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Hush Little Baby

Sometimes I feel like there is so much pressure to parent perfectly.  What is perfect?  There are so many differing opinions out there about what is best for a baby.  Who is to say that any of that silly advice will be any good for my baby?  Frankly, sometimes I think all of that advice is useless.  I know me, I know my baby, and I know what works for US.

One thing that has come up in my life lately is sleep-training.  I had thought all through my pregnancy that my baby would sleep soundly in her crib, with me only getting up for feedings and bad dreams.  That idea was quickly squashed the first night in the hospital.  I loved my baby girl so much that I hardly wanted to put her down (oh, and she wanted to eat every hour).  I was lucky with breast feeding in that it came very natural to both of us.  We had great cuddle time in the hospital.  Baby Girl would rest her sleepy head on my breast or chest and I would look at her sweet face and know that everything in the world was right.  Yeah, she woke up every couple hours to eat…but she was just a sweet little baby.

We got home and the trend continued.  Baby Girl liked to nurse before she slept.  A good breast feeding and she would sleep in about two-hour increments.  That was perfect for me.  I could choose whether to nap or to try to tackle some of the many building chores.  There were often times, at night, where Baby Girl and I would fall asleep together in the rocking chair.  WHAT?!?!  The baby wasn’t sleeping on her back in her crib with nothing but her pj’s?  No, she wasn’t.  I couldn’t help that her breast feeding caused a rush of hormones to be released into my bloodstream and made my already sleepy body more blissfully relaxed.  This didn’t happen all the time but my big poofy recliner/rocker was pretty comfortable at 3:30 in the morning.  When I woke up and discovered I had been sleeping, I would carefully transfer Baby Girl into her crib until she would need me again.

Now, Baby Girl is ten months old.  She has weened herself to one nap a day (a two hour stretch around noon) and usually wakes up about once a night.  She still likes to be nursed to sleep.  A nice big 8 oz bottle before a nap or bedtime usually gets her through.  Baby Girl sometimes sleeps through the night as well.  I am hopeful that she will transition to sleeping through the night once her solid food eating habits become more regular.  I don’t, however, feel the need to train her to sleep.  She seems to sleep quite well.  And I’m not saying that sleep training is bad (some people really do need it).  However, most books I read talk about putting your baby down as they are falling asleep so that they learn how to “self-soothe”.  I’m sorry, but there is nothing better in the world that rocking Baby Girl to sleep and watching her beautiful face relax into the stupor of a good deep sleep.  Holding that sweet little warm body close to me, listening to her breathe, feeling her heart beat…that will always be one of my favourite things in the whole wide world.

I recently purchased a copy of Love You Forever and tried to read the story to Baby Girl.  I can’t get through it.  I cry.  I get choked up.  That story so perfectly reminds me of me and Baby Girl.  It just gets me.  Things might change as the family grows, but for now, I am going to rock my baby “back and forth, back and forth, back and forth” and sing sweet lullabies so I can watch Baby Girl fall into sleep.

PS  I may have had tears in my eyes this whole time.  I love watching my Baby Girl sleep!

1 thought on “Hush Little Baby”

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