Thursday, November 13, 2008

to cry, or not to cry....that is the question

Yesterday Angelo turned 12 weeks old! As I've mentioned before he's a fussy baby. After doing much research online I found that he fits the typical characteristics of a high needs baby. What is that? Well it's a child that needs alot of attention, likes to be held almost constantly, fed frequently, doesn't need much sleep and oh yeah wants to be stimulated constantly.

If you don't follow Angelo's rules, cries break out. They aren't just average cries, they are all out tantrums with legs and arms kicking, back arching, oh and he's scratched himself till he's bled as well. I mean, he's super wild!

Although it sometimes gets old having to pay almost constant attention to him I have found ways around it. Yes, I've even learned to use the restroom while he's in the front to back rider!

Now, as he gets older, questions of spoiling and routines have popped out of the mouths of many. This is fine, as I question myself constantly and the questions help me come up with solutions.

However I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. Our biggest issue now is over naps...which are rare. I know not napping only adds to his crabby mood and he's much better when he does take them. But how do you "make" a baby take a nap?

At this time I've decided that all I can do is make his environment condusive to napping. Giving him the opportunity to nap the same way he goes to bed each night. (Which by the way he is a good night sleeper.) But so far during nap time he stays in his crib for approximatly ten minutes, and then begins to howl!

How long do I let him howl for? I hate leaving him cry. I feel it's his way, and only way, of communicating with me. One night Mike and I let him cry for over an hour and he just kept getting more worked up...not like some children who give up or self soothe.

I guess I'd just rather be his mom and soothe him but I worry that he could end up spoiled.

I read books about other cultures where the babies rarely cry. The women wear the babies all day long, nurse them when they need and sleep by them at night. In fact some cultures don't even set their babies on the ground till they are six months old. I worry that our Western Culture makes us quick to "occupy" our childrens time with swings and games so that we can have our own agenda, putting them on "schedules" so it's easy for us.

Thoughts anyone? I'm open minded! : )


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

You said "I question myself constantly" ...same here. It doesn't seem to get easier, just different, and each kid is different.

Maybe Super Nanny can come and get him to nap :)

melanie said...

Agree with Sarah, each stage is different. But I would admit that I already I miss the days when I can just hold them and that makes it all better. The old line "they are only little once" is so true. It slips by so quick! I say go with your heart.

The Kennedy's said...

He probably just hasn't developed that regular sleep/wake pattern yet. I think it wasn't until Jackie was about 4 months did she really start "napping." Otherwise, it was sporadic..some 10 min, some 3 hours. You just never knew. With her, we always swaddled for "naps" and started the routine about 2 hours after she woke up...and that seemed to help. She also didn't really nap in her crib until almost 5 months(she loved the boppy)...something about that big ol' space she didn't like. At night she was fine, because it was dark. He might just be the type of baby that doesn't require a lot of sleep..he wants to know what's going on! I'm a believer in that you can't spoil a baby. You do what works for you. If you need to let him cry a bit, it's ok. If you'd rather pick him up, it's ok! The main thing to remember aren't going to screw him up, it's just not possible! (sorry, I wrote such a book...but I SO know how you feel!)

The Kennedy's said...

P.S. Also, remember "this to shall past" That has helped me a lot! In a couple of months, you will be trying to figure out something else he is doing and the napping thing will be old news :) (ok, I'll really shut up now, promise!)