More on sleeping and attachment parenting

Sleeping is my biggest struggle with Mingli.  For the first month of so of Mingli’s life I didn’t want to do anything but hold him.  We had help here at home, so I spent all day with him, then at night we went to bed together and he slept in bed with me.  It was wonderful, but it was also something that I cannot keep up.  Now we are trying to figure out new sleeping habits that allow me to do things during the day while not holding him, but also do not involve him laying in his crib crying.  I have never been a fan of letting infants cry it out.  I want Mingli to feel like he is safe, loved, and taken care of.  I never want him to have to feel alone and scared.

For a while we tried having him take naps in his car seat so I could rock the car seat, and that seemed like it was working, but then it stopped working.  What I am trying now is rocking Mingli to sleep, then laying him down in my bed.  He always wakes up when I do this, so I lay down beside him for a while.  Not until he falls asleep, but until he is completely relaxed and calm.  Then I carefully get up and partially close the door to make it darker.  Sometimes Mingli will start making little grunting noises, and I let him do that, but if he starts crying or sounding like he is getting distressed I go back in, pick him up, and then we play some before I try having him take a nap again.  This seems to work about half the time.

I have only been doing this for a few days now, and I don’t know how I feel about it.  In theory I love attachment parenting.  I would love to be able to always be near my son, never have him feel alone.  I would love to hold him all day.  But this is not practical.  There have been days when I would not eat anything until supper because when I put Mingli down he would get upset.  I cannot keep doing this.  I need a balance.  So I am trying to now make sure that for the majority of his awake play time I am playing with him, or at least near him.  I am also trying to do some skin to skin every day.  I am not going to let him cry, but making some upset noises, like little grunts, is ok.  I will rock him to sleep while cuddling and singing to him, but after he has been asleep for a few minutes and is settled down I will lay him in bed.  I am not sure what I am going to do about co-sleeping.  I love it, and so does he, so we might do it for a little while longer, but have him sleep in his crib parts of some nights to get him used to it and so Kaanas and I can have the bed to ourselves sometimes.

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