Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Notes on a crying baby

I'm reading a book called "The Baby Whisperer" (yeah, I know), and the author seems to have a very no-nonsense, practical approach to dealing with babies. The problem we've been having with Tucker is that he will not nap unless he's being held. The cause of course is that we've had visitors almost non-stop for the first 9 weeks of his little life who wanted to hold him all the time (not that we don't love you). The result is that when they all leave, I have an infant who needs 24/7 attention, leaving me no time for indulgences like, oh, showers.

So anyhow, I don't have the heart for the Ferber, "Cry It Out" method. Instead, she recommends that you pick them up when they're crying, comfort them, and when they're quiet, put them back down. When they start crying again (as they inevitably will) you repeat the scenario until they're confident that a crib is a safe and OK place to nap.

Since Ryan is out of town for the next 3 days, I thought it would be an ideal time to start weaning Tucker from constant holding. It took 45 minutes of crying and up and down this morning, but he took a short nap in his pack-n-play. Then, because he was so tired from not really getting a nap this morning, he went right down for an afternoon nap in his crib (and has been asleep for nearly 2 hours now). The fact that I'm blogging right now is evidence that this woman knows something about babies. Maybe it's common sense, but I sense that mostly it's about persistence and consistency. I had to be willing to listen to him scream at me for 45 minutes and pick him up and put him down many many times this morning because he wanted to be held. Had I given in and just held him for his nap, it would have made the behavior even harder to extinguish, because he would have learned he could outlast me.

I've read a lot that says you can't spoil a less than 3 month old baby, but that is certainly where it begins. He's just doing what I (and my well meaning family) taught him to do ... nap while being held. As I told a couple people this weekend though, babies should be a wonderful part of your life, not dominate your life. Anyhow, it was nice to take a long hot shower, throw in a couple of loads of laundry and eat a meal with both hands. Now I want him to wake up so we can play! :) Guess I'll let him sleep.


Grandpa Thomas said...

Congratulations on taking a seemingly unpleasant step in Tucker's training. I remember that when we were raising Ryan and Cathy, we had James Dobson's advice...Children are more secure when they know that boundaries are "real" They will test those boundaries, like putting a toe over the line they are not to cross. For Tucker, being held is cool! Separation doesn't feel as nice. (Although, one day you will long for a time when he wasn't so independent) So now, Tucker is learning that Mommy and Daddy love him, the crib is safe, separation/independence might not be so bad and having 8 Grandparents rocks!

Love, Grandpa Thomas

Strange and Charm said...

Hiya Sisterface - Good note! Reminds of something Papa always says about losing control of children when they're two and three years old. Who knew that this started when they were little babies? (Perhaps someone who actually has kids...) Anyway, love you!

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