getting him ready for Burning Man, Canon Digital Rebel XTi
Okay. So I guess I had a wee little fantasy that maybe this nap training thing wouldn’t be so hard. When I spoke to the supenanny sleep lady she said that she didn’t believe in letting them cry it out. I guess I thought that meant that he wouldn’t be crying at all. Ha!
Teaching a baby to sleep is not an easy task no matter how you do it. The method was gentle and involved sitting with your babe until they fall asleep, maintaining eye contact and using comforting touch (no picking up) when they fussed and cried. Can you imagine the torture of sitting and staring in you baby’s eyes while they plead with you to pick them up? Oy.
And get this. They cry for over an hour sometimes. I thought sitting on a cushion was hard! This is the most intense meditation I can imagine. It’s hard not to question yourself the whole way through… am I torturing him? maybe I should just pick him up… looking at him seems to be agitating him… but she said to look at him…. touching him seems to really agitate him… but she said to use touch… Ack!!! Then I would get really sweaty and nauseated. Then I would cry. Then, just when I couldn’t stand it anymore, he would fall asleep.
For 20 minutes.
If I was lucky, 45.
I couldn’t bear to start the process over again. So we’d try later.
I did have a little breakthrough yesterday. As I sat next to his bassinet, I placed a cushion there and pretended that I was actually meditating. It helped calm me down. When I looked at him something amazing happened. I suddenly understood what I was doing. I was teaching my baby to sleep. I sent him telepathic messages, “You are doing so well Ben! You are learning to put yourself to sleep. Some adults can’t even do that! And you are doing so great. I know it’s hard now, but this skill will serve you for the rest of your life…” In that moment I understood what a privilege it was to be the person who can teach him. Somehow this thought moved me to tears.
We’re still in the throes of it. I think it’s more difficult because we’re working with a deficit of sleep
to begin with (his and mine) but he’s doing great. I look forward to seeing that smile (in above photo) more often in the coming days.. Go Ben! You little sleep machine!
p.s. The hat Ben is wearing was made by my friend Jay. She makes really amazing stuff.