Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Babies Are for Cuddling

One thing has become clear the past few months since Emma has joined our ranks: I turn into a bigger softie with each baby. Let me explain.

God sent Jake to us as our first child to teach us how to be parents. Jake takes his job very, very seriously and has from the day we brought him home from the hospital. When Jake was a baby I would listen enviously to moms who claimed they could just lay their baby in a crib and the child would calmly drift off to sleep alone. Jake was a baby who demanded (loudly and in no uncertain terms) that he be held at all times, conscious or otherwise. And in the process Cameron and I were molded into much more sensitive parents than we might have been.

When Abby and then Grace came along I tried to see if either one of them were interested in going to sleep without being held or rocked. Both of them showed brief interest then decided being held was much better. I decided I couldn't really blame them and acquiesced to their wishes.

Then this week I noticed Emma trying to settle herself into deeper sleep. She squirmed around, and I silently observed and debated. Should I pick her up or let her sort it out alone? She wasn't crying. Of course I've been told many times through the years that babies have to learn to be independent and it's better if they learn sleep skills by themselves.

Good thing I'm not running for any sleep trainer awards. My soft side won out. (It seems it always does.) I picked up Emma, snuggled her, and went to sit in the rocking chair. I couldn't have been happier with my choice.
Independence is for 16-year-olds. Babies are for cuddling.

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