Thursday, June 3, 2010

Boomerang Parenting

I'm sure there is a better term for this, but you know how it is. You're going along your parenting business, then things aren't working any more. So you try something new. That goes OK, but then things get worse. So you go back to what you were doing to start with.

All the parenting advice ends with "Whatever you do, be CONSISTENT". I ask you, dear parents, how can you be consistent in your parenting when your child's needs change so frequently?

As soon as Joseph got used to being in his crib all night, he started getting molars. Of course we aren't going to leave him in there to cry in pain all night, so now he's back in our bed. His naps deteriorated around the same time, as he's transitioning to one nap from two. If I put him in his crib, we get 45 minutes, tops. If I nurse him/hold him, I get 2-2.5 hours. Clearly he NEEDS to sleep. So I'm making like he's a newborn again, and nursing in our bed for naps, then picking him up and rocking him when he's woken up and doesn't need to nurse anymore. Since I've started helping him for naps and having him back in bed with us, he has gone from sleeping 10-11 hours/day to 13-14 hours/day.

The whole thing is terribly frustrating, but I'm trying to be zen about it and think of it as meeting his needs. At least I can be fairly certain that this phase is unlikely to last, as nothing else ever has stayed the same!


Renee June 3, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

don't look at it as inconsistency, look at it as bending to meet his needs. you are consistent at taking care of joseph, whatever that means on any given day.

Ash Kestler June 3, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

Hi Jen,

I was recommended your blog a while ago, before my 7month old was born…and I have followed it since. I'm also an attachment promoting parent (soon to be childbirth educator and doula) and deal with the same sleep deprivation issues that you do. I think that when you've invested that much time, energy, thought and love co sleeping (and so much more, right?) with your baby you've got enough honed instinct and knowledge about what your child's need are that you can be sure about your comforting techniques. Most attachment parenters that I know lack at least a little consistency, because they understand their babies as little humans with an array of needs and wants that can vary from day to day, instead of thinking of babies as having static personalities begging for regiment. I say, good for you! Molars and teething warrant a little rule breaking now and then, Joseph will be that much more of a nurturing person because of the love you've shown him!

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