Supplet Boxes: A Review

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I don’t know about you, but the bulk of my (snail) mail consists of return address labels, bills, and coupons to the local Indian restaurant. During my last two pregnancies, this trio expanded to include formula coupons and sample issues of mainstream parenting magazines (how did they know?!). In other words, nothing all that useful. A relevant surprise or something just for me – especially when pregnant — would have been most welcome. Enter: Supplet. The new Boston-based company has a simple, yet pretty unique mission:

At Supplet we curate the best eco-friendly, healthy, and premium products for moms-to-be and new moms. 

Here’s how it works. Supplet sends you a monthly box of goodies relevant to where you are in your pregnancy. But it’s not just your run-of-the-mill, conventional pregnancy products they’re sending – Supplet leverages resources like EWG’s “Skin Deep” database, so you don’t have to worry about yucky ingredients in the body care products. The ingredients in the food products they offer are scrutinized by a panel of wellness experts, and the samples for your home are eco-friendly. The companies and products Supplet includes have been vetted and investigated thoroughly, for strong morals and a commitment to doing right for our bodies and our planet.

The box I sampled was during my first trimester, so it had items relevant to that stage in my pregnancy. It included a yummy (dairy and nut-free) cookie by Bumpbooster made with some superfoods, I was excited to find samples of Simply Soap Berry, which is a natural laundry detergent (I just happen to run out of my usual soap the day before…). It worked beautifully, and I was trilled to read about the company’s dedication to sustainability and safe products. I had some delicious NewTree quinoa chocolate bars. My three year old thoroughly enjoyed them too!

I also tried and enjoyed the Erbaorganics Mommy-to-be Foot and Leg Refresher, made with 87% organic ingredients.

And, if I didn’t already have a few copies lying around, I would have also received a copy of The Other Baby Book, which is included in some of the Supplet boxes!

In addition to these product samples, there were coupons for stuff I might actually use, like $20 off a home cleaning from Healthy Homes Cleaning (I have an appointment in a few weeks!), a free ballroom dancing dance just for new and pregnant moms, and 30% off Bebe blocks.
Each box is $39.99, unless you are buying as a gift for those lovely pregnant mama friends in your life. Then, you save a bit if you purchase 3 months or 6 months at a time. To order a box for yourself or a friend, you can head to their website and sign up here.
Supplet has a great Facebook presence too – I’ve been impressed with the quality of articles they share. They’ll have an e-commerce site up soon, so you can buy more of the samples if any strikes your fancy! You can check out their blog as well – the experience and diversity of their bloggers is pretty impressive!
Disclaimer: I did receive a complementary Supplet box, but the opinions presented in this post are my own.

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2 day Thanksgiveaway – this Tues and Weds

We love saying thanks. Get your free kindle version of The Other Baby Book at http://amzn.to/18DEbIh

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Our Cyber Monday Thanksgiveaway – postponed to Tuesday!!

TOBB thanksgiveaway meme

Hi all! Just a quick note to say we’ve had a technical glitch and we’ll now be offering the kindle giveaway on Tuesday and Wednesday free for everyone!

Please accept our apologies and our gift to you.

Miriam and Megan

 

Thank you.

Gratitude is one of the most important emotions we have available to us. It has the power to crack open our hearts, allowing new levels of love to flood in.

As rookie authors, we have many people to whom we’re grateful. Our amazing family and friends, a dynamic team of committed volunteers who seek to raise awareness about natural parenting, and our supportive community of 10,000+ readers.

This Thanksgiving, we want to extend our gratitude to all of you and to this beautiful world that is opening minds and hearts to the incredible power of the parent-baby relationship.

As our thanks to you for joining us on this journey, please send all of your loved ones to download a Free Kindle edition of The Other Baby Book on Cyber Monday – December 2.

May you and yours experience joy and gratitude today and every day.
Love,
Miriam and Megan

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Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam J. Katz are co-authors of The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year. Readers enjoy eight fun-to-read chapters filled with baby-friendly practices, along with stories from moms in-the-know. In a soothing and sometimes sassy voice, the authors present compelling research on topics like birth, holding your baby, breastfeeding, infant sleep, pottying babies (yes, really!), sign language, baby-led solids, and self-care for moms. The book also features contributions from leading practitioners in baby care: Dr. James McKenna, Dr. Janet Zand, Naomi Aldort, Gill Rapley, Nancy Mohrbacher, and more.

