Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Night Time Anxieties
Lately my little fellow Gabey has become afraid of the dark. Every night we have the same routine; he has a bath, we brush his teeth, he has a bottle of water, and we read a book (usually three or four times). By the fourth rendition of his favorite book ("Mommy's Best Kisses") he would be content enough to drift off to sleep, or run amok in his room for a half an hour before dropping where he played last. Unfortunately he no longer wishes that I leave the room at all. He would absolutely lose it once I turned the light out. His screams of terror, and shouts for "mom" was enough to break my heart, and my resolution to keep him in his room ended at midnight a few nights ago. I broke (I admit it) and brought him into my room where he slept in Edie's playpen. He didnt wake once and it was probably the best sleep he has had in a while. Scott has been working night shift a lot (due to the Olympics) so it wasn't a bad arrangement. The next few nights I let him come to bed with me as I just couldnt bear to hear him so afraid even for a brief period time. On Scott's next days off he went and bought a night light and although Gabe still throws a bit of a tantrum when I leave the room its not the same screams of fright I had heard from him previously. I hope he grows out of his fear soon as I'm not the kind of person who can ignore my child calling for me, and my room is crowded enough as it is!
As for my little girl's nightly woes they seem to be disappearing; she is beginning to sleep better! Every night I start her out in her play pen where she sleeps by herself for 1-3 hours. Then I move her back to my bed. Tonight when I laid her down she fussed a little (as she normally does) then stuck her finger in her mouth and sucked herself back to sleep! I was pretty impressed. OKAY, perhaps people think that sucking body parts is a bad habit to start, but its better then needing my body parts to fall asleep with. Being able to suck her own finger back to sleep shows me that she's learning to fall asleep without me, to self soothe, just a little. And as with all things baby, when she's ready to give up the finger, she will.
Hmm, maybe my parenting style is too lax for this Western World where advice about soothers, bottles, weaning, potty training, sleep seperating, etc, seems to be on every mothers tongue, in every experts repertoire, as well as cross stitched, crocheted and knitted as 'grandmothers' golden rule on every frigin quilted, creepy ass, flower patterned, good intentioned road to hell, throw pillow out there. Pft! I say follow your instincts, do what feels right, and if it works for you and your baby than that's the only advice you need take!