Sleeping “like a baby”?!?
Babies suck at sleeping. At least FVB does. Maybe there are lots of babies out there who are sleeping peacefully through the night and napping for 2 hour stretches, but not mine! His typical nap, if I try to lay him in his crib or on our bed, is 15-20 minutes. His night stretches have been up to 6-7 hours, but are more typically 4-5. If I hold him, he will nap much longer. This way he can nurse on and off, which is his favorite activity, even when sleeping. I think he really would sleep all night with my nipple in his mouth, if I let him. I have to “de-latch” him most nights, but he does stay sleeping!
Many people would gasp in disbelief over my attitude about this. You let him nap in your arms?!? He will never learn to sleep alone! You nurse him to sleep?!? He will never learn to fall asleep any other way! You let him fall asleep in the car/moby/stroller?!? He’ll never get a full, quality nap in! Horrors!
But, I’m ok with all of this for now. It may not be the most ideal scenario, it may be hard and tiring, but he’s a baby, and raising babies is not supposed to be easy, convenient, or restful. I’m not going to stress us both out with “sleep training” either. I really just try to have a sense of humor about the whole thing. I don’t worry about “spoiling,” “bad habits,” “scheduling”, or any of that nonsense. We do what works each day. I trust his little self to mature and be independent, eventually. We keep trying “independent sleep.” Some days we have huge successes (Ex: 50 min napping alone!) and some days I cry out of sheer frustration. I know that when/if I am fortunate to have another FVB, this routine will not work. Toddlers are like small drug addicts and will NOT play quietly while mommy holds the baby for two hours. I’ve been to story time at the library and seen these crazies in action. I am terrified of them.
For now, since I’m a full time mommy to just one FVB, I am managing AND finding the positive in it all.
#1: FVB loves being held while napping and takes his best naps in my arms (1.5-2 hours!). The positive of this? I get to hold my sweet baby boy! He will not be little for long. I’m soaking up the time that he’s little enough to cradle in my arms!
#2: I always have an excuse for looking like a scrub. Yoga pants, somewhat combed hair, and a grubby t-shirt is my uniform most days. If anyone is judging me, they can simply see that I’m holding an adorable baby and assume that I’m getting very little sleep. Also, the more tired I am, the less I care about how I look. For example, I just got back from a weekend with my sister, bro-in-law, and nephew. We met hubs in Austin, where he was working, and it was unseasonably cool. All I had for long pants were these gray sweatpants WITH turmeric stains ON THE BUTT (I wipe my hands on my lounge pants when I’m cooking). But, it was too chilly for shorts outside, so I rocked the stained pants while walking around downtown. And I didn’t care. At all.
#3: I get to read A LOT while he’s sleeping, or watch shows on netflix, or write my posts, or obsessively pin on Pinterest, or read blogs, or research the plans to colonize Mars (true). I wouldn’t normally want to spend this much time on these activities daily, but when combined w/baby holding, I’m OK with it.
I also have a lot of time to just be. It is amazing how little time there is in regular life to just sit, reflect, and be present in the moment, without a million thoughts, plans, stresses, and worries running through your brain. When I am sitting quietly, staring at FVB sleeping, it is much easier to just marvel at how truly fortunate I am in this life.