Who’s the boss

My 2-month old is totally screwing with me.

Hubby and I have a plan to move the Monkey from his bouncer into his crib. We were to start the process last night at bedtime, since the Monkey has been doing such a great job of going and staying asleep, but I forgot to put the Monkey in his crib after nursing him. My fault totally – I was on auto-pilot and just buckled him into his bouncer without thinking. When I came out of the nursery, Hubby asked how he was doing in the crib – shit. No problem, I said, he never – and I mean NEVER – goes down for good the first time we put him to bed.

Until last night. The Monkey slept for 8 hours after we put him down at 7:30. Sounds wonderful, but I stayed up later than normal waiting for him to wake up, and then had to get up at 3:30 am to feed him. Thank goodness today was Sunday and Hubby took his morning feeding so I could sleep in some. My next attempt was the Monkey’s morning nap, a short but very dependable nap at 9 am. After three failed attempts to put him down in his crib, however, the Monkey totally lost his cool and was ready to eat again. Strike two.

With no morning nap, I knew it would be more difficult to get our fussy, overtired little Monkey to bed in his boring crib. So I decided to put the safari-themed bumper back in his crib to help him self-soothe (the ability to entertain himself is evidently the same skill he uses to put himself to sleep). After nursing him, I put my still-wide-awake Monkey in his swing so that I could tie the bumper into place. The Monkey absolutely HATES his swing, so much so that I have no idea why the hell we still have it in his nursery. So I was sure I’d have to listen to him fuss while I worked. Instead, he started babbling to himself and, by the time I finished with the bumper, he was sound asleep.

What the fuck.

Again, I know I shouldn’t be whining about this. I should shut the hell up and be thankful that the Monkey is sleeping so well, wherever he chooses to sleep. In fact, he’s putting himself to sleep. At two months old. That’s golden.

I’m a planner, though, and we have a plan. I like being in control. After all, I’m a fucking scientist. I like setting up well-controlled experiments. I like experimental results that have explanations. When I repeatedly get effed-up results on a project, I ditch it. I need publications. And grants. And I have no patience for screwy science that stands in my way.

But the Monkey breaks all the rules. He mocks our attempts to control him, and we shouldn’t can’t won’t ditch him. Instead, we try to play by his rules, which are constantly evolving. It’s become painfully obvious who runs this household – and it’s not the adults.


7 thoughts on “Who’s the boss

  1. At the risk of giving you assvice that you don't really want… I'm going to give you advice. But it comes from someone like you- I'm a scientist and a project manager. I was used to being able to analyze the situation, make a plan, and then execute the plan.

    And then I had my first baby. And as you're discovering, the baby doesn't really care about your plan.

    So I say- don't worry about the crib yet. You're probably not going to hit the weight limit on that bouncer for months. We still put our 15 month old down in her bouncy chair sometimes (if she has a cold, for instance). Enjoy some good sleep and don't worry about where Monkey's sleeping. If you want to try to move him to the crib, go for it- but if I were you, I'd back right off if it screws up his sleep.

    Of course, I had one kid who was a truly lousy sleeper until she turned 2, and another who is a so-so sleeper at 15 months. So in my house, sleep is golden. If I thought my baby would sleep for 8 or 9 hours in a row in a safe environment, I'd do it- even if that safe environment was in a bouncer in the bathroom with the fan on high. (Why yes, we did try that with our older kid… why do you ask????)

    I always have some sort of plan for improving our sleep, so I'm not saying give up trying to plan. I'm just saying that the sooner you really, truly accept that the baby is in charge, the happier you'll be.

    As you say- you can't control a two month old. You really can't. So why try? Don't worry, you'll get plenty of chances to show him you're the boss when he gets older!

  2. I agree with Cloud. If there's one thing I've learned in the last 3 months it's “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”. They just resist the change anyway! LOL!

    Definitely try the crib out when you can, but don't sweat it if he can/wants to sleep elsewhere.

  3. Embrace the crazy and hope he grows out of it ^^. I still decide sleeping on the arm of the sofa, or the floor, is the most comfortable thing ever sometimes, drops people nuts.

