Thursday, February 5, 2009

Daily Activities, and Baby Phase part 2

Naps. Meals. Diapers. Teeth-brushing. That's important.

Playing with ALL the toys at once. Also important.

The Boy demonstrated quite a liking for violin music, specifically "Twinkle" and the typical violin class variations a la Suzuki. I have started to play that for him at least once a day, and he loves it.

We usually get some coloring time in there.

Sometimes we have to go for appointments; other times I insist on a mall-walk so that I can get some exercise and NOT freeze my bum off.

Very important stuff indeed.

Subject change: I'm going to somewhat disagree with Musical Daddy's assessment regarding The Boy and his bed. There are plenty of children his age, and even older, who start the night in their own beds without major incident and join their parents in the middle of the night, also without major incident. Really, the only time it is an issue is when The Boy is immediately post-chemo, which we addressed last time by my sleeping elsewhere in the house and The Boy staying with Daddy. I don't mind doing that for one night if it means that everyone gets more sleep and stays safe. But, back to the original issue, it may become a problem as I become more pregnant. It may not.

My feeling is, we have to keep putting him in his bed at night and sometimes for naps (even though right now he's in my lap) because he needs to know that his bed and his room are for him. Of course, both he and I were raised in typical families, where parents slept apart from their children from the day that they came home. My mother now admits to sometimes putting me in her bed because I was a "difficult" baby in that respect, just so that she could get some decent sleep.

I like the little extra bit of freedom that I get after putting him to bed in the evening. I can get a bit of housework done, and I can just sit here in this chair.

On my mommy message board, sleeping arrangements are a hot topic. Many parents swear by "cry-it-out" (what is "it" and if my kid still has it, so what?) and that children manipulate their parents, and need to be taught to sleep on their own (some moms start closing the door at 2 months, which is ridiculous to me). Other parents believe that learning to go to sleep is something that children learn eventually. One time I started a thread about "closet co-sleeping" in an effort to find out how many families actually let the kids into their bed, either sometimes or always, and it was surprising how many there were.

People don't usually talk about the fact that their 10 month old or 2 year old doesn't sleep through the night. They are ashamed of it; they think that it makes them bad parents. They fall prey to advice coming from older generations saying that these children will be too spoiled or dependent. At times I have felt that pressure and judgment, but I'm done with it now. We'll do what works for us.

Dr. Sears, who is definitely more on the hippie end of things, always says that sleeping arrangements that allow everyone to get the most sleep are the right ones.

Here's my "final answer" assessment on our situation, at least for now: The Boy is still a baby. He is stuck in the baby phase in many respects, probably due to his illness and treatment. He'll get older. He'll mature. This too shall pass. Right now, we need to roll with him on this one. I want him to start the night in his bed every night, and he seems willing to do that. Which is progress. When I put him in there, he lies comfortably and sticks that thumb in his mouth. I can't yet leave the room with him awake, because he still throws a fit. However, I can leave the room with him lying on our bed, because he is more comfortable there. He needs to get comfortable with his own bed, and he will.

It will take longer than it might otherwise with a typical child who doesn't have all of this extra baggage. We can't just leave him to cry, which for many seems to be the magical solution. There is no quick fix for this one, any more than there is to get a typical picky child to eat a varied menu just because you serve it.


Rebecca said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Fortunately, we don't have any sleeping issues; however, if we did, I would transition on our own terms and when I felt like B was comfortable enough to make the change. My favorite part of your post was when you said, "we'll do what works for us." THAT is key. People seem to have such a hard time allowing other people to parent in a way that works for THEM. So, kudos to you and Musical Daddy for not letting other people's advice get to you! :)

Hannah said...

Do you think that David will be musically inclined? Neither me or DH have much musical talent, but John boy seems to have some affinity for it. Although that could be the over abundance of Little Einsteins that he watches.

I think you are doing the right thing with this sleeping habits. John took very easily to his crib, but if he hadn't, he'd still probably start the night there and end up in our bed. He and I still take the occasional nap together and even with my big ole belly, it isn't crazy uncomfortable.

mlgbears31 said...

I'm not ashamed (anymore) to be one of the closet co-sleepers you are talking about. We NEED sleep, so whatever works!

Tobacco Brunette said...

"Closet co-sleeper." That cracks me up. Before I had my son who is now almost four months old, I swore I would NEVER co-sleep. But the day after he was born we found out he had a congential heart disease and it was just comforting to have him near us. Now that he's had his open heart surgery and is "fixed" I've been doing reading about sleep.

Other than insisting on putting him in his crib, which for now is in our room, to start the evening out, I'm very wishy-washy about when and where he sleeps during the day. I'm guessing we'll figure it out.

areyoukiddingme said...

I am happy to report that my 2 year old sleeps 10 hours straight most nights. Once or twice a week, she'll have a nightmare and wake up in the middle of the night and require some soothing to go back to sleep. But it has to be something that really wakes her up. She's still in her crib, though. When we take the side off, I know there will be problems. She hates to go to bed.

Caroline said...

Ariana cries for 5 minutes every night before bed (no matter what we do), but she used to cry a lot. We left her in there for about 10 minutes and then rocked her, cuddled her and laid her back down. She hated to sleep with us, which made me so sad, as I saw it as a perfect solution.

I do understand letting a child cry for a few minutes, but couldn't imagine leaving child full-on crying for 30-60 minutes.

I love that you do what works and don't just bend to what other people say or do.