You guys, we dropped Knox’s swaddle last week. (AKA we stopped swaddling him at night in his crib, and let him sleep in just a sleeper…it takes babies getting used to since they’re not wrapped up tight mimicking life in the womb anymore.) I know it’s silly, but all of the sudden it feels like his 18th birthday is right around the corner…
(I know, I know, it’s not…but how old does he look sitting up in his Bumbo????)
Just like moving Knox to his crib and his own room, I made the decision spontaneously, so anticipating it wouldn’t make me anxious or overly sad. (Ok, let’s be real, I was still pretty sad…) For the previous week or two, whenever I would swaddle Knox up to rock him to sleep, he’d start fussing + trying to break his arms out of the swaddle. I figured this was his way of showing me he was ready for life outside of his baby straight jacket.
But honestly, part of me held off because I didn’t want to accept that he was “growing up” so fast. He would usually fuss or cry for a few minutes, but then he’d give into the swaddle, and sleep well with it on, so I figured it was easier to leave it on than deal with the transition to life without it. But in my mama’s heart I knew he was ready to have some freedom with his arms. And the first night I left him unswaddled proved exactly that. (See smiles below. Also, don’t judge the quality of the pictures, they’re taken from our webcam…)
At first when I laid him down in his crib with his arms out of the swaddle, I could tell he was a little confused. Wondering why his arms weren’t strapped down, and why he could wave them around + what the heck to do with them.
So he resorted to sucking on his thumb, and he’d drift off to sleep. He was figuring it out! (Side note: is there anything cuter than a baby sucking on his thumb?!?!)
And all of the sudden I felt so proud, but also a slight sadness because my baby boy was learning to do something for himself that I’d previously done for him.
Yes, Knox is only 3 months old, but it seriously feels like he is growing up SO fast. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that he also rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time last week. Now add in no more swaddle, and I feel like my baby is becoming less of a baby waaaaaay too fast!!
I’m still new to the “mom thing,” but I’m realizing that there are going to be things throughout my child’s life that he needs to figure out on his own. He’s already showing me how smart he is at such a young age, and that he CAN figure things out if I give him the chance. It just might take me gluing myself to a chair to not step in and show him how to do it. (Don’t get me wrong, I do realize there are DEFINITELY times when parents should step in and help out, especially due to safety, but those are not the things I’m talking about.) I want Knox to grow up with the confidence that he can do anything he puts his mind to, and that if he doesn’t know how to do it at first, he should work really hard at figuring it out on his own before asking for help. And the only way he can begin to do that is if I give him the time + space to figure things out himself.
I know a lot of times it will be easier to just do things for him, instead of waiting for him to work it out on his own. But as the Chinese Proverb says,
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Someday Knox is going to grow up and leave my nest. (Bawl…) And on that day, I want him to have the confidence to face life on his own. (Of course knowing that if he needs us, Stuart and I will always be there for him.) But knowing that we have equipped him with the knowledge and abilities to be an independent man, looking to the Lord first for wisdom and direction, and Mom and Dad simply for the encouragement to reach his goals.
(And yes, I got all of that from the simple act of dropping his swaddle.)
But even knowing these things, there will still be nights where I rock him a little longer as he falls asleep, with his head nuzzled into my neck. Not because he necessarily needs it, but because I do.