Uncuddle

Like that title? I just made up a word, y’all.

Baby Evan has been experiencing a little bit of day/night reversal lately, but not in the usual way. Most of the time when babies get their days and nights confused it involves sleeping all day and very exhausted parents at night, especially during those first crazy, disorienting weeks right after you bring baby home. My child is doing just fine with his day-night sleeping patterns (besides the sudden and disappointing shortening of the ONE nap we have left to less than 2 hours most days) but his need-for-attention patterns are WHACKED.

Today at breastfeeding group Baby Evan flung himself into at least four different mamas’ laps, climbing over and pushing out of the way their own smaller babies. (He’s pretty much the infant version of Godzilla.) When one mom was foolish enough to pick him up after group he clung to her like she was the last empty lifeboat on the Titanic. While I was trying to make a pie this afternoon he literally hung on to my apron strings and pressed his face against the backs of my knees. His independent playtime has been cut from at least anĀ  hour a day to just a few minutes at a time followed by much crying and whining and arm-raising until someone (me) lets him rub his nose on their shoulder and dig his sharp, grubby little finger nails into their arms.

And then bedtime comes and our sweet baby boy – who was once totally unable to sleep without at least 30 minutes of rocking and lullabies – thrashes out of our arms. He wants to be left ALOOOOOOOONE dammit, alone in the dark in his crib with his stuffed Yoda and his blankie. Mere minutes (and zero crying) after E sets a totally awake and active baby in his bed there is total silence from the nursery.The baby lays himself down. He pulls the blanket over himself, stuffs a corner in his mouth, and sleeps. It’s….mind boggling. As far as I know we haven’t trained him to put himself to sleep or encouraged it in any way. In fact, I’m a little sad he doesn’t want to rock before bed, since it’s the quietest, calmest part of the day and a baby cuddle is such a great way to relax.

I’ve started to wonder if affection works the same as food – maybe Baby Evan has a necessary daily allowance of love and if I meet all his needs before 7 pm he doesn’t have to fill up right before bed. Clearly his heart is bigger than his stomach.

Of course I know I’m tempting the mommy-blogger-gods AND Karma AND Fate AND probably a pack of rabid flying squirrels by writing about this on the internet, but I’m willing to risk it. Maybe my story will help some poor exhausted parent give their kid a chance to put himself to sleep and discover that’s what he wanted all along.

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6 Responses to “Uncuddle”

  1. sarrible says:

    Answer to your problems Yoda is.

  2. Amy says:

    My daughter has gone through stages where she does not want to be rocked before naps or bedtime. She cries and flings herself backward toward her crib. Then when I lay her down in it she goes right to sleep. It’s so hard not being as needed anymore. I totally understand. Luckily right now she’s going through a stage where she likes to be rocked and sung to. :)

  3. Ivy seems to be going through this right now too. The past two nights when I tried our usual routine of rocking and singing Bob Marley before bedtime she way all thrashy and arching her back and nooooooo cuddle. So I put her down in her crib and she promptly put her self to sleep after a brief conversation with her stuffed toy Mr. hedgehog.

    I has a sad about this because on days when I’m at work all day I LOVE our bedtime cuddle since I don’t get to spend a lot of time with her during her awake hours.

  4. Leah says:

    I am incredibly jealous. Now that the big boy bed experiment has progressed to getting Calder to let me leave the room before he falls totally asleep, it’s starting to get rough again. I am pretty sure he would have cussed me out last night had he known any swear words yet.

  5. […] “Well, he really needs to be able to put himself to sleep.” Ok, well since we’ve got that one down, the night feedings aren’t really an issue. Thanks for the […]

  6. LadyLucca says:

    Dang, I am so jealous. I hope this happens to my baby Lucca…who is 13 months old tomorrow and we still rock her. Embarrassing.

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