Tag Archives: sleep

Nursing to Sleep is Not a Bad Habit (or What Do YOUR Instincts Say?)

Hey Y’all!

Today’s post is written by one of my favorite writers, the woman who taught me to write– my middle sister, Beky. Beky is my senior by 4 years, but became a mother 4 years after my first child was born. My two sisters are my dearest and closest friends, each of us parents a little differently, but I respect each of them immensely. Yesterday my sister Beky was sharing how glad she was that she relished the long periods of holding her first for naps as she nursed, and said she wished she could reassure other first time mothers that it’s okay to hold and nurse their babies for sleep. I told her I had the perfect place for her to share that reassurance, right here on She Rocks the Cradle! So without further ado, here is a guest post from my big sis, Beky.

–Rachel

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As I nursed and rocked my little one (we’ll call him Small Fry) down for his morning nap, watching carefully for that magical moment when I was sure he was OUT, so that I could successfully transfer him to his crib, so that I could get back to momming my 3-year-old (we’ll call him Nugget), it hit me. This is why I did it.

This is why I held Nugget for almost every nap when he was a baby. This is why I allowed him to nurse sometimes for entire naps. This is why I stayed firmly planted on my rocking chair, hardly daring to move a muscle for fear of waking him. This is why I never bothered to “train” him to nap in his crib, independently of me. This is why, in my first-time-mom uncertainty, I posted on a local mom group on Facebook to ask if it was ok to nurse my baby to sleep, to let him nurse in his sleep, to hold him in my arms until he was ready to wake up.

Among the many responses, one stood out. “What do YOUR instincts say?”

I responded, “My instincts tell me that this is a unique experience, having only one baby right now, and I should relish the freedom to be as responsive to him as I can right now because I know it will be harder when the next one comes.”

“There’s your answer!” came the sweet and reassuring reply.

Nearly three years later, that post came to my mind as I gently laid Small Fry in his crib this morning. I took a few seconds to gaze at his pursed, pink lips, his curled up fingers, and the rise and fall of his chest. “Mamaaaa!” came blaring from the living room as Nugget pulled me back to the reality that my days of long, sleepy cuddles on the rocker are no more. Those days of an hour or more of side-lying-nursing in bed while lazily scrolling Facebook, watching a show on Netflix with my headphones on, or just simply closing my eyes and embracing the forced rest. Nope, those days are gone. Naps are business with Small Fry. Get him to sleep as quickly as possible, keeping an attentive ear pealed for Nugget in the other room, transfer him to the crib, and pray for a decent nap so I can catch up on laundry, dishes, and maybe a few moments of quality, one-on-one time with Nugget before Small Fry awakes.

I knew back then that I was right to embrace the once-in-a-lifetime flexibility that came with being a stay at home mom to my first baby. So I followed my gut without apology. But the epiphany I experienced this morning gave me such a surge of confidence in my choices as a new mama, that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops to all new mamas out there: “YES! It’s ok! It’s ok to rock and shush and nurse and hold your sweet baby until they drift off to sleep! It’s ok to continue that *while* they sleep if that’s what keeps them asleep! Don’t feel guilty for breathing in the fragrance of your precious baby’s fuzzy head, for staring at them the whole time they sleep (while you ‘should’ be sleeping according to many) because you still just can’t believe they’re yours, so perfectly and beautifully yours. It’s ok, mama. It’s ok.”

What practice or habit are you second-guessing yourself on today? What piece of advice have you received recently that has you wondering if you’re doing it all wrong? The answer is the question: What do YOUR instincts say?

[Fun fact: That response “What do YOUR instincts say?” came from none other than our favorite mom-blogger, SheRocksTheCradle. Thanks, SRTC!]

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GIVEAWAY! Boost Your Morning Brew, with Lifeboost!

