I keep reflecting on how all the little maxims people threw at me before the baby was born are so true!
- “they grow up so fast,”
- “treasure every moment,”
- “being a parent is like nothing else you’ll ever do,”
- “nothing prepares you,”
- “you’ll never sleep again” (wait, is that one really true!?)
The other day, I was putting our almost 3-month-old down for his nap. We are still working on “sleep training” so he will take naps and bedtime with ease . As I mentioned in a previous blog, I thought I’d be good at the “cry it out” philosophy, but that was my old, hardened self, not the new, mush-ball of a mom I have become! So, instead, I work to make nap/bed time a relaxing experience so he WON’T cry and I don’t have to worry about that! (we’ll see how successful I am in the next few months!). I especially like the philosophy in The Baby Whisperer that gives an alternative to the shut-the-door-and-cower-in-the-basement-wearing-earplugs-while-your-baby-cries-for-two-hours philosophy. The author recommends (in better words than I can give in one short blog) a comforting, but stick-to-your-guns approach to establishing nap/sleep times. It seems to be working well so far.
I start by creating a calm, relaxing environment that is not too stimulating. Softly reading books, cuddling, rocking and dimming lights about 15 minutes before I put him to bed. Then I change and swaddle him, and move to the bedroom, telling him it’s “time to take a little nappy.” I pull the shades, sing a lullaby, turn on the noise maker, the pack ‘n play vibrator and the nature sounds (I know, it sounds like a lot, but he seems to like it all!). I lay him down and keep putting his pacifier back in until he falls asleep. Okay for those of you rolling their eyes at this complicated nap protocol, since I started this about a week and a half ago, getting him to fall asleep now only takes about 15 minutes, whereas before he wasn’t napping at all or I would be soothing a crying baby for an hour! So… something I am doing must be working!
The point… a few days ago, I was starting our sleepy-time routine when I heard the tea kettle whistling downstairs (yes, I frequently forget I have started things!). I hastily threw the swaddler on , laid him in the pack ‘n play, punched the vibrations button and ran down to turn off the stove. Then I heard the washing machine dinging with the cloth diapers in it, and I knew I had to restart it for the 2nd wash or I’d have no diapers later, so I ran down another flight of stairs to restart the wash. When I huffed and puffed my way back up 2 flights a few minutes later, the bedroom was silent. My little boy had miraculously just fallen asleep on his own with only HALF the routine I’d established and in only HALF the time!
You’d think I’d be rejoicing (and a part of me was!), but a small part of me felt a twinge of sadness that my baby didn’t NEED me to put him to sleep. So, it’s true what they say, “they grow up so fast!”