This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Winded Fable About Where to Sleep

I colluded in seven weeks of teaching my son that "to fall asleep" means to be in a squishy king sized bed against a big warm body (or two).  It means a nipple in his mouth and a boob on his cheek.  Now I'm paying the price.

But he was is so cuddlesome!

I'm paying the price because I want my bed back.  I want to be able to turn over at my will again.  It's been since August (at five months pregnant) that I could do that! I want to be able to full body snuggle my man more often! And stuff!

I'm reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg.  I think her suggestions are very appealing and workable.  And now I'm in an intense negotiation phase with Salamander.  This kid knows what he wants!!  I  do know that babies cry inexplicably sometimes, or at least, I have been told that many times.  And I don't necessarily doubt it.  But I also have moments of sheer oneness with my child and lately he's telling me loud and clear what he does and does not like.  He does not like to show me how strong his legs are when he's tired.  He does like sleeping with boobs on his face.  Typical male.  Sorry, that's crude...

In my opinion, there's a lot of common sense missing from the oft recommended reading for earth crunchy types of parenting.  A quick list while I'm thinking about it: feeding on demand, infant potty training, saying "no way jose" to pacifiers all the time.  Maybe I'll find a magical trick or change my tune on these later, but at this point in time I just want a routine that I can breathe more freely in.  I don't want to internally swing wildly from doing whatever he wants to trying to cram in as much "me time" (which sadly often means chores or eating a meal!) as I can stomach while he cries it out in his crib.

We realized today that actually, we haven't even tried his crib.  We've tried the handy seeming "side car" our friends loaned us, but not the beautiful crib my parents gave him.  When Hadj pointed it out I thought about the coolness of his room as opposed to the often dry heat our wood pellet stove creates in our bedroom, the serene sea foam walls of his room, the air of a stillness away from hubbub and I sighed in relief.  Another notch in a sane sounding plan.  I think I just stumbled on a perfect parenting slogan.

This may be one of those times that I look back and wish I'd taken a different route.  Putting wee Salamander in his own crib right off the bat would have been terribly difficult for the first two nights (probably seven) and I'm pretty sure I would have sat at his crib side like a sick pup until I passed out from exhaustion...HOWEVER...I'll probably do something like that anyway now, but first, I have to go through lawd-knows-how-long getting him to accept the switch.  I'll let you know how that goes, some day...

In her book, Tracy Hogg stresses for parents to pay very close attention to their baby's common cues in order to work with them in a cyclic daily system.  Luckily, I'm already an expert on this because I have spent damn near exactly seven weeks to the hour observing him.  Now that Ms. Hogg has handily pointed out some more of the common cues that I wasn't picking up on, I'm feeling confidently golden.  I'm no fool to think there won't be stops and starts, progress and regress, as we go, but I do believe that we can learn our way to a system of sleep that will provide all household humans the independence, comfort, and sanity needed for a contented life.

And there's the moral for ya, in the end there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel about wanting your bed back! Liam slept with us for the first 3 weeks of life and then I just had to get some REAL rest, myself. So I started putting him in his crib at night after his finally nursing (he typically goes down for the night around 9pm). He falls asleep in my arms, but I can usually lay him in his crib to sleep and he sleeps better there, too.

Some nights are worse than others. Some are delightfully easy. But all in all, he seems to like sleeping in his crib at night and will do it during the day, too, but not for as long as he would on the bed. I do put him on his stomach to sleep, but he has such great head control that I don't worry that he will suffocate. We use an AngleCare monitor to detect his movement (breathing), too, so that is extra peace of mind.

I hear that if you want to have a baby sleep on their back, then having them sleep in their car seat is good (especially if you swaddle him so he doesn't startle awake). I like the car seat idea, but since we are well on our way with the crib, I am sticking with that.

I hope this helps a little. Hang in there, Shana!