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Top 3 Baby Myths, Busted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIt8L3PL-zM

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FrontCoverThis content was adapted from the vast archive of environmental, family and child-friendly parenting practices detailed in The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year by Megan McGrory Massaro and Miriam J. Katz. 

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by | November 22, 2013 · 1:52 PM

Rear Facing is the Way Forward

 

IMG_0639Guest Post by Evelyn Pederson of NaturalGentleParenting.com


As you know, The Other Baby Book focuses on the first twelve months of a baby’s life. But since most parents use a convertible car seat at some point during baby’s first year, it’s valuable to project forward as parent to a toddler, and to share the benefits of keeping your child rear facing as long as possible.

The first child restraint for a moving vehicle was in 1898 –  a bag with a drawstring, designed to fasten to a seat. These restraints changed in form and function, and took almost a century to be mandated by law. Now, it’s illegal for your child to roam about the car freely, but as recently as 1984, only half of children from birth through age four were in restraint seats! Once car seats became the norm, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that children should be turned forward once they were at least 20lbs and 12 months of age.

But in March 2011, the AAP issued a new recommendation, based on solid science: we should keep our children rear facing until they outgrow the weight limits of their convertible car seats, which is usually between 30-40lbs. As research continues to prove the benefits of rear-facing, more and more manufacturers are designing seats that can keep a child rear facing up to 55lbs.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding how to position your child:

  • Rear facing is actually safest for all car passengers, but especially for infants. Tiny babies don’t have much strength in their necks, which puts them at a much greater risk of injuring their spinal cord if they are facing forward during a frontal car crash.
  • In a rear facing car seat, the effects of the crash are spread over the larger area of the child’s back, neck and head, reducing the stress placed on the child’s head and neck.
  • When rear facing during a frontal impact, your child’s neck won’t be snapped forward, greatly reducing the risks of internal decapitation which, in most cases, is fatal.
  • Though rear-facing may not be as effective in a rear crash, the probability of a rear crash is far less — 72% of crashes are frontal impact and 24% are side impact. Rear crashes generally happen at lower speeds, translating into a lower chance of injury.

Many parents wonder about their child’s legs. Just because your growing babe has to bend or cross his legs doesn’t mean he’s at risk. There are no rear facing crashes on record where a child’s legs have broken. However, there are many recorded cases where a head/neck injury could have been prevented due to a child facing forward too soon. Even if his legs were at risk, most of us would choose a broken leg or two over a fatal spinal cord injury any day.

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Pregnancy and Varicose Veins: 8 Natural Remedies

There are three common questions when you’re pregnant.

“When are you due?”

“What are you having?” (Uh, a baby?)

and… “How are you feeling?”

I’m pretty good at answering the first two, but the third question gives me pause. The vast majority of people asking don’t want to hear the real answer. Honestly, I prefer my babies on the outside. The toll pregnancy has taken on my body, both times, just isn’t a happy, feel-good report.

One of the most challenging parts of this pregnancy has been the constant physical pain in my right leg, from the varicosities in my ankle. I didn’t experience this in my first pregnancy until about 32 weeks, so I was shocked when the veins showed up at 8 weeks the second time around! It caught me by surprise, and I ended up with throbbing, burning, aching and intense heat for about 90% of the day. As I learn more and amend my daily routine, I’ve seen impressive improvements!

Here are my top 7 remedies and tips for easing the pain.

