Yesterday after I wrote a message in a blog post to all of you*, I took Bruno to the doctor for his 4 month well baby visit**. I told my doctor about how it was very difficult to get little B to sleep and so big B was super stressed and exhausted. I told her my thoughts and she kind of shot them down. She told me a few things to keep in mind, all of which I’d read or heard or tried to implement into my current routine. I felt kind of disappointed. I asked about sleep training and she said that that was okay to try which I was surprised/relieved about since I wasn’t sure what age was OK to start.
She gave us a handout on sleep tips for different aged babies. I wasn’t all together happy about the appointment, expecting some sort of miracle solution, I guess. And then she said, “Have you tried letting him cry for a few minutes?” I told her I had in a way. During naps if he is whining I would let him go for a few minutes but if he started to really cry I’d go in and try to soothe him. She told me to give it a try and sometimes that’s all they need. Yadda yadda it’s okay to pick up newborns, yadda yadda they can figure it out at this age, yadda yadda so you can let him go for 20 or 30 minutes and see if that does the trick. . .
I repeated this back to her 2 times over the next 2 minutes, like, “you’re sure? 20 or 30 minutes? It won’t make me a horrible person?” Truth is, it’s what my heart and mind had been telling me to do for the last couple of weeks but I kept thinking it was just my incredibly tired and worn out devil on my shoulder being a biotch. And then I asked, “For naps, too?” Cause I figure, if I let him go for bed time but still hang around for naps, it might not do much for the net benefit, ya know? “For naps, too. It might be all he needs.”
So we headed out, after the Dr. to our softball game. On the way we talked about what a reasonable bed time would be for all of us and we talked about our strategy. “I think you should go for a walk,” my very smart husband said. “Yeah, I know.” I replied. His resolve is much better than mine and I knew that even if I was home with my headphones on, I’d be stressy and clenchy and pace-y.
We got to softball and we had told our manager that only one of us would be able to play at a time and that was our terms. It’s not very competitive, our league, and my husband is the Ringer and they need me ’cause I help fill the girl quota so I knew our demands would be met. During one inning where I was on the field, Hoagey was holding Bruno who was starting to get a little fussy so he was rocking him and soothing him. As I came off the field he was chuckling a bit. “If we were in his room right now, he’d be screaming.” I looked down at our baby who was nearly asleep and calm as could be. He was right of course. Bruno has been a BEAR to put down for a while now and it was not because he hasn’t been tired. He just wanted to hang out. His room was, like, the last place he wanted to be.
I knew that this baby needed to be sleeping and I knew that he wasn’t hurting or scared. He just wanted to stay up late. I remember feeling like that when I was a little kid, I just didn’t realize it happened so early on.
When we got home from our game I fed Bruno, I took him upstairs and created a bedtime routine. After it was all done, I came downstairs, put my shoes on and went to Starbucks and told Hoagey to text me when it was safe to come back. “So just check on him in 20 minutes?” “Yup. I’ll get you something from Rita’s if it’s still open.” (It wasn’t. Boo.)
At 2am Bruno woke up, Hoagey checked on him and came back to bed. 3 minutes later we were all asleep again. No feeding required. This morning at 6:55 when Bruno woke up again, he actually smiled at us. He cried immediately after because he was hungry, but still, it was nice.
*not from this morning, but you get the idea*
*Thanks, by the way, to all of you who answered my call. I received lots of heart felt, thoughtful advice and it helped me to see that there are lots of ways to do things. I’m still breast feeding but I think with this new approach, I’m going to be a lot more rested and we’ll all be a lot happier.
**Bruno, by the way, is in the 90th percentile of height and 75th for weight and head circumference. The doctor assumed we had some tall genes in the family. I told her, um, not really. The tallest of our parents is my dad at 6’1″ maybe and I’m pretty sure that’s on par for dudes. I was tall growing up but I was just faster than everyone else and then they caught up. I think that’s where we’re headed with the Brown Bear. No easy dunks for you, my son. Go work on your change up.