Monday, December 08, 2008

Why Worry

Back when Kate was born, I worried by the minute that some unseen force would crush her tiny life if I wasn't ever-vigilant. I was constantly checking to make sure she was breathing, which I know is cliche but, while we're on the topic, aren't cliches cliches because they work? Anyway, I did. I hadn't realized that, much like roaches, tiny infants, though easily crushed to death, are otherwise surprisingly resilient. ( No, I did not try putting her in the microwave, it's a limited metaphor, I know.)

The problem was that Kate was a tummy-sleeper from the word go. She liked to nuzzle her breathing apparatus into the mattress with her arms folded under her chest and her diapered aft portion aloft. We call it the Frog Pose. Adorable, yes, but according to the terrifying posters all over the hospital and pediatricians' offices, deadly. Oh, we tried to obey the staunch Back-To-Sleep campaign. We tried, even though, when we were born at the dawn of the 70s it was all about putting us on our tummies, I presume in case we puked because that's how Hendrix died. Then I think there was a Lay Them On Their Sides period which leads us up to today. I guess things will come back around to the stomach because some other genius musician will choke on his own vomit. Or, I don't know, maybe there will be a brief period when you turn them all night on some slow-moving baby spit over an antibacterial humidifier. (Note to self: Invent Baby Spit...call it something that sounds less that the shmutz that oozes from babies' mouths.)

Anyway, Kate's deathwish gave us fits, until we realized she screamed when we put her on her back and slept when we put her on her tummy. Judge all you want, non-kid-having people, but when you haven't slept for 6 weeks you'll do anything too. We also realized she'd sleep if we just left the vacuum cleaner running. For awhile the house was very clean, then the not sleeping for a month and half overcame the utility of the appliance and we just sat in her room and turned it on. I think she slept. If she wasn't sleeping, the noise drowned out her wailing, either way score one for mommy and daddy.

So anyway, we go through all this worry and what not and these days, safely out of the crib death zone, Kate opts to sleep spread eagle on her back like the victim of a drive-by. I haven't seen her sleep on her stomach since it was infant endangerment. Sarah, she's always been pretty good about just staying where she lands...I think...by the time we had the second one we'd stopped worrying...

Here they are, nestled snug in their beds. I know, because I came upstairs before going to bed to make sure they're both still breathing.

10 comments:

karen said...

Ross survived being a tummy-sleeper, too...and, worse, he slept with us in a waterbed for most of his first year (that anything if the baby sleeps thing? Totally.) and we used the regular comforters. The pediatrician reminded us that babies should sleep on their backs, on a rock, with no blankets. We tried that, he screamed impressively for hours. I decided he was not a changeling, so did not need to be left exposed on top of a mountain and brought him back to bed. He's turning ten in a month or two - I think it was ok.

*pab said...

I agree with Karen: whatever works. Also, my friend Jen Gallo correctly pointed out that if all three of us were sleeping well, why bother moving Z to his crib before Phil and I were ready to give up the sweetness of snuggling all night with a 4-month-old. Oh, and I swaddled him (because he loved it, and he SLEPT all night) until decided he would rather just be covered lightly with a blanket - somewhere around 7 months. He'll be a year on Friday, and officially out of the crib death danger zone.

LMP said...

Oh my, I thought they were considered out of that zone at 6 months...I'm worse than I thought.

Ashley Long said...

And here I thought I was the only horrid, evil-eye receiving parent letting both my kiddos sleep on their tummies. Vomit was a concern with Kyle...kid projectile spit up anything he sucked down (never thought it had to do with Hendrix...interesting). With Todd it was all about my sanity. 6 weeks with no sleep and someone's gonna get taken out. As yours do, mine now sleep on their backs. And I still check on them every night before I go to sleep...to make sure they are still breathing.

Anonymous said...

i slp fasdown in a dmpsydmpstr.

LMP said...

It kinda looks like you type facedown, too...

Lady Epiphany said...

Lin also survived being a tummy sleeper. Most of the time, I put her to sleep on her back, and as I stepped away, she flung herself over onto her tummy at 3 weeks old. That kid is a force of nature.

Anonymous said...

thus 1 tim i fel slepp wile i was with sumbody but what hapns in vegas stas in vegas

The Plaid Sheep said...

I want in on the baby spit.
Baby Rotisserie (for the would-be chefs)
Baby Spindle (for the crafty yet cautious parent)
Baby Safe! - (for the extra careful)
Baby Sleep n Spin (for the cutesy)

LMP said...

I was thinking maybe -

Baby-Go-Round
InfantiSafe or
Sleep n' Spin