I heard a very sad story this week. A story about a beautiful baby girl, strangled by her own blanket.
Some friends of ours joined Alex, Cohen and I at the cabin for a mini vacay. Alex has been working so hard this summer, starting up his new exterior renos company, Lighthouse Exteriors. This week was the first time he took three days off in a row since the company started in May (he only took two days when C was born cuz I had lots of help and told him it was okay!).
Our friends also have a little boy and as we were discussing the challenges of parenting they told us the story.
A couple puts their baby girl to bed. She cries. They check on her and she’s fine. She cries again and they decide not to check this time. She’s probably just wanting attention like the sleep training book they read says. An hour later she’s finally quiet and they check on her again only to discover she’s not breathing. Strangled by a blanket.
It’s such a sad story and last night I found myself losing sleep, worrying about Cohen. What if a blanket suffocates him? (He doesn’t sleep with extra blankets, only the one swaddling him, but it could still happen, couldn’t it?) I found myself getting up two or three times to tiptoe into his room and watch for the slight rise and fall of his belly in the dark. And I was reminded once again of how precious and delicate life is.
I’m not going to be a prisoner to worry, though. I’ve done it before and I can’t do it again.
I’m going to trust that the Giver of Life is watching over our every breath. He knows the number of hairs on my baby boys’ head (and if you know Cohen, that’s a lot!!) He knows each word he’ll ever speak (and that his first will be “mama” ; )
He knows and He cares.
And as I take on the sometimes daunting task of raising a child, I will follow my God-given instincts more than any parenting book. Even if the book tells me not to go to my baby when he’s crying, I may still tiptoe into his room and lift him into my arms. Even if it tells me not to rock him to sleep, I may still hold my precious bundle til his eyelids grow heavy. Even if the “book” part of me says, “just leave him, he’s fine”, I may follow my heart and go, just to make sure.
Please don’t think I’m saying the parenting books are bad. Nor am I endorsing or criticizing any theory of sleep training. However one of the most empowering things I was told as a mother is to follow my instincts. On top of that I add my trust in a LOVING Father God and from that place comes my “parenting theory”.
I’m not going to worry. But I will keep checking.