Monday, April 7, 2008

I just don't know

It's kind of ironic that this morning someone commented about Ryan sleeping on his belly because I had planned to write about his sleeping today. So I'm glad the subject brought up.

Ryan is all over the crib when he sleeps. When I check on him, he could be on his back, on his belly, lying vertically on one end of the crib or on his side in the other end of the crib. Sometimes I wonder if he's not up all night just crawling around. I really wouldn't be surprised.

When Ryan woke up screaming at 2:15 a.m. and I found him on his back with his head in the corner of his crib under the bumper pad, I was a little freaked out, but not terribly surprised. He, however, was stuck and he was mad.

So here's my bumper pad dilemma: When he wakes in the morning, he is usually pulling down the pad and peaking and over the top. Apparently he can now get underneath them too, so they really aren't serving any real purpose. Or are they? Since he is such a mover and shaker during the night, I'm wondering if they are helping to keep his little head safe from bumps and bruises throughout the night. Would not having them actually hurt him more?

I don't know. I think I should take them off and see what happens, but maybe I should keep them on so he doesn't have to bang his head. Would a better mother have instantly ripped them off the crib?

Does all this make me a bad mother? I've asked this question a million times in a million different situations. I feel like I'm always second-guessing myself. When I'm in the process of making a decision I am confident, but right after the judgment is made I start doubting it. Last night, I was sure it was better to keep them on, but today I'm in a panic about it.

I think many of us moms struggle with every day decisions. We just don't know how to handle every single situation and we're constantly worried that we might make the wrong decision. So we read and comment and try to digest millions and millions of facts and studies about the health, safety and best interest of our most precious possessions. We stay up late at night and search the Internet for other moms going through what we're going through and still, at the end of the day, we have to make our own decisions based on what's best for our individual families. And we have to live with the outcome of those decisions.

Frankly, it can be terrifying. How do you separate fact, exaggerated fact and complete fiction? How do you know that what your baby wants isn't exactly what your baby needs? How can you pick between the lesser of two evils when it comes to the safety of your kids? (Oh, this is how I feel about the bumper pad dilemma - it could hurt him to keep or get rid of them.)

I just don't know.

At the end of the day, I have to trust my judgment. Having kids is a learning process. It didn't get easier when I had my second child, like I thought it would, but it did make me more confident in some of the decisions I previously made. It also opened up completely new decision-making situations. Like the bumper pads.


Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat as you & there isn't much you can do about belly sleepers. My 3 year old slept on his stomach from about 3 months on b/c he would not sleep on his back no matter what I tried. On the other hand, my 10 month old daughter had no problem sleeping on her back. Within the past month or two she has started to sleep on her belly. You'd keep yourself up at night just to keep an eye on them & roll them back over if you worried so much! As for the bumper, I think I will soon take Abby's off...but it just looks so cute...bummer!!!!

Diane Hoffman said...

I know, I love the little bumper pads, but I'm afraid their days are numbered! We didn't take my daughter's off until she was 18 months old, way after they lost their usefulness.
Thank you for talking about your sleep challenges, it's so nice to know I'm not the only one with these struggles.

Shannon said...

Since my son was about 7 weeks old (he is now 15 weeks)I have let him nap on his belly. He def sleeps alot longer like that but at night he is still swaddled (he LOVES it) and put in a sleep positioner. You are so right about just having to read and digest all this information and form your own conclusion. I am just not comfortable putting him down for the night on his belly but I am sure once he changes his mind about the swaddling I will change my mind about the belly!

As for the bumper pads - I keep hearing not to use them until the baby is a year old. Since my son doesn't move around I haven't had to worry about bumps and bruises. But they are cute! I

Hopey said...

Dude, relax. Leave the bumpers in there if you think they look cute. You already know the worst that could happen...he could get stuck and get mad and scream! That's proof that your days of worrying about SIDS are over. He's a big enough boy to get some lung power up if he needs help.

I think our litigation-crazy society is making us into nutzo parents...this is because every baby product needs to have ten inches of warning text telling us how dangerous the product could be in the hands of a total idiot in order for the company to protect itself.

And I think that the SIDS thing is over blown...we don't think twice about putting our kids in cars everyday...the chances of them (or us) dying in a car accident are about 1 million times that of dying from sleeping on their belly.

That being said...of course I put Janie on her back! ;-)