‘Nobody ever needs to eat at night!’. Nyanya Honey said with conviction. Honey was certified as a midwife from the United Kingdom, she was also my maternal grandmother. I loved her fiercely. She died way before I had my first child but she lives on in my amazing mother.
I always knew I wasn’t going to feed my baby at night. Night time was for sleeping. My husband was not convinced. So when Kendi was 6 weeks old, I went to stay with my mother for a week. She slept with Kendi while I slept in my old room upstairs. I need to explain that my parents’ house is build in such a way as to be effectively soundproof, from the master bedroom downstairs on the west side of the house, to the bedrooms upstairs. So I could not actually hear Kendi if she woke up in the night, as she was used to doing at 11pm and again at 4am. I was bone tired. I needed a full night’s sleep.
‘When do you want her last feed to be?’ mum asked.
‘And her first one in the day?’
‘At 5’, I replied.
‘Ok, we’ll work with that’. And that was all she wrote.
Kendi woke up at 11pm on the dot, she cried, my mother picked up her carry cot, with her in in, put her on her own bed, (dad was away on business that week, thankfully) and talked her through her first time without food. It took her about 15 minutes to realize that no food was forthcoming, only dana‘s soothing voice. She fell asleep. She woke up at 4am, and again protested at the lack of forthcoming food for another 5 or so minutes. At 5am, mum knocked on my door carrying my baby in her cot and announced, ‘here she is, congratulate her on her first night without food!’. Kendi was just lying there sucking her thumb.
And so it went for 3 days.
Kendi has slept through the night ever since, thanks to that week. My husband, Kendi and I always get a full night’s rest. We attribute her happy, upbeat demeanor to this. Its the best gift we have given her yet.
‘Nobody ever needs to eat at night’, I tell other new mothers now, they don’t believe me for some reason.