Monday, October 31, 2011
So going into this whole parenting adventure, one of the things I said constantly was that I wasn't going to start any bad habits that we would then have to break.
Well, as we all know, I've compromised on EVERYTHING so far, so why not this cardinal rule, too?
At the moment, there are three crutches that Finn seems to need in order to sleep:
1. Miracle blanket. The ultimate swaddling blanket which made our night-time lives so much better a couple of months ago when friends introduced them to us. It's the only thing that will keep Mr Startle Wiggle contained enough to keep sleeping for five hour stretches. Since his digestion is getting so much better, and he's not startling as much, I figured he'd be OK sleeping sans swaddle, but I've tried putting him down time and time again in just his jammies, in sleep sacks, more loosely swaddled in other blankets, but he either won't settle or will only sleep for half hour stretches.
2. Sleep Sheep. This little critter plays four different white noises, and I'm not even sure why we started using it. It was a shower gift that I really loved, but wanted to adhere to the aforementioned cardinal rule, so I didn't plan to use it...then we used it when we went away for a weekend, then it just became a part of our bedtime routine, and now it's like a subconscious signal to Finn that it's bedtime. I'm not terribly worried about this crutch, but don't want him growing up to be one of those kids who has to have a fan running or the TV on for him to sleep. I've really worked on making sure that I'm not tiptoeing around him when he's asleep so he doesn't need perfect silence to sleep, but I also don't want noise a requirement in order to get some z's.
3. Nursing to sleep. Oh man, this is the biggie. It wasn't such a big deal for the first few months, then there was that week when Finn would just go down in his co-sleeper a little drowsy but not asleep, and just sort of settle and fade away. Now, though, I have to get him completely unconscious until his head literally falls off my boob before I can put him down, and even then, it only works about 75% of the time. There have been a few times when Chad or a babysitter has put him down to sleep, so obviously he's capable of it, so maybe I just need to become more creative about ways to get him to relax enough to pass out - boob just seems to do the trick every time. The swaddle helps, the sheep helps, and if we need to stick with those two for a while before he'll go down on his own, I can live with that, but I don't want to be the only one who can put him down if I'm around. I'd like to be able to cook dinner or write some emails (or a blog!) every now and then.
Of course, I'll probably miss it when he doesn't need me anymore. If I've learned anything so far as a mom, it's that I miss some of the things I never thought I would. I can't believe Finn's almost 4 months old. He almost rolled over a couple of times this weekend, is really working on grabbing and holding, has mostly mastered tummy time, and we've set up the Johnny Jump Up on Saturday. Leaps and bounds, and yes - sometimes I miss his co-sleeper inches from me, being woken up by snuffles and grunts. I DON'T miss his digestive discomfort, or the screaming for three hours at night, that's for sure, but there are things from that time that I do cherish. Time does fly, doesn't it?