Monday, January 17, 2011

What I Would Never Do

Confession: J is not a good baby.

Well-meaning people love to ask that question and for those who haven't recently seen the fruits of copulation, they always seem surprised when I say no. Then they just don't know what to do so they wander off awkwardly after saying sorry.

Those who have had a child more recently understand that newborns are kinda terrible. And depending on the day, very terrible. Husband never knew what to say because he didn't know what made a good baby. I know what makes a good baby.

A good baby actually burps.

A good baby eats without fighting it for ten minutes (thankfully that only lasted the first two weeks. My madre thinks little baby mouths and muscles get as sore as mama boobies. I think that makes sense)

A good baby sleeps for longer periods at night than during the day.

A good baby sleeps for more than 45 minute intervals.

A good baby takes a pacifier (debatable, but I think it would be nice if it pleased her consistently)

A good baby falls asleep without being held.

A good baby will sleep in her crib.

That last one is a particular bother. My awesome cousin lent me this  sleep book and when she put it in my hands she looked me in the eye and said, "This is the most true book after the Book of Mormon." I really like the book so far because the pediatrician is a sleep researcher and has all these fun studies that let me nerd out while giving sleep solutions that fit with my beliefs and personality.

In it he talks about the benefits and drawbacks of the family bed, also known as co-sleeping. When I read that pregnant, I thought it was ridiculous. Who would want their baby to sleep next to them? And like the book says, along with every other piece of paper you get from the hospital and all the parenting books, that baby can suffocate. The baby can get rolled on and die. You can't cuddle with your hubby. And how are you supposed to sleep?

It's amazing what convictions you lose when your baby is out like a light in your arms, then instantly pops open her little eyes the INSTANT her head touches the crib, buzzy chair, floor, couch, pillow, carseat....

So despite the literature and my own misgivings, I confess to the world that I let J sleep with us. I know many cultures outside of the U.S. do it, maybe even a higher majority. I know it isn't the safest. I also know that she sleeps two hours plus this way. She hasn't died yet even though this is Something I Would Never Do.

Somehow, I have this sinking feeling this is only the first of many ideals sacrificed in the name of preserving my sanity.


Katie said...

Whatever works. That is my Mommy Motto.

Angela said...

I tell everyone: Caleb was a terrible baby.
Wasn’t able to latch (a trend among my children I decided) but never wanted off my boob, didn’t sleep predictably through the night until he was nine months old, started teething at two months old but didn’t pop-a-tooth until six months when we managed to *ahem* injure me enough to drop my milk supply, was miserable after every vaccination, did not cuddle.
Nate, on the other hand, is a decent baby. Still can’t latch, but sleeps better, is able to dispel gas like a champ and most importantly, cuddles but isn’t clingy.
Throw every book out the window and do whatcha gotta do. I think J is in more danger with you sleep-deprived than sleeping in the bed with you (there’s a premise for a Mythbusters episode if there ever was one!)

(Let the mompetition begin!

Jackijo said...

It worked for me.

Lauren said...

I agree with Angela. Def in more danger with a sleep deprived mom. Unfortunately I am sure more babies have died at the hands of sleep deprived moms, than being suffocated or strangled in bed. I slept with our first little one in our bed forever. I swear moms get endowed with a sixth sense, and even in my sleep I know I kept from being rolled on or anything like that.

And it's so true. We say so many things before babies come. And then you do what works. I now LOCK my child in her bedroom every night. Yeah, can't believe I'm admitting it in the blogosphere but I've talked to other moms who say they do it too. It's what works for us. Judge if you will, but sleep is important.

I'm sorry she's a hard baby. I had one of those. And I'm afraid she's going to be a difficult child for her entire life. So far she's been a difficult baby, difficult toddler... and we'll see where we go from here. I'm glad I had another one who is SO easy! I know it's not just me. Some babies are just HARD!

Erin said...

You're just being honest. I think almost all babies (especially newborns) are hard in some ways- most parents just aren't willing to own up. I say vague things like, "oh they're pretty good- but they don't sleep the best." etc. I know tons of moms who swear by co=sleeping. No matter what you do someone is going to tell you you're doing it wrong. You're the one raising her so do what works for you. It's sounds like you're doing great! I know it doesn't feel like it now but it will get much easier- just like the feeding thing is easier now. I'm pretty sure babies were put on earth to teach a level of patience and selflessness otherwise unobtainable- even by those of us who've endured teaching classes full of rowdy children.

Taylor said...

Ugh, I hate having the kids sleeping in our bed. It's a lot worse when they get older and take up more space are learn to pull arm-hairs in their sleep.

Hannah slept in her car seat for the first two months of her life. It was either that or hold her all night, and neither of us loved her quite that much. ;-)

Have fun! (To the extent practicable that is...) Congrats, awesome, hooray, etc!

Elena said...

Dude I freakin' love you. As long as you're happy and baby is happy you're good. (in trying to type "good" I wrote "god" at least 3 times, but I think it kinda works in a lower case g sort of way :)


blogger templates | Make Money Online