Thursday, March 31, 2016

Swaddle, Baby, Swaddle, Baby...Until You Don't

Yesterday we had one of those days that when you wake up and your feet hit the ground, you are fierce and ready for what the day has in store. That is until the day unleashes mad fury on you.

H has always been a good sleeper. Literally his nighttime routine is change into his PJs, wash his face, nurse, read a book, get swaddled. Then he lays there just blinking at us as we walk off, and we don't hear him again until the next morning. My sister and I were in Waco a few weekends ago sharing a room, and when I put H in his pack 'n play for bed that night I told her to check him out. He was just laying there staring at her with his big eyes. She walked off and as she went past me said in a matter of fact tone, "I hate you."

I've known I've been living in this fairy tale world that all other new moms do not believe, so we've tried to enjoy it. And we have. We've enjoyed it so much we never thought about the next step. What happens when he starts rolling over?

Well, in case you never thought about that step, I'll let you in on a secret. You can't swaddle when they roll over! No one told me this. I learned this yesterday morning when I put H down for a nap and heard him giggling a few minutes later. I went in to check on him, and he was sideways in his crib with a rather loose swaddle blanket. (And don't you dare judge me that I have a blanket in his crib.)

the moment when the swaddle becomes the nightmare
I stood there and observed the situation and thought, "Okay, big lady, it's time for you to go without some sleep. Today. Today we lose the swaddle."

When I get my head on something, I go full force. As I began googling ways to stop the swaddle, I knew I only had one choice: cold turkey.

The day was one for the record books. My 4 month old napped for a whopping 1 hour. And that 1 hour was induced by the stroller ride back from my hair appointment (my cosmetologist lives just down the street, so we walk to her studio in her backyard). So really he never took a single nap in his crib. I tried. Oh, I tried. But every time he ended up playing or hitting himself in the head.

I was talking to my friend Meredith and telling her of the day's events. She felt so bad for me she cooked dinner and brought it to us. She kept saying, "You can do it! And remind me in a few months that I said all this to you."

Bedtime came around, and we went through our routine. Except we didn't swaddle. It felt so weird to just put him in his crib. It was also a bit sad, because I had never prepared for his first big boy move like this. So we put him down, and I kissed his little cheeks and walked out.

The first 10 minutes were a breeze. He didn't make a sound. Then suddenly the sound of pure agony came from his nursery. Cash and I were in the middle of a Bible study on Hebrews, and that distraction was probably the only thing that got me through the next 15 minutes. H cried. And cried. And cried. For 15 minutes. Then he stopped. I was so scared when he stopped crying that I went in and checked to make sure he was breathing. And there was my little angel fast asleep on his tummy (not how he started!) and dreaming sweet dreams.

Throughout the night I heard him rustling a few times but nothing I needed to get up and check on him for. At 7:45 this morning Cash and I went in to check on him, and he was just starting to stir. Cash got him up to give him a kiss before he left for work, and H acted like it was the most normal night of his life.

So here we are 24 hours after this all started, and we have survived (so far). Thinking about the turn of events made me realize perhaps I was more attached to the swaddle blanket than H was. Maybe I'm more attached to him as a little baby and am scared the bigger he gets. Maybe I've been faking this whole "I know what I'm doing" thing and really I just google stuff like "do only bad moms let a baby cry it out."

The only thing I do know for certain is a Baby Shusher is a parent's sleep in a box and some of my own tears along the way are bound to happen. Yesterday was hard without the swaddle. Today might be hard watching a little boy emerge where my little baby just was 2 days ago. They say it goes fast, but surely they didn't mean this fast.

his play-mat has become a taco shell
you know, just hangin' out
taking in a softball game

Keep wandering...

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