Wednesday, December 2, 2009

That sleeping thing...

We co sleep. In my bed. And I have no problem plugging his mouth with a boob the second he fusses. And I don't let him cry except for a few situations, such as in the car (not much I can do if he hates and we have to go somewhere) or everynow and again in his crib (when I'm reading a book to Paxton before nap, spending 10 minutes or less in the kitchen doing something too dangerous to hold him, or just getting frustrated and rationally decide I need a couple minutes alone to stay, well, rational).

And the result of my giving in for most situations?

He's sleeping better at night. He's calm about 75% of the time in the car. He calms down when I place him in his crib and turn on his mobile. And he's growing and thriving and healthy.

Oh, and not dead. That one's important, cuz we co sleep AND he's not much of a back sleeper and both of these things mean instant death. Nevermind that I'm following all the safety rules...

The big thing, I think, is that he's calming down about not being in contact with us. He's allowing us to place him down somewhere (blanket on floor, bouncy seat, crib, carseat, bed) and we don't have to be constant touching or interacting for him to not be screaming. In fact, now that he's discovered that he can hit things with his hands he's a happy camper in his bouncy seat with the "click-clicks" hanging from the top. I can't wait to see what happens in the coming months as he gains control over those adorable little fingers and learns to grasp his toys and interact with the world around him.

And he's starting to laugh. Just little huffs as he smiles, almost like hiccups, but to me it's unmistakeable.

And he mimicks sticking your tongue out.

And he mimicks the tone of "I love you" as we say it all the time.

He'll be two months on Friday.


But back to sleep.

For the past few nights he's only been up twice, TWICE, a night.

And I rejoice.

And yet...

OMG why do I tell people openly how we sleep? Why, why, why?

Granted I'm a very open person. I mean, seriously other than a couple slash fanfictions written in my college years for poops and giggles I have nothing to hide. So I'm open, about fertility and adoption and adjustment and everything. So I'm open about this too, and you wouldn't believe the number of moms who lean in and let me know they've been there, in the same exact situation, and they're right along with me in the co-sleeping, non-CIO, breast feeding department.

But then... there's the advisors. And for some reason they're mostly men.

Don't get me wrong, I know they're all well intentioned. No one is giving me advice on getting my child to sleep on an adult schedule for their sake. They're kind people who are worried I must be greatly displeased with the state of things and just need some gentle guidance.

And yet... I don't need it. Nor want it. I'll willingly accept advice, of course, as again it's not ill-intentioned. But we're doing just fine, I think.

I guess it's a different way of looking at things. I believe the articles I read about babies needing to breastfeed on demand, at least for the first several months. I also believe that trying to put a baby on a schedule in the first several weeks just won't work. I tried to put A on a schedule right after this last growth spurt, which seemed to work for about 2 days but suddenly didn't. Now I'm seeing more about waiting until after the 12 week growth/developmental spurt (which could end at 14 weeks).

Either way, I've now discovered, thanks the Celebrity Baby Blog, the schedule I'm going to try. The 2-3-4 (ish) schedule. And I'm kinda excited now. Not because it'll really change his habits longterm, but for my own benefit as I care for two boys.

And if it doesn't work? Then I just wait out infancy. Because, really, it is fleeting.

There's only one thing that really gets me and that's the idea that you have to set his sleep habits as a child. I even had a (very, very nice) woman (who I hope to see again) tell me that the habits he'll form now are the habits he'll have for a lifetime. If I didn't like her I probably would have pointed out that despite the habits I learned in infancy, I still managed to figure out how to use a toilet, eat with a fork, and communicate through words and not crying and grunts. Just that thought itself reminds me that, really, his sleep habits now are not the same they will be as an older child or an adult (though maybe teen years... they sleep a lot and are up all night). All I need to focus on is emotional security, letting him know right from the beginning that the world is a safe and loving place where his voice is heard and his needs are met.

K, it's big brother time!


Lisa said...

I just wanted to say I think co-sleeping is wonderful. X slept in our bed until he was about 6 months and the kicking me in the face all night just had to stop. He transitioned into a crib in our room just fine and into his big boy bed just fine and he sleeps through the night. I think the co-sleeping was good for us, he is confident and I will do it again with our next child :) I find the people who made snide remarks to us when we told them he was sleeping in our bed were people who had never tried co-sleeping so what do they know. To me it seems like the natural thing to do :)

Lisa said...

Oh yea and the schedule thing, I never even tried that LOL. I fed him when he was hungry and went with the flow. As a toddler X transitioned into a sort of regular nap time and bed time every day and so far we have survived! I am not the norm though and not a very scheduled type person in the first place ;)