Saturday, November 1, 2008

a pouch baby

1st November, 2008

On the subject of dreamy sleep.....

This boy has been a 'tricky' sleeper from birth.
Unable to sleep anywhere but with or on mama for the first 13 months of his life. I recall those early hazy days of newborn when even then we could not put him down to eat a meal together. 
We tried everything. We hung the beautiful baby hammock right by the table & spoke soft soothing words, we put him in the bassinet in the pram & rocked it with our feet. We tucked him into our bed consumed with the warmth & the smell of his adoring parents & still he would wake & cry within moments of us leaving his side. 

So I stayed with him always, for even in his waking times he wanted to feel me close by. 
A pouch baby from the very beginning. We loved the closeness & the protection that our various baby carriers offered. It was easy to prevent the baby handball game that goes on so often as it was impossible for him to be whipped from my arms when he was tucked so securely into the pouch. It was easy to cover his sweet face from the lights & the sounds & the busyness. It was easier to say no to well intentioned offers of cuddling the baby so that I could 'have a break'. 

And so life went. 

At 13 months of age he began to roll away from me after he'd been dozing for about 10 mins. He told me he was happy to sleep alone. And so for the first time I found myself without a babe in my arms for short periods of time. He still needed my presence to drift into sleep & back into sleep when he stirred in the night (usually 2 or 3 times). He still liked to sleep snuggled up close when I was in bed too.

And so life went.

Then at 26 months little M was longer a small babe. He wriggled in his sleep, drowsily seeking me out, often I would cop a whack in my eye & a foot in my ribs. It was time for a change. 
We put a small bed at the foot of our bed so that we were still close but now we all had enough room to move about & sleep comfortably without disturbing one another. This went surprisingly well. I would go to him still 2 or 3 times in the night to resettle him & then move back to my beckoning pillow. 

And so life went.

But not for long.
At 28 months little M began to wake more frequently at night. It would begin at 12pm & then continue hourly until 6am when he would wake for the day. I spent most of the night at the foot of our bed as I was too tired to move back & forth with each wake. None of us managing enough sleep. It was time for a change.
But how? We do not believe leaving a child to 'cry it out' teaches him anything but insecurity & then anger.
So I picked up a book from the library which I'd heard nothing but good reviews about. 
 I was unsure as to what this book could offer me. 'We already do all of the right things' I thought. Seriously!
And then I began to read. I learnt about how much sleep a child of Milo's age should get daily. I learnt about the different types of sleep a child gets in the different stages of his sleep. I learnt what were the signs of chronic sleep deprivation. I realised that Miles fitted into that category.
So... where to from here? 
I'll save that for the next post x J  


Anonymous said...

I know how trying those sleepless nights can be from personel experience.But i would love to have those cuddles over again. It all goes to quick. Grammy xxoo

jodi said...

Oh good luck with that. I'm eager to find out how it goes. My 14month old sleeps soundly in our bed and he's always loved being close to us (he's a pouch baby too - he still sits on my hip in a sling).

You do what you can don't you. It sounds like you've done all the right things for M...and no-one could ask for more than that. x