|Eating veggies and rice, she is getting really good at using spoons and forks.|
Echo has been growing by leaps and bounds and has reached quite a few significant milestones lately. I still sometimes feel a little shock when I look at her and realize she isn't a baby anymore, she is a full blown toddler.
The most notable change that has happened over the past few weeks is that Echo is now completely weaned. I have to admit, this makes me sigh a big sigh of relief. I worried (especially after getting pregnant again) that weaning would be difficult, that it would result in lots of stress for both of us and that she wouldn't be weaned by the time the next baby came. Silly me, I should know better! as a product of unschooling I know better than anyone that if you wait until a child is ready to do something it will be easy.
I had planned to do the "don't offer don't refuse" method of weaning but for a long time I kept forgetting and offering automatically. It wasn't until I noticed Echo's decreased interest in nursing that I really decided to try not offering and see how it went. It had gotten to the point where when we did try to nurse she would only stay on for about a minute and then either pop off or start chewing on me (no fun, let me tell you) so I knew it was time. It turns out that once I stopped offering she didn't even really seem to notice. She never asked to nurse again and so we haven't. It's nice to have this hurdle crossed before the next baby arrives but the down side is now I have to worry more about what she eats! Breast milk is such an easy, perfect food and I never had to worry about her getting all the nutrients she needed while she was nursing. So it will be a little more work for me but worth it in the end. It's also nice to reclaim my body a little bit before I have to give it over to the new baby this Summer.
We have also been seeing big changes in echo's sleeping habits that are encouraging. I used to think I would never get her to sleep without nursing and now I mostly use a pacifier to help sooth her to bed. However we have seen more and more of her being able to go to sleep on her own lately. If she is really tired I can lay her in her bed and as long as I stay with her for a while she will drift off on her own. We also decided it was time to remove the side of her crib so she is now in a toddler bed that she can get in and out of on her own. For some reason this has seemed to help with her being able to go back to sleep on her own during the night and nap times. I have no idea why but we have definitely noticed a difference since we switched to the toddler bed. When we move her to her new room she will have a nice big floor bed and will be able to get in and out on her own easily but we are wanting to replace the floor in that room before we move her over and finding the time to do that has been tricky!
Anyway, she is still not sleeping through the night but now that we know she can go back to sleep on her own we are feeling encouraged. Hopefully we will make some real progress with this before the next baby comes and we have to start the sleepless night cycle all over again. Echo has also been exhibiting many other toddler like behaviors like eating with a fork and spoon, stacking blocks, painting and drawing and yes, even trowing tantrums. I still can't believe how big an d beautiful she has gotten, she makes my hear do a little flutter whenever I look at her.
I'm kind of in awe at how easy weaning was and it gives me great hopes for potty training days which will be here before we know it. I feel like it just goes to show that you don't have to battle with your children or have a power struggle, you just have to notice them, listen to them and follow theirs cues. If you follow your instincts and theirs you can have a much easier time of things. When they are ready to reach a certain milestone they will let you know.