We agreed that babies hate to be swaddled. I insisted it's still good to do. We agreed many babies like soothers. Andrew's frustration is that his little girl keeps ejecting the thing that soothes her so well, usually just milliseconds after it's been placed in her mouth. We agreed duct tape isn't the answer but we also agreed we've all thought about it. We talked about how if a baby wakes up after 4 a.m., it can take hours of walking, rocking, shushing and dancing around the house with a baby propped up on your shoulder, bleary-eyed and drunk with fatigue, trying to coax them back to the land of Nod.
I remember these days. I don't need to swaddle or constantly dance with my babies any more, however, uninterrupted nights of sleep are few and far between. I recognize the intense haze of exhaustion on a fellow parent's face and my heart cries out for him.
And so I repeated to him the advice to told my brother just before he had his first baby.
"You just need to outlast the baby."
So walk up and down stairs. Bounce up and down on exercise balls or on the bed. Keep popping the soother back in her mouth. Tag team with your partner. Beg and bribe your partner. Get a rocking chair. Pay a neighbour kid to push your kid in a stroller for an hour so you can lie down.
Do what you need to do to outlast your baby! Without shame.
And you will find the strength, my friend. You will find strength you didn't know you had.
|Cole and Amelia - April 2011|