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Archive for the ‘Naptime’ Category

Do you do it?  Some may call it bed sharing.  Others may call it co-sleeping.  While I was pregnant with Happy Baby, I remember planning for him to sleep in our room after he was born…at least for the first couple of months.  We purchased a travel sized pack n play that doubled as a bassinet  to keep in our bedroom.  I fully intended for him to sleep in this bassinet until he had grown out of it, at which point I would move him to his own room.  We hadn’t purchased a crib yet…I knew he would be in our room for a while so we had plenty of time to find the perfect bedroom furniture for him.  After he was born, it didn’t feel right to put him alone in that bassinet to sleep.   This little baby (ok, so he wasn’t so little) was born in my bed (you can read all about my homebirth HERE).  It only seemed natural for him to sleep here too.  This started immediately, from day one.  Everybody warned me.  “You’re never gonna get that baby out of your bed if you let him sleep with you”.  This ain’t my first rodeo.  I’ve been there done that.  My first was a co-sleeper.  Yes, it was a process to get her to sleep in her own bed.  But it was far from impossible.  She started sleeping in her own bed when she was ready (which happened to be around the same time that my 2nd child was born).  My second child was an awesome crib sleeper, as was my third.  Each baby is different.  Some babies can’t sleep if they’ve got a partner in bed.  Some babies have difficulty sleeping unless Mommy or Daddy is near.

About a month after his birth, my husband and I purchased a beautiful set of furniture for his nursery.  This set will last him until he goes off to college and beyond.  The crib doubles as a toddler bed and then converts to a full size bed.  The changing table has a hutch and looks more like a wide dresser than a changing table.  He’s also got a beautiful tall dresser and a night stand to complete his set.  I had intentions for him to sleep in his crib when we purchased the set.  He was still so small though, so my intentions were for that to happen “later”.  Well, here we are 10 months after we bought that crib and 11 months after his birth.  Happy Baby is STILL sleeping with Mommy.  I cannot imagine waking up in the morning and not having him snuggled up next to me.  I cannot imagine not having him wake up smiling and getting to see how happy he is after he’s had a full night of sleep.  He giggles, smiles, waves and crawls all over the bed, so happy to wake up and see his Mommy (and sometimes his Daddy, too).

The crib, which remains empty each night.

I know the day will come when we will all be ready for him to transition into his own bed in his own room.  Do I know when that will be?  No.  However, I do know that this is what works for us.  I recently received an email from Babycenter (which I get each week to mark the milestones of my baby) and there’s usually “advice” from doctors and psychologists that are pertinent to your baby’s age and development stage.  The “advice” this week was regarding whether babies should be sleeping through the night at this age.  I was really disappointed that not ONE of the professionals that answered the question mentioned co-sleeping.  One of them said this:

“But beware: If you pick him up, bring him to your bed, or feed him (unless he’s legitimately hungry), you’re going down a very challenging path.”

All three of the professionals quoted for this article mentioned going into baby’s room to check on him/her.  None of them said what you should do if baby is waking while co-sleeping.  Hmmm…

When Happy Baby wakes in the middle of the night, he doesn’t usually wake all the way up.  Usually it’s just a squirm here or there, and he rolls over to nurse.  I am usually able to remain mostly asleep for this.  Many times I have no recollection in the morning of waking up to nurse him.  My only clue will be my exposed breast when I wake up.  My husband used to find this hilarious when he would wake up early to go to the gym.  There I would be, all sprawled out, with just one breast popped out of the top of my tank top.  I’m sure it was quite a sight.

So tell me, do you bed share or co-sleep? I’d love to hear from you!

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The Ever-Elusive Naptime

Naptime?  What’s that?  Our busy summer has gotten Happy Baby quite off schedule!  Prior to his siblings arriving for the summer he was napping usually around the same time each morning and afternoon.  I’ve found that I’m too busy alot of the time to sit down and hold him so he will sleep.  Big Sissy has tried a few times to lay down with him, but he’s more interested in playing than sleeping when she’s around.  However, the disappearing naptime isn’t necessarily a terrible thing…Happy Baby has been sleeping fairly well during the night.  He’s still waking up at least once each night to nurse, but I definitely have no complaints there!

