Q. How do you know when your current form of putting your child to sleep is no longer an option??
A. When they can flip over and crawl away while still strapped in!
So at about 4 months old K stopped wanting to be rocked to sleep. Unless I was wearing him, he would fuss until I put him down, and then he would go to bed on his own. I would noticed his sleepy cues, nurse him, change his tush, and lay him down in his crib/swing/bouncer. He would then sing himself to sleep.
Flash forward to 9 months old. My poor little man got pretty sick for the first time. When he was really sick, he just wanted to be held. I was of course more then happy to oblige, because what mom doesn’t want to do anything they can to comfort their child? (Not to mention, I enjoyed the cuddle time, as they were pretty rare.)
When he was starting to feel a little better but still sick, and now also in the process of pushing 6 teeth through his gums, he would cry if I tried to rock him to sleep, he wanted to be put down, but he would also really cry when I put him down in his crib. (I am not the CIO (Cry It Out) type, it isn’t for me. And honestly, it wasn’t an option, because you can’t sleep train while the baby is teething or sick.) I was starting to feel helpless. I felt like I couldn’t soothe my son, and he couldn’t soothe himself because he was not feeling well.
Then I remembered how much he loved his bouncer and swing when he was younger. The motion would put him right to sleep, even when he was fighting it. So I tried the swing. That was a Fail BIG FAIL. He screamed harder then when I put him down in the crib. Then I tried the bouncer. I strapped him in, and bounced it with my foot. It worked like a charm.
I spent the next several days doing this telling myself it would just be for when he was having a hard time. Well, to a tired mom the notion of sleeping was intoxicating. So I continued to bounce him down for naps, and nighttime. It was easier then letting him get all worked up in the crib. And it meant I could possibly take a nap, a shower, get stuff done, or just have some “me” time.
So here we are. Squishy is now 13 months old, and he still gets bounced to sleep for some naps, (depending on how overtired he is) and most every night. It is just easier then fighting sleep. Plus he has been sick again, first with Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease, and then Bronchitis. Now that he is seemingly on the mend, I am thinking Operation No Bouncer needs to begin.
I am guessing it will take a few tears, and probably some lost sleep on my part, but I don’t plan on letting him CIO, but I do plan on establishing a nice bedtime routine for him. Putting him down in his bed, and letting him know that I am still there for him. I hope it works. I think it really is the best for both of us.
And let’s be honest, I can’t have my 13 month old toddler crawling around my house looking like a turtle. That just doesn’t look right. He is a sneaky sweet little Squishy, but let’s hope in a little over a weeks time, he is also a sleepy sweet little squishy.
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