If you have a baby, as soon as you pop the thing out you will suddenly find yourself the recipient of all sorts of advice. It comes from everywhere- doctors and nurses, well-meaning family members, books, online forums and, of course, the all-knowing entity that we call Google. The advice given is, of course, all over the map and incredibly contradictory and makes you want to rip your hair out, but you keep going back to it because 97.6% of the time you have no idea what you are doing as a parent.
Sleeping and eating have been especially hard for me as a mom. Not my sleeping and eating (I do both of those very often and very well), but getting my child to do so. I have had many battles with my husband, my baby and myself over those two issues and I have a feeling that the battles aren’t going to go away any time soon.
We have employed all manner of techniques to get our boy to sleep. For months, bouncing on an exercise ball was the only thing that kept all of us sane. For a while, he would never fall asleep in the car, then he would only fall asleep in the car and recently he has decided to boycott sleeping in the car again. He never, ever fell asleep while nursing until he was ten months old and then, all of a sudden, it was the only thing that would get him to nap.
Sheesh! Someone needs to warn parents that babies give you whiplash.
Recently, my husband and I have been trying to set some new routines for the Bean, as I have started backing off of nursing. It is actually going surprisingly well (KNOCK ON WOOD), but it definitely has its moments. Waking up at night has been particularly hard, since he doesn’t do it very often and nursing was the only thing that ever calmed him down. Last week was the first middle-of-the-night wake-up since the great nursing drop-off and, lucky me, my husband was working late. I had no idea what to do, so I went into the nursery, picked the dude up and figured, what the heck- let’s try rocking him.
I sat down in the rocking chair and he just laid there. I started rocking and he snuggled his head into my chest. I settled back and then, eventually, he slept. My Bean is many things, but cuddly is not one of them and in that snuggly moment, every part of my body sang as he lay there and let me hold him. I pulled a book up to read on my phone and rocked him for two and a half glorious hours.
That was two weeks ago. Since then, my reaction to hearing him cry has gone from, “oh, I wonder what is wrong?” to, “Something is wrong, I must go rock him!” I have no self-control whatsoever. It doesn’t even have to be actual crying! Any noise that isn’t laughter? Let’s go chill in the rocking chair. In fact, the whole reason I am writing this post is because he is currently in his room, trying to settle himself down and go to sleep (which he is perfectly capable of doing on his own) and all I want to do is go in there and rock him.
I’m addicted, folks, but as far as addictions go, it could be worse, right?
Right. Remind me of that in a month, when I have rocked him to sleep so many times that he no longer remembers how to go to sleep any other way. In the meantime, however, I need to go check on my baby. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in his room, rocking away.