Monday, November 21, 2011

if it ain't broke, and I don't fix it, what happens?

As it turns out, I'm the kind of mom who will rock my boy to sleep - at two years old - if that's what works for us.

Books, and maybe some doctors, and most of the internets, say that he should have learned to fall asleep on his own by like 9 months old, but I don't so much care what they say. Maybe it's the "attachment parent" in me, or maybe it's that I'm lazy and don't really want to battle "sleep training", but I like to think that as a mom, his mom, I know what's good for us.

Oliver sleeps 10 hours a night, every night. He has nights where I'd rock him and he wouldn't fall asleep in his usual 20 minutes, and rarely those nights have stretched out into full-on two-and-a-half hour rocking shhh-ing marathons. But since he was about 8 months old, he's slept thru the night.

(Even those times though, there wasn't really a lot of kicking, screaming, bargaining, etc., mostly just calm confusion. Like, we'd look at each other and I'm thinking "why aren't you asleep yet, kid?" and he's looking at me like, "I don't even know, mom.") Eh, there's nights when I just can't fall asleep, so maybe there's just a lot on his little toddler mind? He's worried about that baby bird Elmo found?

So then one night I put him down in his crib, and he wasn't asleep yet. And he went to sleep. Just like that. And I thought he just decided on his own that this was cool... easy peasy, whatever mom. This is pretty much how all of our "transitions" with Oliver have gone. Breast to bottle at daycare? No biggie. Bottle to sippy cup? OK cool, not picky. Food, walking, teething, even illnesses? Tough guy. Nothing I'd really call a battle.

Anyhow, I remained cautious, trying it again and again, and sometimes it would be fine, he'd go to sleep... and sometimes he was on his feet before I got out the door crying for me.

I don't do well with that, at all.

It's like, I know he can do it - go to sleep by himself - so those nights that he doesn't? Must be my fault. Did I not do enough to make it easy for him? Did I try to hard to ease into the transition from my arms to the crib? Did I let him stay up too late so he's over-tired? Is he not tired enough? Was his nap too late? Is he thirsty? Teething? Does he have to poop? Is he sick? Did he hear the dog bark?

What happened to my confidence?

I was totally fine letting him fall asleep on me. I was all: who cares? And now, something must be wrong. The routine is lacking. There's something I'm missing.

I guess I'll just keep on trying, calling for reinforcements from Daddy if needed. I get frustrated, mostly with myself, when bedtime doesn't go like I think it should. He almost always wakes up happy, but I still somehow feel like I'm failing him. This is supposedly a skill, and I'm not helping him master it.

I'm just tired of thinking about it.