Saturday, May 31, 2008

Soliciting baby advice

It seems that lately we've hit a really sweet spot in going to Mass; booga bear, whom I'm transitioning into calling big bear, is consistently well-behaved. He stands on the kneelers and smiles at people. He's recently started sticking out his hand to people when we pass the peace, and he occasionally 'joins in' the singing, although often after the song is over. I've caught him making the sign of the cross several times when the priest says 'let us pray', and there's always graham crackers and his little hot-wheels trucks to keep him happy.

So I've really been enjoying Mass because I'm able to focus. Then I realized yesterday that soon I'm going to have a newborn to take to Mass, and things probably won't be so peaceful anymore. I'm thinking I might try a different approach to parenting though. With big bear, we really trained him to sleep in the bassinet and then his crib. By the time he was 8 weeks old, he was falling asleep on his own very easily in his crib. But, this meant that he didn't like to sleep outside of his crib. We were always trying to figure out which Mass would work best for him by scheduling around his naps and feeding, but it seemed like Mass was always during nap time, and I couldn't just hold him and let him fall asleep, because he wouldn't fall asleep. This juggling, of course, applied to all outings; trips to grandma's house, going out to eat, etc.

I'm thinking of doing more attachment parenting this time around-carrying new little brother around in a sling more often for naps and letting him nurse to sleep. With big bear, we followed the Baby Whisperer's advice and woke him when he fell asleep nursing, supposedly forcing him to learn to fall asleep on his own at a young age. It actually worked, BUT it meant that for the first two months or so of big bear's life, I often found myself patting his back for 25 minutes or so while he screamed in his bassinet, eventually quieting down and falling asleep. I don't even know if I could do that now that I have a toddler to keep tabs on as well! I probably won't be able to, but I'm a little apprehensive to deviate from what we did before, because, as my husband is always pointing out, for the most part big bear has always been a great sleeper after his initial 'induction phase' of Baby Whisperer parenting. As long as he was at home, in his crib, that is. I just think I might want some more flexibility this time around.

So parents, I realize this question of baby-on-a-schedule or not is probably pretty talked out, but what do you think? Does it matter in the long run whether or not you 'train' a newborn to fall asleep on their own? Did I completely waste my time?


Andrea said...

Hey Elissa,

I have a comment on this, but since I'll see you in a few days, I'm not going to type it all out here. I think you know most of our sleep stories anyways. The short version is this. With Mary we've been able to sort of have it both ways. She'll fall asleep when were out when necessary (at least up until recently, which is a change I think more due to her age than parenting style). But with some crying at times of different transitions, she now also sleeps fairly well in her bed too.

Blogversary said...

Well since you asked. With my second I followed Weissbluth and it has been a life saver. Things are different with two and I was not able to dote on him like my daugther.

I also was hoping to wear my second more, but he came out so big that I couldn't. I can only sweat so much.