Sunday, 11 August 2013

Baby Needs Me Time Too!

I have just put my four month old down in his cot for some Me Time.  He has been getting steadily grumpier and milk, cuddles, finger sucking and entertainment have all failed.  Then I remembered that he needs space sometimes too.  I think it can be one of the hardest things to realise as a mother (even one with five children) - sometimes all the singing, jiggling, playing, feeding and general goings on is too much for a baby and they just need some time alone.  So I popped him in the cot and went to the loo.  After a token protest, there was silence.  The necessary completed, I checked to see if he was asleep, but he just grinned at me, kicking his legs.

I remember my second daughter being particularly content to lie in her cot and chat to herself.  I would hear her in the mornings for a good half hour before I went in to her.  I always worried that she might get lonely but of course, healthy children let you know if something is wrong.  She was just very happy being by herself - especially first thing in the morning.

With each of my children I have had to learn to give them space when they are happy.  It is so tempting to pick them up when they are lying quietly or join in when they are playing by themselves   We're often told that we should leave a child to cry - at least for a while so they learn to settle themselves - and there is some truth in that, but I think it is even more important for them to experience being happy alone.  If they only really experience being upset when they are alone, they will have a skewed understanding as they grow.  At the very least I try to ensure I have not left my son to cry for longer than I have left him to play happily - neither is easy to do!

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