I know, it sounds like an oxy moron. And that’s because it is. At least for me. It’s true that I occasionally speak to moms who say bizarre things like the following:
Me: Your baby goes down at 7:00pm??? How did you get your baby to go to bed before midnight???
Friend: I put him in his crib and he goes to sleep.
Me: Yeah but I bet he wakes up every two hours to nurse….
Former Friend (I’m joking… that would be petty of me…) No, he sleeps through the night.
There is also the occasional dialogue with the pediatrician that really makes me feel like a winner:
Pediatrician: They should be sleeping through the night by now. You should just pat her back for a few minutes and she’ll probably nod off.
Me: Umm…. yeah, you don’t really seem to know my baby.
Former Pediatrician: (I’m joking… that would also be petty of me…) Well, maybe you can just try it and see what happens.
Okay….. really? You think it never occurred to me to rub my baby’s back and soothe her back to sleep? You think I started by saying, “Gee, I could just rub her back, but I would prefer to nurse, rock, bounce, play her favorite song by Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know?” (the lyrics of which I have changed to “How will I know If she’s gonna sleep soon? I say a prayer with every heartbeat. I’d fall asleep if ever she napped . I’m asking you what you know about sleep cycles.”), sing, dance a jig, and otherwise try to coax her into slumber. If only I had just rubbed her back!”
Anyway, our recent difficulty has been related to getting her down into the pack and play. No matter how I do it, she rouses into a hyper alert state as soon as her body touches the pack and play sheet. Sometimes she’s still hovering a few centimeters above it as I gently lower her and she somehow sniffs the pack and play radar, as if she can detect a slightly offensive sleep odor. So, being SuperMom (just kidding) I had the ingenious idea to take my incredibly comfortable beloved pillow and lower it into the pack and play with her, thereby recreating the sensation of being snuggled by a loved one. I thought this might work because she loves to snuggle with me for much of the night. As she touched down, I noticed a palpable difference in the level of arousal, and her fussing was only mild. Buoyed by my progress, I also lowered myself into the pack and play, so that my legs were sort of flailing in the air and my head was nuzzled against her back, further capturing the feel of snuggle time for her. In the midst of this, I used my third hand to grab my cell phone and load up a shushing video on youtube so that I could decrease my own shushing, as at this point I was becoming lightheaded and seeing stars (but also, the window was open so maybe the stars were outside). Anyway, it worked. I was beyond stoked, and decided to celebrate by going downstairs to clean the kitchen.
But then, you know, I realized a large pillow that could conform to her face probably was a baby safety hazard (and as you’ll learn in this blog I suffer from severe anxiety), so I felt it unwise to step out of the room with said pillow in her pack and play. I also discovered that I had a sudden urge to use my phone, now that it was busily shushing my baby. So I used my fourth hand (man, I’m awesome) to grab my computer and decided to write this blog while obsessively watching her breathing and measuring the distance between the pillow and her nose and mouth. Somewhere between paragraph two and three, I even managed to slide the pillow out from under my baby’s grasp, and soundly she is still sleeping. I imagine she will be sleeping soundly until the moment I approach my own bed (which is adjacent to her pack and play), at which moment she’ll somehow smell the maternal desire for sleep and wake right up.
If this post about sleep made you smile, please comment below with your own sleep story. Really, I’m open to all comments. Sure, I might delete your comment if you post about how your baby goes down at 7:00pm when you place him in the crib, and sure, I may report as spam anybody who dares tell me that a few gentle rubs on their baby’s back and their baby nods off again. (Kidding. Really, all comments are encouraged and appreciated.) 🙂