Talking to my future sister-in-law today, as she frets about how her 1 month old suddenly wants to be held all the time. He cries when she puts him down. Won’t stay in his own bed all night. Won’t nap for long without waking unless he is being held. Wants to be held. All. The. Time.
So she asks me for advice.
I may not be the best person to ask, seeing as how I have not been successful in forcing independence on my own children…. but I guess desperation makes people, well, desperate.
So I told her what I could.
Mostly about how Sammy did the same thing. I held him constantly, and when I did attempt to put his cute little baby head down for a nap, he was up within 15 minutes and looking for those comfy arms again. Some days, I would just give up trying to let him sleep alone. I gave up and watched a damn movie that he would sleep “like a baby” through, as long as I kept holding him.
We talked about baby-wearing, which is supposed to raise more independent and confident children in the long run.
So this was a way to hold the baby without having to hold the baby. Theoretically, you can get a lot of stuff done since your hands are free. I was too nervous, and still kept a hand on the baby. Plus, I probably didn’t try using the wrap enough to get comfortable with it. Once I had it on, it felt stifling to me. Trying to get the baby out fast when she started to cry was a little difficult, as was shimmying my way out of it if I didn’t want to try untying it first. I got my first wrap with Sammy, and remember one day trying to cut the grass on a muggy summer evening. I was in “super mom” mode, determined to do all the things I was doing before having the baby.
My initial confidence waned as each pass over the lawn (with my electric, NOT self-propelled mower) resulted in a hotter, sweatier me…. and a decidedly droopy baby in the carrier. He started out with head right under my chin…and ended nestled in my chest, as the material stretched and bounced with each plodding step. I envisioned him eventually dangling somewhere around the knees, swaying and being bumped along as I walked.
I saw other moms breezing through the grocery story, the park, life in general…with a smiling baby tucked inside their sling or wrap. I was jealous of these perfect moms, who could wear their babies so effortlessly.
So, I just held mine. A lot. I still do.
All I can really say is that eventually. EVENTUALLY….they don’t want to be held so much. I doubt I could get my 17 year old on my hip anymore…although she was the one who broke it in for the others.
As for the sleeping alone bit…. I’m definitely not qualified to give advice on this. I share a pillow with one or two other people most nights. All I can say is, who WOULDN’T want someone nice and warm to cuddle with?? And if all else fails, and you need to try doing something else besides holding your little one during their nap, try letting someone else sleep with them!! 🙂