Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Letting Sleeping Babies Lie

I'm home with the baby today. Her daycare is closed all week and part of the agreement to get time off when I have none to take (including one last week) was that I'd get at least eight hours in between the two days at home today and that I'd work the day after Thanksgiving. Imagine my dismay when they said that on that day we'd start at 6 am. The only consolation I have is that there are two others who will also be there that day at 6 am. Anyhow, this about the baby. I have a whole separate blog where I can whine about stuff like that if I choose.

Fortunately, Lori's obsession with organization and detail has left me with a chart of every diaper change, every amount of food she's eaten, many of the naps she's taken since the day she was born. It has been helpful today to look back and see how much she should be eating and things like that. The daycare has taught me to check the diaper every hour, unless she's asleep, and that it is possible to get her to nap.

We visited J last night to take her and Y and little M some dinner. J is on bed rest after a fall that resulted in early contractions on baby #2. She was telling us how little M would wake up in the middle of the night just like Rachel is now doing. She agreed that much of it probably was teething, but also related how M would go to sleep with a pacifier, but then spit it out while sleeping. Then as the night wore on, she would stir, realize the pacifier was gone and wake up completely upset. They started putting her to bed without a pacifier. For a month, she cried a lot when going to bed, but wasn't waking up in the middle of the night. Eventually the crying stopped at bedtime.

This morning I thought she ought to have a nap so I could get some work done. I put her in her crib without a pacifier, but with the aquarium and mommy bear both on. She probably cried for less than 15 minutes and then.. silence. Just a few minutes ago I was feeding her and instant messaging on the laptop with Lori. I would alternate between holding the bottle and letting Rachel hold it all on her own. In one of the periods where I was holding it, I looked down to see little Rachel fast asleep. She hasn't really stirred since then.

By the time she fell asleep, I had watched nearly everything on the TiVo and had turned it back to a music station, but I do worry... are we making it impossible for Rachel to sleep without background noise? They say not to tiptoe around babies (like my parents did) because then any little noise will wake them up. But can the opposite be true, can a baby be trained not to be able to sleep when it's too quiet (like Lori)?

As I typed that last paragraph, I turned down the music. As I type this paragraph, the little baby is looking up at me, blinking, smiling and looking pretty tired. Maybe I need to transition her to her cradle for a little longer nap, though I fear that will result in more heart-breaking crying...

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