  1. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time, and elevate your feet often. For me, “long periods of time” is more than five minutes. Everyone has a different threshold. Listen to your body! Keeping your legs above your hips will allow for the blood to flow back up toward your heart, rather than pooling in your legs. When I have a bad day, it’s always due to the fact that I’ve done too much sitting or standing around (cooking, watching Anabella play at the park, driving etc).
  2. High dosages of Vitamin C. Check with a healthcare professional first, but make sure you have plenty of vitamin C in the form of whole foods, and ideally, an additional supplement during pregnancy. Vitamin C helps with circulation and can strengthen blood vessels. Synthetic sources of Vitamin C are usually derived from GMO corn.  Yuck. And after going through an entire bottle of regular C, I didn’t notice a bit of change. I was thrilled to find Synergy’s Pure Radiance C in a Radiant Life newsletter. I noticed a big difference after being on this for a few weeks. (Bonus: it helped my gingivitis. See why I like my babies on the outside?!) I had to reach 3 servings (1/4 teaspoon) 3 times a day to notice the difference though.
  3. My favorite remedy is massage with essential oils. This has made the biggest difference for me. I massage the area, up toward the heart, with a carrier oil (like almond or jojoba), and several drops of cypress (excellent for circulation) and helichrysum (helps reduce and dissolve clotted or stagnant blood). You can also use the above oils in the compresses in the next tip.
  4. When the swelling is intense and the area is hot, I prefer to do witch hazel or apple cider vinegar compresses. I generally just dip one of our dry home made wipes into some witch hazel, and it’s amazing how the cloth is HOT after just a few minutes. It completely draws the heat out of my ankle.
  5. Magnesium supplements. Varicosities can be made worse by constipation, and this is a nagging problem for most women in their first and third trimesters. As progesterone levels increase, our digestion slows to a near halt in order for the fetus to get as much of the nutrients from our food as possible. Through both pregnancies, I’ve tried quite a few different natural ways to get things moving, and several different brands and forms of magnesium, but nothing has worked as well as 400ml of liquid ionic magnesium. This, along with the vitamin C, will definitely move your bowels, so start slow!
  6. Gentle exercise. I’ve found that as I walk, stretch, or do workouts on Fit2B, the amazing online gym I belong to, I hardly notice I have any issues in my leg at all. The more I move, the better I feel. Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated when you’re feeling fatigued or nauseas, but keeping your heart pumping is great for your circulation!
  7. Hydrotherapy. At first, I couldn’t even shower without pain or take hot baths with my ankle in the water. But as I started reading up on hydrotherapy, I’ve been able to better manage the pain. Showering isn’t too bad, as my ankle improves with the addition of the other remedies above, and bath time is actually wonderful now. I submerge my foot for several minutes, and then take a very cold face cloth, or an ice pack, and stick it around my ankle (which is resting on the side of the tub) for 1-2 minutes. I alternate this practice the entire time I’m in the bath, making sure to end with cold. I follow this up with an essential oil massage.

And how could I live without…the sock. If you do not have compression stockings yet, I urge you to get them like, yesterday! During my first pregnancy, I got the full belly compression stockings. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as socks. This time, I was pregnant in intense heat, and found a knee high toeless sock. I am a MUCH happier person not having to spend the first and last 10 minutes of every day with rubber gloves on, trying to pull $80 stockings onto and off of my body. There are some veins in my upper thigh that could certainly benefit from some compression, but they aren’t bothersome enough to bust out the Jobst stockings. For now, I am over the moon with these (CHEAP!) socks from Amazon. (Read up on compression grading before you buy. 15-20s do nothing for me, so I opted to go with 20-30. You may not need that much.) Since I only have the varicosities in one leg, I alternate the sock each day, ideally to wash the other.

Do you have any other ways to keep the pain at bay? 

**Some of the links above may contain affiliate links, which we means we may earn a small percentage if you choose to buy any of the products we recommend. We do not recommend anything we aren’t completely in love with. We appreciate you helping to support us so we can continue to bring you posts!

Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, and author, looking forward to the morning when she no longer needs her compression socks. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year  to empower women to make the best choices for their families.

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Immunity boost coconut mushroom soup

This fall my family has been amping up our intake of mushrooms in order to boost our bodies’ armor for cold and flu season.

After learning that Tufts medical researchers found that even white button mushrooms (cooked) can protect us against cold and flu, we’ve been trying out different ways to eat them.

Last night my husband made quite possibly the most delicious soup I’ve ever had. So here it is for your eating enjoyment.

This soup is dairy free, and could easlily be made vegan by substituting maple syrup for honey, and Paleo by leaving out the rice noodles. Bon appetit!

Ingredients:
1/2 oz dried mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 white sections of scallions (or a small onion, or 2 shallots), chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 medium carrot, diced
1 tablespoon dried lemongrass (I put it in a pouch I could put into soup and later retrieve, you could also use fresh)
~2 pounds fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
3-4 cups of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Braggs or soy sauce
1 tablespoon (or more) of honey
1-2 tablespoons red miso paste (could be any miso; some people use red curry paste instead)
Some paprika
Some salt
Some pepper
1/2 package uncooked rice noodles

Optional garnishes:
Lime juice
Parsley
Bean sprouts

Soak the dried mushrooms in the hot water for 20 minutes. Take out the mushrooms and chop, save the mushroom broth.
Heat the oil, cook and stir shallots/onions, ginger and carrot.
Turn up the heat, add the fresh and dried mushrooms, then add all the soaking liquid (mushroom broth).
Add coconut milk, veggie broth, soy sauce, honey, paprika, miso, salt, pepper and lemongrass.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Turn off heat, add rice noodles and let stand for 10 minutes.
Take out the lemongrass.

