So, I’ve started sleep training baby J. The reason? This:
Both are amazing and needed in the immediate newborn period; the soother because babies need to suck and it’s just not practical to be a human soother all of the time; the swaddle because the moro reflex interrupts sleep and newborns/infants need to feel tight and secure when they sleep.
But there comes a time when both become a) a hassle, and b) a crutch.
Let me explain.
The soother becomes a crutch because once baby falls asleep, if the soother falls out of the mouth, the baby wakes up and starts crying. Mom and dad have to go back into the room, re-position the soother and baby falls asleep. This becomes a hassle when it occurs a bajillion times a night.
The swaddle becomes a hassle when baby starts moving around and pulls the Houdini routine and you walk into the room when baby is screaming only to find the soother still in the mouth but the baby’s arms are out of the swaddle and the kid doesn’t know what to do with them.
Both of what I described above started happening on a regular basis with baby J and one exhausted morning last week, I decided it was time to stop swaddling. The soother remained, but after two return trips to the crib to replace said soother in the span of ten minutes, another decision was made. Bye-bye soother.
What ensued next?
Yes. Blood-curdling screaming. Poor kid didn’t know what to do. Arms were flailing all over the place, legs kicking up a storm and there is me, face to face with screaming and quietly doing this:
At some point though, one just has to leave the room and let the baby cry. And cry he did. But he stopped eventually and fell asleep, for about 20 minutes.
The the screaming started again. I looked over at my cat who was sleeping on the couch next to me and she gave me this look:
Ah … sleep training.
Excuse me while I tend to the infant … in the time it took for me to write this post, about 20 minutes, he slept and is now awake.
The baby is exclusively breast fed. He’s gaining weight pretty well (we just had his 2 month well-baby visit and is just shy of 11 lbs), he’s smiling now and watching everything that is going on around him.
The only thing he is not doing regularly … you guessed it, pooping.
I think the last time he had a good poop was over a week ago. It might even be 10 days, I’m not sure. In my sleep-deprived state, I’m not even sure what day it is!
You should have seen the horrified look on my mother’s face when I told her.
“Let’s give him an enema,” she said, seriously.
“Um, yeah, mom, no.”
Never have I been so obsessed with bowel movements than when I started having kids. It starts with that first bowel movement after birth – meconium. It reveals so much about the infant’s gastrointestinal system. When it happens, it’s like everyone breathes a sigh of relief. If it doesn’t – alarm bells sound.
If the infant is breastfed, then over the next 5-7 days the poop changes colour from the tarry black of meconium to the lovely shades of green to yellow. An exclusively breastfed baby will have liquidy, yellow seedy poop. (Feel free to Google for an image.) Most breastfed infants, in the first month of life, will have a bowel movement several times a day. By two months of age, babies may not poop for a week, sometimes up to 10 days, and this is still considered quite normal, so long as he is nursing well and gaining weight. [http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/the-scoop-on-baby-poop]