The Pregnant Waddle

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Just Around the Corner (It's Trying to Run and Hide)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A cautionary tale

We visited the Husbandlet’s parents at his aunt and uncle’s house over the weekend. Per the pediatrician’s suggestion, we have Ngaire sleeping in her infant carseat these days. At home, we put the carseat inside the co-sleeper (in its playpen-level version). But for this weekend trip, we decided to leave the co-sleeper and just put the baby in the carseat on the floor in our room to sleep.

So, baby bedtime came around, and I put the Squid in her carseat and left the room. The last few nights, she hadn’t cried at all when we put her down, so we were rather surprised when she proceeded to cry for the next hour and a half. We didn’t go check on her, though, because of the whole if-you-go-in-it’ll-just-teach-her-that’s-how-long-to-cry-so-you’ll-come-get-her thing. She did stop crying, though, so we figured it was the new environment that was getting to her.

A couple hours later, we went up to bed. I opened our bedroom door, stepped into the dark room … and my foot bumped against something that felt suspiciously like a warm body lying on the floor. It took me a couple of seconds to get through the rush of possibilities of what it could be, but you’ll be glad to know I did arrive at the correct answer, dive for the light switch and then for the Squid, and get her hopelessly tangled in the fringe of the bedspread as I tried to pick her up. Ngaire had knocked her carseat over backwards (the head end resting on the floor), slithered out headfirst from the shoulder harness, and fallen asleep on the floor.

She was perfectly all right, but once the initial shock and terror of nearly treading on my baby was over, I still felt pretty shocked and terrified. Fortunately, the distance between carseat and floor was nearly nothing, and she didn’t seem to have twisted any tiny limbs in her slithering, but the thought of my poor baby crying herself to sleep on the floor was pretty disheartening, not to mention the incompetent-mommyness of leaving the situation open to slitherage and then not checking in during the lengthy crying. The stories of even greater parental incompetence and more miraculous infant survival told to me by sympathetic relatives did little to relieve my guilt.

Ngaire, though, seemed more put out by the fact that I woke her up, comfort-nursed her (my comfort; you understand), and then put her back in the (carefully-propped) carseat. In retrospect, I should have left her sleeping on the floor; she was perfectly content there.


At 11:17 AM, Blogger Papaya Mommy said...

Here's a couple more incompetent parent stories to make you feel better:

When I was a baby & being sleep-trained (so I am told), I slept in a crib with a mobile suspended across the crib on a cord tied to the two top rails (a design which I'm sure would not be allowed now-a-days!) One night, after over an hour of utterly frantic crying, my mom overcame her own "I-shouldn't-go-into-her-because-it-will-teach-her-to-cry-longer" inhibilitions and checked on me. I had somehow managed to drape myself over the mobile cord, & was hanging in mid-air (luckily I didn't hang myself). Needless to say, Mommy-guilt was strong, & I got a reprieve from cry-it-out that night.

It's scary, sometimes, to realize the somewhat dangerous incompetence I am occassionally susceptible to. A couple days ago, I was sitting on the floor with Anna in front of me. Anna can sit unassisted for most of the time, but sometimes throws herself backwards with considerable force, so needs some support behind her. Well, I was that support, until I forgot about my supportive nature and jumped up to show Josiah something. A few seconds later, I heard the sickening smack of baby skull hitting hard tile floor, followed by a piercing, panicking scream. Happily, no concussions ensued, although Anna did scream for awhile and it took quite a bit longer for me to get over an awful shakiness about what I had allowed to happen.

You're not alone!

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Jordana said...

Kids are masters at making parents feel guilty, even before they can walk and talk. She won't be scarred for life and I'm glad that she is generally sleeping better.

One thing I have learned is that no matter how well they sleep at home, they never, ever do so well when you are visiting. With my son, I tried to stick to my bedtime routine no matter where we were and he would scream and cry for ages when out of the house even though he (eventually) went to sleep easily at home. Now, I just throw the routine out the window when we travel and do whatever works, nursing to sleep, etc. It never seems to screw up the routine when we are back in the routine environment.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Jordana said...

Heather, I think that story from your babyhood was one Chris's mom tried to tell me to comfort me ... it sounds vaguely familiar, though I was too busy comfort-nursing to really take it in.

Ngaire is currently eating something off our bedroom floor, which is truly scary.


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