A Letter to My Mama – Why Your Baby Loves Breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mum and baby are well-known, but what does your little one actually think about your breastfeeding journey when they wake you up in the early hours? Even though they can’t talk for themselves, we think it probably goes something like this – and (typical baby), this one has woken you up at 2am!
I know you’re in the middle of a wonderful dream, enjoying a sunny holiday on an exotic island, and yes there’s me, perfectly silent, wearing some totally spotless designer outfit. I am swinging quietly in a baby hammock floating gently over a beautiful lush tropical garden. It’s so quiet Mama, where is everyone?
I’m sorry my little cry has woken you from your dream, but at this point in my little life, my voice is all I have to get your attention. During the day, I hear the odd words and phrases that seem to get your attention, but right now it’s 2am and it’s just me and you. You’re the only one who seems to really understand me and our bond is what I need at this time in the morning.
Sometimes I can settle myself back to sleep and I do love doing that, but most of the time, I have to admit it’s just you, my mama, that I need and want. While it is completely true that I am hungry and thirsty - there is so much more on my little mind that only you can really understand. So, why have I woken you from your wonderful dream?
I want a cuddle!
Okay, it’s pretty obvious, but I just love me mama cuddles and you holding me close at night. You smell wonderful and just the touch of your skin makes me feel secure, safe and tells me that I belong right here, right now. It wasn’t that long ago that I was snuggled up inside you, safe and sound. This whole transition to the ‘real world’ has turned out to be a bit overwhelming and confusing. Did I miss the instruction manual? I really sometimes have no idea what I am supposed to do. Little ideas come into my mind, but they are a jumble. There is so much colour, sound, and faces. When I wake up in the middle of the night and feel all alone, I just want you to cuddle me.
I want to cry!
Mama, I totally understand that my crying is pretty annoying. But if we could come up with a better idea, I’d really promise to give it a try. Maybe you could attach a little bell to my wrist or we could create some other magic way to let you know how I am feeling. I honestly think that crying is pretty natural though. My baby instincts tell me that it’s far better to have a good cry than letting scary thoughts spin around in your head. Otherwise, why do I see you crying sometimes? Sometimes just having a little drink and holding your fingers makes me feel better. As I said before, I just am a bit overwhelmed by everything right now.
I want to eat!
It’s true, I do get hungry a lot, and my time isn’t split into day hungry and night hungry. Sometimes I just want to eat. I don’t know how this breastfeeding thing works - but the food you produce like magic, tastes just fantastic! And I love how you hold me and how you breathe deeply and stroke my head and even sing little songs sometimes. I put my hands on you and you never pull away. Sometimes I think you are hurting a bit, but you never let me know and you never blame me. Not sure why you blame yourself, but that seems to be part of being a mummy I don’t understand yet. Thank you for being so brave. It’s just nice to snuggle up next to a person who just loves me and cares for me without expecting anything in return - and who has great food to offer 24/7.
I am afraid!
Sometimes I get these feelings that something bad is going to happen that I am not ready for yet. I have not had a ton of experience in the world, so a sudden noise in the night or even complete silence when I wake up all by myself in my bed with hanging mobiles, collages of wild animals and shadows on the wall. It all makes me feel a bit vulnerable and worried. I just need a friend to whisper in my ear - “It’s okay my love, everything is okay. You are okay.” Hey Mama, guess what, you get to be that friend. I know it’s a choice between your sleep and my smile, but I think it’s a reasonable thing for me to offer. I know you are super tired - I really do. Please know that I am new at this - even newer than you.
I want you!
So, thanks Mama for waking up and trying to figure out what’s on my mind. I know that it takes a lot out of you. I know you get tired. I watch you during the day and it makes me sad sometimes to know that I kept you awake for hours, just crying and wriggling and giggling, demanding hugs and food and company. I know how much of a nuisance I can be - but I promise in the future when I am grown up, I will be there for you. I promise you will always have me by your side. You created me - that’s pretty awesome! And I’ll thank you all my life for that.