Saturday, February 19, 2011

What is a good baby?

Well had you asked me that about 17 mos ago, when my little prince was about a month I would have said not my son. Now that I am a more experienced mom, I know how much I have to learn. I do know Simeon was a high needs baby. I don't think I'm going to ask people anymore if they're baby is good anymore. And it is a very faulty system of categorizing babies. Really how could they be bad, God made them that way. They aren't choosing to be fussy. I'm going to try to avoid this classification system.

Recently my good friend, C gave me her attachment parenting book by William Sears to read. And it has been wonderful and so different from what I expected. If only I'd had this book 18 mos ago!

A high-needs baby is many of these: intense, hyperactive, draining, feeds frequently, demanding, awakens frequently, unsatisfied, unpredictable, super sensitive, unable to be put down, uncuddly, not a self soother, and separation sensitive. It is harder to mother a child that is higher-needs, but somehow we survived. For me when I quit comparing Simeon to other babies and just went with the flow it got easier, if you read my blog you know this took a while.

If you have a baby or want a baby and haven't read him, I'd highly recommend it. I sped through the Attachment Parenting Book, I will definitely need to reread that. I'm working on The Fussy Baby Book and I have The Baby Book on the way. I love the flexibility of his books and the common sense approach. I didn't expect for him to spend so much time talking abou taking care of yourself and having a support group. When you have a baby I think you tend to parent similarly to how your parents did. Before I went to La Leche I didn't know too many people that babyweared or breastfed their children beyond a year.

Several people have told me to cry it out and for us it has been a complete disaster. I do not like having Simeon cry it out, I'm sure most parents don't but feel like it's a last resort. I'm not going to say you're bad for doing it, I'm not judging anyone. But for us other soothing techniques have worked better. And as a last resort he has cried in my arms or with me standing beside him rubbing his back, but he's not alone in his crib in the dark crying.

Mellowing has been the process that has happened with Simeon in the last few months. Maybe I stumbling all the way met Simeon's needs enough in first year and a half and now he trusts me to meet those needs. We still have challenging times, but on the whole life is much easier. He naps beautifully and sleeps better at night, we are still working on nighttime but things are much better. He is fairly adaptable, and generally a sweet boy. He does pretty well in church too. I know we will have rough times, but I'm really appreciating the good times.

Perhaps God sent Simeon to me so his future siblings will benefit from the things I learned. I definitely want to try things different next time. I want to babywear more, and now I know where to get help I am determined to be more successful with it. I also want to check out getting a co-sleeper to attach to our bed. And I'm going to give myself a break, let things go, and enjoy my tiny baby more. Don't worry there's no Rootlet on the way no, I'm just thinking ahead. I'm so thankful for our sweet boy!


Anonymous said...

it is 2:30am and I don't like just "cry it out" either, so we are somewhere in the middle, for our entire household is disrupted by our youngest one's evening antics. Tonight is the first night of no "breast-as-a-pacifier"... I enjoyed reading your post!

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry mama, I think more than anything it is helpful to know you're not the only one. I really hope everyone gets some sleep soon, The No Cry Sleep Solution was an answer to my prayers. It took some crying for Simeon to realize that he could go to sleep without his "pacifier". It's definitely give and take, because he wasn't ready to give up "the pacifier" at his bedtime. I phased out the 11 pm feeding first and recently the 3 am. However he was up at 5 this morning, I just really enjoy the sleep when I can.

Madeline said...

Levi has been high needs from the get go as well. For a while, I just thought that was how babies were which probably helped me cope with the complete lack of sleep, etc. Then I had Sophia. She's the easy going. I was stunned beyond words when she got here. She sleeps so well, and almost never cries. It's interesting to watch how different they are...not good or bad...just different. Dr. Sears books are great. They also have a website that is helpful to browse. I like the gentle, common sense approach.

It's Algood said...

You've always been an awesome mom!