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Molasses Spice Cookies (GF, DF)

ImageI haven’t made cookies in a while. I don’t eat gluten, in order to manage symptoms of my autoimmune disease, and the few coconut flour cookie recipes I’ve tried haven’t left me eager to waste more ingredients.

But this time was different. This time, I even wrapped up the cookies and gave them to NEIGHBORS. Ones who eat gluten! And my husband, ever fearful to try anything I make because they may have hidden liver or some other “weird” food in them, declared the cookies some of the best I’ve ever made. (I actually just made them for me, because I wanted to add more molasses to my diet, for the iron and potassium, so I guess I’ll have to make another batch…)

So, to celebrate fall, and recipe success, here’s my new favorite cookie recipe!

Molasses Spice Cookies

Makes 18 2 inch cookies

1/2 c Muscovado (amazingly delicious unrefined brown sugar)

1/2 c molasses (I used blackstrap for it’s nutritional profile)

1/2 c room temperature butter (or coconut oil for dairy free)

2 eggs

3/4 cup coconut flour

2 t cinnamon

1-2 t freshly grated ginger

1/2 t nutmeg

1/2 t cloves

1/2 t salt

2 t baking soda

(I get all my bulk herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the first four ingredients until well combined. Add the coconut flour gradually, while mixing. (I tend to make most of my cookie and cake recipes in a Vitamix and love the way they turn out. Stand mixers work well too.) Once well combined, add remaining ingredients.

Plop a tablespoon of dough onto a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with a little extra sugar if you’d like. They were plenty sweet without it though.

Enjoy!

Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, and author, rediscovering her love for exercising. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year  to empower women to make the best choices for their families.

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Exercise Made Simple: Fit2B You!

Bethany's Pic

I completed a 10K the week before I found out I was pregnant with AnaBella. I went to the gym 5 days a week, and Mark and I often spend entire afternoons at the gym. That was 2009. I haven’t seen a gym or a 4.0mph trot since. (Checking calendar…yes, 2013 is more than half over…) I have been “active,” meaning I climb the stairs a few times a day to bring the laundry up or bring the trash down. I’m always bending and stretching to pick up toys or reach for a puzzle piece. We walk to the library and the bank and the park. I kept telling myself that that was enough. But as my strength diminished and the next pregnancy test popped up pink lines, I knew I had to make a change.

But still…I didn’t want to go to the gym. They’re either too far away, too expensive, or don’t have adequate childcare. I am tempted by the classes, but those are usually in the morning, when I feel like AnaBella should be out playing, not plopped in front of a TV at a gym daycare (yes, our neighborhood gym turns on the TV and calls that babysitting), or classes are at night, which is not my favorite time to exercise. To sum up, I had lots of excuses.

But then…I found this blog post. And it was about diastasis recti, or DR for short. (Huh? I took Spanish, not Latin.) Basically, DR is a separation of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy, though not always limited to that. I always knew I had a small split, but my doctor told me not to worry about it, so I didn’t—until I got pregnant again and realized that my ab muscles were pretty much non-existent, and another pregnancy was not exactly going to shred me in a good way. The article went on to talk about “Tummy Safe” exercises, and crunches were actually on the DO NOT DO list!. I was so intrigued by this different way of exercising that I checked out the site: Fit2B.us, an online gym.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Online gyms = oxymoron, right?  I used to think they were for people who had a social phobia, or were so out of shape they couldn’t bear to be in public while exercising (both groups are really great fits for online gyms, BTW.)  But really, the whole concept is pretty darn awesome. You don’t have to get dressed, or get childcare. You can work out while your kids are napping or sleeping in the mornings, or playing with their toys…or you can work out with them, as Anabella and I often do. You don’t need to wait for a shower, or even take a shower if you don’t want to, because you’re just going to be…at home. You won’t forget to pack your underwear in your gym bag, because you don’t need a gym bag. The convenience factor won me over. But Bethany’s expertise, humor, and fun workouts have kept me there.

