Saturday, June 16, 2007

Accidental parenting?? (if it's not for Oli)

The book that I am following Oli's routine from, "The secret of Baby Whisperer" said that parents can do 'accidental parenting', such as turning things (or themselves) into prop needed by babies to settle down, allowing them to not be able to independent sleeping by rocking them, putting them in their bouncers, offering breast, using dummies, etc etc. It is a cycle usually starts by a child who can't seem to be settled so parents pick him up or rock him or do whatever it takes to settle him (trust me, we'd do anything to get him back to sleep when he cries his lungs out every hour in the middle of the night) and then the parents do it again next time he cries because 'it worked last time' and at the end the baby depends on whatever the 'prop' is to settle him back.

Being the textbook I am, of course I soo don't want to do any accidental parenting. I reckoned I would.. if it's not because of Oli. You see, i followed everything word by word from the book.. and tried to fix something that ain't broken.

As an example, it recommended to wind baby down before nap/bedtime by holding him in your arms - only when Oli's about 2.5 months old did I realise he doesn't really like a cuddle before bed. It makes him unsettled instead - I think I have a baby who likes to go straight into business, "wham bam thank you ma'am' baby. Life is sooo much easier now - how lucky we are to get a child who doesn't need to be nursed before bedtime. Woo hoo...

The book also recommend teaching baby to self soothe and put himself back to sleep when he stirs from the REM sleep by 'shhh-pat tehnicque (now, babies have approximately 45 minutes sleep cycle where he moves from the REM sleep into deep sleep like an adult - the problem with that is that some babies wake up when they shift gear and can't go back to sleep by themselves and start crying desperately instead). We did it for a while but Oli doesn't like it!! His crying got worse - the 'shhh' and patting on his back actually woke him up. So we gave up - and thought, "what the hell.." and did what is not recommended by the book. We picked him up and let him fall asleep in our arms (it didn't work very well either though, most of the time he got settled this way because he was just too tired and boy, he was a nightmare during that stage!). But who would've thought.. he just doesn't cry anymore and been sleeping so well the past week that I never need to pick him up again... Again - this is him and has nothing to do with any technique. Lucky is an understatement and it has nothing to do with what we do as parents. I probably would have changed him into all the bad things I feared him to be if he's not the one in control *grin*.

But actually..... sometimes I think I am not reading his cues, it's actually him reading my cues. Sometimes I think I put him down too soon but he never whinge, like he knows it's his bedtime and then tries to go to sleep (and laying there for 20 minutes with eyes open and me feeling bad about it, but since he's not crying I can't pick him up). Or he wasn't fussy about food but the minute I put him in position then his mouth starts rooting. I
am still convinced that he's actually the one in control but only let me think that I am (whatta a good boy, knows mummy needs this for her ego).

Febi (damn you, Feb!) always said she feels sorry for my child because i am a control freak *grin* but I think she would've felt sorry for me, because if it wasn't because of Oli I am probably too busy pulling out my hair to write this blog entry.

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