Saturday, June 14, 2008

Attach Baby Here

I've been hearing a lot lately about baby schedules, and attachment parenting, and happiest babies. It's probably because I know about a bazillion ladies that are having or have just had babies. If you don't believe me, check my blogroll. I think about 7 of the folks over there have popped 'em out recently. Anyway, there's been questions directed to me about what books I've read on how to "do" this baby thing. Well, as I've mentioned, we did follow the methods in Happiest Baby on the Block, but other than that, I've not really read any baby books. I used the What to Expect the First Year as a reference with Noel, but then I sold it and haven't bothered to pick up another copy to have around with Lennon. We decided that when we had our first baby, we'd let him figure out his own schedule. It worked brilliantly, and has worked with Lennon too. I think, if given the chance, babies will naturally do this...perhaps not ALL will, but it's definitely worth a shot. Who wants to live their life by a clock and a Franklin Covey? Blech...not me.

We were blessed with a dream baby the first time around. Seriously, he never cried, he slept a LOT, he was content to be alone, or to be held. He just didn't really care about much except sleeping and eating. Lennon has been a different baby. He loves to be held. He loves to cuddle. He cries in the car, if he's awake, because he wants to be with us. He wants to be near us all the time, which is why we have both been taken with babywearing...it's the only way to appease him and do anything else.

We definitely met all of Noel's needs when he wanted us to, but he was almost always happy. We didn't really need to be attachment parents. With Lennon, it's like we're attachment parents by default. I fall somewhere in the "almost an attachment parent" category. I love holding and comforting my children, but there are some times when I don't want a baby or toddler climbing all over me. I don't mind them sleeping with me at all. Noel goes to bed in his own room, but he will occasionally come in bed with us, and I love it. I'm excited for the day when we can all cuddle on a Saturday morning in bed and read stories and play.

I was struck by something that someone said to me the other day. Basically, she liked cuddling with her baby and rocking her to sleep, but she didn't want to have to be rocking her to sleep when she was three. I kept thinking, "I HOPE to God that my kids still want ME putting them to bed when they're three." Really, I will be so sad the day that they don't want hugs and kisses, or to sing "our" songs, or to read books, or cuddle. I'm happy that right now, both of them want and need to be put to bed. I cherish time with them at night, when they're peaceful and calm and sleepy. If it's a night that I really, really, really, really, really want them to justgotosleepalready, I remind myself that they won't be small forever and one day, I'll wish that I just had one more night to hold them and rock them to sleep.

5 comments:

Naomi said...

Jasper is about a million times different than Roo, too. Needy and possessive of me. He cries if I walk a few steps away from him. It drives me nuts but I try to remember that it will pass and he won't want me soon enough...

Adventures In Babywearing said...

They are all so different and have different needs and wants. So do you. Finding that balance is what really makes it work, and usually you can never find that in a book!

Steph

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Awesome post! Loved it! Well said. You have to do what works for you and your baby. Popeye is my cuddliest baby and sometimes I do get tired of always holding him (seriously, you'd think he'd get bored!) but I will never just make him cry it out. I always hold him anyway:)

Li Li said...

Word. I am always holding a baby...but I guess that is because there are two of them...but I feel like you. They won't be this size forever so I will hold them and rock them as much as I want to!

Jaclyn said...

Love your blog - found you from mumsthewurd! Wanted to offer some comfort. I've been going through something of a mourning of the end of snuggle time since (at 2) my oldest refused to be rocked.

They'll always want hugs/kisses/nighttime routines. You might have to "force" it, but they will secretly crave it. You've built that special time into your unique relationship. It's a time of day when they get singular attention and some "maintenance love." It's a constant. I know of a mom who continued to read with her son in his bed every night until over 14 yrs- small novels instead of Guess How Much, but the time and communication was still there, right until she passed on recently. Those are times her son will treasure forever- and carry on to his children when he is a grown man.

On another note, I sometimes get antsy with our 2nd wanting to be held often. It's made me wonder if the 2+ yrs between them and the independence (even small) of our eldest didn't get me into a groove of a different sort of play/snuggle habit. Maybe I just need to work back into babyhood.