Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sleep Trials

Hunter is getting so good at falling asleep on his own. And we never resorted to crying it out. When I put him in his crib, awake, if he starts squalling and doesn't settle down within a couple minutes with a toy or his musical mobile, then I pick him up and we go back and try to rock. But recently he hasn't been interested in rocking, and he squirms a lot and is sometimes pretty fussy. And yet after a little playing in his crib he falls asleep all by himself.

What I find so extraordinary about this is that so much of the reading that I did on sleep training was that if you don't let your baby learn to self soothe you'll be rocking him or her to sleep forever. What seemed more important to me was that my son knew that in his distress I would be there to comfort him. He has never cried himself to sleep. I don't want him to learn that I won't come when he cries, or condition him not to cry because it won't bring mommy. I want him to know that when he needs me I will come, to trust that I will be there for him.

I know there are people on both sides of this fence, and I worried about the criticism that I was going to make Hunter dependent on props, but being loving, comforting, and consoling has accomplished our ultimate goal: he falls asleep on his own. And I'm not scarred for life by letting him cry and not responding. And if he does have a night when he wants to be rocked to sleep, who am I to deny him that? There are days that I want cuddles too. I'm more than happy to rock and cuddle him those nights. There are nights that I don't want to put him down at all, even after he falls asleep. The relationship between parent and child is so special, and I feel like sometimes we get wrapped up in the rest of life and get too rushed with our kids. They are going to grow up and leave us before we know it. Childhood is the practice of leaving mom and dad and standing on your own two feet. So why are we in such a hurry to put our children down? Yes, I do it too. Sometimes things just need to get done. But there are also times that I let him fall asleep in my arms, and hold him until he wakes up again. Because sometimes we both need it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Homemade Baby Food: The Beginning

Today is Day 1 of homemade baby food, and so far it's been a hit. I picked up a perfectly ripe cantaloupe on Wednesday, and while I probably should have gotten to it a day or two ago, the inside was perfectly fine. I am not a huge fan of cantaloupe, though I can appreciate it enough to eat it, and with David away at NCO school I knew that this one was destined for Hunter's belly. Cantaloupe is extremely easy to puree because it doesn't require any cooking. It is a bit on the watery side, but to counter that I added oatmeal (much preferred in our house to rice cereal) and it fleshed out very well. I have some broccoli in the microwave cooking at the moment, and then it too will meet the food processor. Hunter is very impatiently waiting for it, but he also didn't have a very long afternoon nap today. The cantaloupe will be eaten in the next two days, because it has a very high water content and therefore will not freeze well, whereas the broccoli will be portioned into ice cube trays and frozen. I considered making some blueberries for him, but then I remembered just how easily blueberry sauce stained the clothes of my childhood and decided that I had no wish to try to work similar stains out of baby clothes. And I kind of want to eat them myself. I also bought some bananas today, but I don't feel the need to prepare those in advance. They also make easy travel food, and we are going to the zoo tomorrow.

Broccoli is done! Time to wrap up this post so all I have to do is add pictures.

This is the processed cantaloupe, sans oatmeal.

Hunter not too sure about the broccoli.

So I mixed the broccoli with some carrots that I bought specifically for baby food and forgot about earlier. It tastes good to me, but then I like broccoli. And yes, those would be penguin shaped ice cubes.