Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sleep my baby sleep

The last time I wrote I was at my wits end with a baby that wouldn't sleep.

The next week I sprung into sleep training action. Somehow it worked. For about a week my baby was responding to gentle shushes and lullabies whereas practically jumping on a trampoline while yelling in his ear was previously what calmed him down. Just like the guides said, for a magical week, I could lay my baby down awake and he would gently put himself to sleep while I enjoyed my dinner in the other room.

I was feeling so good, like being lost in a new city and finally figuring out where You were on a map.

I got cocky. I was a walking baby sleeping guide encyclopaedia sprouting all the super nanny theories I had read. I had it all in the works.. The dream feed, the routine, the baby sleep lingo.. I was saying things like, "we have to eliminate catnapping" and "he has to learn to self soothe".

I started aspiring for sleeping through to 5 maybe even 6am.
I started worrying about why we weren't performing better. Why he was still waking once or twice a night.

Then all of a sudden God stepped in and said ha, you wish!

This week all the wheels have fallen off and we're back at square one. Crying and wanting to be held at all times as though he'd completely forgotten that he'd been sleeping on his own all week.

I think has something to do with his sudden desire to put everything in his mouth including his hands. Due to a skin irritation that is very near infection on his face I have strapped him down at all times to prevent his hands from going near his face. This makes a very grumpy crying baby with no way to soothe himself.

I feel like I have to choose between letting him scratch his face out to bleed but sleeping or holding him down and not sleeping. Both terrible choices. 

Either way I am completely at a loss. I think without his hands, so is he.

On the up side, he stared right into me while I held him today. I swear he was memorising my face with his deep thoughtful eyes for about ten minutes.

I already know that in my arms lies a deeply kind and sensitive boy. I can tell already with his expressive faces and his thoughtful disposition. When he looks around in new surroundings it's like he is really seeing everyone and everything for what they really are. He sizes people up when he first meets them but generous with his smiles once he's decided youre alright. He's quiet but not afraid to speak spiritedly. He really feels like a beautiful old soul.

In short, life is pretty hard right now because he is still finding his way as a three month old but I know one day I will have a beautiful friend in my son.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I have a difficult baby and I'm not ashamed to say it

Monday 12 May 2013

*Welcoming back Buddyboo's laid back disposition.


Lol... I started this post almost two months ago.. It's now actually July.... and I seriously don't know where that laid back position has gone or what I was even going to write about.... Because I must have stopped typing in response to a cry that has turned into a two month grumbly cranky crying period which has robbed me of any opportunity to even start a single sentence of what was to be a happy post.

Goddam, I've just realised like a slap in the face with a fish.. I have a difficult baby.
At the moment he cries about everything. He cries when I change his nappy, he cries when he's feeding, he cries when he's sleeping. It's just a war zone here and the enemy is the grumbles.

Of course there are heaps of rewards in between for all the hard slog. He laughs now, even sometimes in his sleep. He laughs when he thinks I'm hilarious which is most of the time when he's not crying. He makes noises like he thinks he is talking back to you like he really believes he's having a conversation. In reality it just sounds like "wowowwowwow" baby speak. Pretty cute.

I'm told not to call him a "difficult" baby because all the books say there's no such thing, only that parents are not giving the individual baby his needs. Well eff off please because for example, a lot of  these books suggest "light shushing" as a calming technique for when your baby is "unsettled". 

Well blow me down. I have cooed a 25minute long "ooooohhhhmmmmm" into the baby's ear while holding him swaddled (which is a challenge to put on in itself btw), erstwhile bouncing on a giant bouncy ball with a white noise machine blaring at full blast carefully holding that at the perfect angle to the babys ear without dropping said baby.

I have devised hundreds of different creative techniques to calm my baby for hours and hours on end I try them all one by one in infinite combinations. I've tried gripe waters, oils, massages everything short of a witch doctor. In the end I have no idea if any of them work or whether the baby has just had enough of my shenanigans and gave up the fight and slept.

I just want to go back to that prenatal parenting class all those months ago and right at the point when the midwife taught us eager to learn pregnant-never-been-mums to "gently lay your drowsy baby down to his cot, pat him gently and walk away" ... I would just pause there, stop the class and yell "HAAAAAA!!!" with an accusatory finger right at the midwives know it all face.

And swiftly I would whip my baby out and demonstrate hours of coaxing to sleep and battling cluster bombs of yelling, and the finally drowsy baby shooting his eyes awake and scream like no tomorrow at the touch of the slightest fray of cotton from the cot as though I was laying him across hot coals instead of an expensive latex matress I bought him not realising that babies don't give a shit what material it is if it isn't your arms.

I am sleep deprived, tired but totally obsessed and dedicated to doing right for my baby.

So please, do not tell me that I can't call my baby difficult. 

I love him with all my heart and still I cannot grasp just how much I could love someone this much. Even in the hardest times, I cling to his crying body, cry with him and whisper to him just how much I love him. I see him for what he is: a love hungry, sweet, genteel baby boy who will grow to be a sensitive and kind man. So please baby book gurus, don't judge me just because I am finding this difficult. I have a difficult baby because at the moment its hard for both of us finding our way.

So mums out there, don't feel ashamed to admit that your baby is difficult. I struggle so much with feeling like I'm doing something wrong because he is so cranky. But really I know I should take heart in knowing I am doing my best and I have a healthy boy who gives me his beautiful gummy smiles every morning to show for it.