Hello! New to board & hoping we fit in. — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Hello! New to board & hoping we fit in.

I would like to apologize in advance and warn that this is a super long post! I promise any future posting will not be like this!!! Thanks for your patience :)

Hello everyone! I am a sahm to my little boy born July 24 and really hoping to find some like-minded parents here because I feel we're kind of struggling with what is perceived as the norm for raising a baby vs how I am raising our baby. A little about us: DS is a sweet, tall & skinny 6.5 mo baby and I suppose he'd be classified on the clingy side. He doesn't care to play independently for more than 10-15 min and then he wants to sit in my lap and play or be picked up or nurse (we nurse ALL the time). I can't leave him alone to cook or take a shower without a meltdown. He definitely prefers me to anyone else but that seems normal for his age. He's never napped independently, always while being held after nursing. I've only put him down successfully a handful of times and it never lasts very long. For bedtime he's always nursed to sleep and then I would put him down swaddled. This was somewhat successful but only slept 3+ hours a few times. After getting up with him he'd nurse back to sleep and we'd try again. On particularly bad nights we'd fall asleep together in the recliner nursing and I'd be too exhausted to keep the routine up so we'd sleep together. Then he started teething and rolled in the swaddle at the same time so any semblance of a routine was demolished and after 2 weeks of up every 20-40 min I gave up and now we just sleep in the recliner together. He does wake up several times throughout the night and I just switch him to the other breast and we go back to sleep (although sometimes it feels like I do that all night so maybe this isn't our ideal arrangement anymore).
Overall I'm really happy with all the time we get to spend together but would like a little more time for other things. I would like to be able to sleep in the bed again (with baby is fine) but he won't settle in since he's not physically on me. I feel he will become more independent as he becomes mobile and a little older but DH thinks otherwise. My husband was on board with my no CIO parenting but now feels like DS is old enough that we're establishing negative habits and he is manipulating us by crying to get his way and he would be just fine if we left him to fuss and cry. Yeah, that was our ongoing conversation on Valentines Day, so romantic right?
Are we so abnormal though? Am I doing all this wrong and creating a monster baby? He is a bit more high need than expected but all babies are different. Overall he is an amazing kid and so sweet and happy. So many ppl are just starting to make me feel like I got him started on the wrong path and now we're just kinda screwed up.
Well, thanks for reading (I hope it wasn't too bad!) and I look forward to joining the forum!

Re: Hello! New to board & hoping we fit in.

  • My LO is almost 4 months and we are already getting the ."you're ruining her" lectures. She loves to sleep on me but I can't handle it so most nights after nursing I cuddle her up high on me and tell her I love her then roll her into her spot in the middle of the bed. Some nights (like last night) it works great and she happily sleeps in her own space right between us, then other nights I'm less successful but keep trying. One thing that's helpful is that I really try not to get out of bed with her so she learns her options are limited. I know at 6 months babes are pretty smart so it could be a tough few nights but maybe try transitioning back to bed (and have DH sleep with ear plugs) and work on settling him in his own spot. It will probably take time but I feel like as long as I'm there and comforting LO it's okay for her to fuss a little to learn a new skill. Good luck! We also have a wonderfully busy and intense LO, either way you are a doing great job and he's luckily to have you!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Welcome! Your baby sounds very normal. Parenting a baby is tough and while independent time might not really fit the bill, babywearing can help you do the things you want to do while meeting your LO's needs. Back carries are especially great for doing housework, going for long walks, shopping, etc. now that he's getting bigger.

    The #1 red flag I see in your post is sleeping on a recliner   Sleeping with a baby in your bed can be perfectly safe if you follow the rules of safe bedsharing, but sleeping on a recliner or couch is never safe. Baby can become trapped. If baby must sleep on you, do it in a bed that has been set up for bedsharing (I've given you a link below, this book is great, too.). A cuddle-curl with side-laying nursing may help, though.

    In terms of a consistent parenting style with your spouse: this will be an ongoing conversation. So, good for you for having the conversations!  I think a great place to start is with an understanding of child development. So much of what our culture does and expects is contrary to baby's development. Your baby lacks the cognitive ability to manipulate at this age, so that kind of knowledge can be comforting. I think that you and your DH would enjoy reading Dr. Sears' Baby Book together. Armed with similar knowledge, you can decide what does and doesn't work for your family.

     

    Here's some info to start with:
    http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/
    http://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleep/
    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/parentingtopics/infants-toddlers
    https://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/

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  • Thank you so much for the encouragement, it's nice to hear we're not so different (and not doing it wrong!).
    The links were great resources as well. Some I am familiar with and some new. I am aware of that sleeping in a recliner is not recommended and honestly it was never intended. We were up so often I just ended up falling asleep while nursing (this was at about 4 months). I have taken steps to assure that he can't get stuck but regardless I would still like to transition away from it. My husband is on board with baby coming to bed with us so I just need to find a way to make that happen.
    I will look into getting that book as well because DH and I definitely seem to have different thoughts on children's cognitive development so being on the same page would be so helpful.
    Thanks again ladies! I'm so glad I wrote to you (and so glad you were patient enough to read my novel!).
  • Just want to say thanks again and we had a great night transitioning to the bed. We woke a few times to reposition and scratch (poor boy has a terrible drool rash) but we made it the whole night! He even half rolled away from me, maybe he'll love having his own space soon (but I'm sure I'll miss it when he does!).
    I guess he just wasn't ready before. Goes to show how fast they grow and change :)
    [Deleted User]
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