Friday, April 17, 2009

She's just got to learn

Jason and I had a revelation this week: babies change.

Profound, huh?

This startling epiphany occurred to us when Hazel had to learn something new: how to sleep on her stomach.

Hazel has always been a back sleeper, never rolling over, just sleeping blissfully with her arms splayed out on either side of her little head. The fact that she never rolled over in her sleep was probably reinforced by our tying her blanket to her waist since she would kick and kick and the blanket would never stay on, which of course would result in cold little feet and an upset baby.

Now she is more than strong enough to flip herself over, regardless of how tight we tie the blanket to her. And she lands on her stomach mid-nap or right when we put her down for the night. Needless to say, she does not like this new sleeping position. So we have been dealing with a most upset child the last few days and we are trying to let her learn to either like the stomach position or flip herself onto her back.

The funny thing is, since she's slept through the night (with a few exceptions) for the last 6 months, we just assumed that we'd never have to deal with teaching her something new in regards to sleeping. Now that we're working through this little problem, we are realizing that after she masters this, she'll eventually be big enough to pull herself up in bed and will have to learn to sit down and lie down and go to sleep. Then she'll move onto a toddler bed and have to learn to stay in bed when we put her there.

It's amazing how you can become so attached to a certain stage of your baby's life and start thinking that they won't ever change or grow up. But of course they do and you have to continually be there to encourage them to do what they need to do to move onto the next level. So I am trying to remember how to just let her cry it out like we did when she was 2 months and we taught her how to go to sleep without being rocked.

Turning off your mama brain and the need to run in there the minute she starts crying and soothe her is hard, but I keep trying to remind myself that she's slowly becoming a big girl and needs to remember that she can calm herself down. Luckily Hazel has two parents who can balance each other out: me with my instantaneous reaction of "Must go save the baby from herself!" and Jason's much more calm, "Let's just let her cry for a little bit and then go help her if she doesn't calm down in a little while."

So that is our little parenting story for this lovely and gray Friday.

Note: I just checked on her and after crying for a good while, she's completely conked out on her stomach. Hoorah for a semi-good nap!

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