to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and on the third time through, she fell fast asleep.

I’m humbled by this because the entire day I focused on how this weaning process was a “battle” and how I was going to “win” this battle even if it killed me. What I realized was that it was far simpler than I was making it out to be. I was following all the recommended strategies, going against my heart and letting my child cry it out, and in turn not giving her what she really NEEDED. It wasn’t milk. It wasn’t television. It was her mama. I will never again follow a method of parenting that doesn’t agree with what’s in my heart. Ever again…

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