a moment of thanks

So, Mary has always been a champion sleeper. She slept all night starting when she was about 6 weeks old, and she’s always gone right to bed with no crying or fuss or annoyance.

Until about a week ago.

Suddenly, putting her in her crib became this horrendous ordeal. I’d put her down, and she would cry. No, wail. No, scream hysterically until she couldn’t breathe. It was awful. I’d pick her up, settle her down, and then put her back in the crib. Repeat. Over, and over, and over.

The thing is, all of the books talk about this and say that you shouldn’t take the baby out of their room or turn on the light, and most of them agree that you shouldn’t pick up the baby, etc.

Well, with all due respect to the scientists and psychologists who have spent years studying this, that is complete and utter bullshit. It’s nonsense.

Eventually I decided to bring Mary back to our room and let her stay up for a while and play with us and then try again. She still cried when I put her back in the crib, but not nearly as badly.

I think the problem has been that she’s teething and her mouth hurts, and she wants us. I can’t blame her for that at all. And after a couple of really rough nights getting to sleep (thank God, once she got to sleep, she slept like her ordinary log-like self), she napped more or less all day today and then went right to bed when we put her in her crib. She may be back to screaming tomorrow night, but at least I can tell that it’s not a fundamental change in her philosophy about sleeping….it’s just her teeth.

All of which is a good thing, because I seriously do not know how parents of bad sleepers survive. I mean, I guess you would get used to it if your baby never did sleep well, but it would not be easy or nice.

This is what I like–it is both easy and nice:

10:00 p.m.: Mary has a bottle and maybe some applesauce and starts to look a little less alert than before.
10:20 p.m.: Mary has a bath and gets a clean diaper and some quality snuggle time.
10:40 p.m.: One or the other of us sees Mary rub her eyes or tug at her ear.
10:45 p.m.: We put her in her crib.
10:48 p.m.: Mary is asleep.
10:49 p.m.: I run a hot bath and get my book and do not worry that Mary will wake up and need anything because she never wakes up after going to sleep because she is a genius.

That is the way it should be. Hopefully it will be the way things are again now that this particular spate of teething pain seems to be subsiding.


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