… is it ok to use the boobs as a comforter?
Aifric woke up at 1am a couple of days ago and instead of the usual rigmarole of swaying her, rocking her, sitting on her chair, singing 10 green bottles, singing hello to the sun, singing 10 sizzling sausages, lying on the floor with my hand in the cot and ninja-ing my way out of the room only for her to notice I had disappeared and cry again, I just decided to stick her straight on the boob and she was back asleep in less time than a Ewan the Dream Sheep circuit (15 minutes FYI).
But for some reason, in my head, it’s not something I had wanted to do. If she wasn’t hungry then surely I should and I would be able to get her back to sleep another way. Even if that way took an hour and a half. EVEN IF after an hour and a half of the swaying and the rocking and the singing and the lying on the floor I’d just end up putting her back on the boob anyway and EVEN IF I know that always works, AT LEAST I HAD TRIED ANOTHER WAY.
Forget the fact we’d both be shattered the next day. And a little irritable. With matching bags under our eyes, that you could, if you kinda squinted a little, call ‘cute’.
I guess in my head I am worried that Aifric will get used to needing the boob to go back to sleep and that I’ll get used to it… it’ll be an ‘easy way out’. HA, AN EASY WAY OUT. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for in parenthood anyway?!
My other concern – linked to the above concern – is that the boob isn’t going to be around forever for Aifric. I have already cut a couple down and moved onto the bottle. One day… pretty soon… I’ll have them back. And then what? We really will need to find another way to comfort her and get her back to sleep.
I actually had a conversation about this with a woman I bumped into at the park on the weekend. She was in the same boat – her little boy not sleeping at all (I thanked all of my lucky stars that it is only once in a while with A) – and she said she does it too, it’s easier, and she needs to sleep and he needs to sleep so WHAT ARE YA GONNA DO? She actually used the phrase ‘don’t worry, you’re not alone’. Which has to be the most comforting phrase you’ll ever hear as a parent.
Simon is super chill about it – if we can use them, why not use them? The rational voice of a person who does not want to be up for two hours in the middle of the night. Who wants to be bright and breezy the next day. Who enjoys sleeping. And enjoys their baby sleeping.
So I am in this limbo-land. I am in two minds. As I mentioned – I did ‘crack’ the other day. And it did work. And we both did get back to sleep within 15 minutes. And I didn’t count the number of times I had pressed Ewan’s paw (do sheep have paws? Hoof. It’s a hoof. Typing out loud here. Hooooves) to try to work out how many lots of 15 minutes I had been in her room… willing and praying her to go back to sleep. And I didn’t have to ninja my way out of the room, pretending I have a black belt in karate (that’d be cool). And you know what? I have done it again since.
I suppose there is no ending to this blog piece… like many things in parenthood, I am not sure what is right. What did you do? What would you do? What are you doing? Do you bottle feed and do this with a bottle?
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*PHOTO: the little munchkin not sleeping – and there I am – me, not sleeping either, lying on the floor next to the cot, willing Aifric to sleep