Mamma's Boy

Now that the holiday festivities have died down, my main goal was to get Andrew on some type of schedule. He is my only child that hasn't been on some type of set schedule. I was pretty anal retentive about the girls getting their naps and bedtime at exactly the same time every day. There wasn't a whole lot of flexibility there, but you certainly did know what to expect too. However, being my last child, I figured I would more or less just go with the flow. I knew I would be busier with errands to run, and getting Kyra ready for school, so I decided with him I would be a little more relaxed and mainly try and get a eat, play, sleep schedule.

This worked for a little while, but the last three months have been kind of a bear. I know that life changes with any child you had to the mix, but Andrew is simply put not a very content baby. In my head, I keep thinking... but he's the 3rd child....aren't they supposed to be the easiest going? Is it in my head that he is being this difficult or is it reality? Am I doing something wrong, or is there something wrong with him? I know it's been almost 4 years since I had a baby, but I just don't remember the girls being as challenging. Katie certainly was a little bugger, but I don't remember her crying this much through the day. So, I decided to talk to a few veteran mom's and get their opinion.

To my surprise, two of the moms in my little poll seemed to think that he was being spoiled and that he was becoming a mamma's boy. Deep down, I grew a little defensive. This was after all my third child and I think I would know how to correctly raise a child before he or she became attached at the hip. After all, in the beginning I may have rocked him to sleep, but now I was simply laying him down and shutting the door (even letting him cry for awhile). And there are numerous times where he has had to sit there and cry while I make dinner (even though I am ready to tear my hair out by the time my hubby gets home). Yes, there had to be some other explanation. I decided to wait until my well visit at the pediatrician.

Once we arrived at the doctor's office, I explained our situation. I told her that our 6 month old was still getting up 1 to 2 times at night, and that he acted ravenously hungry sometimes and that I had to still feed him at 3 am. Could he possibly not be getting enough from nursing? Should I quit, and go to formula? I told her that I couldn't take a shower without him crying his way through it, or that he fussed so much in the evening that we usually had to hold him while we ate dinner. I told her that I was exhausted and that he just won't give me a break. So she said, "oh yes, I've seen this kind of case before. I definitely have a diagnosis for you. He's got a bad case of....."

Mamma Boy Syndrome!

Dar net! How could I have let this happen? I didn't think I came to his beckoned call every time he made a peep. But perhaps I had coddled him a little too much. After all, he is my only boy, and my last baby. And I felt bad every time he started to fuss, and the girls said he was too noisy and interrupting their play time. And I didn't want my hubby to be woken up in the middle of the night, so I did what was easiest...I stuck a bo*ob in his mouth. Yes, I guess I can start to see where this child has outsmarted his momma. Now, the hard part...I have to start breaking these bad habits.

So, we're doing the best we can in this household. It's probably not going to be easy for the next few weeks. After all, I do like peace, even if it comes at the cost of my sleep. But if I ever want a fuss free shower again or experience a full night's sleep, I guess some thing's gotta give. So, I explained to my hubby that he might have to endure some nights with crying, or sleep downstairs anyway. And I have a feeling Kyra will keep me accountable too, after all she was listening intently to the doctor. Because when I went to pick up Andrew that night, I got a scolding from my 5 year old. "Now Mom, remember what the doctor said. You need to let him cry it out!"

Yes, ma'am!


Short Stop said...


I can relate to so much of this - only it was Jack who was like this - my first. My pediatrician told me that by 6 months, they do not need to wake up in the middle of the night to nurse, and to let him cry it out. He cried for 2 nights when I didn't come, but I rolled over and turned off the monitor. After two nights, he was fine. Never cried again to nurse at night.

It's so hard for us Mommas to let them cry or just to let them be when we know that holding them (even during the day) would make them feel better. But, again, my pediatrician told me, "You need to give him the 'gift of sleep'. Let him learn to put himself back to sleep at night and you'll give him the gift of a good night's sleep and have a happier baby during the day."

That changed the whole way I viewed it and helped me so much! (BTW, I know that every baby is different, but this SO helped me and gave me a great sleeper at night, and at naptime!)

Sarah said...

oh, Sarah! I know how hard it is to have a clingy little one. I think it's a boy thing. Aaron was a very high maintenance baby who constantly wanted to be held, rocked, nursed, etc. At 8 mos, he was still sleeping in our bed and nursing every 45 minutes. That was my breaking point, when I knew something had to change. I read a lot about infant sleep in search of a plan. The cry-it-out method was never very comfortable for me. I didn't want my baby to think his needs weren't being heard. But we also tried The No Cry Sleep Solution, and it didn't work either. My favorite book was "Goodnight, Sleep Tight" by Kim West. It was a great balance of letting your child learn how to put himself to sleep while still avoiding those painful cry it out spells. And it worked. Aaron's sleep habits turned around fairly quickly (2-3 weeks).

For daytime, have you tried babywearing? Find a good sling or carrier so you can keep him close but still have your hands free. This was a lifesaver for me when Aaron was smaller.

I've only been mama to a little girl for a few weeks, but I see a huge difference between boys and girls. Susannah is so much more independent. She's happy to sit by herself for a little while, and she's a champion sleeper. Other mamas have told me the same thing about their kids, too. At six months, I don't see anything wrong with being a mama's boy - as long as you can find some solutions to the problem areas that are really trying. He won't be a baby for long!

Just thought I'd throw my two cents in. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt if needed. :-)

Rebecca said...

Oh, just look at that sweet face... no wonder it would be hard to let him cry. :) Hope you find a good strategy so you can both enjoy more peaceful nights.

Kris said...

Leave it to Kyra to be your little "reminder"! Sarah, I hope you find what works best for you...and don't worry about this weekend, we can handle a little crying so you can get him where you need him!

Jen Hennip said...

I think we too are going to have the same problem you are having with Andrew! Last baby, want to love on them all the time, easier to nurse them in the middle of the night than let them cry...I am relating all the more. Hang in there and I know it will get better. Just make sure to pass on words of advice to me when we get to the six month stage!