Friday, August 18, 2006

Away and Home Again

So, we've been away to my parents' cottage on a little lake in Eastern Ontario and have returned home. The vacation was great. I feel so much more relaxed about Ezra's not sleeping in his crib. And something happened while we were away and I found I like having Ezra sleep in our bed and I sleep better than I used to with him. I found I didn't want to put him in his crib at night (though I hope my dad doesn't read this because I was so frantic about the situation when we arrived at the cottage that my mum bought a crib).

When we went away I started composing a post of the Top 10 things I would do differently with a second baby. I only got to four items.

1. Put the baby down. Dave and I were too nervous to put Ezra down for the entire first week. Dave would stay up over night and hold him while he slept between feeds. When we did start trying to put him down, often Ezra protested. So now we have a 6-month-old who rarely sleeps in his crib and only if we are very persistent.

2. Not listen to my mom. She told him me to try to stretch his feedings out by giving him the pacifier. But now he just needs me to give him the pacifier somtimes as often as every 10 minutes.

3. Not give him a pacifier at all. He didn't really take to it until he was 8 weeks old and I believe he would have found his thumb around 3 months old. And I would much rather he sucked his thumb since he can control that and I don't need to get up to give it to him.

4. Pump breastmilk and give him a bottle regularly. While at 3 months it seemed like too much effort, now I'm really ready to leave him for a few hours and not worry about him getting hungry.

But now I'm not so sure about the first one. Since we returned home, I've read a couple of books about 'the family bed:' In Search of Sleep: Straight Talk about Babies, Toddlers and Night Waking by Bonny Reichert and Good Nights: The Happy Parents' Guide to the Family Bed (and a Peaceful Night's Sleep!) by Jay Gordon, M.D., and Maria Goodavage. Both make significant reference to the research of Dr. James McKenna, which suggests that babies are evolutionarily programmed to sleep with their parents and that night wakings are potentially life saving. I also found a great article, in which Ferber, the King of Cry it Out, recants some of what he's written in the past. Anyways, I don't want to make this a long post but bottom line: we've decided to just stick to the family bed thing that Ezra has made clear he prefers and which now allows us all to get a decent night's sleep. And I don't feel bad about how much we've held Ezra. He's happy and healthy and so are we and I want him to grow up feeling secure and loved.

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