Well, today, finally, and for the first time in a few weeks (or at least it seems that way), Happy Baby is down for a nap!  Granted, I had to hold him/nurse him to sleep.  I decided to migrate to my bed (which is his bed too since we co-sleep) and he is down for the count!  It’s doubtful this will last very long, since we’re about to head to the beach in just a few short minutes for some late afternoon ray-catching and possibly some fish catching as well.  How do you keep your little one on a schedule when there’s lots of family fun going on?

A really grainy photo of Happy Baby taking a nap

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My usually happy little guy has become less happy…when he can’t see his mama.  I suppose that one of the down sides to my style of attachment parenting is that my baby wants his mommy to be near him.  At all times.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to be with him (almost) all the time.  However, there are times when I’m feeling like I need a little “me” time, and it would be great if he would be happy being left with my husband or my parents for a little while.  Lately, I can’t even enjoy my weekly worship service for fear that he’s being a complete terror to the nursery workers!  It’s horrible when we get quiet for prayer and you can hear your baby crying just beyond those doors.

My husband says I’ve created “this monster”, and he is partially right.  Is it so wrong to not want your child to cry (translate to:  I don’t want my child to WANT or NEED anything because I am able to recognize all of his needs/wants before they elevate to that cry!)?  So, to keep him happy I have carried him around while I vacuum, do the dishes, switch the laundry, grocery shop, etc., etc.  We co-sleep at night so that when he wakes to nurse, I am right there, waiting with his all-night buffet.  He naps lying in my arms (in hindsight…it honestly cannot be that comfortable for him to not be able to just stretch out!).

My friend visited with two of her kids recently, one of which is 3 days older than my happy baby.  Her happy baby is the polar opposite of mine:

a) she’s a girl

b) she’s a formula baby

c) she sleeps.  alone.  in a CRIB!  and has been since she was just a few days old.

So, while she was here, my friend and my husband conspired to do the “10 minutes in the crib” game with my happy baby.  See, you put the baby in the crib, and if when he cries, you let him cry for 10 minutes before you go back in there.  I wanted no parts of this.  I cannot stand for my guy to cry!  Since she’s been gone, I’ve tried it a handful of times, usually at his late afternoon nap time, after he’s already nursed himself to sleep.  At this point, he’s usually too tired to put up too much of a fight, so he just lies there and cries for just a minute or two, then goes to sleep.

Last night I tried this at bedtime.  He had nursed himself to sleep, and I was confident that his tummy was full, so I attempted to lay him down.  Well, our power had gone off for about 30 minutes earlier that evening, and when it cut back on, apparently the A/C didn’t cut back on automatically, so it was a bit toasty inside.  We stripped him down to his diaper, while he was crying.  My husband brought the fan into his bedroom, and we turned the monitor on, turned the fan onto high, and covered the bottom half of our happy baby up with a blanket.  He cried for about 4-5 minutes, then surrendered to his sleep.  I was amazed.

Hey this works at night too?!  Sweet!  I might get a few hours of sleep without being on all night buffet duty!

Except it didn’t really go down like that.  Instead, I watched the screen of the monitor for even the slightest move that might indicate that he was waking up.  I felt alone, even though my loving husband was lying in bed, snuggling next to me.  I felt a little sad.

What if he wakes up and needs me, and I’m not right there?

What if he wakes up and the monitor isn’t on, then I can’t hear him and he cries for hours?

My mind was going 100 miles a minute.  These thoughts, combined with the super large glass of sweet tea (caffeinated) that I had with dinner were preventing me from sleeping.  At all.  I tossed.  I turned.  I clock-watched.  Finally, after he had been in that crib for 3.5 hours, he stirred.  He cried a little bit, turned himself around in the bed, and curled up in the fetal position to go back to sleep.  I stared at the monitor a little longer.  I noticed the blankets had fallen off of him, and the fan was blowing onto his little body, so I decided he needed me to go at least cover him back up.  I tiptoed into his room, tugged gently on the covers to pull them back up over him, when he turned his head, looked at me, smiled and put his head back down.

Most moms would have just turned and walked out of the room.  Not me!  I breathe a sigh of relief, reach back into the crib to pick him up, and happily carry him back into my room, where I believe he belongs.  At least for now.  Did I sleep any better after that?  Yes, a little.  At least what the high dosage of caffeine I had consumed would allow me.

The point of this is that while babies can develop separation anxiety, it would seem that I am also a little anxious over being separated from my happy baby.

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