I just had a really rough 1 hour and 40 minutes. But so did you. You are halfway to 1 year old, and I am no better knowing what to do with your sleep than I was the last time I wrote to you. You’ve been staying up for longer stretches now, and you’re definitely going through a lot of changes. Sometimes, we don’t know what changes until a week later (which is a long time in babyland). You’ve made big strides (pun intended) in moving while on your tummy…not quite crawling, but you’re headed in that direction (so many puns). I’ve watched you play with your toys in more intentional ways, moving them towards your face and away, examining them, examining us, examining your own body (you love those fingers and toes). We’ve even started you with some solid food! All of these changes make for fussy babies who need more sleep. Well, I’m trying to get you that sleep anyway I can.
Sometimes, you still fall asleep in the stroller, in the car, in the babycarrier…sometimes you fall asleep on your own in the crib, completely happy and fine. Sometimes you fall asleep nursing, and this isn’t always intentional, but it happens. But often, like just now, you take forever to fall asleep. To the point that it feels like you never will fall asleep. I try cuddling you, holding you, nursing you, singing to you, massaging you…all of this after the normal bedtime routine. This time, it was just for a nap. Finally, I left you for a few minutes to check the laundry and give you a chance to try on your own. Immediately you started crying. The cries turned into sobs, and full-throated wails. During the sobs, I held out coming to you. I had comforted you before, and you would stop crying, but then would forget it was supposed to be naptime. So, I waited. I shed tears of my own. When you got extra loud, I went upstairs, but lo and behold you managed to calm down enough to fall asleep. All on your own.
Those 18 minutes of crying were torture for me, and for you. I want to always be able to comfort you and make you feel good, but I’m sure there will be times in the future when I will have to upset you for your own good. Curfews to be set, rules to be followed, vegetables to eat…but I hope you know I really am here for you. I don’t know what will happen next time you cry (oh gosh, bedtime is in just a couple hours…). I might try holding out, or I might just hold you. Either way, I love you, and I hope we can figure out this sleep thing before you’re 18.
P.S. Hearing you say what sounds like “Momma” when you’re crying is totally bittersweet.