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How to Escape the Baby Eating Cycle of Doom


Our son George just recently turned one year old. As you might expect, the last year of our lives has been marked by great joy, new experiences, and total exhaustion. It turns out that babies need to eat all the time. When George was first born, he needed to be fed every hour and a half. As you can imagine, this grueling schedule was quite disruptive to adult sleep patterns. For our first few months as parents, the boundaries between day and night seemed to dissolve. For George, it was always lunchtime.

Fortunately, the Baby Eating Cycle of Doom (technical term) slows down a little bit as they get a little older. At this stage in the game, George only needs fed about once every three hours. Even better, he usually doesn’t need fed that often at night. Lately, we’re even occasionally able to sleep through the night without getting up to feed George. (Parents will know how miraculous this is!)

We’re making progress. George has been eating solid foods for many months now. More of his calories come from regular, adult food than from milk at this point. Still, the milk connection is strong. Usually, if George is really upset and nothing else seems to do the trick, the answer is milk. In fact, milk is rarely a bad answer. Whenever tensions are high and emotions out of control, milk has the power to put everything in perspective.

What I’m saying is, my boy is addicted to milk. Seriously, he freaks out if he goes without it for more than a few hours. And when he sees me preparing that bottle, he starts weeping like a man being reunited with his family after years of separation. “Hello, my name is George. I’m a milk-o-holic.”

The time is coming when we’ll begin weaning George from breast milk altogether. The process has already begun: We recently started introducing cow’s milk in his sippy cup. (George is not a fan.) Based on George’s attachment to breast milk, I know this will be a tough transition for all of us. Trying to quit cold-turkey would be a mistake; but over time, we’re hopeful we can help him make the transition. After all, what would all his friends say if he were still breast-feeding in high school?

George’s attachment to milk is making me more aware of the many ways that I allow myself to get stuck in behaviors that no longer serve me. I become attached to so many things that are vital, necessary, and good in their right season, but which have perhaps outlived their usefulness. Mother’s milk is good, but it’s for babies, not adults.

The process of weaning never ends. It’s a lifelong journey, not only of releasing that which is no longer necessary, but also of embracing the delicious and wonderful things that come with new life stages. George must give up milk so that he can enjoy solid food. And in my own way, so must I.

What are the ways in which I am still spiritually breast-feeding, when God wants me to grow into greater maturity? What are the things that I must surrender so that I can fully embrace what God has next for me? What delightful, amazing discoveries await me when I choose to grow?

Related Posts:

Frustrated? Babies Know How You Feel

The Water is for the Flowers

  • barbara.hrrsn@gmail.com

    Why the rush to weaning? If George were four and still nursing THAT would be a problem, but under the age of three nursing is perfectly normal.

    • I wouldn’t say we’re rushing, but we are beginning the process. I defer to George’s mom on this one.

      • barbara.hrrsn@gmail.com

        Indeed, introduction of solid food is the first step to weaning and Mom should be the one setting the pace.

        • He’s been eating solid food for about six months at this point, so we’re good at least on that front.

  • Bre-anne Brown

    Micah, this speaks to my condition. I have also been examining my life and looking for things that are no longer serving me, or are holding me back from serving as I should. It can be hard to give up what felt like, and perhaps genuinely was at one time, a true calling. We are taught that the Spirit is constant and does not lead us one way and then another and it is easy to get caught up in thinking that once a way is opened it will always be opened. But while the Spirit remains true and constant, I’ve had to learn that our small role is not immune to changes and redirection. We must continue to be still and listen. We must ensure that we hear the Voice of the Teacher, not the voice of ego or earthly life or of simple momentum that keeps us on a road long after we should have taken another path. Thank you for your words, Friend. They so often encourage and refresh me.

  • Early on in Exodus, God tells Moses “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but with My name YHVH [the four-letter unpronounced name] I did not make Myself known to them….” (Ex 6:3). I’ve been taught that Hebrew scholars don’t know for sure what “Shaddai” means, but link it with “hill” or “breast,” making “El Shaddai” the God who was known at a place of nurturing — a name of God for a people in infancy. But “I will be who I will be” is the name for a God that will be with them as they grow up and set out for parts unknown. Just saying.

  • lele23

    Great. post. How about trying some of the many plant-based “milk” options instead of the cow’s milk he isn’t enjoying? They’re kinder to the earth, kinder to the cows, and less disease-promoting than dairy.