Friday, September 21, 2007

Reality Check

I have a confession to make...

Before I had Alex, I could never understand what was so all-consuming about motherhood. New moms would say, "I'd love to, but I just don't have time." Of course I'm thinking, it's just a baby. He's hungry, so you feed him. Big deal. Maybe he has a dirty diaper now and then. That's an easy problem to fix. And he sleeps eighteen hours a day! Girl, if you can't get anything done in eighteen hours, you've got problems...

Ha. Ha-haha. Hahahahaha. HahahahaHAHAHA!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Oh, how I am amused by my own naivite.

Sure, Alex sleeps a lot. Maybe too much, in fact! As I've mentioned, we have decided to adopt the Babywise approach to developing a flexible routine, which means Alex eats every three hours, then has a short period of playtime (around 1 1/2 hours or until he starts acting sleepy), then we put him down for a nap. If you do the math, this amounts to a grand total of 5 naps a day! Although we have seen great improvement as of late, getting him to stay asleep in his own bed can still be quite a time-consuming process. Ironically, I think I'd have more time to do other things if he didn't nap so much!

But having a flexible, yet consistent routine has worked really well for us because we never have to question why he is upset. If he's fussy and it's been three hours, then he's hungry. If he starts to get fussy an hour and half later, it's because he's sleepy. Simple. Plus, we are totally seduced by the notion that we will eventually be able to lay Alex in his crib, awake but drowsy, and have him drift off to sleep with little to no fuss (see, I can be optimistic). And at this point, we feel like this goal can only be achieved by eliminating sleep props as much as possible. In a short period of time, we have observed a vast improvement in his ability to self-soothe when he is encouraged to go to sleep on his own as opposed to when he is nursed or rocked to sleep. As a result, he generally takes longer and more satisfying naps, which leads to a happier and more alert Alex. And I think that Granny B would agree that if Alex ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

1 comment:

Amy said...

Yep, you got it figured out!
Oh, just so you know...Grampa B ran all over St. Phil's Fall Festival with a picture hanging out of his pocket showing anyone who wasn't fast enough to run away how cute Alex is. Others would whip out a whole book of pics and Tracy would just flash Alex at them and say,"yeah but mine is cuter and smarter!". Hopeless. He is completely hopeless! Hopelessly head over heals with his darling little overachiever!