Thursday, August 09, 2007

Boot camp

"Let the baby teach you," they told us before we left the hospital.

Le Petit has been putting us through boot camp. I was expecting him to fit into an adult world, to sleep peacefully for hours in his crib and let me catch up on sleep, if not housework and reading. The breastfeeding book said to expect him to nurse every two to three hours, so I couldn't imagine he'd be hungry more often than that.

He has been teaching us that he will sleep when he wants to, where he wants to, which is often in our arms or against me during our long walks together with him in the Baby Bjorn baby carrier. We have even given in and let him sleep temporarily in our bed, despite all our objections to co-sleeping, just to get a few decent nights' sleep. That way I can nurse Petit without moving him, and let him drift off to sleep without attemping a transfer to his bed. Although this situation is temporary: we're going to try and wean him quickly to a bassinet next to our bed!

He has been teaching us that after he's slept for three to four hours, he wants to eat every hour or so for the next four to catch up. He's taught us, too, that nursing comforts him more than anything else, and that other forms of comfort, like lullabies, cuddles, and rocking him in our arms take longer to establish.

I feel he's learning to trust us, and becoming more comfortable as we slowly learn to interpret his needs.

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