Friday, January 15, 2010


So, as I've mentioned about a hundred times before, little Evelyn sleeps through the night EVERY night, and has been doing so since she was about 6 or 7 weeks old. I want to emphasize that there's nothing that we did to bring this on, and that it was just sheer luck that landed us with the sleepiest baby ever. The hardest part about taking care of her for the first few weeks of her life was waking her up to feed! She would be sound asleep, but the doctor wanted us to feed her every 4 hours at least, so we'd have to tickle her, undress her, bounce her, talk to her, and otherwise desperately try to wake her up. It usually took at least 20 minutes, and sometimes longer. NOT fun at 2:30 in the morning. She also naps three or more times during the day, usually for 20 minutes or so, but sometimes for much longer.

Awesome, you say, right? So why is it that I am compulsively looking online at baby sleep habit books? Didn't I just say that I have the sleepiest baby ever, and she does it on her own?

I made the mistake of reading something about how in an ideal world, babies can be placed in their crib when they're starting to get sleepy, and they will drift off to sleep on their own. This does not happen around here. We've tried putting her in her crib when she's sleepy but not asleep, but inevitably, 2 minutes later, she is fully awake and crying because she's tired. She'll sleep perfectly if we rock her to sleep, but somehow, some way, the internet convinced me that rocking her to sleep every time is bad, and that I'll have to drive out to her college dorm every night to rock her to sleep if we don't break this habit.

So, to you, internet, I say: I love rocking my baby to sleep, and I think it's perfectly natural. My baby and I are both happy and well rested, so I hereby declare that I will no longer hold either of us to some arbitrary parenting standard when what we're doing is working for both of us.

Now, if only I could just stick to it...

Post script: I had forgotten that I wrote this post, probably for the best, because it is neither funny nor interesting, really. Last week, we came to a turning point. It has something to do with the fact that Evelyn weighs 16 pounds now, and imagine rocking a huge sack of flour for at least an hour a day; 15 minutes (at least!) for 3 naps and bedtime. And of course, by rocking, I mean standing, swaying, and doing half squats. Now, imagine how your back feels. We were also rethinking the whole rocking her to sleep thing because she's steadily getting more mature, and while it seemed perfectly natural to hold her as she fell asleep when she was a tiny infant, she's really getting to be much more independent. The third piece was that one day, on a whim, I bought her a new brand of pacifiers, and lo and behold! She who used to spit out her pacifier faster than you can say, "Mother, I utterly reject this ridiculous silicon substitute. I must insist that you provide only the very tenderest morsels of your body for me to soothe myself upon," was appeased. And lo, it was good. No, seriously, it was MORE than good. Instead of the 30 minute epic battle of wills we used to go through at times, with her yowling in misery and us trying to explain to her gently that 'Dearest, that unpleasant feeling is TIREDNESS, and if you would just GO TO SLEEP, it will all be better,' she now gets a bit sleepy, we toss her in her pajamas, spend about five minutes in the rocking chair with the lights out with her, and then into her crib as the eyes get heavy. Thank you, Nuk. If I found out their pacifiers were manufactured from the souls of puppies and kittens, I'd still buy them.

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