Raising a Blended Family

I’ll sleep anywhere you want me to, as long as it’s on a mama!

on February 16, 2013

After a week and a half of intentional blog silence, I’ve been trying to figure out how to ease back into blogging. I’ve basically decided that there is no easy way to do it, and that like many things in life, I’m just going to have to rip off the bandaid and power through it. So this is me, ripping the bandaid off, with a post about our boy’s napping habits.

At four months old, Pax has reached or almost reached a variety of milestones. He coos. He’s almost rolling over. He will blow raspberries. He smiles, and kind-of giggles, and interacts like nobody’s business.  But one thing that has not changed since his newborn days is his steadfast refusal to sleep anywhere that is not directly on a mama.

This is a very cute and cuddly habit, but it’s also inconvenient, as you can imagine. It means that during the day, when he is sleeping on me and I am home alone, the other baby is pretty much S.O.L. if she needs something (not really, but it does mean I have to occasionally wake Pax far earlier than he’d prefer to be woken in order to get something/feed/help the other baby… you’d think this would be a deterrent for him to nap on me but you’d be wrong).  It means that he won’t nap when we’re out running errands during the day (because his carseat is CLEARLY not a mom… although the ergo is sometimes acceptable).  It means that when we’re both home, one mom is pretty much relegated to surfing the web for the duration of his nap while the other mom caters to the baby and the kid (and it also means that we fight for who gets to be the mom he naps on because, hello, being able to sit on your ass for two hours cuddling a baby and surfing the web and say you’re actively parenting? Hello, awesome.).

So yes, it’s inconvenient. 

Not that we’ve really tried to do much about it so far.  We recognize that at four months, he’s still a pretty young baby and that also, snuggled into our chests is the most natural place for him to want to be right now.  I’m also of the mindset of “if that’s what he needs right now to make him feel safe/secure/comforted enough to nap, then that’s what he needs” (a similar mindset goes into the whole cosleeping-not-by-choice thing- if that’s what he needs, for now, then so be it.).

So the reason I’m writing this post arises not so much from wanting to stop this behavior right now, while he needs it per say, but from how to know when it’s gone from “need” to “habit” and how to stop it when it gets that far.  Obviously, I don’t want to be two years down the road with my toddler still needing to nap ON me! (okay, gross overexaggeration, but you get the point).

I think it’s complicated because overall Pax seems to be a very tactile baby- he needs to FEEL us, skin to skin, and seems to get a lot of comfort out of it. I know all babies do this to an extent but he seems to be even more-so than average.  I’m a tactile person too, so I get it.  It’s why he wants to be held all the time during the day.  And at night, for instance, now that we have a King bed, Pax will spread out and if he doesn’t make contact with one of us via an arm or a foot, he will wiggle until he does… and then he’ll stop, arm or hand or foot lightly resting on an area of our skin, and breathe/sleep peacefully once more.  He does this even if he’s in a deep sleep… he wants to be touching us, and that definitely is reflected during the day when he wants to nap on us.

I don’t mind any of this. I am absolutely not complaining about the fact that my baby needs me and needs to be physically near me for comfort and support. It’s 100% okay in my book.  But the question is, once he doesn’t NEED it anymore, will the behavior just disappear on its own (ie, napping on us?).  Or will it become a habit we will actively have to break?

I’m thinking the time will come soon where it’s not as much of a need anymore.  I can see it during the day, when I put him down now for floortime. He doesn’t always cry, but when he does, it’s usually an outraged, I-can’t-believe-you-just-put-me-down, sharp and angry cry, rather than a heartbroken, scared, mommy-I-need-you-cry.  And if I leave him alone for a minute, half the time he’ll get over being mad and settle down to the business of exploring and playing on his own (the other half of the time I pick him back up.).  This kind of burgeoning independence and willingness to be out of a mama’s arms for a bit to explore is an encouraging sign that he may be starting to not need the physical closeness allthetime as much anymore… and that maybe, just maybe, that newfound independence could start to expand to naps as well, and he might start letting us put him down after being rocked to sleep or such.  One can only dream, right?


I know that only time can tell, and we will figure this all out in due time.  For now, though, I would love to hear your thoughts on this, mamas who have been there done that!

4 responses to “I’ll sleep anywhere you want me to, as long as it’s on a mama!

  1. Karen says:

    When our son was home (not in daycare) he always slept on me, whether during the day or at night. Even after he stopped sleeping on me, he had to be touching me or his other mom in order to sleep. At three and a half he decided to move into his own room and has slept there ever since. We left him lead us in what he needed.

    Of course, we only had one.

    Yes, it’s inconvenient, but it is also a very short time in a the scheme of things. He is now an independent, affectionate, loving thirteen year old who no longer wants to cuddle (mostly).

    This process may not be feasible to you. But it is what worked for us. I think that whatever works for your family is what is going to be best for your family.

  2. We had a similar situation (but without another baby to worry about) for naps. We stopped holding Buggie for naps when I decided I had had enough. She would have been happy to keep doing it, but I just couldn’t. So you might find that you’re ready to stop, and that will be when you know he doesn’t “need” it anymore. For me this happened just after six months. She transitioned pretty well to sleeping on her own, I think in part because she was more ready than she was at four months, and I most definitely was!

  3. Roxxroxx says:

    One of our 8-week-old twins is like this too. I love it so far but am conflicted about feeling closer to that twin.

  4. […] contact with the bare skin of one of our arms, or necks, or bellies. This, too, he has always done. An earlier post of mine describing 4-month-old Pax states that […]

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