ch ch ch…

Josie is four months old. What?! I have a four-month-old daughter? Since when? Who is it? Is she related to the newborn I had?

There is a really tall baby that lives with K and I, and more often than not I find her sleeping in bed with us at night. She doesn’t sleep in the swing, and she doesn’t need all 500 Fleetwood Mac songs sung to her to get her there. Once in a while, I see a smile that I used to get my baby to make at the smallest provocation; this kid needs a lot more entertainment.

Unlike newborn sleepyhead, this Josie will not go quietly into a good nap. There is much crying, and often for little result. We can easily dance or swing her for over an hour just to get 10 minutes of unconsciousness out of her. The two ways we can get her to nap any longer than that is if K wears her in the Moby wrap and never stops moving, or if I lie down and nurse her to sleep.

She grows and changes, as does our hair. Mostly the result of many months away from a barber shop and lots of mother's milk.

She still cries at this, but once she’s asleep, I can keep her that way for almost two hours — as long as her arms are wrapped very possessively around the breast and I do not move one muscle the entire time. The whole operation’s awash if I adjust to relieve hip pain. I have spent 16 hours lying on my side some days. I would let her stay up all day and night if she’d be happy, but she kvetches all day when she’s tired.

I do not like to complain about her because it is clearly a parenting fault. Some of it is teething, too. Her breastfeeding issues largely cleared up after her frenotomy, but I don’t think there’s any minor surgery that makes a baby nap! We’ve bought the No Cry Sleep Solution, but of course we haven’t had time to read it. We’ve been told over and over that we have to make the call, and soon: either we let her cry it out a few nights in a row or we have a kid in our bed till 2020. We talk about it a lot, but neither of us are up for letting her cry for hours on end. I don’t know if it’s because of post-traumatic-birth syndrome or because we’re just wusses.

In spite of the fussy sleepiness, Josie is quite an amazing, silly, fun, and delicious kid. We love playing call-and-response cooing with her. She loves making us jump in surprise by suddenly wiggling her entire body on the changing table. She cuddles us really sweetly right before bed — if I put my head over her torso, she’ll wrap her arms around it (and then proceed to pull my hair). There’s so much more to say about our patootie, but there may be only seconds left of this miracle nap K snuck her into.


3 Responses to “ch ch ch…”

  1. 1 Nuclear Mama April 27, 2012 at 12:27 am

    The very moment I finished reading this, Miss Josie demanded one of those yummy “nursing naps.” Do you think she can see our thoughts?

  2. 2 angelacbartlett April 27, 2012 at 2:51 am

    No!!! This is not your fault! Some kids just have a really rough time. Ben was the most miserable baby I’ve ever seen, and we did everything we could. He never slept and he screamed or looked angry all of the time. I had to carry him around in a sling and if I stopped moving or adjusted, he’d wake up and scream again. It was awful. The No Cry Sleep Solution did not work for us. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child worked for us. It’s not the most well-written, but the information was helpful and offered a wide range of options. You are amazing parents, and I will not allow you to put this on yourselves. You’ll get through this. You WILL sleep a full night one day soon. Ben is the sweetest most amazing person in the world. No one would ever know what a tough time he had as a baby. We love and miss you!

  3. 3 Rebeccah April 27, 2012 at 5:23 am

    She’s getting so tall! Beautiful.

    We’re all about co-sleeping right now–primarily because it’s the only way I can get any sleep. And the fussy teething thing is just starting, oh joy.

    Don’t buy the hype about any of the sleep books. The method that will work for you is the method that works for your particular kid. The rest of it is just dumb luck (or, in our case, 3 years of no sleep).

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