A friend asked me the other day if I have night-weaned Jacob yet. Barely even thinking, I responded with an emphatic, "No! That's definitely not a good thing for him right now."
Since embarking on this mysterious and beautiful parenting journey, I have come to understand why sleep deprivation can be used as a torture technique. It genuinely feels horrid. I have been known to say when I'm getting to an extreme of exhaustion, "I want to die I'm so tired!!"
But I also cannot picture night-weaning anytime soon, so I guess it's all the more fortunate that I do not yet have to go back to work. Jacob just turned one, and he is going through an extraordinary developmental stage that is demanding for everyone involved. Frankly, he thinks he is too busy to nurse much during the day, and I believe him! He is learning to walk, to climb stairs (though not to go back down them), to eat solid foods, to share toys, and to cope with strong emotions. And he will soon surpass his dads in his confident use of electronics. During the daytime he is rushing to grow up, which leaves only the nights for being a baby with an intense need for both human milk and touch.
I understand why people night-wean their kids, and I don't blame them for wanting to do it. But I think about my poor little guy trying so very hard to explore and establish his independence in his waking hours, and I know that now is definitely not the time for us. If it is painful for me as an adult to lose sleep, I am sure it would be even more so for him to go without the comfort of nursing while he attempts to process the huge adventures of his days. It is hard work to be a baby.
As my many attachment-minded friends love to remind me, we will get through it, and this too shall pass.