It's amazing how you change, even day-to-day, in this parenting game, huh? I was positive I'd do some things that I now refuse to do, and vice versa. It's a good lesson on getting adaptable and flexible!
I was talking to some other parents this morning, and discussion CIO (cry-it-out, for you childless folks). I have an online friend whose co-sleeping daugher is eating every few hours, and she's miserable. I always knew that co-sleeping was not for us. We've co-slept a little (on trips - at home he sleeps in his crib down the hall), and every time we do it, he eats A LOT during the night. It seems to me that if I was pressed up next to a quarter-pounder-with-cheese all night, I'd damn sure wake up and eat. At about 6 months, I decided that he was old enough to sleep through the night without eating anymore. I'm not lying when I say that it took ONE bad night, and ONE annoying night, and that was the end of night-eating. The bad night he woke up 3 times, and cried for about 20 minutes each time. The annoying night he woke up 3 times and cried for about 2 minutes each time. That was it. He sleeps 11 hours a night now. Not a peep.
Oh, the other thing I had to do was to let him CIO for naps, too. I figured that out after he relapsed and started waking up in the middle of the night again. I thought about what had changed, and I realized that if I put him down for a nap, and he cried for a while, I'd go get him and nurse him. Way to be inconsistant, Mama! So he figured, logically - hey, she comes and gets me during the day, why not at night, too?
So if I KNOW he's tired (eye rubbing is our best sign), I don't get him at all until he sleeps. As I was writing the first message, he was crying in his crib. It totally stinks - it actually feels like physical pain to me when he cries, but it was how it worked best for us. I was getting so frustrated and resentful, and I really think it was kinder to him to let him get some sleep! He now takes two long naps - 1.5 hours each, and he never did that before.
My online co-sleeping friend is actually considering CIO now, something she never thought she'd consider (I find this attitude very admirable). Do you ever watch Supernanny? When I was pregnant, I would watch and think "These parents are such idiots! Can't they see that by doing X they're causing Y!" I was totally sure I would never be that stupid. Now I watch, and I'm like "hmmm, yeah, I can see falling into that trap." It's like you're supposed to be able to see the forest for the trees, but you're pressed up THIS CLOSE to a tree! You can barely see the one tree, let along the bloody forest! That's what I'm finding hardest about it right now. How do I think longer-term about my choices and actions, instead of just getting us through the day. Trying to remember that he's going to be a baby for a short time, but an adult for A LOT longer, and I need to raise him with that in mind.
Enough preaching. That's my philosophy, recorded for posterity.
Requisite baby talk:
He's totally sitting up on his own, and can even reach for toys off to the side and get re-balanced (most of the time). He's not crawling, but he's up on all fours, rocking, and pushing himself over into a tilted-sitting position. Very into nursing, and sucking on my thumb again. His hair is growing! And he's still bowling us over with cuteness and wonderfulness. I adore him.