Updated: Sep 24, 2022
Typically, my nighttime routine consists of nursing my baby, often bouncing her on my mini rebounder (a total must have for new mamas!). This has been what’s worked for her as the rocking and feeding guide her into a peaceful slumber. And now, with her natural timing developing more and more each day, a new way is emerging. We get in bed together and she’ll usually nurse first and then, as I lay with her, she flops her body all around. She’ll sit up and then lay down and then come back to graze a little more on my boobs. And then she splays herself over me, over the comforter, side to side, guiding her own body into rest. I lay there witnessing her process as she does what she needs to do to put herself to sleep. It’s quite delightful to just watch her find her own way while still in connection with me.
"I lay there witnessing her process as she does what she needs to do to put herself to sleep."
I love this progression that’s naturally emerged. She’s reaching a new developmental phase and she doesn’t need me to bounce her to sleep at night. She still prefers that method for her naps sometimes. That’s ok, too. I’m not interested in disrupting natural developmental progression.
I’ve never forced her to learn how to put herself to sleep. I’ve never put her down and left the room for her to cry herself to sleep. There’s no need. I’m following her innate wisdom and timing as she moves into her next stage of development.
"I’ve never forced her to learn how to put herself to sleep. I’ve never put her down and left the room for her to cry herself to sleep. There’s no need."
I enjoy this continual discovery of how her needs lead the way. There is an ongoing, symbiotic relationship of her building more autonomy and self-regulation, and my own appreciation for her budding independence. Perfect timing in following the natural developmental unfolding.
She began doing this when we were in California last month. The first night she did it, I wondered if it was a one time thing. And then the next night, and the next, she did the same moving of her body to discharge extra energy as her body eventually relaxed into stillness and deep slumber.
Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it’s quick and I just stay present with her. When she was sick for a week she became more reliant on me again for nurturing her into slumber, but now she’s back to this new phase of putting herself to sleep. And it’s soooo satisfying to witness. Her intelligent body finds its way into resting. The organic next steps of independence are revealing themselves in natural timing. Ahhhhhhh.
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