Baby Worn

Michael doesn’t nap. Or he doesn’t nap *much*. Or for very long. Or in any kind of predicable pattern that I can set my day by.

This, along with the whole latching issue, is unfamiliar territory. My girls were easy to breastfeed (“easy” being a relative term; don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that breastfeeding isn’t work and doesn’t take commitment: it is and it does, and it’s totally worth it. I’m still grieving not breastfeeding M, but this is not that post); they also were champion nappers. Two times a day for the first year; usually for an hour or three. It was great.

Michael is not a champion napper. Sometimes he naps for 20 minutes up to five times a day; sometimes he naps for two hours, then three hours in two naps; sometimes he takes a long nap, and then the rest of the day dozes on and off while he’s eating.

I’ve tried wearing him to encourage deeper napping. Michael does not often like this, and he makes his dislike quite well known. Sometimes I have the patience to wait him out — if I wait long enough, and he’s tired enough, he will pass out. Sometimes, not so much. Plus, let’s face it: baby wearing has its limitations. Can’t drive a car wearing a baby; can’t take a shower.

However, to his credit, my baby sleeps at night.

Well, mostly. Around 4 or 5 (or 3) in the morning, M loses his binky (nuk, paci, pacifier, whatever you call it). And he snorts and grunts. And burbles and whines a little. And snuffles. Really loudly.

So I get up, go to his room, find his binky, stick it back in his mouth, and go back to bed. For two minutes. And then again. And then again, and then I get fed up, and take him, his binky, and my sleepy self back to my bed for another hour (maybe) of rest. That’s if my insomnia doesn’t kick in, and I’m lying there with a sleeping infant, a snoring husband, and racing thoughts. So unfair.

I feel terrible when I think things at Michael, like, “I can’t wait until you can sit up.” Or, as I’m feeding him a bottle — after preparing and heating it — “I can’t wait until you’re eating real food.”

Because these things are fast forward in time. And time? She goes fast enough my friends.

Next week I return to work. My baby will only be 11 weeks old.

I love so many of the things of having a baby: the coos and smiles, especially the sleepy ones; the fat thighs and belly; the baby skin. I love Michael’s intensity and his reality. And I hate wishing he were older, even if it would in some ways be easier for me.

Because someday, I’m going to blink, and he’s going to be standing up in his crib waiting for me to get him in the morning. And then he’ll be 10 (and Flora will be 16, God help her father, and Kate will be 14, God help us all). And then I’ll be standing behind a frazzled mother of young children in Target, and I’ll say the thing to her that I have heard a few dozen times: “It goes so fast.”

It does, my friends. It really does. So I hate thinking, “Go faster.” I have to take a deep breath and remember, it’s fast enough.

9 thoughts on “Baby Worn

  1. I could have written this post when J was a baby. He didn’t have Michael’s habits per se, but I remember telling myself to stop wishing his babyhood away. It is so hard to go back to the beginning when you’ve finally reached some kind of independence with the older kid(s) and to realize that you have to slog through all of it again when you know X age will be easier. But you’re right, it really does go fast and before you know it, he’ll be different.

    Also, in my experience, 11 weeks is awfully early to be expecting any kind of real nap schedule. I don’t think either of my kids had a reliable and set nap schedule until they were closer to 6 months. It was longer with L because he was my first and I was dumb and didn’t push but it was still at least 5 months with J. Give Michael a little bit longer and he might fall into a pattern for you. Hang in there! It’s hard to see that things are progressing at all when you’re up close and personal with it day after day.


    • I am now hoping DCL will set up a nice napping schedule for him that I can follow on the weekends! And, yes, I knew 11 weeks was early for that schedule, it was just me wishing he were a little more regular. I better put on some brakes, or I’m going to be forcing rice cereal on him at 4 months!

  2. I think wishing away the sleep-deprived hard stuff is a survival tactic. You have to do it. Let yourself imagine calmer times and Just. Get. Through. Good luck heading back to work, and know that I’m thinking of you and sending you sleep and strength.

    • That is exactly what I keep thinking: this isn’t forever. In real terms it doesn’t even last that long. My favorite midwife used to say: “The nights last forever, but the years fly by.”

  3. When my now almost 15 and almost 16 year old boys (and now their 20 year old sister, who came for a few days at Christmas and is apparently not leaving) get on my nerves, I have a picture of them when they were young and sweet, and Taylor promised “to always be sweet.” And you know what? He pretty much has. I think there’s a sweet spot between first and 6th grade when they are still innocent enough not to argue about everything you say, ask interesting questions, and enjoy being with the parents. And all the other stuff is also wonderful, but nothing is wonderful all the time. To be human is to be temporal, and that means we change, and we live in our pasts and our futures at the same time. That’s the joy of it.

    • I don’t know, Kate is very challenging. We butt heads so much. I told someone the other day, she is either sweet and charming, making me laugh, or she’s yelling at me/fighting with me. There is no middle ground with her. Flora is a much more placid child, although she can whine with the best of them. Right now, Michael is the easy one! 🙂

  4. Hang in there Mama! Good luck with the work thing…and the sleep thing! (I think your true wish is for more sleep, not for time to speed up!) Maybe going to day care will help him get on a schedule…both eating and napping. Both my kiddos were (are) champion nappers too…He’ll settle in soon.

    I have some more clothes and baby stuff (extra boppy…maybe for DCL? and a play mat with fun things to look at!) I will try to get a hold of your folks and send over…so they can bring next time they travel south.

    Addie is going to be THREE in less than 2 months! I can’t believe how big she is! time does fly, indeed.

    Take care, my dear, and rest as much as you can!

  5. Oh, you poor thing. Claire didn’t nap her first 6 months at all. She started teething at 3 months and it all went to shit from there. I, unfortunately, had to “Ferberize” her because she wasn’t sleeping at night or during the day. Which led to my quick demise. And I did the whole wishing life away thing, and hating that I did. I still feel sad that I had to let her cry it out for two nights, but in the long run, it’s worked out for the best and she’s no worse for wear.

    I wore all my babies, but like you said, how can you drive and shower and do basic life things whilst wearing a child? As soon as I take Maelie out of her sling, she’s up. Wide eyed and staring. Le sigh.

    Good luck my dear!

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