Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Irony of Ezzo and AP, Part 3

Back when this was originally to have posted, in April of '09 when BD#3 really was just 3 months old, there was a great post/conversation going on at SortaCrunchy. Still worth going to read!! And now, a whole year and 3 months after beginning this series, I'm prompted to finish up by TulipGirl's 7th Annual Ezzo Week 2010. Go, read, learn, share.

To recap my own mini-series, we sorta did BW with BD#1. Mostly ignored BW with BD#2. Now we're 3 months into life with BD#3. BW hasn't been off the shelf in 2 years (other than to fact check for a couple of blog posts). And life with BD#3 is going just fine without BW thankyouverymuch.

~~~~~~~~~~ 15 months later ~~~~~~~~~~

You know what? I've realized some things over the last 5 years (and 3 kids).


Babies LIKE sleeping with their mommas. They've just come from 9 months of CONSTANT contact. D'oh!! Would you want to go from sleeping snuggled up in a hot-tub to sleeping alone in the dark on an only-warm-if-you're-swaddled slab?? Really? You would??? .... /end sarcasm. *sigh* I need to be nice, don't I??

Seriously, it occurred to me (after we had such success part-time co-sleeping with BD#2) that it really is natural for babies to want to sleep with their mommas. If for no other reason than that it's what they've been doing for the last 9+ months. Why would I want to immediately take that away from my newborn?? He's just been through the "trauma" of complete environment change... wet to dry, warm to cold, dark to light, soft to scratchy, quiet -or at least muffled- to noisy.... Why not give him the gift of co-sleeping?? He's not going to be little for long. Soon enough he'll prefer to sleep on his own where he can flail and squirm to his hearts content, why not let him snuggle for now?

This really hit home to me when I realized how BD#3 clearly (strongly) preferred sleeping with me, on his left side, facing me. (Quite conveniently in the middle of our bed where I didn't have to worry about him rolling out of bed.) Hmmm... like a good Bradley mom, I spend most of my pregnant sleeping hours on my left side. So if he were head down in vitro, why... he'd have been sleeping on his left side too--just like he preferred doing after he was born!! Go figure. ;-)

Little revelations like this just floored me. Things I'd never thought to notice before b/c I was concerned with "getting the baby to sleep by his/herself." Made me wonder what else I'd been missing--'cause there's nothing quite like waking up with a baby blissfully sleeping in your arms after you got plenty of restful sleep too!!


Then there was BD#3's feeding and napping "schedule." For background, my babies don't really "take off" gaining weight til they hit 9-10 lbs. BD#1 came in at 7# 3oz and BD#2 at 8# even, so they both had a bit of gaining to do before they really started packing on the baby fat rolls... err... pounds. (BD#2 had a *bad* reaction to the RotaTeq vaccine which stalled her weight gain drastically, but that's another post for another day.) But BD#3?? He came in at 9# even, and has gained weight to match his linebacker build ever since.

With BD#'s 1&2 I pretty much did the Ezzo recommended eat-wake-sleep cycle, and the BDs took appropriately lengthy naps... 1 1/2 hours or so each time they went down. Not so Mr. BD#3!! Oh no, he was not having any part of a long nap, or any nap at all. He ate well when he woke up, played heartily and cheerfully, and would consent to being laid down in his crib but... no nap ensued.

Since I was already co-sleeping with him at night and my mid-wives recommend resting when the baby rests, I decided to try laying down with him for his naps. Remember, I wasn't just dealing with a newborn. I had a not-quite 4 yob and a just-turned 2 yog to chase also, so I was needing rest!! ;-) Napping with BD#3 worked for about the first month, at least til I got caught up from my pregnancy insomnia & the older two settled into the routines of life with a newborn.

So I tried putting BD#3 down for naps in his own crib again. He'd go down willingly enough (jolly happy baby that he is), but just would NOT go to sleep. So I thought... hmmm... my kids don't gain well until they hit the weight he came in at. And he's past that weight. Bet he just needs to eat more and more often because he's BIGGER. Logical, right? *grins* So I tried nursing him before his naps (thus eat-wake-eat-sleep), and it worked, sort-of. After nursing he'd fall asleep easily enough, but would wake up peevish around the 45 minute mark every time.

