The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

March 8, 2009

Jesus, you’re not going to actually talk about sleep AGAIN…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 10:24 pm

There are many different methods that can be employed in the raising of babies and children, and i assure you some busybody will always be happy to instruct you in several you’re neglecting or have decided to do differently. (“What do you mean you’re not _____? Take it from me, you have to ______ or else he’s going become some kind of spoiled, maladjusted 2 headed mutant with a condition.”)  Matthew warned me about this back at the beginning (14 weeks ago. Seems like years. Seriously, years) and i’ve really grown to appreciate it.

Granted Maja gets the worst of it. Here, well let me put it this way, we were out at a doctor’s office and the baby pooped and needed a diaper change, which i did. Women witnessing it were shocked.

However, one of the most controversial subjects about baby raising is the subject of “cryin it out.”

Crying it out is simple, you just let him cry until he exhausts himself.

I want to say 2 things. First, that inevitably, sooner or later you will have to do this some capacity or another. I’ll get to it more in a second, but every parent, or parental team since most decision about how to proceed require both of us to sign on to or they won’t work, needs to decide for themselves what their comfort level is.

Secondly, Maja and i made the decision that during the first 3 months, the newborn period, we were NOT going to let him cry it out, and were in fact going to respond to all of his needs. Study after study after study in the past 25 years have shown time and time again that you CANNOT spoil a newborn, AND newborn who are responded to attentively become much more adjusted and content later on.

However, Adam is now 14 weeks, past the 3 month mark, and has become more complex. He’s also getting heavier. It is no longer possibly to respond to him all the time, nor is it at this point in everyone’s best interest. (although if one more serbian old woman tells me it’s great for him to cry and screech because it “exersizes his lungs” i’m going to shoot her. Or better yet, he WANTS to exercize his lungs. AAAH! Babies cry because they are unhappy and/or want something. Period.)

After 3 months of attentive attending to his needs we are reaching a point where it is no longer in our best interest or his to do so. Here is why:

Adam cannot put himself to sleep. He gets really, really tired, eyes all red, totally exhausted, but he can’t figure out what to do about it. He hasn’t even figured out that is he simply closes his eyes, he’ll fall asleep. Seriously. He doesn’t knwo how to relax himself, he depends on us. In particular he depends on me.

One of the few real talents i seem to have in regards to the baby is that i can sing him to sleep like magic. Or, since i’m not always up to it, i use the ipod a lot, but the way i rock him stay the same and he LOVES being rocked to music. Puts him right out.

The problem is, i’m the only one who can do it. I do not always WANT to be the one to do it, and i am not always arOUND to be the one to do it. In addition, some nights he has really bad nights and i have to coax him to sleep again and again. My back KILLS me some nights. The other night was the breaking point. He was up from midnigh to 4am, would NOT be left alone without having a meltdown… it was hell.

He needs to learn how to put himself to sleep. My superawesome method is TOO superawesome. He’s reliant on it exclusively and no one is benefitting, including ultimately him.

In order for him to figure out how to fall asleep on his own, he has to cry and fuss and cry some more. maja and i are adopting an approach of holding him calmly and sitting (he favors standing and will cry until we stand up which i assure you is on it’s way OUT). He cries and screams in our arms. We sit still, calmly tell him we love him and everything is all right, but otherwise do nothing and let him have at it. Mostly he screams until he exhausts himself and passes out (and boy is this hell on the nerves) but in the past day or so, the amount of time spent having a meltdown has started to shorten noticably. This afternoon i had one spell that only lasted about 2  minutes which i assure you is a near miracle.

Thus is our first attempt at letting him “cry it out”.

It’s tough because there are a number of things which are starting to become issues. When Maja is gone during the day and it’s just me and baby, when i finally need to eat he tends to start crying and eventually screaming through my meal in hopes that i’ll stop eating and refocus on him. Now let me assure you, coming between Daddy and his breakfast is a dangerous move, and once again, i see no recourse but to let him just have his fit. I canNOT afford to have him think that my eating is a negotiable activity which can be tossed aside casually so i can play ‘Go Speed Baby!’ with him. (We love playing Go Speed Baby. Most of it involves him laughing and squeeling with delight while i go up and down his little body to the tune of Speed Racer). So he’s gotta just cry.

Maja has pointed out that i get stuck with all these issues because i’m his bitch.

Anyway, there you go, our first foray into behavior issues. And yes, once again revolving around the issues of sleep.


1 Comment »

  1. I see you’ve fallen into the same role as me. Being the favorite parent (i.e. bitch) doesn’t get any easier the older the kid gets, either. Today, in fact, Nathan wouldn’t let me get more than 2 feet away before wailing, “my Daddy!” and grabbing my leg. Sometimes tough love is the only way to go, hard as it may be.

    One day, I promise you, you will wake up after 8 hours of sleep and realize that the boy didn’t wake you up all night. I tell you, it will be the best day of your entire life.

    Comment by matthew — March 9, 2009 @ 4:04 am | Reply

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