It’s been over a month and I’m now working out every day. Some workouts are just ten minutes long, so I can sneak one in before Anabella wakes up. Sometimes, I’ll do a longer video, or put a few shorter ones together. I can do arms one day, legs the next, aerobics, yoga, pilates, tabata, kickboxing, stretching  – this stuff is awesome, people! But the coolest part is that my little split? It’s gone. My abs are now completely knitted together! I’m confident that as I continue to work through the videos, I’ll be in a great place come February, when my belly is at its biggest. Lest you think the gym is just for pregnant or new mamas, no fear – these workouts are designed to keep your core strong for optimal health, regardless of whether there once was, or never will be, a baby in there again. Pretty sweet deal to have someone looking out for you like that, don’t you think?

If Fit2B sounds like something you want to check out, you can go here for a free workout. Interested in joining? Bethany Learn, the Founder of Fit2B Studio, is offering TOBB readers 3 months of membership for $20 (regularly $30), or a year’s membership for $89.99 instead of $99.99. Make sure you enter the code “TOBB” for the savings. I do get a small percentage of the sale, so thank you for supporting my work!

Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, and author, rediscovering her love for exercising. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year  to empower women to make the best choices for their families.

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Sleep deprivation and Weaning a Toddler

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I’ve hadfour people ask me about gentle weaning and sleep in the last 24 hours. I figured it was a sign that I really needed to write this post. My goal in sharing my story is to help moms that are feeling some degree of desperation, aloneness, and exhaustion. I’ve been there. And when I was there, all I wanted was someone, anyone—in person or on the Internet—to tell me to hang on. That even though there’s no telling when, things would get better.  That those mamas lived through those hard, sleepless nights without giving up their convictions, and that I could too.  So this post is for you bleary eyed moms that need some encouragement.

Just so you know I REALLY get it, here’s a history of the last three years of sleep with my daughter.

By the time AnaBella was 8 weeks old, she was sleeping through the night, in 10-12 hour stretches in her Arm’s Reach co-sleeper. But by the time she was 4 months old, the stretches began to shrink, until at 6 months old, she was sleeping between 20-90 minutes at a time. I was nursing her each time she woke, and by then we’d resumed the safe in-bed co-sleeping that we started when she was born. I remember those late night googles – was this pattern normal? It certainly wasn’t according to my family, formula-feeding or sleep-training friends. But when I came across Kathy Detwyller’s article about sleeping through the night, it was reassuring to know that breastfed, co-sleeping babies generally don’t sleep through the night until age 3-4, and that it’s biologically NORMAL. It didn’t help with the sleep deprivation though.

Once AnaBella reached a year old, I expected to see a change, even if slight. Change, I did see. She began waking at midnight and staying awake until 3 or 4am! I tried everything I could think of: rocking, carrier, nursing, bouncing on a ball, shortening naps. I spent most evenings pacing our living room floor with AnaBella in a Boba, (incredibly comfortable for late night wearing…) singing softly, and praying silently, knowing that this too shall pass.

I read The No-Cry Sleep Solution. Didn’t work for us. Nobody got it. Most people’s comments boiled down to one thing: it was my fault she wasn’t sleeping. She needed fewer naps, more exercise, less dairy, darker room etc. Or tears. The general consensus was that I was completely insane for not letting her just scream in her bed til she tired out. But I wasn’t willing to take the risks to our relationship or her health. So we just kept on, keepin’ on, praying, and catching sleep when we could.

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And indeed, it did, after several months. We transitioned her into her own bed (with me sleeping in it for most of the night) at 18 months, but at this point she started teething, (yes, you read that right, she STARTED teething) and was waking every hour or two. But she was still nursing hourly at night, and only nursing to sleep. She was also nursing every hour or two during the day until about two and a half. A little after 2.5, when I saw the daytime nursing start to wane a bit (meaning only 6 times during the day instead of 10), I tried night weaning, using the book, Nursies When the Sun Comes Up, but it didn’t go quite as smoothly as the Amazon reviews said. There were lots of tears, and we didn’t fall asleep most nights until…the sun came up. I posted on Facebook, and tweeted, and asked random strangers at playgrounds when and how their child started sleeping through the night. I just wanted a little bit of hope from someone who had been there, done that. But I seldom found anyone who had. Most toddlers were weaned by this point, or at least sleeping more soundly than my girl. I cursed that advice where people would say, “Just tell them, boobies are going night-night. Worked like a charm for me!” Really? Really?! It did not work for us. In fact, it infuriated AnaBella to hear that. So, when after a week of the attempted night weaning, AnaBella developed a pretty serious eye tic,  I immediately backed off. She clearly wasn’t ready. I felt like my only recourse at that point was to pray.

