Grace Jane is a different baby entirely from the little infant we experienced with Lilly. I mean duh, of course she’s different.
But where Lilly liked to sleep in her crib, to stretch out and be nice and cool and relaxed, Grace wants to be cuddled, snuggled, and squeezed right up close to your body (any body will do, I don’t think it’s just Mommy). Even if it’s 800 degrees, Grace would rather be sweating her cute butt off than laying alone somewhere cool.
So I’m awake most of the night, lying in fear of smothering my kid, contorted into some kind of awkward block-the-baby-from-falling-out-while-simultaneously-cuddling-and-protecting-her-from-being-smothered-by-Daddy position that definitely isn’t good for my back or neck.
But that snuggly little 11lb. body won’t always be willing to cuddle up with me forever. She’ll grow and change and settle just like her sister and I’ll probably cry that I want her back with me again.
I know how to teach her good sleep habits, self-soothing techniques that I really do think are good for children to learn, and I’ll get around to it at some point. Teaching Lilly those things worked wonders on that girl. She became a total joy instead of an exhausting and cranky baby.
Getting Lilly on a sleep schedule changed my life. And I’m not exaggerating. At about 4 months old I started to follow a strict nap schedule. It followed natural baby sleep/wake patterns and saved our sanity. She went from taking many, random, unpredictable cat naps (less than 20 minutes at a time) to waking at 6 a.m. and napping from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. every. single. day. Bedtime was between 6 and 7 p.m. This took a little bit of work- I would lay Lilly down in her crib, wide awake, with a mobile or a cribby music toy. It took 3 or 4 days of crying to get her to that point. On day one she cried for a good twenty minutes or so. I sat outside her room, making sure she wasn’t getting too upset. Eventually she’d tire out and get distracted by the mobile or the music toy and get lulled to sleep. The second day she still cried for the same amount of time. But on the third and fourth day the crying got less and less until there was no crying at all. From then on, anyone could put her down for a nap or to bed without any rocking, singing, nursing, or walking. Of course no one likes to hear their baby cry. Especially their first baby. And while this method is not for every family and not for every baby, for us, it was glorious. Plus I could count on “happy” times of day to run errands, schedule Mommy dates or doctor’s appointments or shopping trips. I knew when my sweet girl wanted to be sleeping and when she wanted to be awake.
So eventually, during a period of time where there are no vacations, no doctor’s appointments, and no activities happening, I will also teach Grace good sleeping habits.
But we’re on vacation- and who really has good habits while on vacation, right?
The sweetest toes I’ve ever seen (and yes, Lilly and I gave her a pedicure).
*Stay tuned this week to see how we are making flubber, goo (yes they are different), and my Mom’s Famous Amaretto Cheesecake. Yum!*