Friday, March 16, 2012

Project 52 | Week 11 | Ignoring

It's taken me a long time to realize that my baby is different from all other babies and be ok with it.  It's really hard to do something different than what people perceive as what you should do.  But I know my baby.  I know my baby. 

From birth to age 4 months he struggled with naps but we could get him in his crib eventually. He never slept very well, but would sleep.  Then teething hit.  And everything went to total crap.  He had just started  being semi-successful with the whole "self soothing" thing (aka the cry-it-out method) and was doing much better, then BAM.  It took me a really long time to accept this.  But here's what changed that threw the "self-soothe" method out the window: Lloyd started producing a massive amount of drool and his crying changed totally from 'cranky' to sheer panic.  He would cry, then scream, then start choking on his drool so much that he would either A. vomit, B. choke and stop breathing for a terrifying amount of time, or C. do both.  After about a week of laying him down and then having to rush in to suck drool or vomit out of him so he could breathe, it even became clear to Coach (who initially thought I was coddling him when I told him he'd stopped napping) and we gave up "temporarily" on the self-soothing (aka CIO) method.  

People weigh in, tell you to just let him keep crying, to hold him then put him back down, to rock him to sleep, bla bla bla.  I tried everything.  I tried everything. I read every article. Talked to my pediatrician, the nurse, I read every article about helping babies nap. I changed his feeding schedule (that was horrible in a whole other way, in addition to not helping).  I really did want him to succeed at napping.  I continue to try all these methods again and again after different developmental milestones with hope they'll work.  Pffftt. No.

I realize these people think they're helping. And I realize my son is being high maintenance.  I realize this!! Trust me!!! I would love to lay my son down and he go to sleep and I get some time to myself.  But for the foreseeable future, it's not happening.  So people give me ideas and I nod, say "oh yeah! great idea!" even though it's totally not going to happen and I've probably already tried it with horrible results.  I read people's blogs who have kids on a super great and predictable nap schedule and I envy them.  Deep dark envy.  I beat myself up about it regularly (just ask my best friend Bethany who gets to hear me complain about how inadequate I feel on a regular basis).  

But I've started to be able to ignore it and not let it bother me for one huge reason: I know my baby and my baby is incredibly happy, fun, playful, intelligent, affectionate, and friendly.  So yes, he naps on the boob even now at 9 months old.  He will nap on people occasionally (his grandparents on a regular basis, those lucky devils).  But he's happy and healthy and for now, he's got it figured out and he naps so much longer and better on me than he ever did in bed anyway.  

So I'll continue to climb into our bed, take my top off (haha), and nurse my little guy so he'll fall asleep. Sometimes he will de-latch and curl up like this and I can read or pee (!), and those times are great.  But otherwise we nap together and he's so tender and sweet.  So recommend all you want ladies, but I'm just going to nod and ignore you.  :P
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