Friday, October 26, 2007

Let Sleeping Babies Lie

Have you ever since the movie, "Terms of Endearment"? It's heartwrenchingly sad, but still in my top 5 of all time favorites. As much as I love the movie, fortunately there is only one part of it that I can totally relate to. At the very beginning of the movie during the credits, Shirley MacLaine's character, "Aurora" goes in to check on her baby while she is sleeping. She's not satisfied by just a quick peek, and she practically climbs into the crib which wakes the baby up, screaming and crying, and then Aurora is satisfied that the child is ok, and leaves the room to go to bed. That's me... Sort of...


I was a LITTLE neurotic when I had my first daughter (to say the least). I was a nursing mom, and she she started out sleeping in a stand-alone bassinet in our bedroom. But I had a hard time getting her back to sleep after her night feedings, and I was so tired (especially when I went back to work 4 days a week), that eventually she moved into a portable bassinet in our bed - between my husband and I. That was very cozy! She slept great, I slept better -- not sure how my husband was sleeping... At least well enough not to move her! She got bigger, and continued sleeping with us. Finally, we moved to our current home before she turned 2, and within short order we moved her into her own room, but it was quite a struggle -- for her and for me. We also were not great with her schedule -- our work schedules can be a little crazy, and we felt like we wouldn't see her if we put her to bed right at 8pm every night. All of these years later, she still has some sleep issues -- still asks for one of us to sleep with her (we won't), comes in to our room in the middle of the night with her pillow and blanket and hops in between us, is a master procrastinator at bedtime, etc.

But, ever since she began sleeping in her own room, every night I feel compelled to tiptoe into her room before I would go to bed and I would stand there and whisper "Mommy loves you" and tuck the blankets in around her. Mostly I think I just need that reassurance that she is sleeping (and breathing) peacefully -- no blankets or pillows blocking airways -- I know, I'm a nut! She always remains peacefully sleeping -- amazingly, even if she is laying horizontally across her bed with her head right near the edge, and I have to try and manuever her 60lb body over to a safer location! She never wakes up!

When I had my second daughter, I had learned my lesson! She slept in a stand-alone bassinet for her first 6 months, and then I moved her into her crib in her own bedroom. We have a consistent bedtime and nap routine for her, and for the most part she is a great sleeper!

Of course, I have had to add her to my nightly "rounds" that I make before bedtime... Before I go to bed, I ever so quietly turn the knob on her bedroom door and slowly, quietly open the door just a crack. Most of the time, no matter what time it is -- 10, 11, 12am -- she pops right up, feels around for her baby doll, and stands up, ready for the day! I take this opportunity to get one last snuggle in before bedtime, and so I go over and lift her up and stand there rocking her back and forth for a few minutes while she rests her head on my shoulder. It's very sweet! And then I lay her back down in her crib and put her baby doll next to her, and then I can slip out of her room and go to bed myself. In my head, I know that she would be just fine without these midnight visits from Mommy, but I just can't help myself! I guess it's just the "Aurora" in me! Baby steps...

2 comments:

Teamcarbone said...

Such a sweet store, but these days I'm letting the sleeping baby lie! It's been a difficult few days...napping like crap. Oh well part of the non-stop changing our LOs do.

Deanna said...

I hear you -- I do force myself not to peek on occasion!