In a few days Sparrow will be 10 months old.
In my experience, this is the most trying period of a baby’s life, right up until just after a year or so (Sprout was well after 2 years). At least for my babies. It’s usually about the time when all of those wake ups in the middle of the night start to catch up with me. It’s usually about the time I try the cry-it-out method unsuccessfully at least once. And then I remember that my kids are extremely strong willed and this is not a battle I will win. I remember I can’t handle the sound of a crying baby at all. I get grouchy. I am tired.
Mama cannot live by coffee alone.
I always thought with the other two that it was because we had started trying to night wean around this time (albeit a very gentle method in which rocking and soothing replace the all night milk bar). Though I suspected some developmental milestones and teething also played a role.
It seems that night weaning has nothing to do with it. I guess just because since I’ve been through this a couple times and know it doesn’t last forever that I decided not to go through with that whole night weaning business. I thought it would make things easier, even gentler, less sleepless. That I’d spend less of the hours I’m supposed to be sleeping pacing around our home trying to get a baby to sleep and more time sleeping with a few wake ups to nurse while co-sleeping.
Except Sparrow has other plans. So I not only lose sleep nursing for what sometimes seems like the whole night, but also when he decides he is not hungry anymore and just wants to practice standing and no, I better not go to sleep because he needs an audience! He also needs someone to blow raspberries on and laugh about it with!
Or when he is no longer hungry, but obviously tired and can’t go to sleep without an hour of pacing around the house or me bent over the Pack n’ Play rubbing and patting his back until he falls asleep.
Or the two hours after the other two have gone to sleep which used to be “my” time that now is spent in a complete darkness while we irritably switch off trying every method imaginable to get this kid to go to sleep.
Or when he wakes up at 5:30am and wants to play and me taking him to the living room and plopping him down in front of a pile of toys or in his exersaucer while I try to doze a bit on the couch is not good enough. No, no, no, I have to play with him!
I already told Stephen that for my birthday and our anniversary all I want is no kids and sleep. Even just for a day.
Perspective is everything this time though. It doesn’t last forever. And all the moms of 20-something-plus-year-olds have aching uteruses right now wishing they could play with a sweet squishy baby at 5:30am. I will get through it.
Please send coffee, prayers and encouragement in the meantime.