1.14.2010

My Favorite Time of the Day

This is not the greatest picture, but it represents one of my favorite times of the day...rocking with my baby. Mekonen is all action, all the time, non-stop when he is awake. We are really working on training him to sit still for things such as storytime and he is getting much better at that. But snuggle time during the day doesn't really happen that often because he just wants to be on the move!!!

If you know me well, you know that physical touch is my love language and I can't get enough of hugs and cuddling. When we first picked up Mekonen at the orphanage we started the kind of sleep routine we were going to continue for attachment: holding/rocking to sleep. Yes, some of you experienced mothers out there who love Baby Wise will cringe when you hear that because you are die-hards about babies crying themselves to sleep or going to sleep on their own. Under other circumstances, such as if I parented Mekonen from the moment he was born, I might do things differently. But for this little guy, that was our plan! We knew that there was a great possibility that this could make it more difficult later for him to fall asleep and stay asleep on his own, but it is what is best for attachment and we said we'd deal with the rest when it came. Lucky for us, it never did!! Mekonen is a great sleeper now (after a few months of great struggles with his naptimes). He is perfectly content being rocked to full sleep and then we stick him in his crib. But, we can also put him right into his crib awake and falls asleep great on his own. In the middle of the night we all wake up several times but can put ourselves back to sleep. Many babies who are held/rocked to sleep have a hard time doing that. But luckily Mekonen doesn't ever wake up at night either.

So the question is... if God blesses us with more children, how we can get them to be flexible enough to rock to sleep, rock to grogginess, or just being put in their crib awake and sleep well! We joke that our next baby's sleep patterns will not be so easy!

Many have asked when I am going to "wean" Mekonen off of being rocked before bedtime. My answer? Not until he doesn't want to, or he's too big! :) There will come a day when my boy goes off to college, leaves home, gets married, and starts a family of his own. I want to cherish all the time I can have him as my baby. I know lots of moms who say they wish they held their babies more, or rocked them more, rather than being so rigorous with a specific program. It's the time of the day that I get to sit and snuggle my usually very hyper and active boy. It's the time of the day where I pray for him as I rock him. It's the time of day where I sing him some hymns that I want him to know in his heart. It's our time together. Just the two of us and I wouldn't change it for the world.

It makes me sad though b/c he's starting to grow out of being rocked to sleep. Most of the time now, I sit and rock him for awhile and then put him in his crib awake. Give him kisses, and off to sleep on his own he goes. Which is fine with me. But I hope this isn't his transition out of being rocked altogether! He is growing up too fast! Everyday he feels bigger in my arms and I can't believe how small he was the first time I held him.

11 comments:

Katie & Tim said...

That is VERY sweet, and as someone who rocked and HELD Cale to sleep and during his nap, I say to people..."I will never have just 1 baby again." Seriously though, when Mekonen is a toddler, running around doing things he shouldn't, you won't be able to cuddle & rock your next baby to sleep like you can him. CHERISH that time. I know I did. And with our experience, Cale still liked to be rocked (not to sleep, but for stories and when he got up in the middle of the night) until the moment we took the rocker out of his room (to prepare for his brother!). I agree with your methods, and hope that your next baby is as easy. We waited until Cale was almost 1 to let him learn to sleep on his own. After that was a cinch, but he had night wakings for 2 years, so we are hoping we are blessed with a better sleeper this time! :) I like the pic. It's sweet. I say, keep rocking. Even if he just wants it for story time later.

Amanda said...

i agree 100%. I love that time with Reese...and it is sad that she is somewhat growing out of it as well...she also does well putting herself to sleep at night or being rocked...but snuggling is just nice and so special...its my favorite time of day!

Eryn said...

Good for you! I was a part time babywise mom. I rocked my babes and put them into bed awake. I continued rocking my biggest until both of us couldn't fit in the rocking chair. He still loves to snuggle before bed though...

I plan to rock my new babe as long as she needs...i can't wait to get my hands on her!

aamayna said...

Hello,
I can't remember if I have commented here or not before, but love your blog!

My dd came home from an inst at 13 months. To be honest...I still lay with her to fall asleep and we co-sleep. If she is going to have issues it is a night and I would much rather her have a supported loving feeling. She is almost 3 now but we still carry on that attachment routine. Our next child won't come home for about 3 more years and will be older so not sure how that will all work out but planning on having her sleep on her own more easily by then.

Daniel and Danielle said...

oh rachel this is how Phoenix is too--to a t! and he too lately is wanting to be put down still awake and especially at nap times when i leave the room and he looks at me leave ahhhh breaks my heart!!!

Rebekah Zenn said...

What a sweet picture! I wish my boys still liked being rocked to sleep. Jackson will sometimes fall asleep in my arms, but not very often, and Luke is too much of a wiggle worm! Soak up every second you have left of it!

Charity Hildebrand said...

Oh that is such a sweet picture! I love the moments when my kids want to climb up in my lap and snuggle, but it doesn't happen that often anymore - they're always on the go! I agree - cherish these precious moments :)

Shonah said...

I totally agree! I love rocking Esuyawkal to sleep. I love the way that he relaxes into my body and lays his head on my chest and is content and happy. I could lay there for hours with him like that.

Holding a sleeping baby is truly a great pleasure in this life!

doddyj said...

I totally understand what you mean, Rachael. Natalie was never a cuddly rock-me-to-sleep baby (except as a very young newborn, first couple of weeks), and I always mourned that. But now that she's older, she loves to rock sometimes - except her bigness gets in the way. And so does mine (belly). It's such a hard mix, because I want to physically hold her close forever, but I also know that letting her go and having her decide on her own to be physically close to me will be rewarding too.

Former BW Mom said...

I'm really shocked and saddened that you are using ideas from Babywise with your adopted child.

I know that saying this will likely only leave you defensive. But. Seriously. Babywise is contrary to what we know about child development, growth and attachment.

You don't have to be an "earthy, crunchy, attachment mom" to reject Babywise. You don't have to be an earthy, crunchy AP mom to be an adoptive mom.

But seriously. Babywise? With an adopted child? Please. . . reconsider your choices. Your child's health depends upon it.

Former BW Mom said...

I'm sorry. . . obviously I just skimmed and was upset and didn't read the full post. Forgive me. And thank you for rocking your little one to sleep. If you have future children, I assure you, healthy sleep habits are possible without resorting to Babywise.