Monday, January 21, 2008

The NSBBM movement...

Otter is a big baby activist. He has spoken out on behalf of the No Down Babies movement, the No More Bottles movement, the Hell No Mom Can't Go movement, and the Anti-Baby Containment Devices movement. Frankly it has gotten challenging to keep up with all his political activities. (We do like to encourage a healthy interest in activism in this house, so we try.)

His latest cause is the No Separation Between Baby and Mommy movement (NSBBM). He is no longer contented with mere co-sleeping and night nursing. Now he has moved on to night snuggling. While I am more than pleased to snuggle the young man, I am a little upset that he will not stay asleep, unless he is snuggling me.

It starts about 4 or 5 a.m. (A time of night I prefer not acknowledge the existence of, but sadly am getting to know very intimately.)

Otter will stick his arms and legs straight out in front of him and roll toward me, making "eh eh eh" sounds while he searches for "the boob". He will not deign to open his eyes. Once his hungry mouth has found it's target, he will nurse contentedly until he falls back asleep.

At this point I will carefully remove him from my breast by pulling slightly away from him. This is when I used to be able to go back to sleep. Now however, this activity is met with opposition and strident protest.
"Eh eh eh" goes the baby, as he wiggles closer in an attempt to find "the boob" again. If it is not found soon, the "eh eh eh" will increase in volume until he is awake and crying, so I will capitulate, and offer it again, in the hopes of being able to go back to sleep sometime before 6 a.m. He will nurse for a few seconds and fall back asleep. That is, of course, until I try to extricate him from "the boob" once again.

Rinse, repeat.

If I am successful in removing him from the breast, he will snuggle up right next to me to sleep. This is nice, it is wonderful, except if I move at all, he will wake up. Also, I am usually right on the edge of the bed at this point, clinging for all I am worth to the mattress, having scooted over slightly each time I have removed him from my breast. (He also takes up a surprisingly large amount of bed real estate for such a tiny person.)

If I scoot him over, he will wake up.

If I move over to the other side of the bed, he will wake up.

If I get up, he will wake up.

It is too early to be up!! I want to sleep!

Argh!! I never thought I would be complaining about my children's desire to snuggle, but I really want to jump up and down, stomp my feet, and scream "STOP TOUCHING ME!!"

I love co-sleeping, but I have to be able to sleep. It's not called co-snuggling, or co-waking.

Any ideas of how I can continue to co-sleep, and yet still curb his increasing need to be my own personal fungus?

6 comments:

Catherine said...

I am loathe to suggest this at his age, but ... a pacifier? My kids had pacis and bottles and boobs and didn't get confused. I'm all for path of least resistance, so maybe a paci will meet his need to suck and let you sleep?

Scylla said...

I could give that a try... he may use it. AND I could still snuggle!!

ellen said...

You mean it isn't okay to jump up and down, kick and scream, and shout, "Stop touching me!" .... Oh....

To late, I've already done that. If Seth can't fall back asleep he seems to think the best way to sooth himself is by touching me. I have little to no patience while sleeping.

What should you do? Continue to nurse him if you'd like too and then when you are done remove him as usual. If he wakes you might try to rub his back and tell him it's time to go back to sleep.

I enjoyed this website and maybe you can get a few tips from it.

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/
ap/sleep.asp

Daisy said...

Not so much a tip as a rationalization -- this can't be good for your back, either. Here's hoping you find a solution soon!

Earth Muffin said...

I was in your situation when my youngest was a baby. I'm sorry to say I have no easy solution. Either continue as you are and try like crazy to find some sort of comfortable position that suits both of you, or night-wean him. Sorry I can't be of any help...but I'm with you in night-nursing spirit!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

sorry, but i had to LOL at his baby activism. :)

this sounds all too familiar.
is he perhaps going through a growth spurt or teething? julian seems to need to nurse more often at night during those times. there were a few nights this past week where i was certain i was going to toss him out of the bed. of course i didn't, but gosh was i ever getting frustrated.
i keep reminding myself - this too shall pass.

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