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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Easy Peasy Transitions

They say kids are highly adaptable, and I couldn't agree more from the 2 transitions I have been through with Aiden: (1) Weaning off breastfeeding & (2) Moving from co-sleeping in our bed to sleeping independently.  

I was really unsure when to make these two transition and worry about change. Aiden's adaptability and transition for both really surprised and impressed me. There was no lead time at all. No resistance. No hesitation (oh well, the hesitation and worrying comes mainly from me and me alone).

I recall when Aiden was approaching 12 months old, and I returned to work for about 8 months, breastfeeding frequency has dipped, as well as milk supply with hectic work schedule & rising stress level. I was worried that he wouldn't cope well with the transition to formula milk. After months of worrying and increased effort in stocking up (worrying contributes to the dip in milk supply unfortunately), finally I decided to slowly wean Aiden off when he was 12 months old. It's as though we were telepathic. As soon as I decided to wean Aiden off breastfeeding, he decided that he was no longer interested, and turned to bottle feeding & formula milk with ease the next day. He never turned back. To date, he still enjoys his daily doses of formula.

Aiden at 17 months
I ended up being the one experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and felt lost when I no longer get to bond with him. I still miss the feeling now, and felt it was really essential in bonding with your baby.

Co-sleeping in our bed was brought about by breastfeeding as well. I wanted the ease to feed Aiden on demand, and being able to respond to his needs conveniently. This led to him sleeping in between Darren & I for 2 years. Recently, Aiden turned two and just yesterday, he decided he will sleep in his own cot bed on his own in his room. This is a really big step. And it surprised me as it happened just like that. Without hesitation. Without any smaller transition steps.

I have contemplated several times since he was 18 months to move him to his own room, but worry that he may be afraid to sleep alone, he may not be used to the other bed, he may need attention in the middle of the night... Then come yesterday when we were playing in his room, and he laid on the cot bed. I spoke to him about him being a big boy now and suggested he sleeps on his own bed from today. He nodded. Through various events in the day, I've forgotten about this at bedtime. Strangely, Aiden keeps pointing to his room and wanted to sleep in his cot bed. He fell asleep shortly after, and instead of having a good night sleep with the bed to ourselves, I became sleep deprived through waking more than 6 times throughout the night, and checking on him! I am still pro co-sleeping, just that the transition could have been earlier - but as long as we are all happy & comfortable with the arrangement at that point in time.

Aiden at 11 months
Through these transitions, I realized how kids are really adaptable and tough, sometimes even more so than adults are. They embrace change better than us too. There's so much to learn, experience and discover with them as they grow, and I am really looking forward to the days ahead with Aiden.


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