Successful parenting can be chalked up to several things.  Patience, love, creativity, flexibility, and coffee.  Let’s be real, coffee should be at the top of that list.  I don’t think ours is the only household for which coffee is a near-sacred ritual.  It goes beyond the caffeine in our home.  For some reason 3 weeks after Captain was born, I developed a serious intolerance to caffeine in coffee.  We aren’t quite sure why, but when I’m pregnant I can tolerate half-caf, but by 2 weeks postpartum, I get hugely jittery, nervous, and sick while drinking caffeinated coffee.  I am pretty much sure this strange reaction will last for my breastfeeding years!  So, when I say I am a coffee nut it’s true– because I’m willing to drink caffeine-free just to get the taste every morning.

 

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I’ve loved coffee my entire life.  I have super vivid memories of sipping the cold leftovers of my dad’s black coffee with sweet ‘n’ low in it.  My mother is hispanic, and in many Mexican cultures, children start on coffee very young with a high milk to coffee ratio.  I remember Saturday mornings, headed to church with my mom for meetings and her packing me a travel mug of hot cocoa with coffee in it.  In fact, my kids and nieces enjoy “Nana Coffee” when they stay at my mom’s house overnight.  Mornings always come with a cup of milk, coffee, chocolate, and lots of whipped cream!  Needless to say, just because I had to stop drinking caffeinated coffee, didn’t mean I was going to give up coffee altogether– coffee is in my blood.

 

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In the last 4 years since becoming a nursing mother, I have tried a lot of decaf coffees.  Everything from light roast store brand to extra dark espresso beans from Starbucks.  I love trying new coffees, and just because I can’t have caffeine doesn’t mean I had to give up on finding some good beans!  But, I’ve found a new favorite in the last month with Lifeboost Coffee.

 

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Lifeboost is single-sourced.  It is from a 6-acre farm in the highlands of Nicaragua.  The farm is surrounded by one of Nicaragua’s National Protected Areas, so the land is totally clean and pesticide free. Did I mention it’s organic and Fair Trade?  Because it is!  The Arabica beans are grown, harvested, cleaned, and roasted all on site.  Unlike other coffees, this is free of mycotoxic presence.  Myco-what?  Mycotoxins are produced by molds which are not great for your health and show up in other lower-quality beans.  This coffee is pure, unadulterated, Arabica goodness.

 

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So how does Lifeboost Coffee taste?  We have enjoyed a few different brewing methods with both the decaf medium roast and also regular roasts.  (Milkman is reveling in having some good, fully-leaded beans in the house!)  I didn’t think I could enjoy it much more than I did with a coarse grind in the French Press, but over the weekend, Milkman used a slightly finer grind and made it using the pour-over.  This was ridiculously satisfying.  Maybe pour-overs and presses aren’t for you, maybe you just like to have a down and dirty machine-drip first thing in the morning, and guess what?  Still good like that.

 

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This is the kind of coffee where, if you are used to drinking coffee with cream added, you don’t have to.  It’s not bitter.  Delightfully mild without tasting weak.  Nutty and heady while still being delicate on the palate. You can taste the quality, and as an added bonus to your caffeine (or DECAF as the case may be) fix, you can rest assured that the coffee you are drinking is 100% Certified Organic and Fair Trade.

 

I enjoyed this coffee so much that after drinking it for just a few days I contacted Dr. Charles Livingston at Lifeboost and asked him if he would be willing to share some Lifeboost coffee with my readers!  We agreed that no one needs a coffee pick-me-up more than parents, and because they offer both regular and decaf coffee, this is suitable for the parents of toddlers who need all the caffeine they can get or the pregnant or nursing mama who wants the flavor and comfort of coffee without the caffeine!

 

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Huge thanks to Dr. Charles at Lifeboost for supplying us with the coffee for the giveaway!  Make sure you check out Lifeboost on Facebook, on Instagram @lifeboostcoffee, and go to their website or their Amazon store to try out their coffee (it’s on Amazon Prime!  HELLO! No shipping charge and delivered to your door?  That’s how I like my coffee!)

 

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So, head to She Rocks the Cradle on Facebook, and check out our giveaway for Lifeboost and enter for a chance to win the roast of your choosing absolutely FREE!
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