Maybe you remember me, I came in and sat down. I was probably still sweaty from my workout. I sent my 3 year old off to play with your older daughter and smiled when they became fast friends. I minded my own business, scrolling Facebook and Instagram while the girls played, not because I was being rude, but because mommas and babies make my heart hurt a little.
You were talking to your friend, she asked how she was sleeping at night. Before you answered, I laughed to myself, not because the sleepless nights are funny, but because my 3 year still wakes nightly and has always been a ridiculously horrendous sleeper. So the topic of sleep makes me laugh (because that’s all I have left to do!).
You commented you didn’t nurse her back to sleep every time she woke up, because you didn’t want it to become a habit. Those words instantly made me look up. I saw you look longingly at your beautiful baby girl. I simply said, “Do it. Do it. Do it.” You see, I’m working towards becoming an lactation consultant, because I want to help sweet mommas like you push the opinions of society aside and reach their goals. I almost never give breastfeeding advice without being directly asked. And NEVER to a stranger. But today, my mouth opened before my brain could stop it, and for that I am sorry.
I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging you for making your own choices, like I made my own. I know that’s what you thought. But I sensed a hint of regret in your voice. I sensed you wanted to just nurse her and cuddle her every time she woke up. Those are the things that made me speak up today. I wanted to tell you it was okay.
I’ll be the first to tell you that nursing her back to sleep will most likely get you both back to sleep the quickest and that babies don’t wake out of habit. Your baby doesn’t have a conspiracy going on in her crib, but breastmilk is digested extremely quickly. Even if she isn’t hungry, it’s okay to comfort her at the breast. If you want.
If you want to nurse that sweet baby girl back to sleep. Do it. If you want to offer her pacifier first. Do it. If you want to rock her instead. Do it. But do it for you. Not because you think it’s what you “should” do.