Fussing

July 28, 2012 · 11:33 am

When Nati was a baby, I heard and read all kinds of advice that referenced “fussing.”  Particularly, I was looking for advice on how in the world do I get this child to sleep before I lose my mind?  You see, Nati did not sleep on his own.  He needed to be nursed to sleep for each and every nap and bed time, and then frequently throughout the night.  And even once he was asleep, any attempts to detach him from my body resulted in waking up and starting the whole process over.

I think it is a part of being human to want an occasional millisecond of time to oneself. So in desperation, I sought advice on  sleep training.  I researched several methods, each of which had been labeled both Biblical truth and heresy by different groups of zealots.  But each and every method involved some level of allowing your child to “fuss.”

What is this fussing you speak of?  I tried several of the methods, but during the stage when Nati was supposed to be “fussing,” he was instead screaming hysterically.  He did this for a full three hours one time before I couldn’t bear it anymore.  Some people might think I didn’t wait long enough, but three hours of my child screaming hysterically was more than enough for me.  So I gave up on sleep training, and to this day, Nati needs me to cuddle him each night until he falls asleep.

And then there is Lily.  When she falls asleep while nursing, she does this marvelous thing: she unlatches and rolls away from me.  It’s kind of like being in jail and having the doors suddenly pop open. Truly exhilarating.  (Not that nursing is like jail, but freedom is like freedom.) And on the occasions where she is tired and I don’t pick her up right away, she fusses.  Fussing, for those of you who are not familiar, is kind of like crying-lite.  Or gentle whining.  So this is what all those sleep trainers thought my child would do. She does it for a few minutes, and then she falls asleep.  It is nothing short of miraculous.  I think when God made her, he was feeling concerned about my ability to maintain my sanity.

Bliss

5 Thoughts on “Fussing

  1. This gives me hope. So much hope.

    I also know not of this fussing. Just screaming. Maybe the next one.

    • I think all advice should come with the disclaimer: “If you have a needy and/or strong-willed child, this probably won’t work.” Maybe the next one. :-)

  2. I just found your blog, it was mentioned from my mom who heard about it from her mom.. (Anna Ruth Jacobs, Jane Stoltzfus.. just play the Africa/Mennonite game and you’ll know who they are..;-)) Anywho.. You just described my son beautifully on the sleep front.. and also our stages of trying this whole “sleep training” thing.. which didn’t work for us either. I still cuddle my son to sleep and sometimes during the night. You give me hope for whenever the second comes along!

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