It’s been a week of adjustments.

My darling dear has “survived” a week of full-time daycare, and so have I.

I can’t say I like it.

Well, the first day back at work was actually fun. Seeing my old work friends, taking vigorous notes in meetings, making a fresh start in the office with lots of great ideas… it was great, really. The second day, not so much.

It just sinked in hard that my little guy is in another world. I spend my day clicking on the daycare’s online webcam, which is both a blessing and a curse. My brain is constantly wandering away from work, worrying, about him. Do they realize he needs to be carried and snuggled when he wakes up from a nap?

Napping

Yeah, naps. Total disaster. At home, he used to sleep twice a day, for a total of 3 hours. Now, he sleeps for an hour or so in the early afternoon, simply by pure exhaustion. The caregivers have tried to do more, but he lets out a tea-kettle yell and refuses.

Goodbye boobies.

I fully expected this to happen. I knew weaning was going to cause trouble in the naps department at daycare. In the past weeks, I’ve neither refused nor offered breastfeeding, but he couldn’t let go of the habit of falling asleep while nursing.

After the first day at the office,  my boobs felt like they were about to explode. By Friday, I could feel that I was… a lot less buxom. This has been an unexpected sadness. At night, my baby still feeds, but squeezes me like a sippy-sack, then falls asleep. Breastfeeding is slowly winding down. I know I sound melodramatic, but it’s a bit like mourning an old life. It’s another link being broken.

Bedtime sleep.

I guess I’m going through separation anxiety, just as much as he is.

Yet, I think he’s gradually adjusting himself to this new reality. At first, he refused to sleep in the crib. No problem. I love co-sleeping. I feel like we’re sharing dreamland together, and somehow catching up on lost time. By the end of the week, he’d settle for longer periods in his crib (with his usual bum-in-the-air position) and we’d co-sleep later in the night. Now, he can make most of the night on his own.

Oddly, he’s snoozing in much longer chunks. Last night, a whole 5 hours. I don’t know what to make of that. I guess it’s the weaning. Just as I’ve always suspected, my baby was waking up regularly at night to breastfeed, and now that the well is running dry, he no longer has the incentive.

So to sum up:

  • We are in the adjustment phase. He still cries when I drop him off, but the daycare webcam later shows him to be happily playing with his toys.
  • Breastfeeding is now only in the early morning, after daycare, at bedtime, and whenever he wakes up in the middle of the night. I’m kind of glad to keep this little intimate connection with him for a little longer. I’m sure it’s comforting for him.
  • His naps suck, but he sleeps in longer stretches at night. So in the end, I think he gets an adequate amount of sleep.

None the worse for wear!

So it seems to balance out, except for one thing. It just feels unnatural to leave my baby in someone else’s care for over 8 hours. I can’t shake the feeling, despite my feminist beliefs, that I should stay home with him. I chose a great daycare, with a high caregiver-to-baby ratio, but they could never replace the individual attention I would give my son. And I miss him so much!

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5 Comments

Filed under Co-sleeping, My Personal Experience, Naps

5 responses to “It’s been a week of adjustments.

  1. CJ

    What a sweet little boy! I am captivated by the idea of your daycare having a webcam. It must be such a relief to you that you can see him playing happily, even though you had left him in tears. As for the guilt about leaving him at all – I sympathise and am feeling the same way. However, if your blossom is anything like mine, he really needs the stimulation of new toys, other kids and the structured activities that the professional carers can offer. Also, the thing that I keep telling myself is that – though I love being with my daughter – continuing with my career is how I am taking care of my future self. I won’t be doing my daughter any favours in the future if I let my own skills atrophy, and hit mid-life (and her teenage years) with no life outside of the one that I’ve shared with her. Sending our precious babies away is a really, really tough gig. Good luck and thanks for your encouragement to me too. CJ

    • Thank you CJ! Yes, I agree that it’s best to keep my career alive, both for my son and myself. As I was anticipating this change, I kept thinking about how HE was going to handle it. I didn’t realize that it would be so difficult for me too.

  2. Hang in there. It gets easier over time. (Well, it did for me at least.) I still have my occasional teary moments when I think about someone else with my little guy all day long instead of me. However, as CJ says, kids thrive on the structure and socialization that daycare provides. And way cool about the webcam. How very comforting that you can check in whenever!

    Regarding the breastfeeding, mine (14 months) just stopped a few days ago. It’s a very emotional thing. Hold onto the nursing sessions you still have! But, then realize that it’s natural for them to move on at some point too!

    Good luck!

    • Hey Nikki! It’s already getting easier, sometimes shockingly easier. There are moments during the day that I actually don’t think of him. How strange, especially after 15 months of caring for him all day. Yeah, I love the webcam. It feels good to see him having fun and being well cared for. I’ll try to be better prepared for the next change, imminent weaning, but I am enjoying it for as long as it will last. I’m sure you still get your snuggles without breastfeeding, right?

      • Yes, I TOTALLY still get my snuggles without breastfeeding. It’s so cute– as soon as I walk through the door after a long day of work (my son is at home w/my husband at this time), he stops whatever he is doing and runs into my arms and puts his head on my chest. Then, he is ultra snuggly at night AND on the weekends when I can nap with him (or at least lay with him until he falls asleep). It all works out in the end 🙂

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