Another story that recently came to my attention actually happened more than six years ago. I was talking to a single mom who had adopted an infant daughter and I told her that she definitely had to tell the little one early about the circumstances of her birth to prevent the usual problems that happen when a child finds out the truth from other people. We talked about telling the child that her biological mother would have wanted to keep her but could not, and how welcome and loved she is by her adoptive mother and grandparents. I suggested talking to her when she was asleep, not necessarily daily but at least a few times.
The baby was giving her new mom other problems, the greatest of which was her constant crying especially at night. The mother was not getting any sleep and she was working full time in the day, so she was getting worried about the quality of her work. That's when she decided to talk to the baby about it. The only quiet time to do that was when Joan was asleep.
She told the baby that there was just the two of them in the family, since grandma and grandpa were in another city more than 500 kilometers away. Nanny was supposed to take care of her in the daytime (when she would sleep with no problem), but at night her mom was going to keep her beside her. She said that she needed to work to support the two of them, and that she was hoping Joan would allow her a minimum of four and a half hours sleep so she could stay awake in the office. She reassured her that she would not complain beyond the 4 1/2 hours.
More than six years later, Joan's mom tells me that the baby slept for five to six hours straight each night after that so she she almost never had to wake up after midnight to feed her or dance with her to make her stop fussing!
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Bianca's mom needed to go back to work after two months of exclusive breastfeeding, so she was distressed when the baby refused to take the bottle which had the milk she had pumped for the baby. They tried formula but Bianca did not suck and even refused milk given by dropper. The cup likewise did not help. Mommy had to go home several times each day because she was worried about Bianca going hungry. This was fine but stressful although her work area was just a few minutes away.
When I asked how the baby was doing, this story came out and I offered 'sleep talking' as a solution. I gave Bianca's mother a script which included the explanation about why her mom could not breastfeed as often in the daytime. I also told her to tell the baby that she missed her when she was at work, that she wanted to continue breastfeeding, but that she needed to go back to her job. Of course, the first statement included the fact that her mother loved her dearly and wanted her to have the best of everything, including her milk.
The next day, Bianca's mother called home to check with the grandmother who was babysitting. With relief and wonder, the grandmother reported that Bianca had just taken -- sucked -- at least two ounces by bottle!