When adopting, your child’s life has just been turned upside down. Cocooning is a time when as soon as you get home you can rest, reduce stimulation, limit visitors, and allow the child to learn that you are mama and baba (or mom and dad). 🙂
When we got home from China, I was in full blown Mama Bear mode! We would not go anywhere, see anyone, we did nothing! If you knocked on our door then you better pray to baby Jesus that it was an emergency or else you were asked to leave. We would take cocooning literally. Our home was our cocoon. Do I regret it? kind of. This is what I learned during that cocooning process:
Every child is different. You will know when you get home with your child and get familiar with them just how much cocooning needs to happen. Just because you read that children need so many months, does not mean that’s the case for your child. Books I read mentioned 6 months, but Sweet P only needed around 2 months before she was good and comfortable being introduced to family.
Don’t over do it. Do I feel like we took it to another level? Yes. I was very forceful and rude to family a lot of times because they just didn’t get what we were saying. Sometimes you have to spell things out for people, and I would get annoyed people wouldn’t understand the cocooning process. I finally wrote this blog post to help talk about it and wish I would have done it sooner. Remember, your family is just as excited as you are and they only want the best.
Take time for you. You can not provide the accurate parenting skills you need to during the cocooning process (or just parenting process in general!) unless you take time for yourself. Even if it’s waking up 5 minutes early to fix your favorite cup of coffee, taking a long soak in a bath at night, reading one chapter in your favorite book. It seems selfish but it’s NOT. Do something that will help you regroup or else you will become drained and it will show to your child.
Do I regret being rude to family? Yes. Do I regret taking the time needed to bond with my girl? Never. I would go back and do it all over again in a heart beat. Anyone that knows us can tell you that Sweet P is very well bonded to us and she is doing great with attachment! We highly recommend cocooning when you get home wether it be with an older child or newborn.
Sweet P and her cousins at her Uncle Zack’s rehearsal dinner 🙂 a blog post about the wedding coming soon!