Yes, I was tired. Yes, my husband was likely tired of me sleeping in AnaBella’s bed all night. But I just kept reminding myself that this is normal. Breastfed babies drink milk at night. Babies like to sleep near their mothers, and that’s normal. And GOOD. And very counter-cultural here in the U.S.  I also had to keep in the forefront of my mind that this entire scenario was about expectations. Because we like our babies to sleep long and deep from day 1, I had to constantly read articles and books about the rest of the world, where babies are given permission to sleep when and where they want to, and how it all evens out eventually. But when you try to blend two ideas, like co-sleeping, and western notions about independence and that marital intimacy only happens in a bed….it’s a big mess. For everyone.  We found that if you want to make it work, you can. You find ways to be creative, and for many, you acknowledge the fact that maybe baby years aren’t going to be your wildest lovemaking, or your longest date nights. You love each other, and know those days will come back in time.

Right before AnaBella’s 3rd birthday, my doctor suggested I take her to a sleep specialist for my own health. I ended up calling Isis Parenting, and doing a sleep consultation. They developed a plan for me that didn’t involve crying, and honestly, it was really good. They were thorough, gentle, and really considerate of my desires. I just really wasn’t jazzed about the idea of being up for a big chunk of the night while we readjusted her sleep for several weeks. Though, I wanted her to sleep when SHE was ready, time was ticking. We wanted to have another baby, and this was the last duck I was waiting to get in the row. I simply knew I didn’t want to nurse two babies in the middle of the night, and I wasn’t emotionally or physically able to be pregnant and nursing around the clock. My husband works long hours and isn’t able to help much, so I felt like it was up to me to carry this situation.

I started preparing for a month before I wanted to implement the sleep consult ideas. (Read: I was stalling.) At that point, I had decided I wanted to see how AnaBella did if she weaned entirely. I always thought I’d nurse her until she chose to stop, but I was feeling overly ready at this point. I was committed to not making it a traumatizing experience though, which meant I was prepared to continue nursing if the ideas didn’t go over well. So, I distracted her during her waking hours, as she was still nursing several times throughout our day. Stickers! Park trips! Trampoline! Books! Special videos! That was pretty easy. Then, I cut nap/night nursing times back little by little. Over the course of a month, we went from a 20 minute fall-asleep nursing session to a 5 second one.

I also introduced alternative ways to fall asleep. AnaBella loves to have her back tickled, hear stories, and have me count. After she nursed, I would offer to do one of the above, and if she chose counting, she could try to have a little more milk after I reached 200. The first night, when she fell asleep at 90, I felt like God gave me my own little miracle. I honestly couldn’t believe it, the first 20 times she fell asleep without a boob in her mouth. But the nights I did get to 200, I gave her milk! I wasn’t interested in manipulating her. This wasn’t a trick. It was a way to show her that she could, indeed, fall asleep on her own without milk. And sometimes she wouldn’t. When she woke up, I would just snuggle with her first, instead of automatically offering her milk. If she cried, I gave her “mimi’s.” My goal was  to not be up for hours on end. After several weeks, to my complete surprise, AnaBella was sleeping from 10pm – 5 or 6am. Although I did a few things to help, I attribute this dramatic shift to the power of prayer and developmental readiness! A week after my first full week of sleep, I found out I was pregnant.

My milk supply completely vanished almost immediately, and though AnaBella still asks for a sip when she’s really tired, she seems to have moved on from the idea completely. It’s bittersweet, but mostly sweet. I love getting to snuggle with her now. I love having my body to myself for a bit before the next baby comes.

It’s hard to separate weaning and sleep for us. It’s our story.  It worked for us. So mamas, be encouraged. Your story won’t look like ours, but just like it had a beginning and a middle, it will have an end, and eventually your child will wean, you will sleep through the night again, and hopefully, you will encourage others that they’ll do the same.

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Megan McGrory Massaro is a mother, freelance writer, dreamer, and author, catching up on her sleep. She wrote The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year during those sleepless years, to empower women to make the best choices for their families.

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