This seems to be my theme for the week in several ways.
First of all, after more than 7 months of trying to schedule Barclay and do Babywise...I've given up. I've let it go. And what do you know...my child has slept for 10 hours straight for three nights. He also doesn't cry all the time and he has take consistently 2 naps! What?!
Seriously, I've let go all my expectations (well most of them at least;-) I've decided that every day, my goal is just going to be to enjoy and play with my baby...and if ever he decides to nap, I will try to accomplish some work.
This has worked marvelously these past few days. I've enjoyed myself, enjoyed Barclay, I've met with friends and exercised a whole lot more. Poor baby was probably bored to tears playing with the same toys and doing the same things while I tried to work.
Thankfully, work has really slowed down and I am able to get what I need to with a few short hours of hard work. Instead of stretching it over a very frustrating day.
This schedule thing has really changed my life. After a few friends recommending the book, Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I ordered it and even though I've just read the first two chapters, I felt like the author had reached into my heart and knew exactly my fears, reservations, worries were. From the two chapters that I've read, the basic gist I've gotten is:
1.Healthy sleep is vital to every single part of your baby's life.
2.The key is to put them to sleep at the exact right time. (When they aren't NOT sleepy, and not when they are TOO sleepy).
Since I haven't read too much into it, I don't exactly know how to figure that out. But I felt such a sense of relieve and decided that I was just going to let Barclay tell me when he wanted to sleep, and if it was no napping till 5, or 3 naps, at least I would have to listen to his scream in his bed for hours.
This book has also brought forth a big issue with me: "When a child isn't sleeping, people blame the parents for doing something wrong."
It's so true! Of course I welcome any advice or theories in my search for sleep, but so many people say it in a way that makes me feel like I've been causing it.
The book also goes on to say that it isn't whether you breastfeed/bottle feed, or co sleep or crib sleep, or feed on demand of schedule, those aren't the answers. I've been looking frantically for that one fix all, deciding factor that will magically change everything. Maybe it was something I missed...maybe it was my ignorance about an issue, but no, I just had to clear my head of all that I had filled it up with ("cures") and start over and let my baby let me know what he needed.
Since I've started this "experiment", I have noticed that he doesn't like to take a morning nap at all. He likes to explore and DO stuff. I have then noticed the sign of sleepiness from him (not the fussy and fidgeting, but more of a heavy eye), I put him down and less than a minute later...silence.
That just goes to show you how every baby is different. Here I was for months and months, trying to do the "right thing" for him by scheduling him and being in control of when he sleeps. And it resulted in very little sleep and LOTS of crying and frustration. Basically, I went crazy.
So any young mothers out there, who are trying to just do everything right, just listen and filter. Not every thing works for every baby.
Also, since I've been enjoying him to the fullest these past few days, I've watched him crawl so fast it's scary, climb into our DVD player shelf, and pull up on several boxes. This child has to be watched at all times! I'm also feeling this huge feeling that I really need to "let go" a little bit of Barclay.
I'm so scared because I don't want to loose him. I feel the second I stop breastfeeding is the second he realizes (and other people too) that he doesn't need me anymore. It scares me that one day, I'll leave him for the night with a grandparent, or that once a week, my mom can take care of him for a few hours.
I've really realized how healthy it is to let go, and that no matter what, Barclay is a Mama's boy and we'll always have a very special connection...an indescribable connection. But, to have time to do things like, be myself, makes all the difference. Things like swimming at the YMCA, or having time to plan and cook dinner. It makes all the difference.
So I'm letting go, and reaping the blessings.