Hmmm... :-/ ... One thing I tend to agree with Ezzo on is that babies need sleep. And I don't call a 45-minute cat-nap "sleep." So... what to do? If I tried nursing BD#3 at the 45-minute minute mark, he'd go right back to sleep without bothering to eat so hunger wasn't an issue. But, when I went to lay him down, he'd wake right back up again apparently peeved that I was so obviously planning to leave him alone for his nap. (Smart kid!) So he wouldn't nap alone, but he needed to nap. Clearly we needed an alternative. And, being the big person in the relationship, I figured it was my job to find the alternative. :-)

He needed day-time sleep. I needed to get my work done. Neither were happening because I abjectly refused to let him "cry it out." Not at bedtime especially, but not for nap-times either. Went there and did that with BD#1. NOT interested in going there again. Why go there at all?? (Barbara Curtis has a *great* post that's applicable here.) BD#3 obviously felt he still needed mommy-time while he slept, why not try to accommodate him? *gasp* So.... enter the sling!!!

Me? A "marsupial mom"??

Hubby and I took the Bradley child-birth classes in preparation for the birth of BD#1. Our class instructor for those 12 weeks was a die-hard AP mom. (And I do mean die-hard!) One of the things she encouraged us to consider purchasing was a sling or wrap of some kind; because we all know while babies like to be cuddled, mommas need their hands free!! Being the impressionable good student that I was, I ordered myself a cool MayaWrap. Yeah, we took the Bradley classes before I read Ezzo's BW. :-D

I don't like my personal space intruded upon, and I'm hot-natured. I struggled with the sling with BD#1. Wound up only using it 2 or 3 times total. Ezzo would have approved. *chuckles* Tried again with BD#2. Managed to use the wrap for about a month, but still not consistently. While I did get a bit more comfortable with the idea of a sling, BD#2 was born in late October and all those layers of clothes got bulky and interfered with utilizing my ring sling properly. So by the time BD#3 came along I was more or less determined to conquer the beast (the sling, not my baby) and get my money's worth out of the sling. After all, I was already planning to junk most of the rest of Ezzo's ideas, and the sling cost more than BW, BW2, and ToddlerWise put together. ;-)

But back to my non-napping BD#3. I figured slinging him was worth a shot. So when nap-time came the next day, I popped him in the sling. He let out this *HUGE* sigh, relaxed, laid his head on my shoulder, and went soundly to sleep. Like "Finally Mommy--this is where I belong, right where I used to be." And he looked like it. Or rather I did--look pregnant all over again with BD#3 all snuggled up in my MayaWrap. And the most incredible thing? He slept for 3 hours. Straight. Day after day. And woke up fully rested, contented. Happy and hungry. :-)

Bottom line?

The real "irony of Ezzo and AP" that I've experienced with BD#3? When I did exactly what Ezzo's BW said not to do (i.e.: all that nasty AP stuff: co-sleep, sling, demand feed), BD#3 did the "BW schedule" to a "T." In other words, I got exactly the "results" that BW claims to produce (easy 3 hour day time schedule & early through-the-night sleeping) by doing precisely the opposite of what Ezzo recommends. Ironic, huh??

And all without charts, scheduling hassles (like having to be *home* for BD#1's bedtime), cry-it-out (a.k.a. heart-break for momma), or early loss of milk supply. Woot!!

Thus ends my mini-series (only 15 months late, LOL).

Once again, here are a few informative links from others that I've compiled over the years, assuming you're interested in more information on Ezzo...

From the horses mouth:
Growing Kids God's Way

From those who jumped off the wagon:
Jenn's story
TulipGirl's files and story.
ChewyMom's files
KatieKind's files
Camille's adventures becoming an attachment mom and her research on Ezzo.
Laurie Moody's Case Studies as a GFI lactation contact

Deconstructing the wagon:

1 comment:

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

This makes me grin. So glad you "gave in" and discovered what worked for your family! That is exactly the path my story took as well. Love it. Thank you for writing it up for us!