Monday, November 2, 2009

Bent Over the Cot With My Boob Hanging Out

Yes, this is indeed how I spend a few uncomfortable moments each evening as I put my little darling to bed. You see I always try to get her to sleep in her cot for a while each evening - at least long enough that Cave Father and I can have a few minutes together downstairs and a cuddle in bed before we move the baby through to join us.

But putting my baby to bed on her own is always a huge lottery. She has never been easy to put down and lately she has been even more difficult. I nurse her to sleep in a ring sling, wait half an hour, walk upstairs and lay her down in her cot, at which point she inevitably wakes up, shouts something incoherent (when does she shout anything coherent anyway?) and shakes her head violently from side to side as the realisation dawns that there is no nipple in her mouth. This is when I have to bend at 90 degrees over the cot and dangle my breast into her mouth for anywhere from one to 10 minutes, until she is deeply enough asleep for me to leave her again. It is most unbecoming, especially as I always leave the curtains open (drawing them would create a dangerously loud noise and I like the gentle light of the streetlamp outside). I do wonder how many people have watched me in my ridiculous pose and have puzzled over what the hell I was doing.

Before you rush in with "Why don't you teach her to go to sleep on her own" comments, don't even bother going there. Cave Baby is not a going-to-sleep-on-her-own type of child. She doesn't really stay still unless she is physically restrained (which is why a sling works so well). She cries, very loudly and very longly (you know what I mean) at anything that she doesn't like. She would not drop off to sleep on her own without a huge amount of crying, and that is not something I am going to inflict on her. So let's leave it at that.

So until I give in and resign myself to nursing her to sleep in our super-kingsize bed right from the off, I am going to have to perform this ridiculous display of contortionism every night. Ho hum. Do you do anything really stupid to pander to your children?

19 comments:

willow81 said...

PMSL, what a great image! But oh, your poor back... and your poor boobs?! (trying to envision it!). On a more serious note, I never used to be able to remove my nipple from the Monkey's mouth and would sit, frustrated, for ages waiting until I could deftly remove it, but suddenly one day she just decided she didn't need it. SO it might not be that way forever...

Lisa - edenwild said...

I don't think I've ever done anything that crazy! Seriously, what a funny mental image there. DH just moved our son's crib into his own room, thinking we could put him down for his naps in there, and I'm thinking, "How the heck am I going to nurse him down in a crib???" He is getting easier to put down, but sometimes he will wake up and want you to lie right next to him, and again, I don't see how I could do that in a crib. I keep thinking it would just be easier to have the mattress right on the floor and forget the crib altogether! We've never even used it as a crib, I don't know why the heck we got it!

Anyway, I don't think I've contorted myself into any weird position for the sake of my baby in quite a while. But I have been there!

cartside said...

I used to do that too... so your post brought happy memories back! And like willow81, one day Cubling decided she didn't want to be nursed to sleep anymore. We then used a book. And it worked. Magic!

Earthenwitch said...

In the car - sitting in the passenger seat, arm contorted behind me to hold the tiny daughter's foot because she doesn't like being in the car-seat for a long time. Equally ridiculous, I think, though probably not quite as painful!

Earthenwitch said...

In the car - sitting in the passenger seat, arm contorted behind me to hold the tiny daughter's foot because she doesn't like being in the car-seat for a long time. Equally ridiculous, I think, though probably not quite as painful!

Cave Mother said...

Earthenwitch - I do the car seat thing too! I once spend ages bent around stroking her head because she was crying - only problem was that Cave Father couldn't change gear because I was in the way.

Cartside - SO GLAD someone else did this!

Lisa - I know, it's stupid using a cot. I keep thinking it would be easier to take the mattress out of the cot and put it on the floor, but then there would be even less space to move around the room. I would put the cot in storage, but it's doesn't fit through the hole to the roof of the house. I wish we hadn't wasted so much money on it.

Willow - ah, perhaps one day. I live in hope.

Betsy B. Honest said...

Ah you made me giggle. It's always funny when it's someone else's boobs. I just put mine down in their little cribs after a nice milky cuddle and say "Sleepy sleepy, Mommy loves you!" and they close their eyes and go to sleep. I know, right?

But number 1 was what I liked to call "An assertive personality" and also a bit of a screamer so I have done the boob in the carseat thing. That's right. Baby strapped into carseat, Mommy leaning way over with a boob stuck in babies mouth. Also, because I love cross-country-skiing I've parked on many a fallen log along a wintry trail and nursed my screamer in the woods.

Kat said...

I too am a veteran of the 'dangle boob' position. DC1 wanted to be held before naps and often BF at the same time. One day I was getting something sorted out before coming back to her and she put herself to sleep. Since then she has been fine to go to sleep on her own. DC2 is not fooled by the dangle and roars the second it is withdrawn :)

Cave Mother said...

Some of my bfing support group colleagues have confessed to the car seat boob dangling trick. Now that is something even I haven't been brave enough to try.

Hobo Mama said...

I've done the carseat thing, mostly when I'm too lazy to unbuckle him to eat (when we're parked). Lately he's had this thing where he wants to "sleep," which means he lies down on the bed, but he still wants to nurse, so I have to lean over him rather than keep him nice and snugly on my lap as he falls asleep. I figure it's not a bad thing, all told, that he knows that being on the mattress is the correct position for sleep, but some nights it kills my back.

Mon said...

Possibly my favourite post title this year, lol.

I haven't sat in the front seat in 18+ months. Crazy? Well, at least no weird contortionist moves! :)

I wouldn't dare offer another mother advice, but I was wondering, have you rocked her a little longer, to get her into deep sleep level? My girl will settle down for a nap once I wait for her to just go into limp limb mode.

Cave Mother said...

Mon - my baby is such a light sleeper, it doesn't matter ho long I wait to put her down - she almost always stirs. For her, the limp limb test is no indication of whether she will wake up when I put her down. That would be too easy :)

Anonymous said...

LOL I think it is a great image .

My youngest 2 go to bed fine (2 year old just goes to bed like a dream and 1 year old feeds to sleep then goes down fine).

4 year old is a pain , it has got to be her 2 stories - then a drink (never before stories) - then have to lie with her (she still co-sleeps) and tickle her arm till she goes over.

Cave Mother said...

Anon - you had one that difficult then went on to have 2 more, close together? Brave you.

Amanda said...

I am also a boob-dangling, foot-holding mama. So familiar and so funny that both seem to be universal techniques!

Pippa said...

Oh Thank Goodness I'm not the only one! I have done this on several occasions with Baby Boy and have had many strange looks from Daddy as he has walked past!

Top Ender was one of the ones who too just decided one day that sleep time was best preceeded with a book rather than milk. I figured that Baby Boy would do that too, although at the moment he seems to like our current milk-to-sleep arrangement!

Erin said...

OMG ... I've done this! Lol ... I have also stood nursed my baby while she was in her car seat in the car while my husband drove. We were in our VW bus so luckily we had the curtains drawn for a bit of privacy. Ha! Thanks for bringing back some happy & crazy memories.

More than Just a Mother said...

Nooooooooooooo! Oh dear, I think you and I had better steer clear of parenting chat, as I think we would come to blows! I am in awe of your dedication though. For my part, I am such a strong believer in teaching my children independence, that, even as tiny babies, if they inadvertantly fell asleep on me close to bed time, I would wake them up in order to put them down awake. Not wrong, not right, just different!

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