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.