I know that only a few months have passed since I first wrote about how we practice the tenets of attachment parenting, but a lot can change in just a few months of early parenthood. I figured Iâd offer a bit of an update to let you know how things are going with our five-month-old. Who is now rolling over, back-to-front and front-to-back like a pro, and who has two teeth already (sniff).
Goodness, how fast babies grow. (I know, I know, I said it. Iâm officially old).
Each heading is a link to my original post on that topic.
I admit, now that sheâs seventeen pounds and she can sit up alone in her Bumbo, I donât wear Lydia around the house as much as I used to. I just never get around to wrestling her into the sling. I can just set her up in whatever room Iâm in and have her watch me. Â Unless sheâs really miserable on her own and I really have to get stuff done — then I usually carry her kangaroo-style (which Ben calls ânugget position) so she can look around while I go about my business. She loves this position and never makes a peep. Every time I do this, I try to remind myself that I ought to do it more often.
Oh my goodness. I honestly donât see how other parents of babies manage to do nights any other way. I canât believe some moms actually get up and go to another room in the middle of the night . . . sometimes more than once! How do you do it?? Hats off to you guys. That must take incredible fortitude and self-discipline. Iâm sure that if I had to do that, I would be absolutely frantic to have my baby sleep through the night.
As it stands, she still generally wakes up at night, but usually only once or twice. It still totally doesnât bother me. We just do âthe ole shift and liftâ (shift her closer to me while still lying down, lift the shirt, DONE), and Iâm usually asleep again before I even realize I was ever awake.
I learned something the other day when I fell asleep in bed with Lydia before I intended to, around nine pm. Ben woke me up an hour later to ask if I still wanted to brush my teeth and change into my PJâs. Oh yeah, I had forgotten. I lurched out of bed and stumbled down the stairs to the bathroom, bleary-eyed and cursing. It was horrible. Horrible. I was an absolute ogre. Being woken up in the middle of the night is the worst.
That is, unless youâve synched up your sleep patterns with those of the person waking you. See, I never have a problem with Lydia waking me up, and I think it might be because my bodily rhythms have become so entwined with hers. Our lungs expand and contract together and our hearts beat right next to each other. I often find myself waking up just moments before her, anticipating her. Weâre a single organism, mama and baby.
Recently, a friend read my original post on bedsharing. She told me I must be a âsuper-mamaâ for not minding my babyâs night-wakings. Oh, but Iâm no super-mama. Iâve just made things incredibly easy for myself by keeping my baby right next to me.
I canât believe how much I still enjoy breastfeeding. Iâll lie awake at night sometimes while my little babe suckles at my breast and just think, man, this is awesome. Her needs for nourishment and physical contact are so easy to meet right now. I donât have to do a thing. Sure, it means I have to take her with me everywhere I go, or at least make sure Iâm not away from home too long, but itâs a small price to pay for all the other benefits that come with such convenient, agreeable feeding and bonding.
This is the one category where I have to be honest. EC was going so well by two months, I couldnât help thinking, âIf weâre this good at it now, just think how great weâll be at, say, five months!â
The truth is, we havenât gotten all that much better at it yet. And Iâm not sure we will.
All the books I read gave me the impression that all I needed to do was pay attention, and I would soon notice my baby giving me signs that she needed to go. I am now quite convinced that she doesnât give any cues whatsoever. Iâll have her on my lap in only a fitted cloth diaper, completely silent, and feel the familiar warmth seep into my jeans without a squeak or wiggle from her.Â What the heck? Iâll ask. Why didnât you tell me you had to go?
During the day, Iâm still only catching about half her pees. Which still amounts to 8-10 wet diapers a day. Some days I do worse, though. Oh well. Iâve resigned myself to being only so-so at EC.
But I am pretty proud of how well we do at night. Sheâs down to only peeing once at night, and then again first thing in the morning. I can read her half-asleep wriggles so well and catch her pees so consistently that I actually usually have her just sleep diaperless in bed. Iâm that confident that she wonât get our bed wet. We do have occasional misses (she usually sleeps on a prefold diaper, so itâs not a big deal), but on the whole, weâre nighttime EC rock stars. She also always pees immediately upon waking in the morning, and I (almost) always catch that one too; she then tends to pee every 17 minutes after that for the rest of the morning. If Iâm vigilant and set a timer and can usually catch most of them, but often I donât. Itâs in the afternoon when she gets less predictable and we usually fall apart.
Like I said: ah well. Iâm still glad weâre doing it, even if not as well as Iâd hoped.
I feel like I still have so much to say about my experiences of motherhood, but I’m not sure you guys would want to hear it all.
Well, do you have any attachment-parenting experiences you’d like to share?