To Have and to Hold

Or….. Baby Whispering

I get a lot of flack for ‘spoiling’.

The MIL tells me often that I’m spoiling Elle by holding her, carrying her, snuggling her as she sleeps. She’s of the era of ‘cry it out’. Let her cry, she’ll sleep eventually.

Now ‘spoiled’ is a sore spot for me. Spoiling, to me, is raising an ungrateful child, one without manners, politeness, appreciation and tact. I am very aware of these traits, and I’ve always been that ‘teacher’ ( not technically, but to 5 year olds, we assistant qualify) that enforces pleases and thank you’s and may I’s and hugs on a regular basis. I intend to do the same with my daughter.

My parents are already showing their tendency towards gift giving. She’s little now, but a time will come when she’ll expect a present when grandma or grandpa come over. That, I will not have, and I’ve already had that harsh talk with ma and pa. Give her experience, be with her, play with her, hug and love her. Don’t buy her things for the sake of buying.

So, I still get flack because, since she was born, I’ve held her often while she sleeps. In my defense, Elle does not sleep in our bed, she sleeps in her own at night. She naps in her crib from time to time, but always shortly and restlessly. Her best and most sound sleeps are curled up in my arms.

And is there any better feeling?

A librarian friend gave me the ‘baby whisperer’ manual. It did a great job of making me feel like a dud for rocking my girl to sleep, cuddling her, picking her up. I let it get in my head and tried to break our patterns……

I got an overtired and cranky girl, and none of the destress and validation that comes from a good cuddle.

What I learned is to do what works for us, whisperer be damned. A time will come when I cannot do things this way, but for now, a snuggle, a rock, sometimes just reading a story to put her to sleep (two months is not too young to read!) are worth the naps in my arms. So I get nothing done. Maybe she’s getting used to these moments. I will have habits to contend with later…. This I know.

But now… Today is fleeting. After 9 months of worry, after a year of hurt… I relish each second when she’s not too big to cuddle. I thrive on these moments when Elle lies in my arms, breathing deeply, curled into my chest, her hand resting over my heart.

She doesn’t know how healing that tiny, precious hand is. Each little finger full of hope and happiness, infusing my soul with gratitude.

I am not a perfect mother. This is my first time, I’m sure ill have regrets. But I truly cannot see a day when I look back and wish I hadn’t held her all I could.

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8 Responses to To Have and to Hold

  1. babylossmama says:

    You go, mama. There’s no such thing as spoiling a baby. And I highly doubt you’ll ever regret these moments!

  2. jo says:

    Children grow up so fast, and before you know it, they don’t want so many cuddles. I realized it more with each child 🙂 I’m enjoying reading your blog! Your writing makes me lose track of time 🙂

  3. I see nothing wrong in comforting a child. To the others who would have you “let her cry it out”, tell them this is your child, not there’s. Hugs and prayers.

  4. bebeparler says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you! Lovely post. They do bring great healing don’t they? Cuddle away I say! I do the same. IVF babies are our living miracles, so precious. 🙂

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