Monday, August 14, 2006

leaving well enough alone

Several months ago, a wise friend suggested this book, which totally changed our lives and made Claire's bedtime MUCH more pleasant. Our girl has been sleeping between 8 and 9 hours through the night since she was around 6 weeks old. A few weeks ago, I was searching around Amazon, and you know how they say, "If you liked this book, then you'll LOVE this one..." Well, Amazon was very, very wrong. I read through this parenting book that I would supposedly LOVE. It suggested that Claire needed to be going to bed earlier, in her own crib without being rocked (something about fostering independence) and that she'd sleep better, etc. The author also suggested moving her into her crib for daytime naps. Claire has always napped well in our bed by herself. So we tried the suggestions for one miserable week. Claire is ready to sleep in her own crib, it was getting ridiculous for her to sleep in the basinet, she's too tall. But she likes to be rocked. I like to rock her. And we're not talking about hours of rocking, but a little cuddle up at night. Does a 3 month old really need to be independent? She also likes to stay up a little later than the "expert" suggested. I wish I would have followed my gut. After attempting all of these changes in a week's time, our girl stopped sleeping through the night, started waking to nurse between 2-4 AM and decided to add in a 6:30 feeding as well. She also went from taking 2 nice, long daytime naps to taking 2 pointless 20 minute naps. I've thrown out the parenting book, and am no longer taking advice from well-meaning "experts" who've never met my kid.

The same wise friend that I alluded to earlier in this post told me when I first came home with Claire that I needed to trust my intuition about my child. Such a smart lady. Thanks, RA. You're a gem.


rae ann said...

that last pic made me snicker! she's such a cutie!

so funny... when i first started to read your post and clicked on that link for the book, i thought, "oooh, i LOVED that book! wonder who recommended it to her!" then i read on.... think i might be getting up too much at night with my mini monster and it's causing my brain to be mushy. maybe i should take my own advice...?

even though you had a painful week with claire, i think it's worth it because you found out that only you know what really works. you gave the other guys a shot, but in the end, mommies and their intuition rule.

Holly said...

That picture with the little feet sticking out is HILARIOUS! Love it. Sounds like a very exhausting experience, and I hope Claire goes back to her old ways of sleeping like, well, a baby, soon.

Anonymous said...

Mom's intuition is usually the best! I only follwed the books when it came to illnesses. Advice from other great parents and just common sense worked well with our girls. (We still follow the same rules for teens!)

We came real close to Julia dying when she was 17 months old because the doctor did not believe what we told him. We changed doctors immediately and no longer let them discount what we know for fact. Mommy's instinct is true!

One more thought: My mom and her friends were raised in the era of Dr. Spock where kids were not held or rocked. Her best friend, in the course of conversation, started crying about how she would give anything to go back and hold her children when they were babies. It is very difficult to see a 60 year old woman crying because she missed loving and rocking her babies! Her anguish was so evident.

Rock away, Kari and Claire!!!!

Take care, Mary Ann
(PS. I really enjoy your pictures and thoughts! Thanks....)

Their Giant said...

Thanks for the encouragement for following my mommy instinct...This week has been wonderful so far. Last night the little champ slept from 9 pm-5:30 and then went right back to sleep til 7:30. I am a new (RESTED) woman. :)

Anonymous said...

Amen, sistah! Whoever made up the neglect=independance is a complete bozo in my book. YOUR the best expert for your child!

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