  4. Ach, I know what you mean: I never, ever felt like I knew what was the best thing to try. I still don't, and she still surprises me all the time with suddenly disliking things she used to like and liking things she used to hate. And all the while, she still feels so integrally like an extension of my body and self that it's extremely subconsciously confusing when she doesn't do what I plan for her to do.

  5. Damn. I was just going to say “Welcome to the fray,” but now I have to put in my $0.02 since someone else already did.

    I completely disagree with everyone else here. Your son truly doesn't know the difference unless you demonstrate it. We started putting our son in his crib at 1 month. Before that he mainly slept in his bouncy seat next to my bed on the floor. He's been in his crib ever since.

    His sleep still gets screwy sometimes. From what I have experienced and heard from others, that's going to be happening for YEARS. So the question is, do you want it to happen in his crib?

    A friend of mine chose to co-sleep with her daughter who is a month older than my son. She's now 8 months old and they've been trying to get her out of their room. So far, they've made it to a mattress on the floor of the nursery. Other friends had a baby who slept in her crib until she was 9 months old, but then got an ear infection. While she was sick, they found it easier to get her to sleep in their bed. She's now 19 months old and STILL sleeping in their bed because they haven't been able to get her out ever since.

    So what's my point? That I think if you wait too long, they DO know the difference between their crib and wherever else they might have been sleeping.

    You have so much sleep training ahead of you it's not even funny. At least get the crib thing out of the way now so it's one less thing you have to battle with later.

  6. @JLK- with all due respect- your friend has probably picked the worst time possible to try to change sleeping arrangements. Babies hit major separation anxiety at about 8-9 months old, and sleep generally goes to hell. Trying to change from co-sleeping to the crib at that time is a recipe for a lot of pain.

    We went through a short phase of cosleeping with baby #1 and moved her to her big girl bed with no real angst at all. But, I will be the first to admit that we just waited and did it when she was ready, which was when she was two years old.

    Baby #2 joins us in our bed halfway through the night, and has done since she was about 8 months old, when separation anxiety hit and I just couldn't be bothered doing anything else. We probably could get her to spend the whole night in her crib, but I think it would mean less sleep for us, and it just isn't worth it to me. Besides, she's my last baby, and I know I'll miss snuggling her soon.

    Anyway, I guess my point is: Dr. O, you have to decide how you want to play this sleep thing. All of us are right, and all of us are wrong. If you feel strongly that you want your baby to sleep in his crib, even if that means you and your husband sacrifice some sleep in the short term, @JLK is probably right: do it sooner rather than later. If you just want to prioritize getting everyone in the house as much sleep as possible, then the rest of us are right- but you have to be OK with either fighting the sleep battle later, or deciding you don't care, and following your kid's lead on sleep for a long time- for us, it was two years.

    What you do about this really is a matter of your parenting style and your child's temperament. What works for me might really suck for you, and vice versa.

    So you know where I'm coming from: both of my kids slept next to our bed (in a moses basket and a co-sleeper) until ~6 months old, then they moved to their crib. With the first, we held the line and kept her there until we ended up cosleeping out of desperation sometime around 20 months old. The time from about 8 months to 1 year was pure hell, her sleep was awful. We were literally up 5 times a night for awhile. In retrospect, I wish we'd have coslept then- I almost certainly would have gotten more sleep. As I said above, my second joins us at about midnight, when she wakes up and nurses. If I'm lucky, she then sleeps the rest of the night and I wake up to a happy, snuggly baby in the morning. If I'm not lucky (usually when she is sick), she's up once or twice more to nurse.

    Sorry for writing two long comments here. I feel strongly about sleep, because I think so much of what we get told about baby sleep is just a guilt trip in disguise. Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

  7. My sister-in-law made this wrap around robe thing for her daughter (currently 1.5 years). She only wears it to sleep. SIL says that unlike a blanket, it stays on so her kid stays warm. Perhaps more importantly, it signals sleep. So they put that thing on her when it's time to nap or time for bed and she feels all comfortable and is ready for sleeping. I'm sure there are MANY other factors that make this kid a good sleeper, but I bet that aspect of the routine helps.

    Good luck with the crib or whatever else you decide to do!

What say you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s