A few days before Lucy was born, my sister in law gave me a piece of advice, "No matter what any one says, you hold your baby as much and as often as you want. Don't worry about "spoiling" her-- just take the time you are given and hold her as much as you want-- because before you know it, she'll be too big to want to be held." I have mentioned before how I have followed that piece of advice and have been very glad I did. Although I read many different opinions on putting your child to bed awake and letting them fall asleep on their own, I confess I did not do that.
For the entirety of Lu's life, I have taken the last couple hours of her wake time every night and have held her. When it's almost bed time, she gets a bath, pj's and a bottle and I have held her until she drifts off to sleep-- usually during the last few sips of her bottle. After a few stolen moments of holding her close, we put her down in her crib and enjoy the rest of the evening together. So many of these nights over the last 11 months, I considered doing things differently whether out of concern for her sleep patterns or out of guilt over other responsibilities since I was gone during the day. I never changed things and now I am so glad I did not. In the last few weeks, during her bottle she has started to squirm and so we began taking her upstairs, praying with her and putting her down in the crib. The first few nights, we expected her to fight it, but she has just rolled over and peacefully gone off to sleep. Now that those long extended cuddling periods are all of a sudden few and far between-- I'm so glad I listened to my heart as a mother and not to the experts! (Sidenote, I ALWAYS follow the AAP on just about every topic. For example, Lucy has just now been given a blanket at night-- no taking chances there!)
It's interesting how quickly things change and evolve. I hope I am forever aware of the fact that ALL we are guaranteed is today. I hope I continue to cherish every single moment, every single giggle, every single time I get splashed during Lucy's bath time, every bit of delight she shows when we play together, every time she is feeling under the weather and she needs to cuddle with her mama, every single moment is a gift-- even the current moment, as she is actively trying to unplug this computer's power source as I scramble to finish my slightly poignant thoughts. HA! I love my life. Even though it's actively changing. I love it and I love them.